Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blog #5- Michael Warren

This Plants vs. Zombies game is a really addictive game to play. I’d played a number of different versions of this game, but personally I find this version to be the most engrossing of all the one’s I played. It has a very attractive, bold, and vivid aesthetic that draws you in from the get-go. It also just comes off as having a very light-hearted feel to it. There is a lot of different, generally up-beat music (other than when the zombies actually attack), which keeps you engaged, and the zombies are really funny looking (especially the pole vaulters that come later on). Basically, it’s a very inviting game.

Once I started, I had no problem figuring out the strategy to make sure those meddling zombies stayed out of my plants. To be honest, I think that it starts off a little too easy, leaving a lot of downtime where I would wait for the slow-moving zombies to inevitably be exterminated by my highly strategic lawn. But the game uses a bunch of really interesting tactics to keep drawing you in just enough to not navigate away. The first thing that got me focused on continuing was the fact that you don’t even start off with the full amount of grass on your lawn as you know you will, a new coat of grass or two being added after a new plant is gotten (at the beginning of the game). But once you finally get all of the grass, there are so many various strategic plants in your arsenal to keep you busy that it will take another few rounds before potential boredom kicks in.

I told myself I would quit after about level 1-5. I wound up concluding after around level 1-9. This is because just when I decided I was actually ready to leave (even though I wasn’t), a new, totally different mini-game came into play. All of a sudden after one of the levels, I was approached by Crazy Dave, a very humorous character that also keeps the game light-hearted and fun, who explained the rules of the mini bowling game, which was even easier to play than the actual game itself. I thought this was a really clever way to keep things interesting and break up the monotony of doing the same task in this game every time. From that point on, I told myself I would stop after each successive level, and yet wound up continuing on to see how in the world I could incorporate the newly found plants to my already masterful planting strategy.

One thing that really annoyed me about this game was that after each time I collected a new plant, I would be taken to a 10-second advertisement. This is one of the major reasons I had decided to end the game after around the 5th level, and it’s a testament to the gameplay that I was sucked back into staying every time after I found out my new plant’s capabilities. I really think it’s wrong to advertise within a game, however I suppose I understand it in this situation given the quality of this free game. But to me, you can’t get away with in-game advertising in games that don’t have as much downtime as this game, so in a game where there is down-time, the last thing a player wants is an advertisement to expand that dynamic even further.

All in all, this was an extremely addictive game that really makes you marvel at the future of gaming for younger generations. It’s amazing how complex these games have gotten and how technologically advanced they have the capacity to get. If I had this type of game growing up, I don’t know if I’d ever get any activity done!

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