In the test, Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville is revealed as a worthy port of a game that has ushered in the next round of the everlasting battle between plants and zombies. Players from other platforms had long been able to get started, and now the version for the hybrid console has also been released. Nintendo fans should be pleased that Electronic Arts has decided to take this step, because the shooter is a lot of fun even on the rather weak Switch.


The fight between plants and zombies is felt as old as the fight between man and machine. Pop Cap Games made its debut in 2009 with the idea of ​​the initially unequal struggle between peaceful garden plants and hordes of zombie hordes of destruction. Then the triumphant advance of the video game series began, which is now available on all relevant platforms. What once began as an entertaining mobile phone game with a comic look is now a graphically opulent 3D shooter that doesn't take itself that seriously.

Pretty as a zombie at night

Even if the impression arises at first because zombies are in the game: Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville is anything but a bitter shooting game, but presents itself colorfully and as a contrast to otherwise brutal action shooters. Now the video game has made the leap to the Nintendo Switch, including a technological premiere. Because: In the battle for Neighborville, Electronic Arts uses its Frostbite graphics engine on the hybrid console for the first time. With success, that much can be revealed in advance.

The graphics are solid, rather utilitarian - yet the levels are packed with detail. Source: Spielpunkt

The graphics are solid, rather functional - but the levels are full of details. Source: Spielpunkt

Graphically, however, the fun shooter does not belong to the “upper class”. Although the developers had to tweak the engine for porting, the result was ultimately not a feast for the eyes. If optical losses are more or less common in handheld mode, Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville does not manage to conjure up visually impressive moments on the TV, even when docked. Fortunately, this is not necessary with such a shooter, because despite the graphical cutbacks, you can have fun with the port.

All characters are recognizable and recognizable, the level environments are also on a colorful, functional graphic level. Admittedly, you can't compare the look on the Nintendo Switch with that on other, more powerful platforms. Then you notice how drastically the graphics have been slimmed down. Actually using the old school power of a Playstation 4 or Xbox One with the innovative, solid console from Nintendo as a yardstick is the wrong approach. In the end, despite the lower handheld resolution, the following applies: the larger the screen, the more obvious the graphical losses. Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville is still far from ugly.

It cracks and smokes in the virtual battles around Neighborville. Source: Spielpunkt

It cracks and smokes in the virtual battles around Neighborville. Source: Spielpunkt

Everything is fine in Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville. You can get by with what Electronic Arts offers the gamer for the eye - but you won't jump for joy. On the other hand, what cannot convince in every situation is the performance: The shooter manages around 30 FPS on the switch, so you have to accept occasional jerks, although most of these become visible when the camera is panned. The game runs smoothly in the matches themselves. 

Complete "Complete Edition"

The fun shooter was released for Xbox One and Playstation 4 almost two years ago, so several additional content was released in the period after the initial release. Owners of a Nintendo Switch will be pleased that the "Complete Edition" includes all that additional content.

Plants vs. Zombies thrives on its charming wit. Source: Spielpunkt

Plants vs. Zombies thrives on its charming wit. Source: Spielpunkt

Now the Nintendo Switch as a hybrid console and the handheld version Nintendo Switch Lite are also geared towards gaming on the go. Internet is then not always available. So what do you do as a plant or zombie commander? The developers have thought along with you and have taken precautions. Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville can also be played on the go, and offline in matches against Artificial Intelligence.

The start of the new branch is confusing at first: Instead of selecting the game modes via a menu in the usual way, you wander through a freely accessible HUB from which all content can be accessed. This initially requires getting used to and orientation, but then it is a nice alternative to the boring, uniform meal of the competition that goes with the playful concept. 

In any case, the basic concept of the game provides the necessary motivation: You slip into your favorite role, run as a plant or zombie with your favorite class through the online arenas and enjoy the kills and bizarre game situations. Step by step you unlock new goodies and adjust your fighters cosmetically. With regard to the fun factor, there is no magic formula behind Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville, but the focus on direct entry while at the same time being able to improve with every match played. You can choose to practice offline or play locally with up to three friends. Switch membership is required for online multiplayer gaming.

Well received by players, not so much by opponents: The Minigun ability of the Pea Soldier. Source: Spielpunkt

Well received by players, not so much by opponents: The Minigun ability of the Pea Soldier. Source: Spielpunkt

Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville for Nintendo Switch is anything but a loveless port. PopCap Games has largely retained the basic concept - it rather seems as if one were limited solely by technical factors. In any case, that doesn't detract from the fun factor of the shooter: the shooter is one of the examples that graphics alone aren't everything that counts in a game.

Infobox

Number of players: solo and multiplayer (16)
Age: USK 12
Difficulty: easy to medium
Long-term motivation: medium
Genre: Shooter
Sub-genre: multiplayer shooter

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: PopCap Games
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2021
Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch
Language: German
Costs: from 39,99 euros

Summary

Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville was noticeably developed as a compromise for the Nintendo Switch. Visually, the game wins at most a flower pot, which is mainly due to the rather poorly detailed and fuzzy graphics. After all: You can play smoothly and smoothly in the games; The shooter seems to be able to keep the frame rate of 30 FPS stable. 

As a “Complete Edition”, Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville for Nintendo Switch offers the comprehensive flower-zombie experience for a comparatively small coin. Not everything is “just” solid in the Switch version. The game has definitely strengths on Nintendo hybrid consoles: For example, you can gamble on the go, then primarily offline against the AI ​​- unless a WiFi connection is available. Entering with the Joy-Cons is excellent and fun, and you can even switch on motion control if you want. All menus can be operated by touch, which is known from the Nintendo Switch, but a nice goodie that people like to use. 

There is no split-screen mode for this, as is the well-known number of players of 24. The latter was downgraded to 16, presumably also in order to be able to maintain the performance. Players have to forego crossplay. Basically it doesn't matter, because you have to start from scratch with the game on the switch. 

Overall, however, PopCap Games has managed to create a good port that ignites in a playful way on the Nintendo Switch as well as on the other platforms. The solo mode in particular is convincing, because instead of level recycling, the developers have actually created an entertaining single version in which players have to defeat bosses, among other things. Ultimately, Plants vs. Zombies - Battle for Neighborville lives from its online play, the offline matches against the AI ​​are at best suitable exercise scenarios for the “real war” between human plants and zombies. Incidentally, the game modes available on the Nintendo Switch were not skimpy either. 

What already applied to Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville on other platforms also applies to the version for Nintendo Switch: the main thing is to have fun! 


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Last updated on 5.08.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API