Peggle has long been one of those games that you can just pick up and play, have a great time, and get incredibly addicted to. While it’s easy to play, it’s difficult to master and provides hours of enjoyment. Peggle 2 comes in with the same model that you are used to from its predecessor. You shoot balls from the top to hit different color pegs with a physics engine that covers everything under the sun from the angle shot, the angle of impact on the pegs you hit, and how you bounce off walls. Knocking out the orange pegs will build up your multiplier and allow for greater points per shot, purple pegs provide an immediate point boost, green pegs provide you with a special ability depending on your character, and blue pegs just provide nominal points. You goal is to knock out all of the orange pegs to start the fever in all of its amazing glory while the song ‘Ode to Joy’ blasts in the background and crazy bonus points are awarded depending on where the ball ultimately falls.
The special abilities are what I look forward to and with Peggle 2 having only one character returning (Bjorn), means you get a few new abilities to work with. New to the group is Jeffrey, which no doubt pays homage to ‘The Dude’, aka ‘His Dudeness’, aka ‘Duder’, or ‘El Duderino’ if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, aka ‘The Big Lebowski’. His special ability shoots a giant boulder which slowly crushes all pegs that stand in its path worst than Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball”. The snow yeti Berg with the sexiest pixellated tushy can freeze pegs to have them slide and move to hit other pegs as if they were sliding on ice. There is Gnorman which is a robot gnome (piloted by a smaller gnome) which can electrify pegs with his Uber Volt giving you two additional neighboring pegs for each one the electrified ball touches. Lastly there is Luna which can shoot the ball through blue pegs, but bounce off of orange and green ones with her Nightshade ability. Sadly there are only five characters currently, but the main menu has a shopping cart with the words “Coming Soon” on them which will likely be some additional masters to play with, albeit at an additional price.
Each of the above Peggle Masters have a series of ten stages, each with three of their own challenges, as well as ten trials that you can undertake. Skill is the name of the game, but there is certainly a decent amount of luck if you want to complete everything and become a true Peggle Master. After a few games you will quickly find yourself bouncing the ball off walls, timing your shots to hit a peg and still make it into the bucket at the bottom, earning extra balls by scoring over 25k and 75k on a single shot, and going ham when you clear out every peg in a level to unlock the Ultra Extreme Fever.
One of the features of the Xbox One is that is has the built in DVR system. After a few games you will notice that when you score some crazy points with a nice shot in Peggle 2, the Xbox will yield a pop up saying that the gameplay clip was recorded so you can share it with people should you choose. Unfortunately this feature gets old very quickly because when you are a Peggle Master like myself, you will notice these notifications every game and sometimes several times per game. The only way to disable it is to turn off all of the Xbox One’s DVR functionality which is a little disappointing. It would have been nice if you could toggle these notifications or DVR recordings within Peggle 2 only so as not to have to constantly go into your Xbox One settings.
All in all though Peggle 2 is a fantastic game that will keep you busy for hours in single player or against a friend online and will be even more fun when the Duel mode is released which is a free DLC PopCap is working on to allow head-to-head locally. The graphics are crisp, the game is filled with vibrant color, challenging levels, and crazy challenging yet addicting gameplay. Do yourself a favor and download a copy.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox One version of Peggle 2 developed by PopCap Games.
- Addictive Gameplay
- No local multi (for now)
- Few Characters