The Plants vs. Zombies franchise has been entertaining players of all ages for years now. And so it’s only right that it’s finally found its way onto the Nintendo Switch.
Launched on PS4, Xbox One and PC back in 2019, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville arrives on Switch in form of a Complete Edition. That means it includes all post-launch content as well as 12 additional prize maps from which a whole smorgasbord of rewards can be unlocked. Good things come to those who wait, right?
In our original review of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, we stated that with its “expanded campaign, new characters and more customisation options, this is the best Plants vs. Zombies game yet.” Our opinion hasn’t changed, though the Switch version has some nuances that may put some players off.
For a start, there are the graphics. On Switch, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville obviously doesn’t look as good as it does elsewhere. That’s not to say it looks ugly, however – just perhaps a little too blurry at times. Then there’s performance to consider. 30fps isn’t ideal for a third-person shooter, and there are some small dips when the action gets particularly hectic.
Because of those two compromises, it’s perhaps understandable why split-screen co-op play has been removed from the Switch version of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. It’s still a major blow though, as being able to team up with friends and family members and engage in some warfare together on the couch is a blast. The only way to enjoy some couch co-op action now is for another player to grab a Switch and their own copy of the game. That’s a much higher barrier for entry.
In what is good news, however, a new offline mode has been implemented, allowing players to go about their business without an internet connection. It’s particularly handy for parents who don’t want their kids exposed to the evils of the internet. It doesn’t simply limit gameplay to Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neigborville‘s campaign, either. You can still jump into multiplayer matches of all types, only you’ll be playing with bots instead of real humans opponents. Additionally, an AI slider allows you to match those bots to your skill level.
There are other neat features to be found in the Switch version of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville too, such as motion controls for aiming and touch screen implementation for menus. They make your experience with the game more intuitive both in and outside of gameplay.
And on the subject of gameplay, that’s what makes Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville truly worthy of your time and money, regardless of the format on which you wish to play. With its comical characters and over-the-top attacks, it puts a smile on your face from the minute you begin playing. From there, whether you’re making progress in the game’s campaign, or battling as a plant or zombie in its suite of competitive and co-op focused multiplayer modes, you’ll be having a good time.
If the gameplay itself doesn’t keep you invested in the long-term, what might is the fact that there are 23 fully customisable characters to master. Chances are you’ll be instantly drawn to at least a handful of them, and from there you can customise their appearance to your heart’s content and upgrade them to make them more formidable in battle. It’s not much of an arduous process either; Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville loves to reward you regularly to make your time invested feel worthwhile.
It’s not the best way to enjoy it, but if you don’t mind the blurry visuals and reduced performance then the Switch version of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville is just about as good as any other. The biggest downside is the absence of split-screen co-op, which is understandable but disappointing nonetheless. Still, with the core gameplay intact and all post-launch content included, this is one of the best shooters currently available on Switch without any doubt. And even better, it’s suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition Review: GameSpew’s Score