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Lost City is a first for me. A first in that, I've tried to avoid spoilers, and mostly succeeded. Therefore, I had no idea what to expect from it. So, do I like it, or do I hate it?
Firstly, let's talk about the plants!
So, Lava Guava is essentially a high-damage version of Ghost Pepper, which affects a smaller area. And starts with the explosion instead of finishing with the explosion. I like it, it's a good plant, Ghost Pepper is generally better though.
This guy is very creative. In the back, he's good for single-target firepower. In the middle, he still packs a bit of a punch, and he can be used as a makeshift defender. Near the right, an expensive but quick-charging Wall-nut.
All-in-all, although I didn't use it much in Lost City, I think it's a very good plant, and one I could not have seen coming.
Another nail in Bloomerang's coffin. At first, I even thought it was rendering Laser Bean useless, but it doesn't always hit every zombie in the lane, like Laser Bean does. A.K.E.E. is a high-damage crowd-controller, for quite a low cost considering. Slightly on the OP side, but not too much so, I think A.K.E.E. is my favourite of the new plants.
It took them six years to make a defensive plant that hurts zombies while they attack it. SIX YEARS of PvZ, and now they finally do this simple idea.
Unfortunately, it's not that good. Infi-nut health, not enough damage, it can't even kill a single regular zombie without degrading. Chard Guard and Infi-nut are both generally better than this. Sorry Endurian, despite that great pun, I don't want to use you.
Lost Pilot Zombie
At first, I thought "great! An ambush zombie that takes a while to start moving!" Then I realized he can eat plants before he falls to the ground. Even Blovers don't work to get rid of them either. These'll be a pain in the Endless Zone, and I don't like them.
Note: I hate Explorer Zombies. This guy's a similar speed, takes out plants almost as fast (although doesn't totally kill them), and is immune to straight projectiles. Heck, I even thought that despite the shovel being gold, Magnet-shroom might have a use and steal it, but nope. However, despite all of this, I don't think the zombie is OP. I said I hate Explorers, yes, but it's the same way I hate Chicken Wranglers. They're annoying, but still balanced. The same is also true of Excavator, at least I think so. It's an immunity-zombie, like Jester, but done RIGHT.
In any other stage, a lobbed-shot immunity wouldn't be too bad. Sure, many people like lobbed-shots, but come on, the majority of plants aren't lobbed. The clever thing is that this zombie covers the main weaknesses of Excavators. This could be seen as frustrating, but I don't think so. It encourages variety, and since this zombie's only gimmick is the immunity, you can focus more on killing the Excavators, and leave this one alive for longer.
Some might compare it to the Jester-Knight combo. One renders most high-damage plants useless, the other needs high-damage plants to be killed quickly. However...this pair of immune zombies works a lot better than the Jester-Knight combo.
A Jetpack Zombie, redone with some more creativity. After taking around ten damage, it drops the zombie that it was carrying, leaving you with a regular, Conehead or Buckethead deep in your defences. Simple, but often deadly, so Blover is a good choice when you have to deal with the flying Coneheads or Bucketheads.
I'm not going to go over every level, but I will instead go over a few of the highlights.
Good preparation for what's to come. Starting with two zombies in the first wave was unexpected, as was a lot of this stage. I mean, it's the first level, I wasn't expecting two zombies at the start until a lot later. The sun tiles are definitely helpful for getting up more sun early on though, so it wasn't too bad either. Also, I made good use of Rotobagas for the majority of my firepower in this level. I love Rotobagas.
Introduction of the Excavator, and I knew from what Dave and Penny said that I should use some kind of catapult against it. I struggled a bit with this level, learning how to deal with him, but I succeeded first attempt despite that.
Parasols plus Excavators, this level is another challenge, but another fun one. In fact, most of the levels are extremely fun and challenging at the same time.
I knew this would happen. Sun tile gimmick, so of course one level has just Sun tiles for sun production. Failed on my first attempt, as I didn't realize the tiles stop giving off sun halfway through the level, but second attempt succeeded. I loved using Puff-shrooms as free sun producers at the start.
Produce loads of sun, using loads of sun tiles, while fighting Gargs. Yikes.
The first Garg came surprisingly early as well, but I had the stalling tactics and Red Stingers ready to take it out, and the final wave made me use some Plant Food I had saved up. Nothing too difficult overall.
You were doing so well, then you had to make a level that I can't beat without losing lawnmowers. That's all I'll say, this level was horrible.
Hello three-plant Locked and Loaded level! Fairly easy and honestly a little disappointing because of the limited amount of strategies you can use. Meh.
As soon as I noticed the three flags, I mentally said "WHAAAA", since all Garg levels before it were two-flaggers. For most of the level I was bored by the lack of Gargs too. Then BAM! Five Gargs during the final wave, only shortly after the first Garg. Thankfully I had a Cherry Bomb and lots of Plant Food stocked up. That final challenge came out of nowhere and this was a welcome change to usual Garg levels.
So, overall, I think this stage was really good. The most difficult stage I actually like, it's fair and difficult at the same time. Congrats, Popcap, keep up the good work!