Guess who decided to ramble on about vidya? Huzzah! Gaming!
So to start things off, I played Plants Vs Zombies on the PC. I'm playing Plants Vs Zombies 2 on the above mentioned iPhone. So yeah, there are differences a'plenty. So when I compare the games, keep in mind that I'm not comparing a phone game vs a phone game...
One thing I like better about the sequel is the difference in the Adventure Modes. The original game has your basic areas: Day, Night, Pool, Fog, and Roof. Each area has unique challenges, which is fun... but the sequel's areas... aka eras, are much more diverse, fun, and very good looking. Instead of weather and lighting changes, the areas are a variety of time periods. Currently (they add a new area on occasion via app upgrades) the areas are: Ancient Egypt, Pirate Seas, Wild West, Far Future, Dark Ages, Big Wave Beach, Frostbite Caves, and Lost City.
Like it's predecessor, each area in PvZ2 introduces new plants and zombies. The sequel, however, introduces more of each than the original. I love this about the sequel!
Now, the original has it's Adventure Mode, but it also has Mini Games, Puzzles, and Survival Mode.
These prove to be a fun break from Adventure Mode, and I enjoyed trying to conquer them. The sequel does not have All of these goodies. They chose to input their endless Survival Modes a different way. Each era has it's own Endless area that is accessible after you reach a certain point in said era. The sequel also skips most of the mini games and puzzles and only offers Vase Breakers.
I miss the variety of the Mini Games and Puzzles. Vase Breakers is fun, but after a while...? I prefer a variety. PvZ2 tries to make up for the lack of other little fun bits by adding in the Yeti challenge and the Piñata Party.
The Yeti challenges can be fun, but I have one gripe... After you beat the Yeti area, it will spawn again somewhere else. That Yeti gets Frequent Flyer Miles, I swear... he's all over the place. He bops from era to era like a Time Lord. If he shows up on a level that you loathe... you're SOL. Right now (for me) he's hanging out on Far Future's level 15. I hated that level. It pissed me off quite thoroughly, But if I don't go and relive the angst to beat the Yeti? He will camp there. Permanently. I wish he would respawn somewhere else daily, regardless of if I defeat him or not... Ugh.
I live for the Piñata Parties. They're a daily event, that starts at 12am. Each day you're presented with a random (and sometimes original) level with it's own unique challenge. Sometimes it's introducing a new plant that is Coming Soon, sometimes it's themed after a current holiday. I find them a great break from the normal era levels, and if you beat the level, you get to pick three gift boxes for whatever is hidden within them. It could be coins, gems, a free Power Up, a sprout for your Zen Garden, or a costume for one of your plants. If you completes five consecutive levels of Piñata Party in a row, you get Señor Piñata after you pick your three gifts. I love Señor Piñata. I find it very cathartic to whack him till he bursts and gives me another present! Yes, even in vidya I am a Sadist.
"Oh hay Paige... What is the Power Up that you mentioned?"
That's a great question! PvZ2 introduces a few new things that help you conquer the levels, and I adore them. They are the cake to my sweet tooth.
The first is Plant Food. Yes, the first game had fertilizer in the Zen Garden, but this is different. Some zombies produce Plant Food when you kill them, instead of coins or gems, and I snatch those bad boys up like the greedy bitch I am. If you use said Plant Food on certain plants, they get a boost, which makes them go into overdrive. The sun producers will erupt with sun, combative plants will overkill. It's amazeballs and its VERY useful. This only works on one plant, whichever you choose to use the Plant Food on. Yo can buy them if they don't spawn from killed zombies. They cost you coins. The other way to feed your plants for these boosts in power is via Zen Garden.
The other new thing are the Power Ups. They're handy dandy little bastards that give you an extra edge against the zombies. They each have a price in coins, so keep an eye on your budget. You can choose from Power Toss (flings zombies away, towards the entrance to the lawn), Power Zap (electrocutes zombies, huzzah!), Power Snow (hurls snowballs which freeze and ultimately kill the zombies), and Power Flame (replaces the Snow in Frostbite Caves, it burns instead of freezes). My only gripe about the Power Ups is where they are located on the game's layout. Since this game is limited to smart phones, you can accidentally touch the Power Ups if you are trying to touch a sun, coin, zombie, etc that is in the bottom row. This wastes coins and said Power Ups. Grrrr!
Another thing I liked about the first game as compared to the second is the Zen Garden. In the sequel, they cut the size of your garden in half. Now some folks say it's because the size of smart phone screens is a limited thing, but I call shenanigans. You can fit more plants in the garden in PvZ2. I wish they would. I miss my Botanical Garden of Win. I also miss Mister Snail. The Bee dude is cool and all, but snails!
Stingy! Don't those game devs know that gardening is therapeutic and good for the environment?
Another thing I preferred from the first game is $$$ factor with the plants. Some of the plants that I enjoyed using in the first game can only be accessed in the sequel if you spend actual cash. No thanks. Not on my budget. PvZ, I love you, but not that much. Enough of the New To The Sequel plants are Cash Only as well, and that also makes me frown. Meh.
All in all, the sequel has prettier, improved plant and zombie design, I love the look of the levels (especially Lost City... so shiny!), and some of the new challenges are rally awesome. I just really can't get past the lack of PC availability.