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Plants vs. Zombies XBLA To Support Co-Op, Versus

Because we need our friends to be addicted too.

Leaked achievement data from the Xbox Live Arcade version of Plants vs. Zombies over the weekend suggested that it would launch with co-op and versus modes, a first for the fledgling social games franchise from the makers of Peggle. But now those are confirmed features according to an official release, which also exposes a release window, new modes, and an interesting way to gauge how buddies are progressing in this version of the game.
 
Plants vs. Zombies XBLA launches this September at 1200 Microsoft Banana Points and will support a grand total of seven game modes, two of which are being billed as co-op and versus. In addition to this, the game will ship with 21 mini-games, one being a platform-exclusive Heavy Weapon-style shooter.  
 
But more intriguing, perhaps, is the "goofy new way to track and share progress online." Players will be able to create their "own custom house" and drive to check out others, according to official release.

Getting back to the co-op and versus, according to achievement gathering site Xbox 360 Achievements, "ZFF's 4 Evr" will give users 20 Gamerscore if they should "Bowl a winner with a friend" in a co-op catered version of mini-game Wall-Nut Bowling. "Versus vs. Versus" will reward users with a less-stellar 15 points if they happen to build enough steam in "VS. mode" to win five games in a row. 
 

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Not long ago, creator PopCap Games blasted an image (above) to press of a zombie hand clawing a piece of paper that prominently said "Save the date; August 2, 2010." A betting man would have said--and at least one did--that this reminder had something to do with the forthcoming XBLA version of the title instead of a sequel. Looks like that betting man (me) was wrong.
 
One version of Plants vs. Zombies is a much more competitive offering than others. PopCap added in some score-based systems into the World Winner version of the game, making it possible for the service to set up ladders and such around what people can score in the game. It's not co-op or versus in the traditional vein, but it's sorta close to what we're seeing here with the XBLA version of the game.     
 
In addition to being available as a digital download this September, PopCap is also planning to bust out a Xbox 360 retail version of Plants vs. Zombies bundled with copies of Peggle and Zuma. A PC/Mac version this bundle is expected as well. Both of which should hit this fall at $19.99 respectively.