Welcome back, everybody! Tecku's here to give his opinions on Lost City Part 2. And I gotta say..... uh..,... what do I gotta say?
Well, to be honest, this world segment has left me more split than any of my other blogs. Most interestingly, I seem to like this world segment on a level to level basis. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start with the plants and zombies:
- Stallia is.... a solid plant, if not a wee bit bland. I suppose if we hadn't just gotten Stunion in the last world, she would have come off as much better, but as is, she just isn't distinct enough from Iceberg Lettuce and Stunion. She doesn't form a Laserang Conundrum, but she gives off a vibe of... uncreative.
- Gold Leaf.... eh.... it's balanced... but I don't really see when I would use this. It's recharge time is very long, and once you lose the plant on top of it, it can't be used again. Late game Sun production is a good idea on paper, but unless you can bring the kind of power Sun Bean or at least Twin Sunflower can, you're outta luck.
- Toadstool, if anything, is the saving grace of the new plants. She may be the best plant, but she feels better to use than Chomper ever did. Her range is better, she won't take 10 seconds to start attacking, and she has an incentive to keep her alive. Yes, I think she would be an excellent plant IF SHE WASN'T PREMIUM!
- Imp Porters are another species of zombies that create unplantable spaces. However, they are quite a bit better than the other. If you can keep them from reaching the Gold Tiles, they lose. That's at least manageable.
- Relic Hunter..... why? Just why? We already have Lost Pilot for ambushes, we have Bug Zombie for Blover encouragement...... if you really wanted an Indiana Jones reference, why not make him carry the skull? Just... why?
- Turqoise Skull Zombie's laser is a space too long for my tastes, but at least he's original.
Now here's the thing. On their own, none of these zombies are too tough. Unlike Wizard Zombie or Octo Zombie, each of these guys is pretty manageable. The problem? Together, they become this convoluted mess that's too hard to keep track of. Let's review. For each level you need:
- Something cheap to make use of the Gold Tiles right away
- Lobbed shot/AOE plants for Excavators
- Straight shot/AOE plants for Parasols
- Blovers or heavy firepower for Relic Hunters and Bug Zombies
- Defensive plants to keep Imp Porters from reaching Gold Tiles
- Instants or heavy firepower to keep Excavators/Skull Zombies/Gargantuars from wrecking you wall plants
And you have to get ALL of these things in EVERY lane FAST, because zombies of every type are gonna come hard and fast. Nasty Stuff.
However, as much as I loathe the main levels, the Brain Busters are pure genius. The Locked n' Loaded level? Great. The Demonstration levels? Beautiful. The minigame levels? Absolutely brilliant. There's still no Last Stand levels, but I don't care. You wanna have fun here? Head for any level with rings on it.
The Boss Fight
Let's talk about the Zomboss fight. Never have I seen anything be so close and yet so far. When I saw the board, I was estatic. "Oh my gosh! The trap tiles?! They're going to use the trap tiles in this fight?! This is gonna be the best boss fight ever!" Finally, they were gonna break the Zomboss fights out of the mold! The Frostbite Caves fight gave us a taste of the originality, but this was something else. I couldn't wait! But then what do we use it for? Occasionally swatting away some zombies. Shoot.
- Sigh* I know, I'm being ungrateful. I just have such high expectations for Popcap. I've seen great things out of them. And a lot of stuff in this world segment has had a half-hearted vibe to it. The lack of Demonstration Music, almost no decorations for the Zomboss area... I think Popcap was probably pressed for time on this one. Sorry, Popcap.