Peggle 2 has arrived exclusively for the Xbox One and if you believe the folks at PopCap Games are going to release you from the grip of game addiction, you’re horribly mistaken. Not only does Peggle 2 match up comfortably with its predecessor, in many ways it beats it, adding little nuances that enhance the overall experience.
The fundamentals of Peggle have not changed. Take a ball, shoot it and try to clear the pegs from the board. You must clear all the orange pegs to beat the level, while blue pegs can be in your way and earn you more points. There are also two green pegs per level, which unlock “Master” abilities to use and a floating purple peg, which can multiply your score. Should you score enough points on a single shot of the ball lands back in the moving basket at the bottom of the screen, you’ll get an extra ball to use. The game ends when you run out of balls or clear all the orange pegs, whichever comes first.
You’ll spend a good deal of time mapping out what you feel are your best angles, plotting and planning to take out as many orange pegs as possible while hopefully picking up the optional objectives during each round. Two of the optional objectives appear frequently: clear all the pegs and earn a high score of a certain point amount. A third objective varies, asking you to clear a round with a certain amount of balls remaining or clear a round without using a Masters’ special ability.
The Masters are all new, with the exception of Bjorn the unicorn, who is unchanged, retaining his ability to masterfully guide the ball on the first ricochet. Line up your shot after knocking off a green peg and Bjorn will show you where it will bounce first, allowing you to alter the angle for masterful effect.
New Masters include Gnorman, a gnome in a large robotic gnome suit that uses a jolt of electricity as his Masterful move, Jeffrey, a beer drinking troll that will send a large boulder through the map for his special ability, Berg, a yeti that will put the pegs into a deep freeze, and Luna, essentially the Jack Skellington of Peggle, who has the ability to make all of the blue pegs clear, making an easy path to hit the hard to touch orange pegs.
The characters are located on the left side of the screen, and will have great reactions to the things you do. Berg, in particular, is fantastic at showing concern for your next moves.
Each Master also comes with his or her own classical music playing when the level finishes, building upon the familiar “Ode to Joy” Bjorn is famous for head-banging to. They also have their own signature animation for level completion, which are downright hilarious.
Peggle 2 allows for online multiplayer, with up to four players in a lobby and private matchmaking options. By no means is it a revolutionary world builder of online play, but it’s a passable way to have some fun with your friends. There is not, unfortunately, local co-op available.
Peggle 2 isn’t a departure from the original Peggle or Peggle Nights; it’s a crisp enhancement of the addictive gameplay, adding unique characters that become friends to you almost immediately while putting you in levels that can mess with your mind as you work to clear them. In many ways Peggle 2 is the supreme version of the original, only lacking in local multiplayer functionality.
For $11.99 on Xbox Live, it’s a steal of a puzzler, just as good as its predecessor, while allowing room for continued growth through DLC, which does have several indicators within the game of being on the way.
Peggle 2 is a definite purchase. Satisfy the cravings you’ve been having while waiting patiently for this game to come out. Go grab it on the Xbox One, as it’s available now.
PopCap Games provided Peggle 2 for the purpose of this review.
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