|System: PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Doublesix||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Kuju Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 26, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
With each successive wave, you'll be faced with a larger number as well as a wider assortment of zombies. In the beginning, you're put up against pretty standard, slow-moving zombies. A few waves in and you will see all sorts of undead such as dancers who twirl and wear tutus, rushers who have football helmets and quickly charge across the screen, and worst of all, the exploder. These zombies have flashing yellow lights on their heads and explode whenever you get too close or they get caught on fire, with the resulting explosion not adding points to your score.
While all of this may sound great (the mechanics are definitely intriguing in theory), the execution just isn't entirely there. BZB is set up like a dual-stick shooter but only makes use of the left analog stick. Therefore, players are either forced to aim in the direction they are walking or must attempt to use the game's poor lock-on feature. Holding L1 is supposed to lock-on to the closest zombie, making it possible to shoot at the zombies that are following you without the need to fully turn around. Unfortunately, while using this ability your character will frequently begin spinning erratically; often targeting just about every zombie but the one you want to take out.
Problems also occur as a direct result of the game's main mechanic of forcing you to set zombies on fire to score enough points to progress. As your character must use his torch to set the undead ablaze, you will need to get way too close to your foes to accomplish this. Even though non-flaming zombies are supposed to fear the fire and try to avoid being ignited, you'll occasionally find yourself being savagely picked apart in a horde of zombies while trying to set them on fire. This can get rather frustrating considering that you need to get in close and set zombie fires to have any hope of progressing but can never tell when the zombies will just outright attack you rather than try to avoid combustion.
It really is a pity that these issues detract from what is otherwise a really interesting and respectable shooter. The visual style of the game is appealing, with a slightly cartoony approach and some excellent fire effects. You can play BZB split-screen with a friend, and there are plenty of levels including six different playable arenas in Free Play, Timed, and Defend Daisy (protecting your girlfriend's car from approaching zombie hordes) modes. There are even ten challenges to be found that focus the player on completing a specific goal such as protecting a teddy bear from zombies for a certain amount of time. It is still possible to enjoy BZB as is, but it would have been much more fun had the lock-on worked well and there was a better way to set zombies on fire that didn't involve walking through the center of a horde with a burning stick. For ten dollars, though, this is still a lengthy and challenging experience that should definitely help remind older gamers of their quarter-pumping days.
CCC Staff Contributor