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  • xinthius - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I am disappointed how the game looks in comparison to the original. It's taken a large step back in my opinion. Will have to wait until Android release to test the game play, let's hope the F2P mode isn't crippled. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Quick update: other than limiting the plants you have (easy) access to, the F2P mode makes it so that you have to replay levels multiple times to earn enough stars to open the Star Gate at the end of each world. There are also keys that randomly (?) drop that open access to areas where you can get additional plants, and you can pay to get through these as well. It's basically a question of investing more time vs. spending money. I'm not super pleased with how many microtransactions exist, but the game is still playable to completion without spending a penny. Reply
  • designerfx - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    so it's not just F2P then, it's an intentional F2P grind?

    haven't they looked up how people feel about that? People aren't usually happy about such a concept.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Having played more, it works like this:

    1) Play through initial levels. You'll earn probably 3-5 keys randomly in the first zone, Ancient Egypt, along with probably 3 stars.

    2) At the end of the zone, you unlock the Star Gate that requires 15 stars to pass, and all of the non-star levels you already played through are now populated with three stars each.

    3) To earn a star, you have to complete these challenges, which give you different goals. They're nothing too difficult for a PvZ veteran, though you might have to try some of them more than once. Usually, the first star is easiest to earn, second is harder, and the final star requires the most skill.

    4) Examples of challenges: Do not lose any mowers. Do no spend more than 1500 sun. Collect at least 2500 sun. Don't plant on Dave's mold colonies (the first two columns). Destroy at least 10 zombies in 10 seconds.

    5) As you play for these additional stars, you will likely earn more keys, which can open up areas that provide you with new plants and/or power ups (as well as a few more single-star challenges).

    6) By the time you've collected 15 stars, which shouldn't take too long and it's not just playing the same levels repeatedly, you'll have found enough keys to get most of the plants. If you're a completionist (like me) and want to earn all three stars on every level, by the time you're done with that you'll almost certainly have enough keys for all the locked areas.

    7) All of this can be done without spending any money. The only reason to spend money is if you're impatient and want to move forward earlier, or if you want one of the locked plants like Snow Pea, Squash, or Torchwood.

    If you enjoy playing the original PvZ, none of this should really bother you as the new levels basically follow similar patterns but the challenges mix things up to keep it "fresh" -- or at least as fresh as playing through the same level 10 times in the original with increasingly difficult waves was "fresh". It's not a major reinvention, but personally I find it's a fun diversion.
    Reply
  • Theremings759 - Thursday, August 29, 2013 - link

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  • LtGoonRush - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I don't want to be a downer, but this is very frustrating to me. I LOVED Plants vs. Zombies on the PC four years ago, it was a breakout hit and all I ever wanted was to be able to buy more content. Not only was the game completely abandoned in favor of crapping out more mindless content for Peggled and Bejeweled, but now that we're finally getting a sequel its exclusive to the one platform I (and let's face it, the rest of the market) don't own. Why couldn't Popcop just pretend this is Peggle or something and put out a regular paid content packs and periodically charge for sequels...on the platforms the game is currently for sale on?

    Similarly, I thought Gyromancer (also released in 2009 like PvZ) was fun and innovative for a casual game, but I bought it at launch and it was pulled from sale almost immediately and scrubbed from the web like some terrible secret. This could be Square Enix's doing though.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    You mean EA's doing? Anyway, I'm sure this will make it's way to Windows sooner rather than later, and Android as well, but the big question is: when? Was it simply easier to do an iOS version first, or merely more lucrative? But to say "I, and let's face it, the rest of the market, don't own" about iOS is pretty extreme. I see a lot of Android users, but I also see more iPhones and iPads than any specific Android device. Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    As a high school student I see far more Android devices. And I've actually seen about as many Windows Phones as I have iPhones in my specific crowd, but I know iPhones are abundant with the jocks+, even though Android is actually equally common there (since they picked up preferences back when the iPhone was a carrier-specific deal). Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    What I mean is that iPhone is one device (okay, iPhone 4, 4S, 5 are mostly what I see now), but Android is dozens of devices. Is there any other phone that sells nearly as many units on its own as iPhone 5? I'd be very surprised.

    Of course, I'm in my late 30s, so I'm not hanging around high school or even college kids much, but if I were a parent buying a phone for my child, I'd look at cost first -- what HS kid needs an iPhone? Answer: none. Any smartphone should be more than sufficient (and perhaps still more than they should have). Yeah, I'm one of those parents: my kids won't be taking their phones to school, once they're old enough to have one.
    Reply
  • althaz - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Samsung's flagship Galaxy series regularly outsells every iPhone model, just FYI. With tablets I'm not sure, but I suspect the Nexus 7 sells WAY more than everything else (but again, I really don't know for sure). Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    No, the Galaxy series doesn't regularly outsell the iPhone. Actually, you have that backwards.

    "Lacking hard numbers (because Samsung doesn't release them anymore) most analysts assume that the bulk of the Korean manufacturer's mobile sales come from its low-end phones. According to Raymond James' Tavis McCourt, Samsung's high-end Galaxy line outsold the iPhone only once -- in the summer of 2012, when many of Apple's (AAPL) customers were holding out for the iPhone 5."
    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/03/16/apple-iphon...

    Also the Nexus 7 doesn't even outsell Kindle Fires. That thing is basically an unknown to the "regular" people.
    Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    iPhones and iPad are far more numerous than comparable hardware running other mobile operating systems. Larger numbers are the main reason why iOS has better software or gets applications first.

    Obviously there are more Android devices out there but the majority are very low end, not hardware like the GS4 or iPhone. Windows Phone just doesn't have many people using it, high end or low end.
    Reply
  • hpglow - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Its all a matter of demographic. I work in construction and it is about 50 / 50 iPhone / Android phones. It does tend to lean a little closer to Android lately but the split is still about even. My wife works in government contracting and she sees about 75% iPhone there. The other thing at play is that many developers still report more purchases on the Apple App store than with the Google play store. Let me ask you is someone with a good paying job more likely to buy an app or someone in high school with no job? Is someone with something to loose (a home, car, job and family) going to steal an app, or someone who still thinks theft is cool and anti-establishment? Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Enix bought Square from EA in 2003, so I think Gyromancer was a Square Enix decision. You are right that I was a bit extreme in my statement, but it's also true that it doesn't matter how many users of a PARTICULAR device there are, only the platform*. Android overtook iOS awhile back, and is currently selling ~6X as many devices per year with ~3X the year-to-year growth as a percentage of sales. Average Revenue per User is lower on Android, but this is made up by volume and probably reflects quality of monetization efforts rather than user willingness to spend money. I think PopCap is big enough that dev resources weren't why they only launched on iOS, and even if iOS would make them more money the other platforms would be ADDITIONAL revenue and not diminishing iOS sales, so this pretty much leaves Apple giving them some nice incentives for exclusivity.

    *=Android fragmentation is a thing people talk about but is not actually a problem. >95% of Android devices are >2.3.3, and while some of those are crap-phones that can't run your game, those cheap devices are also being retired and replaced with capable value phones. At any given moment there is a flood of adequate Android 4.1+ devices being activated.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    As someone that owns Android tablets and ended up purchasing the original PvZ for the platform, this "second class Android citizen status" doesn't surprise me in the least. While PvZ was available through the Play Store in the past, it was pulled (then reintroduced). I tried to buy it just a month or two back only to be told my device didn't meet the requirements, so I had to install the Amazon Store App, purchase it through there, and periodically log in to my Amazon account on the tablet(s) just to play. Oddly enough, one of the tablets had PvZ on it originally, but when I updated to Android 4.0 PvZ stopped working and I couldn't update.

    The point being, apparently Amazon paid EA/PopCap enough to limit availability of PvZ on Android for along time, so having Apple do the same at the launch of PvZ2 is par for the course. Long-term, we'll certainly see PvZ2 on all the major platforms, but when that will be is not yet known. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple paid for anywhere from a one week to a one month (maybe even longer) exclusive. Obviously this is a business decision, and the web is full of talk over the years on EA's business decisions, so again it's basically par for the course.

    I'm just happy I at least have one iOS device that I can use to play the game. Hahaha... but I really wish I could run it on my PC or Android tablet, as the 960x640 native resolution is lacking at best.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    The version of PvZ on Android wasn't particularly well optimized anyway... I remember that game pushing my OG EVO hard at a time when games with better graphics were perfectly smooth. PvZ would slow down in busy scenes and occasionally crash out. I don't imagine this will run on an ancient 2nd gen iPod touch will it? :P Doubt I'd bother anyway, I can wait. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    An old iOS resolution from 2010 is lacking, shocking.

    The game looks excellent at 2048x1536, just fyi ;)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Actually, it's not so much the resolution but the small screen that bothers me. My desktop is a 30" display and has been for about 8 years; playing PvZ on a 3.5" screen or whatever is a major change. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Thursday, August 22, 2013 - link

    Certainly :)

    I don't like playing PvZ on the iPhone but I definitely enjoy playing it on the iPad. iPad is actually my favorite version, and I played the hell out of it on PC for years before the iPad release. I can't wait for the Windows release, either way
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Just FYI regarding Square, EA published Square's games at one point (and Sony at one point before that), but they never owned Square. Square/Enix merged to compete better, self-publish better. Reply
  • steven75 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    "Average Revenue per User is lower on Android, but this is made up by volume."

    Except it isn't made up in volume. Not yet, anyway.
    http://qz.com/114601/all-those-people-with-cheap-a...
    Reply
  • Arbie - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    I feel exactly the opposite from you. I think Peggle is one of the very best games ever; much better than PvZ. The only "additional content" I've seen for Peggle was Peggle Nights (a new and even better game) and a few levels done for World of Warcraft. These have hardly occupied PopCap's time, and are not mindless crap but long-term classics. I WISH there would be more Peggle, and feel that PopCap has sadly abandoned their landmark achievement. Peggle will be played as long as there are machines to run it. Reply
  • Gdiguy2 - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    You're aware that Peggle 2 was also announced at E3 and is supposedly out soon, right?
    http://www.popcap.com/peggle-2
    Reply
  • ol1bit - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    They need to just sell it. I hate micro transactions. In Fact for all the games I have on Android, I have never paid a single penny for mico transactions. So popcap is out of luck for my wallet. Reply
  • JNo - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    "They need to just sell it."

    True. This would be my preference. Or they could have 2 versions - free to play with microtransactions and one with a one-off $5 fee and all features unlocked from the off/earnable without too much difficulty like the original game.
    Reply
  • jiffylube1024 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Agreed. Free to play and pay version side by side would at least give us a choice. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    I agree. The game is fun without spending a dime, my only complaint is that they push the advertising pretty obviously. If you're going to do F2P then at least be classy and subtle about it like Valve is, especially since the game is still good. Reply
  • Mondozai - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Coming from an avid gamer of the original(I played it on my laptop years ago because mouse is actually faster than touch and it doesn't obscure your screen with half your hand):

    The game itself mirrors the gameplay of the original a lot. There's actually not that much that is new.
    What's worse, is that they made it "micro-transaction dependent" which should die in a slow and intense fire. The original was made up in a way that you paid a small sum and you got the full game, and that was it.

    There are a lot of new levels but gameplay wise they could have innovated more and the microtransaction bit is horrible.

    It's a disappointment overall.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    It's still better than the mess that is Plants vs. Zombies Adventures: Farmville wannabe! But so far, about the only change are a few new plants and a story line that revolves around Crazy Dave. It could be worse, but it could also be better. Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    And to think people mocked Rovio for milking the hell out of Angry Birds and releasing five different versions... At least they gave the market what it wanted in a timely fashion! Taking three years for an uninspired sequel seems a bit lackluster. Reply
  • ciparis - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Field Runners (that *other* tower defense game) did a great job improving version 2, which exceeds the excellent original in every conceivable way. I'm surprised to read about PvZ having a lackluster sequel. Reply
  • CZroe - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    "Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time on iTunes"
    Apple fought for the App Store name so you should use it. Sure, the full name is "iTunes App Store" but you're probably the last writer in the universe calling it "iTunes." I recall being extremely confused by all the descriptions of dTunes for jailbroken devices because it was universally described as "an iTunes replacement" when it was actually a media playback app. No media playback functions are handled by iTunes on an iOS device but enough people wrongly assume that we think like them and considered that an adequate description. Only on the desktop is it a media playback application and even then it requires QuickTime and is more for managing your library and making purchases (not associated with your browser or video files, is it?). I recall all the Napster users who thought you had to launch Napster to listen to their downloads just because it had a built-in player. I blew a coworker's mind when I installed WinAMP and showed him where the MP3s were. You don't want to remind us of those people, do you? ;)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    I felt the title was too long already and considered omitting the "iTunes" part altogether, but that would have then made people without iOS devices even more irritated I think. But our readers here are smart enough to know what we mean, especially since there's a link. By saying just "App Store", far more people will think it might be available on other platforms, but since you complained I'll just change it to say iOS. Reply

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