Plants vs. Zombies 2
Plants vs. Zombies 2 (formerly called Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time) is a sequel to the game Plants vs. Zombies, released in 2013 exclusively for mobile devices. It was the second game released by PopCap Games after being purchased by Electronic Arts, after Plants vs. Zombies Adventures.
Why It's Zombie Time
- Over twice as many plants and zombies as the last game!
- The graphics are even better than before, with more animation in the characters.
- While not as catchy or memorable as the last game, the music is still really good. They are mixed with different instruments and music genres to match the time the level is set in, especially the Demonstration Mini Game and Ultimate Battle music of each world.
- Ancient Egypt's theme, in particular was composed by Laura Shigihara, who also composed the soundtrack from the first game. The rest of the music would be composed by Peter McConnell. Speaking of McConnell, he would later composed music from Plants vs. Zombies third-person shooter games.
- Related to that, the Neon Mixtape Tour soundtrack is considered by fans the best soundtrack of the whole game for its unique feature.
- 11 total worlds, with between 25 to 34 levels in each one, for a total of 312 levels, and unlike the first game, you fight the zombies across the eras. Each world has their own unique gimmicks, and several levels have unique minigames in them, such as one where you use Coconut Cannons to shoot seagulls. The worlds below will be listed by their chronologically release date:
- Ancient Egypt: The first world where your journey starts here. The lawn functions exactly like the normal daytime level from the original game. The difference is the inclusion of tombstones, while cannot summon zombies blocks straight projectiles (Cabbage-pult was initially introduced specifically to bypass the tombstones)
- Pirate Seas: Takes place in the 'Golden Age of Piracy', the lawn is split into three sections. The first half of the lawn functions exactly like the normal lawn, the second half of the lawn has some planks which functions like the former but underground plants like Potato Mine cannot be planted on. And finally, the plankless lanes, which neither plants (including aquatic-oriented plants like Lily Pad and flying plants like Rotobaga) nor zombies (except Swashbuckler Zombie, Seagull Zombie and Imp Cannon) can be planted or walked on, also lawn mowers cannot cross the plankless lanes.
- Wild West: As its namesake says, it unsurprisingly takes place in the Wild West, during the mid 19th century. The world's main gimmick is minecart and rail, in different locations and positions, depending on the level. Plants can be planted on minecart and can moved along the rail at will.
- Far Future: Takes place in the 24th century (the year 2323 according to the description). The world's main gimmick, Power Tiles come with different colors with different symbols. Power Tiles link Plant Food to any plant on a Power Tile of the same color. As its namesake says, the special zombies in this world are technologically advanced, including Imp and Gargantuar, utilizing machines. E.M.Peach, introduced in this world can be used to temporarily disable all robotic zombies.
- Dark Ages: Takes place around the medieval era. As its name suggests, the world is set during the night, which means that sun does not fall from the sky like the nighttime level from the original game, in addition, mushrooms made their debut in this world. Tombstones from Ancient Egypt returned to this world and are more than a simple obstacle that blocks straight projectiles. However, they can now occasionally spawn by their own and summon zombies through an ambush called "Necromancy!"
- Big Wave Beach: Gimmick-wise, the world is similar to the Pool level from the original game, in each level, there is an arrow and a line of seaweed called the "tide line" that divides the land and water. This changes in every level. Lily Pad returned from the first game allows plants can be placed on water or wet sand to prevent them from getting drowned by water. Takes place in the 70s.
- Frostbite Caves: As its name suggests, the world takes place during the ice age. The world's gimmicks are chilling winds which appear randomly, partially freezing plants and can eventually leave the plant completely encased in a frozen block, which renders the plant useless. Some fire plants, such as Torchwood and Pepper-pult are immune to freezing and can melt the ice blocks with their radiating heat and the slider tiles, depending on the arrow (up, down) will switch the zombies' lane to another lane.
- Lost City: The main gimmick of this world is the Gold Tiles, when planted for the first time immediately gives the player 50 sun, and then produce another 50 sun every 20 seconds until eaten, crushed, or moved by the zombies. Day 22, 28 and 32 (the boss battle), in particular features the trap tiles, which can be detrimental for both plants and zombies. However, you can use the trap tiles as their own advantages.
- Neon Mixtape Tour: Takes place during the 1980s, the world's main gimmick is the Jams, which can give zombies either an increase or decrease in their speed. Additionally, if a jam that is tied to a certain zombie plays, the zombie in question will be able to utilize their special ability.
- Jurassic Marsh: As its name says, the world takes place during the Jurassic era, long before the events of Frostbite Caves. The zombies in this world don't have special abilities (with Jurassic Bully being an exception due to his immunity to Primal Peashooter's knockback), however, what makes this world hard is the inclusion of the dinosaurs that can aid zombies in many ways, ranging from pushing zombies forward (Raptor, Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus), boosting zombies' speed (T. Rex) and carrying a non-Imp or Gargantuar to the last tile then walks rightward (Pterodactyl). Perfume-shroom, introduced in this world can be used to cause the dinosaurs to attack the zombies.
- Modern Day: The final world in the game, this world is a mash-up of every time period encountered before, the player can encounter zombies from every previous world in this world. The gimmick in this world are the portals, which summon special zombies from any time period to the lawn.
- The plot is funny, and doesn't try to be serious.
- You can fight Zomboss in multiple different boss battles, each with their own trick up their sleeves.
- Speaking of Zomboss, he's absolutely hilarious in this game. His dialogue always fits with the time period he's in, and his quotes and almanac entries have a lot of silly shenanigans in them.
- The rest of the humor isn't skimped out on, either. Penny's a funny character, and the almanac entries are even better than they were before.
- Plant Food gives an epic finisher-style ability for every non-instant plant. Peashooters fire a barrage of peas, Sunflowers produce a ton of sun, catapults launch projectiles on every enemy on the screen, and so on.
- You can play it for free, just like the previous game on mobile devices.
- The new plants are just as good as the older ones, some good examples being:
- The Moonflower, which generates a field that powers Conceal-mint plants.
- The Rotobaga, which fires pellets at zombies in four directions.
- The Celery Stalker, that is like Bonk Choy but can attack from the back.
- The Primal Wall-nut, which acts like a normal Wall-nut, but survives 3 smashes instead of one and recharges faster (even though it costs 25 sun more).
- The Snapdragon, that burns zombies with its wide range of fire.
- The Turbo button fixes the original game's issue of sometimes being too slow of a pace.
- Piñata parties present a new way to play every day, presenting rewards for playing them.
- Unlike the first game, it's actually possible to make level mods via Android and edit content code to change stats and there are several mods with a decent amount of creativity.
- Unlike other mobile games that were once good but gone downhill, this game is still going strong by adding new plants that have original ideas and added Power Mints to boost your plants.
- Starting with the release of Shadow Peashooter in 2018, the developers have stopped locking plants behind the paywall only, all plants released after Shadow Peashooter now can be obtained through seed packets in Arena and Penny's Pursuit (Pokra, Goo Peashooter, Pumpkin, Gumnut, Turkey-pult, etc.). Some plants that formerly cost dollars, such as Explode-O-Nut, Starfruit, Bombegranate, etc. are now obtainable with seed packets.
- Related to this, Pea-nut, Hypno-shroom, Jalapeno, Squash and Shrinking Violet, all formerly cost dollars are now permanently obtainable with gems on March 16, 2017.
- Unlike the first game, it's harder and has more challenges to do as we move forward, especially since Dark Ages.
- Gem premium plants (also called gemiums) are great alternatives for those who cannot pay with microtransactions, with some great gemium plants such as the mentioned Jalapeno and Shrinking Violet, Ghost Pepper (only available in Halloween), Lava Guava, Hurrikale, etc.
- The Chinese version of this game is also good, and Talkweb, the developers of that version, seem to know what they're doing.
- Since 2021 (To be exactly, since the 8.9.1 update), they have tried to bring new content besides plants such as improvements to the game, a more linear game mode, buffs to some plants like Chomper and Snapdragon, being able to rent plants, etc.
- Microtransactions. They aren't bad at all, because it is a free game with no excessive amount of ads. However, the wrong thing is the way that they're handled. One piñata tracker costs more than the other and the premium plants cost 5 dollars, which is as much as Plants vs. Zombies on Steam. The plants also all cost the same, so really good plants like Cold Snapdragon, Caulipower, Gold Bloom, Cactus, Electric Peashooter, and Imitater are valued at the same price as the average ones like Snow Pea, Escape Root, or Toadstool, and even the useless ones like Chomper. Luckily, these aren't required to complete the game and the game isn't that hard without them.
- The difficulty can get really unfair at times, especially in Big Wave Beach and world expansions. These levels are unreasonably frustrating for the vast majority of players who want to avoid using overpowered boosts the game provides. Some of the worse levels rely heavily on praying to RNG and some tend to stack the odds against the player, which severely undermines player skill and eventually force the player to pay for better plants or upgrade plants via 'loot-box' style piñatas. Here are a few examples of infamously hard levels:
- Wild West - Day 35 (Only accessible via epic quest)
- Dark Ages - Night 16
- Big Wave Beach - Days 16 and 30
- Neon Mixtape Tour - Days 21 and 32
- Modern Day - Day 16
- Kongfu World - Day 29 & 30 (Chinese version only)
- Some Penny's Pursuit levels
- The final world of the game, Modern Day is one huge wasted potential. The bosses are just harder versions of the other ten bosses with different plants given.
- Since mid-2016, some features of the game were removed in updates, such as the Brainiac Maniac and Ultimate Battle music, the Mummy Memory Brain Buster and the ability to create multiple save files. Sadly, more of these features would get removed later on. However, most of that is in part understandable why it's done and is because of the constant updates that the game receives and it's about avoiding that the game weighs so much.
- Because of this, it made many people view the game badly and even hate it.
- The Arena mode, added after PvZ2's disappointing ending, would have several flaws with it, such as no fair matchmaking in place, a high amount of bots and cheaters, a lack of a system that detects cheaters, connectivity problems, and introducing a pay-to-win feature where the player who spent more money on the game's plants would have a nigh-unsurmountable advantage over the other.
- Speaking of bots, PopCap decided to place bots in the player pool for Arena, in a similar manner to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
- In the 7.3.1 update, Arena has became more pay-to-win required due to the removal of streak multipliers and heavily decreasing the drops of coins and diamonds, meaning that the player is now required to watch ad after ad to earn coins and diamonds, and require grindfest to be able to level up plants. At this point, simply completing the main story mode can pretty much be considered game completion.
- Speaking of bots, PopCap decided to place bots in the player pool for Arena, in a similar manner to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
- The Penny's Pursuit mode was also huge wasted potential. People thought it was going to be a true finale to the game, being the first world in years. It turned out to be a game mode where you can gain premium plants for free by playing five levels every week. At least it was better than having to buy them anyway.
- Between 2017 and 2019, both the game and the franchise itself experienced its worst period and in that time, the playerbase in this game has been dropping significantly; the only thing PopCap was doing at that time was adding more plants and occasionally more zombies. Fortunately since 2020 they brought something new and in this year 2021 they have tried to bring new content besides of plants.
- Some plants are mediocre, bad or even useless like:
- Garlic (Considered the worst plant)
- Gold Leaf (outside of Lost City; was designed to be the last plant in that world)
- Electric Currant
- Gloom Vine
- Spring Bean (Outside of Pirate Seas)
- Kiwibeast (Depending on your point of view)
- Sweet Potato
- Ice Bloom
- Hot Potato
- Blooming Heart
- Among others more
Plants vs. Zombies 2 was a success overall, having a 4.2 rating on the Android App store, and a 3.82 on GameFAQs. Many praised the expanded gameplay mechanics and gorgeous visuals, while also pointing out the problems with difficulty. It has been installed over 10 million times by Android users.
While the game was an overall success, it was criticized by some players for its reliance on microtransactions. It was eventually criticized even further when Arena came out due to the numerous amounts of bots, hackers, and required grinding in order to make any progress in Arena.
- Contrary to popular belief, Electronic Arts (despite their greedy nature) weren't the responsible for the microtransactions in Plants vs. Zombies 2, PopCap Games themselves chose to add microtransactions during the game's development. Proof (timestamp at 3:00:25). Besides the fact that they work independently, EA is just their distributor.
- In addition, George Fan, the creator of Plants vs. Zombies has very little to no involvement in the game's production due to his opposition to the freemium model aside from a conceptual level.
- The Chinese version is developed by Talkweb Games since 2017 (2.0.1 update to be exact). PopCap Shanghai used to develop the game before 2017.