EA and PopCap games have unleashed the sequel to the highly addictive Xbox LIVE Arcade peg-smashing game of 2009 – Peggle. Now available on Xbox One, Peggle 2 – the yet-even-more-addictive title offers some brand new features, new characters with special abilities and now automatic game clip recording to capture those moments when your last ball performs some great mean skill shots! If you remember the Xbox LIVE Arcade version, this is quite similar, but now you can share your awesome skills with the world on Xbox One!
If you have never, ever played Peggle before, I can describe it best as a form of the old block smashing game Breakout combined with Pinball elements. Together this makes the ultimate fun arcade style points racking game with platformer style Master characters that add super abilities to your balls. As you start a game your screen is filled with a combination of coloured pegs whilst you have limited balls, the aim is to clear all orange pegs (although they look more red) whilst all other blue pegs on screen add to your points and help with skill shots. In between the mass of orange and blue pegs are green pegs that once smashed will activate your Masters special abilities for a limited time – and purple pegs that boost your points.
Peggle is all about how you master your skills to not only clear the orange pegs, but acquire the most points too. Each level contains around 100 pegs all in all, 25 which are orange, the rest mostly blue and you will control a cannon set at the center top of the screen. You have 10 balls to shoot individually with your cannon by lining up your shots and set at the bottom of the screen is a moving bucket, if your ball lands within the bucket you get a Free Ball, so although you only have 10 balls, it will generally take more than 10 shots to clear the pegs. You can obtain other Free Balls by acquiring points too, or if you fire and don’t hit any Pegs at all there is a coin flip to decide if you should win another shot! Only by clearing all of the orange pegs can you move on to a different level – and they do get trickier as you progress!
Peggle 2 is broken down into Single Player or Multiplayer Mode. Single Player is further broken down in to chapters that are headed by each Peggle Master Character featuring ten levels, ten fun trials and thirty objectives each! You have Bjorn (Super Guide) Unicorn who’s special ability is to offer a more fine-tuned perfected cannon shot, then there is Jeffery (Bowlder) a form of troll who can throw massive boulders to clear a HUGE amount of pegs in one shot, Berg (Deep Freeze) who can send a chill in the air to make pegs smash into each other, Gnorman (Uber Volt) a form of robot who can electrify pegs and take out linked colours in one hit – and finally, Luna (Nightshade) a ghostly being who’s special ability allows all orange pegs to be hit and visible behind all others! Within the single player you will play all levels as each Master within their own chapters, but with some of the Trials and in the games’ Multiplayer you can choose what Master to play with to suit your preferred abilities when the green peg has activated them.
Multiplayer is a four player based game where each player can choose a character and a random level will appear on screen. You have only ten shots in which to acquire the most points and the player with the most points at the end of all the shots is deemed the winner. In multiplayer you will not acquire any free shots, but some Masters have a better chance of winning than others depending upon the layout of the level . It doesn’t seem to be a fair and balance game considering the abilities of both Gnorman and Jeffery are stronger than any other due to being able to wipe out more pegs when their abilities are activated. Multiplayer is a fun and competitive game which uses the Xbox One’s “Smart Match” feature when looking for available games. You literally click you wish to play multiplayer and you will be able to do anything you want on the console until a multiplayer match has been found. This means no sitting around in a lobby waiting, so you just as well have a go at a few Trials in Single player until notified that a game has been found for you.
The only major annoyance with Peggle 2 is that it has an auto game clip recording feature. Whilst some of the shots are difficult and it captures some of your more amazing attempts, it seems to repeatedly record game clips in trials when not necessarily needed, not only bringing up the “Game Clip Recorded” Pop-up, but flooding your Upload and Feed with a constant amount of duplicated clips you are likely to not want!
Peggle 2 is a moderately challenging game that you will want to beat. I guarantee that the moment you start playing you will be hooked, and if you owned the Xbox LIVE Arcade version on the Xbox 360 you will be equally as addicted to the newer, fresher Peggle on Xbox One. Visually it does not appear to be anything special that warrants an Xbox One release over Xbox LIVE Arcade on the Xbox 360 (why it’s not a multi-platform Xbox release is beyond me) but I can only put it down to the clip recording features. It’s a wonderfully fun game that is likely to be enjoyed by just about anyone and everyone.