|Genre||Publisher||Release date||Release O.S||Available on|
|Puzzle||Electronic Arts||15/10/2014||PSN, XBL||PlayStation Store|
The wait is finally over PlayStation 4 owners, Peggle 2 is now available to download - just under a year after the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions I might add. PopCap’s original Plinko-inspired game showed just how much fun shooting ball bearings at coloured pegs could be with gameplay both addictive and simple. Does the long awaited sequel retain the same spark that made the original such a treat though?
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For those few uneducated in the art of Peggle 101, the aim is to shoot ball bearings into a grid of different coloured pegs that disappear as you hit them - you’ll need to make sure all twenty five orange pegs have been removed using your limited number of balls in order to succeed. Point boosting purple pegs and ability rewarding green ones also provide chances to both raise your score and clear more of the board. Basically it’s the same tried and tested formula seen in the original and after a five plus year hiatus for the series we’ve certainly missed it.
Peggle Masters make an appearance once more each with their own unique Super Shot. Bjorn the unicorn is the only return character (downloadable content aside) and also brings back his ability to visualise where your shots will bounce. Newcomers include cute characters such as Jeffery the Troll and Berg the Yeti, with each ability proving both interesting and helpful. Jeffery for example allows you to fire a giant bowling ball shaped boulder for a single turn that powers through any peg it touches while Gnorman the Robot electrifies pegs you hit along with any in its radius. Unlocking new Peggle Masters is good fun and it’s just a shame there are less to be found here than the original. Why not bring back all the old favourites even if it’s just for the multiplayer mode? Still two downloadable packs help bulk out the overall package should you want more Masters to test, but even then it almost feels like these could have been included in the original game.
The single player campaign has been significantly improved over the original with stages now featuring an extra three specific missions to be completed as well. Sure they’re never more adventurous than reaching a certain score, finishing with so many ball bearings left or clearing the entire grid of all pegs but they add some replay value giving you reason to come back and try old levels once more. Challenge stages also inject further variety throwing a series of tasks and objectives your way. These rely on your ability to pull off stylish and skilful shots, make best use of each Peggle Master’s Super Shot and generally adapt under a whole assortment of unusual circumstances some of which really change the game entirely (aiming for a low score for example). With six worlds to conquer each comprising of ten regular stages and ten challenges a piece you’ll find plenty to keep you busy here.
Xbox One and 360 owners may have had to wait for local multiplayer Dual Mode to be patched into Peggle 2 but fortunately this version comes with said feature right out of the gate. Countless hours were lost playing two player in the original and it looks as though nothing will change here. Taking turns to fire balls at the same table is a fun twist on the usual single player affair with everyone eager to earn their respective Super Shot from the meager two green pegs available or hit that final orange peg for added points. Point deductions only add further chaos to the mix in what is an excellent accompaniment to the game’s main campaign.
Online play is also an option allowing up to four players to take on their own boards simultaneously. After each shot the scores are accumulated with the winner claiming most points overall. It’s a neat way to play the game meaning you won’t be sat around waiting as you take turns one at a time. The game even allows you to get a view of how the others are doing.
Peggle 2’s presentation is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor. Immediately you can see how PopCap’s skills have improved as a developer with a menu that when navigated plays “Ode to Joy”, visuals that offer much better art direction and a soundtrack much more varied and memorable. Seeing Bjorn rocking out with his emo mane as the final orange peg is struck or Jeffery stabilize his drink as the quake of a giant Bowlder grinds on down is great fun.
A Peggle sequel was always going to be tough to create without it looking and feeling exactly like the first one – it is simply shooting a ball at pegs after all, but what Pop Cap have crafted here offers just enough tweaks and additions to keep things fresh. It also doesn’t hurt the series has taken a long hiatus. What this sequel lacks in creativity it makes up in polish and whether you’re a fan or have never even heard of Peggle this is worth checking out.
- Peggle is still so much fun
- Production value improved over original
- Dual mode
- Added challenges offer good variety
- Fewer Peggle Masters
- Little in the way of new ideas
- DLC perhaps a little off-putting