Plants-vs-Zombies-2-Its-About-Time-Logo

Puns. Glorious, glorious puns. That Popcap’s sequel to the hugely addictive and critically acclaimed first title in the series has been some years in the making makes the subtitle ‘it’s About Time’ fairly apt. But then it really is, literally, about time. Are you laughing too?

This latest entry into the Plants canon sees you, the intrepid planter, travel back in time to three different historical locations, Ancient Egypt, the high seas in the 1600’s and the good ol’ Wild West, all because of a bottle of hot sauce. And a Taco. Or something.

Any problems that you might have with the realism of that plot are rendered somewhat obsolete when you consider that the game’s entire premise is that you’re utilizing militant plants to defeat onrushing zombie hordes who want to eat your brains, that is if they can get past your sentient defensive lawn mowers.

Seriously, realism is not an issue here. This science on offer here will not pass the Neil Degrasse Tyson test.

What is an issue is fun – masses and masses of the stuff. I snagged my copy on its release date and subsequently neglected to do anything else for the next two days, I veritably drowned in the fun on offer from this EA released masterpiece in mobile gaming. Of course, the essential gameplay is literally exactly the same as the first title’s and yes, we should be encouraging developers to zazz their titles up a little, but innovation is hardly in abundance on the Play Store and is equally as unnecessary to any great extent here. I plant my sun flowers. I plant some defensive plants. The zombies come. I plant more plants. I collect my sun light. I plant more plants. More zombies come. Crazy Dave, the game’s reliable/crazy narrator pops up and talks about hot sauce and  his misspent youth on the Mississippi river. There’s a talking time travel car with a line in dry, sarcastic wit. I plant more plants. Some more zombies come. They say ‘Braaaaaiiins’ in an elongated drawl which is a fitting homage to the zombie movies of our collective childhood. I miss breakfast, my work suffers, I eat uncooked taco shells for dinner because I don’t want to put my tablet down long enough to have to actually cook anything. More zombies come.

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PVZ 2 is free to purchase, working on the ever popular in-game purchases option (which this reviewer has no problem with) to make its revenue, but in all honesty it wasn’t a feature I ever particularly needed – thankfully, PVZ2 is entirely playable, entirely beatable and entirely joyous and you don’t have to spend a cent, if you don’t want to (as thanks to Popcap for the aforementioned joy, I bought my niece a toy peashooter for Christmas, in lieu of having to spend any of my hard earned dollar in game on upgrades or new plants.)

The ‘In game purchase scandal’ which I read so much about after the game’s iOS release struck me as being something built of nothing but the gaming communities willingness to get pissed off by absolutely anything and I’m happy to confirm that point now. Whether or not Apple, in their new role as evil movie villain bad guy, paid EA a dump truck of money to delay their Android release will however remain to be seen… (Read: Yes, they did.)

PVZ 2’s time travel setting is largely unnecessary but does add an extra degree of glee. On N3rdable’s scale of gleeful delightedness, Ancient Egyptian zombies trump regular zombies, pirate zombies trump Ancient Egyptian zombies and John Wayne zombies trump anything they damn well please, because they’re John Wayne. And zombies.

A host of new plants add a degree of freshness as does the updated artwork, but in all honesty PVZ2 is exactly what its predecessor was – an excellent tower defense sim, awash with tongue-utterly-in-cheek humour, which will keep you entertained as long as you’ll let it.

As Crazy Dave would say – urghlewawrr!

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