If you’ve had any desire to play Plants vs. Zombies within the last year, it is likely that Pop Cap Games has made sure you have the opportunity to do so. With several PC editions of the game, an XBox Live Arcade release, and a port to the iPhone, Plants vs. Zombies has become a ridiculously prolific and popular title. Evidentially, however, this wasn?t enough, as the game is now also available for Nintendo DS. It may be difficult to say that the DS version of Plants vs. Zombies is the best of the set, but with some new DS exclusive features, it?s a safe bet for the game?s devotees or casual gamers who have somehow avoided it thus far.
One thing about Plants vs. Zombies that remains largely unchanged in the DS version of the game is the gameplay itself. You are tasked with protecting your house from an army of quirky zombies by planting a series of strangely aggressive plants to fend them off. It isn?t incredibly difficult, and the main game doesn?t take that long to get through. Once the main game is completed, however, an extensive set of minigames becomes unlocked, one after the other, and even if some of them do happen to be slightly tedious or frustratingly difficult, they don?t change the fact that, as a whole, Plants vs. Zombies is an appealing and addictive game that it?s really easy to spend hours on end playing.
If you?ve never played Plants vs. Zombies before, it?s an easy title to recommend, and the DS version of it is as good a place to start as any. With as many versions of it as there are out there, however, the easiest way to judge it is by comparing it to the versions available for other systems. In terms of gameplay, it really does not differ from the other versions of the game out there. The stylus control works in a very similar fashion to that of the iPod and PC versions, which means that it?s far superior to the clunky XBox 360 port. There are a couple of new additions exclusive to the DS port, including a couple of new minigames and some irritating segments where you have to yell at your plants to cheer them up, but they aren?t remarkable enough to really set it apart from the other releases.
The biggest difference between this version of Plants vs. Zombies and all of the others is in the quality of the graphics. It is true that the DS is less powerful than a PC or an XBox 360, and the bright and detailed sprites used in the game are not inherently bad. Still, the animation looks a bit choppy while the game is in action, and when the screen fills up with plants firing away at the titular zombies, it has some of the worst slowdown I?ve seen on the system. There would be no problem with the visuals taking such a hit if the game ran well as a result, but as it is, it slightly difficult to overlook. The sound, however, is nearly identical to that in the other versions of the game, from the music to the sound effects to Crazy Dave?s weird mumbling.
Perhaps the biggest factor in deciding to buy Plants vs. Zombies DS over any of the other versions of the game is that of value, which the game doesn?t lack. Although the actual game doesn?t take too long to finish, the achievements, minigames, survival mode, and Zen Garden have the potential to drain hours of your time, which is more than a lot of other twenty dollar games have to offer. It does cost seventeen dollars more than the basic iPhone version of the game, and the XBox 360 disc release of the game costs the same, but also includes the popular Pop Cap titles Zuma and Peggle as a bonus. Seeing as the iPhone port lacks most of the DS cartridge?s bonuses and an Xbox 360 is not the premier choice for portable gaming, however, the DS version of Plants vs. Zombies is not necessarily a worse value so much as it is a different one. If you?ve already played all of the other versions and are really looking forward to gardening another round of zombies back to death, I don?t think there?s much I can say that will stop you from getting this. Still, the PC version of Plants vs. Zombies remains the one that most gamers will want to start with, but if you only have a DS or want a full-featured portable version of the game, the slowdown is the only major problem with the port.