Xbox 360 Review: PopCap Hits Vol. 2

Another disc of arcade games, but will it end up like the first?

I reviewed the first PopCap Hits game which had a collection of XBLA games including Feeding Frenzy, Bejeweled 2, Astropop and Peggle. I enjoyed the game to a degree, but felt it was overpriced as you can play 2 of these games on the internet for free. PopCap Hits Vol. 2 seems to be a better collection of games, but will it be value for money?

The first game I played was Feeding Frenzy 2 and it looks and plays just like the original, sure there were some small improvements to the gameplay, but it still felt a bit one-dimensional and forgettable.

Zuma is one of the oldest games on the disc, originally coming out on XBLA around the time of Xbox’s launch, but is highly addictive and a little bit frustrating. The object is to shoot coloured balls on this snake-like setup of other balls and match 3 in a row to stop it from moving to the middle. The reason this can be annoying is that in some levels you are given free aim to shoot where you like, but in some you can only shoot up and down, which makes every shot vitally important. It’s enjoyable and puzzle enthusiasts will certainly spend many hours on this game alone.

Heavy Weapon is your basic side-scroller shooter, but with tanks. You use the right analog stick to direct fire towards your enemies, which are a collection of planes, war ships and other tanks. You also get upgrades and even nukes for some serious damage. It’s a great game that I enjoyed immensely.

The final game is Plants vs. Zombies, a game that I’ve never played before. This is a Tower Defence type of game where you build up defences to stop the enemy from crossing from their side to yours and each object costs a certain amount of resources to build, these come in the form of rays of sun that appear during each stage and some defences can increase how often they appear. You can get plants that explode or freeze zombies to name a few of the choices available. After each stage you unlock a new plant for the next wave, but after the first few rounds you can only take a certain number of plants with you into battle, so be careful not to take the wrong ones!

I have to say that out of all the games, Plants vs. Zombies is the one I enjoyed the most. But as a collection, £25-30 is a lot to ask for. The collection also suffers the same problem of not being able to go back and select different games after you are done with them other than resetting the game from the Xbox Guide or going back to the Dashboard and re-selecting the disc.

The Verdict

PopCap Hits Vol. 2 is a decent collection of games. Zuma will please the puzzle fans, Heavy Weapon will please action fans and Plants vs. Zombies will please RTS fans and someone might like Feeding Frenzy 2. But the price tag is far too high for these games that are basic in looks and design (with the exception of Plants vs. Zombies) So I’d recommend buying the Arcade game that will satisfy your needs the standard way….over XBLA.