Here is a nice paragraph. Plants vs Zombies 2 is an incredibly polished, well-made game that builds upon its predecessor with new zombies, new plants, new level types, a map-based progression system that allows you to unlock upgrades in the order you want, power-ups and boosts to help you defeat difficult challenges, endless maps to try and tackle and the same addictive gameplay that made PvZ so good. All of this, and more, if you're willing to stomach tons of f2p junk.
This game is terrible at micro-transactions. They are everywhere. Content is locked behind paywalls, you can buy 99.99$ bundles of coins, you can pay to unlock stars, plants, keys, upgrades, plant food and power-ups to make the whole game excessively trivial if you just spend the money, and I think that the game tries to make you spend money constantly. Why not make this game 'normal' instead? I'll pay 20$ for it? I'll buy it on the PC when it comes out? I'll gift it to my friends? Now I'm never going to spend a cent on it.
They have a few plants locked behind a 2.99 or 3.99 purchase, they're not all plants that anyone would use, but I used some of them in the original game. I'm not going to speculate if they looked at the plants most people used and then decided to lock them away, but I wish I could have my Snow Pea without spending cash, slowing down zombies has always been part of my strategy, and now I can't do that. Since all other upgrades are also unlockable by playing the game, why not place these plants under similar "pay now or play until you get them" conditions? Or at least give me plants with similar functions? I don't think you NEED them to win the game, but these options are always there and you could always be tempted to just pay and buy them.
Power-ups and plant food can be bought for coins, plant food drops from specific enemies and boosts one plant for a while (sunflowers will produce extra sun, peashooters will shoot a ton, catapults will throw stuff to every enemy, etc.) and they're useful for tight spots since you can get the food naturally (or pay 1000 coins (That's about 60 cents)) power-ups are just ways to kill zombies, you can pinch them, throw them or zap them, you can only buy power-ups with coins and since they just kill your enemies, it's easy to rely on them. You don't get much coins normally, so after a while you're going to run out. Some challenges have very specific goals, like not spending sun for 90 seconds and not losing plants, in 90 seconds zombies can get to the end of their lanes easily, leaving you few options, spending coins to kill them is always one tho! The fact that you could just pay 99.99$ to get a truckload of coins and just blast everything with power-ups and plant food is also weird, it would remove all the fun of the game!
To unlock side paths in the map, you need keys, these paths contain new plants, upgrades and new levels with specific conditions (they're the special stages of PvZ1, with levels giving you specific plants, a treadmill bringing you seeds, fixed amount of sun, etc.) The keys drop randomly from seemingly everything, or you can buy them for 1.99$ they don't drop enough. I've completed all the challenges for world 1, and I still don't have enough to unlock everything. I have to replay levels for no reason now, and that feels incredibly boring/frustrating. Let me buy keys with my coins! I'll stop spending them on useless power-ups, true, but at least I'll feel like I'm going somewhere instead of just redoing easy level for keys. Oh also, keys don't carry between worlds, so if you were really lucky and got a ton of them, too bad.
At the end of a world, you'll need a certain number of stars to go to the next one, or you can pay 4.99$ This is bad, but not too much, they add new challenges to most levels so you can redo them and get enough stars easily, you'll need to grind for keys anyways, so it's not more of an hassle than the game already is. I loved the 'world' progression of PvZ1 more, but the themes change enough and some mechanics and plants they introduce in later stages are interesting, at least you can get upgrades like more starting sun, more slots for plant food and 25% sun refunded when you dig out plants even if you don't pay. Seeing as they don't allow that for their 'premium' plants, I'm surprised.
I'm of two minds about this game. It's a cash grab, but it's well executed. The IAPs are evil and weird, but they're 75% superfluous, They make you grind forever in hope that you just spend some money instead, but the game is fun enough to be replayed that much. It's clearly evil and the 99.99$ coin bundle exists because someone somewhere will buy it, but games need to make money, right? Try it if you want, it's free, but leave it that way.