Hello, guys! Well, here's a topic I've neglected to talk about for awhile. Normally, I'd have an introduction, but I think the title is self explanatory. Let's begin.

Tecku Talks About: Premiums and Gemiums

The idea that some parts of the game cost real world money in PvZ2 has been... controversial to say the least. Popcap has gotten a lot of backlash over it. However, I don't mind it quite as much. PvZ2 has given me and my family a ton of hours of fun, and I'm okay with spending a few bucks back to the series' creator. However, since he was fired, I can settle for sending them to the current development team.

However, when comparing the Premium and Gemium methods as a business model, I personally think that Gemiums may actually be superior as a money maker. Gemiums require countless hours of in game-play to achieve normally, but can be sped up with in game purchases. This is tolerable, since the method of obtainment is in game work, instead of gigantic timers.

Furthermore, there is the matter of making money on unworthy purchases. If I don't like Chomper, I'm not going to buy it. However, if it were Gemium, I would at least spend more hours in your game, which would rack up your advertisement count. This systems helps keep players coming back to the game, as no one wants to be caught without gems. This is why I'm glad to see Popcap adopt the Gemium policy more and more.

So, with that being said, which features are worth spending your hard earned dough and gems on? Well, if you're like me, you'll want to spend your money wisely, so let's take a look.

Premiums: Best to Worst

- Power Lily

If there's one thing you spend real world money on in the game, make it Power Lily. Unlike most of the other premium plants, Power Lily doesn't have any other plants that can substitute for it, making it an invaluable addition to your defense. This is especially true if you plan on taking on the later levels of the endless zones, where Plant Food carries over between rounds. If you ever see this on a 99 cent flash sale, take it for sure. Otherwise, feel free to purchase it when it goes on sale if you have some spare cash.

- Bonus Seed Slot

This one is pretty self explanatory. An effect that you will use every round is always pretty handy, and it makes a lot of levels easier.

- Sun Bonus

Also self explanatory. Especially helpful in the Dark Ages and Big Wave Beach, where sun is limited and zombies come out early, respectively.

- Squash

When I first obtained the Chili Bean in the Wild West, I figured that this was a death sentence for me ever buying Squash. Boy, was I wrong. In this game, not only are there a ton of zombie that won't eat the bean, there's also the matter of zombie clustering. You will be using nut plants a LOT in this game, which clusters up the zombies into groups that Squash can clobber. Squash is a good plant for both early zombies and late zombies, and I highly recommend it.

- Imitater

Yeah, I was pretty surprised, too. I picked up Imitater pretty much on a whim when it went on sale, but I was really surprised with how good it is in the endless zones. A lot of people like to copy Twin Sunflower for fast sun production, or copy Power Lily for bonus plant food. I like both of these ideas too, but one thing I really enjoy is taking two copies of a Zen Garden-boosted plant to clean house.

Now, if you NEVER touch the endless zones, you won't get much out of Imitater. Most plants have similar versions that will work just as well (like taking both Wall-nut and Tall-nut). However, folks who venture into the endless zones will find this fella a great companion.

- Jalapeno

If you liked Jalapeno in the first game, you'll like it here. If you didn't, you probably won't like it here. A very handy plant if you find Gargantuars getting deep into your lane. Otherwise, Cherry Bomb tends to get the job done just fine. There's not really much to say about it, but it's a very potent instant that can take some pressure off in a pinch.

- Sap-Fling

At it's core, Sap-Fling does what it's meant to do. On the one hand, its slow down effect can stack with ice or be used in fire strategies without being negated. This makes it a addition to virtually any strategy, which is very good. On the other hand, it deals no damage, yet takes up an entire tile. This normally can be written off, but when it's stuck targetting only one zombie eating the walling plants, it can be a bit more noticeable.

However, there is one part where Sap-Fling can really shine. Strategies with Chard Gaurd and especially Hurrikale will force the zombies to re-walk enitre sections and group them together, making the sap puddles extra effective. If you like Hurrikale and Chard Gaurd, feel free to pick it up.

- Pea-Nut

Recently, Pea-Nut had its toughness increased to that of a Wall-Nut, which made it FAR more useable than before. However, the main thing about Pea-Nut is that it works better as a Peashooter replacement than a Wall-Nut replacement.... and Peashoot isn't that great in this game.

That's not to say that Pea-nut is useless. In Dark Ages levels without Jesters, Pea-Nut can both get rid of graves and block zombies that rise out of them during necromancy. In fact, Pea-Nut works very well as an anti-ambush plant. But you need to be SURE to pack some heavy artillery, or you're going to get cleaned out.

- Snow Pea

Snow Pea has retained most of it's original charm, and even costs 25 Sun less than it did in it's previous incarnation. However, it's stock value took a great hit in the 1.7 update, and it's been struggling to recover ever since. If you pick it up during your Ancient Egypt trip, you'll probably fall in love with the thing. But once you get Snapdragon and Winter Melon, you'll probably tend to use one of those two in your arsenal, and leave Snow Pea out.

- Torchwood

Unlike Snow Pea, Torchwood has lost some of its power instead of gaining it. It no longer has any splash damage, yet still negates frost, which makes it far less appealing than some other plants for double damage output (Sap-Fling). It also can heat up nearby plants, but unless you'll never place it on the left hand side of the feild, Pepper-Pult and Flaming Pea are superior at this.

- Hypno-Shroom

Hypno-Shroom recharges faster than Jalapeno, but it's worse in just about every other way. Same cost, but it doesn't deal with every zombie on the lane. It only takes out one IF it gets eaten instead of destroyed, with some bonus damage to other zombies. If you have Jalapeno, skip this one.

- Starfruit

Poor, poor Starfuit. Prior to the release of Frosbite Caves Part 2, this fella would have been ranked higher than Jalapeno. But now that Rotobage exists, he's pretty much obsolete. Rotobaga costs the same, deals 50% more damage, and can be placed on water... yeah. Rotobaga can't shoot directly behind, but planting a column of them will make up for it.

- Shovel Bonus

Innate effects are always nice, but I really don't see how this is worth the price tag. Some Last Stand strageties use it, and if you know that you will lose a plant, it can be beneficial, but never beneficial to the point where it's worth the cost.

- Chomper

Chomper has lost virtually anything that made him appealing in the first game. If you're lucky he might get a single Buckethead before the gigantic hordes break through and devour him between bites. His inital chomp makes him too unrealiable for his previous useage as a fast rechaging instant (Magnifying Grass now hold that title), and you have very little control over which zombie he bites into. Terrible.

- Bonus Plant Food Slot

When will you ever need this? Ever? Even in the endless zones where plant food carries over, you still won't need to hold five entire plant food units. Completely pointless.

Gemiums: Best to Worst

- Ghost Pepper

The best Gemium plant in existence, Ghost Pepper is a great plant for crowd control. It's immune to Wizards and Octopi, and can even float on the water. It's powerful enough to kill a Conehead on its own, and is a truly great addition.

- Flaming Pea

While not quite as potent Ghost Pepper, Flaming Pea lurches ahead of the other plants with it's usefulness in Frostbite Caves. In addition to being a better cost per sun purchase than Repeater, Flaming Pea is great in it's home world, granting it almost top billing in the Gemium list.

- Hurrikale

The pushback granted by Hurrikale is very nice, and is especially potent when paired with Chard Gaurd or Sap-Fling. While it's frost effect may be negated by fire, it's still a great plant to have against Dodos.

- Homing Thistle

Homing Thistle.... really comes down to a matter of opinion. Some people like it, some don't. Me? I like it. It does solid work early on it the round, and can help eliminate any Imps that penetrate your defenses. It's also really nice to put them on the Frostbite Caves tiles that the zombies won't cross. However, like Pea-Nut, you need to make sure you also bring someting with a little more force as well.

- Sweet Potato

Does anyone like this plant? Anyone? Anyone at all? Yeah, didn't think so. A group of zombies from three different lanes will tear through this thing in the blink of an eye, which isn't good, considering its atrociously high cost and slow recharge. It's not tough enough to be used with Rotobaga/Spikeweed, it's cost is too high for useage with Jalapeno/Squash...... it just doesn't work.

So, that's my opinion on the Premium and Gemium features of the game. Do you agree? Do you have a different opinion? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!