STAFF REVIEW of Yet Another Zombie Defense HD (Xbox One)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
by Brent Roberts

Yet Another Zombie Defense HD Box art Now when it comes to gaming today, you can spend a few dollars and find an experience that surprises you to the point of inspiration, while on the flip side of the coin, there are times when you spend large amounts of dollars on a game that leaves you jilted and depressed. Normally, when I review a game, I approach it from a value versus fun ratio, and while it may seem scientific, it allows me to approach it from a consumer point of view.

Recently I reviewed another zombie killing game and this time... I get another zombie killing game to review. This one is aptly titled 'Yet Another Zombie Defense HD' and is developed by Awesome Games Studio. Priced at $4.99, or about the same price as a value meal at a fast food place, it doesn't hurt the wallet, so to speak. So, let's see if this game is worth the $5 bill they are charging, shall we?

There are three modes to tackle: Defense, Endless, and Deathmatch. While Endless is what you would expect in a traditional horde mode of wave after wave of enemies, and Deathmatch is something found in almost all shooters of some type, the bulk of the game will be played in the Defense mode where you and up to 3 other friends (online or locally) will construct some makeshift defenses to hold off the varying onslaught of zombies and demons when night eventually falls. As you kick off Defense mode, you'll have to select from one of four characters. These characters are pretty much stereotypical character models and don't affect anything story related since there isn't one.

After you pick your character you'll spawn by a lamppost, armed with a pistol that has unlimited ammo. From here you will face a small wave of zombies that will come at you from all sides, forcing you to use your pistol to drop them like a toilet seat. To do this you use the Right Stick to move your flashlight to point in the direction you’re going to fire, then you unload your weapon with Right Trigger. The Right and Left Bumpers switch between weapons, but I'll get into that more in a minute. Once the enemies are properly eliminated, your next goal will be to figure out how to wisely spend your newly found wealth. This is where your shop comes in handy.

Some items such as a chainsaw can cost around $500 or so, while a Tesla gun can run north of $20,000. But buying a weapon is only half the issue because now you must stock it with ammo, otherwise, what's the point of having a weapon you can't use? Ammo can cost $30 all the way up to $200 and more. While doing your best Neo from the Matrix impression, where you need lots of guns, one thing you can't forget is your makeshift base. As the nights progress the enemies get tougher. No longer will you have just undead mindless zombies to contend with, as demons from the depths of hell will rise up against you, and even the reaper itself will try to take your life.

To stave all of this off, and give you the best shot at survival, you'll have a chance to buy barriers and turrets. Barriers range from basic wooden ones to armored and even electrified ones. Of course, as you would expect, the price increases DRAMATICALLY between each cost. This also applies for the turrets, as there is an advanced one and a basic one. Each turret requires you to buy a firearm for it PLUS stock it with ammo (if you equip it with a shotgun and you use a shotgun on your character, then your gun turret will use YOUR ammo, so be ready).

As you kill enemies, they will drop items such as ammo for your weapons, mines, and even power-ups such as health, invisibility (which for some reason doesn't work as the enemies still attack me) and invincibility (this thankfully does work). The more items you collect from your fallen enemies the less you'll have to spend to replenish your supplies. Using a chainsaw as your primary weapon in the earlier stages is well advised so you can save some preliminary cash.

There is an issue that I have, but it is not with the game, but instead with the public who plays, let me explain why. Being that cash is by far the most valuable thing in the game, you have three choices where you can allow other people to buy whatever they want from the store and spend your money, or there can be a limit of your money and anything over that limit and they have to ask you (like asking your parents for more money to buy things) to use more, or they have to request that you buy the item so they can use it.

Being the kindhearted soul that I am, I trusted that people would have their own ideas as to how best to defend the base, so I originally let them all run wild with the cash. I figured, "Hey, it's their money too." And that worked out nice until this guy bought ALL SMG ammunition and drained my bank account. Then he leaves my game and I'm essentially screwed. I had no defenses, no nothing but a simple SMG and as much ammo as I could ever need. Granted, after that incident I quickly learned to hoard my money, but that got me thinking; why would you even think of offering other forms of cash management? There isn't much structure to the game other than shooting enemies, buying more guns and ammo and defenses and shoot more things after that. So why would you give the option for perfectly good strangers to come in and ruin your game? To this day I still can't figure it out.

As you progress you'll earn points to level up your character with things such as increased health (which you WILL need), increased movement speed (which again, you WILL need), pickup radius (which appeared broken even at max setting) and more things that really aren't important for any reason. Unfortunately, this eliminated any and all desire I had to level up my character.

What was the point in extra health when I can just barricade myself with some turrets and let the damage do the work for me? Work smarter, not harder, and that's why I'm struggling to find something worthwhile about the character development. Outside of something spectacular that I am somehow missing, you'd be better off playing Yet Another Zombie Defense HD on a train ride to work than on a console sitting at home.

Regrettably that is about as in-depth as this game gets, and if I'm honest, I was surprised at how shallow the game itself feels. They claim to have a 4K filter in the game, but that did very little to the visuals. You'll find that, as you play the game, there is very little enjoyment to be found, but Yet Another Zombie Defense HD relies squarely on one characteristic to help this game survive, and that is the replayability. With this game originally releasing on February 3, 2010, you can see that the years haven't been kind. With less content than a Chinese fortune cookie, and less entertaining as well, I'd personally save the $4.99 and spend it on something else, unless you just have to try the game, but you've been warned.

Overall: 5.5 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 6.5 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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