Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has arrived, and despite the glowing reviews and praise for its relaxed attitude towards micro-transactions, folks are worried about the whole "free-to-play" aspect reaching into their pockets and taking all of their money away. You don't have to be that person.
Plants Vs. Zombies 2's micro-transactions were built with the novice casual in mind -- folks that couldn't make it through the game without a little help. You don't need any help. You've got strategy vids on YouTube, and this handy set of tips to keep your wallet in your pants.
Believe In Yourself
Remember back when you were a little kid taking on a project you were unsure you could handle, and people would tell you to believe in yourself? That was bullshit. Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is when you really need to believe in yourself. You don't need crutches. You have the skills and all the tools you need to triumph over every level.
It sounds corny, but it's an important factor in getting through any free-to-play game cash-free. the ridiculously popular Candy Crush Saga has made millions on self-doubt. They'll toss you couple of easy stages, building your confidence, and then drop an impossible-seeming stage down, shaking your confidence. One minute you're ready to kick Candy Crush arse, the next you're reaching into your wallet to buy magical candy that doesn't exist.
Plants Vs. Zombies 2 gets hard, yes. That's why you need to...
Rise To The Challenge
In the old days, back before all of these newfangled free-to-play games, we had a different way of dealing with a spike in difficulty. Instead of tossing money at it, we just kept playing until we got it right.
Strange as it may seem, that's a foreign concept to a vast majority of free-to-play gamers. They've been conditioned to reach for the "STORE" button when the going gets tough. There's an entire industry banking on their spinelessness. Don't give them the satisfaction.
You're no sheep. You're a lion rampant, ready to tear your claws into any problem, grabbing it by the throat with your powerful jaws and shaking it until it falls at your feet, nothing more than a rapidly cooling pile of torn meat and crushed bones.
The analogy may have gotten away from me, but you get the point.
Ignore The Store
Why struggle through progressively tougher levels with the same boring set of plants, when you can spend three or four dollars on more powerful ones? A good question, to which there are several answers.
For one, most of those plants (all but one) can be unlocked through normal play. If you pay for one before encountering during the game's natural progression, you'll never notice -- nice of PopCap to spare us that embarrassment -- so you'll just have to take my word for it. I'll tell you what -- if you complete every level in the game and don't have all of the plants save one, then you can drop some cash.
The same thing goes for items in the "Upgrades" tab. They're waiting for you on the playfields -- don't force it.
As for coins...
Power-Ups Are Fun! Don't Use Them
The three new power-ups introduced in Plants Vs. Zombies 2 are total game-changers, kick-arse moves capable of obliterated large numbers of zombies from the playfield entirely. Don't get used to using them.
They are rollerskates, a means to breeze effortlessly though seemingly impossible challenges, and if you spend your entire life in rollerskates, you're screwed when it comes time to walk. Instead of learning the strategies and techniques necessary to defend your time-displaced lawns from the oncoming horde, you're learning how to spend coins. Coins that run out and need replenishing. You're creating a dependency. that's bad.
The ability to pinch zombies heads off, electrocute them with your fingertip or simply flick them into the air and off the screen is incredibly handy and even more tempting. If you really must use them, try setting limits -- you must attempt the level X number of times before resorting to endorsed cheatery. Not only will it make you a better Plants Vs. Zombies player, the slow trickle of gold generated through normal play should be enough to sustain a reigned-in habit.
Have Fun, Dammit
Relax. Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is a game -- a damn fine game at that -- and you're meant to enjoy it. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a step back before you reach into your pocket. Make a sandwich. Go see a movie. Maybe go into work, see what they've got going on there. Pass your iPad or iPhone to a friend. At the very least you'll be able to share your frustration, and sharing is caring.
Have Plants Vs. Zombies 2 tips of your own? Share them below.