Review by Gareth Smith
CATCH A FEVER.
PopCap Games are geniuses at producing casual, addictive games. Take Peggle for example, a physics-based puzzler, which has you launching balls from a cannon, then watching them bounce off numerous pegs. With a stock of ten balls, you must try clearing all orange pegs to finish the level. Those egger for a greater challenge can try removing all orange pegs and brick across a patterned level, earning them the high score - Extreme Fever.
The sequel, Peggle 2, is more of the same. The control scheme and layout with the original are alike. There are some new tweaks though, along with some fresh new features. From new patterned levels, bricks that require two hits to destroy them, along with brand new Peggle Masters and powers. It's a sequel that doesn't stray away from it's working formula, but one that provides enough fresh ideas to set it aside from the original 2007 game.
For those unfamiliar with Peggle. Each level consists of a uniquely patterned backdrop, made up of various coloured bricks and pegs. A cannon remains at the top screen, with you controlling it left and right using the analog stick. A shoots, and that's is for the controls. Once you fire, control is snatched away. You must then watch your ball bounce down the field of pegs, as you rack up a score for hitting each one. If your lucky, you can earn a multiplier for hitting a series of pegs with the same colour.
It may sound like a game of pot luck, but there is some skill behind it's simplistic mechanics and bright colours. Paying attention to the physics can help you earn greater scores. Get the angle right, and you could send a ball sliding down a path of bricks, or bouncing off two certain pegs. Eventually, pegs will begin to move, requiring perfect timings of your shots.
Peggle Masters watch your every move. These goofy characters spice up the levels, providing you with a perk, triggered by hitting green pegs. They can dramatically change the outcome of a level, and the way you play. Bjorn the Unicorn - featured in the original - provides you with a guide line, helping you perform trick shots. The other five Masters are complete fresh. One of them is a Yeti named Berg. His power triggers a deep freeze, resulting in pegs sliding into each other, mostly causing a chain reaction.
Adventure mode is the core of the game. It's where you'll probably find yourself spending most of your time in. It's comprised of ten stages, containing 60 puzzling levels, each with their own unique themes and Masters. If that wasn't enough, there's also a multiplayer component. Here, you can quickly match against four other players, trying to earn the highest score. Joining a match is simple and usually quick. You can choose your own Peggle Master, and unlock new outfits for them along the way.
The delightful sounds also help make Peggle 2 a joy to play. You never grow tired of listening to the distinct sound as a ball bounces off each pegs, or the orchestra of Beethoven's ODE TO JOY. It also looks stunning on Xbox One. The vibrant colours in HD stand out like a sore thumb. It runs smoothly too, but the DVR recording tool is used too excessively. Your constantly faced with messages popping up as it records something you did. It can be turned off, but it's worth pointing out.
Peggle 2 has taken it's time to arrive, but it was worth it. With some neat tweaks, new Masters and tons of levels, Peggle 2 should put a smile on your face as much as the original.
Reviewed on Xbox One