Peggle 2 was developed by PopCap Games and published by Electronic Arts. It was released December 8, 2013, on the Xbox One for $11.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
With the follow-up to its 2009 smash hit Peggle, PopCap Games has delivered a quality game that not only challenges the player, but provides hours of entertainment at the same time. Fans of the original will be happy to know the development team didn't tinker with what was already a great formula. Instead, PopCap has expanded upon its existing efforts, and by doing so, has made Peggle 2 an extremely fun and addictive title for the Xbox One.
With over 120 levels to play through, Peggle 2 has tons of content to offer eager peg-smashers. PopCap has also introduced new masters that enhance the experience by drastically altering the way the game is played, making each master feel unique. A fun and simple online mode has also been added to the mix, allowing for players to quickly jump into games and compete against others, trying to achieve the highest score with a 10-ball limit set in place. The ease with which you drop into matches is the biggest draw, and is something that's seen throughout the game, as accessing content is generally fast and snappy.
Here's what we liked:
Fun every step of the way – One of the hardest things to balance in any game is the rate at which the difficulty climbs. Too slow and it may become boring for players to complete levels, too hard and you may dissuade people from finishing the game. Peggle 2 strikes a great balance. Thanks to its many levels and various masters, the game is able to naturally ramp up the difficulty while ensuring it's enjoyable every step of the way. Once players are ready to challenge themselves, they can attempt the trials, a harder version of the game with strict rules that must be met in order to complete a level.
It may seem like a simple thing, but any game that is either too easy or too hard can ruin a player's experience. Thankfully, PopCap has found and maintained the balance throughout the entire game. It's a strength that can't be overstated, as Peggle 2 is fun and delightful to play at every moment. Everything's flashy and colorful and has been designed to get players lost in the spectacle of it all. Points flow readily, giving you constant rewards for completing crazy shots and huge peg chains, making the game even more addictive as you replay levels trying to get the highest score possible.
Tons of content – For a $12 title, Peggle 2 is packed with content. There are dozens of levels to play through, and once they're completed you can go back with optional objectives for additional unlocks and achievements. There are also trials to complete, adding a new layer of difficulty and doubling the game's length in the process. Even after all that is done, you can then jump online and play against others around the globe, competing for the highest score on random levels, using whatever master you like. Add competitive leaderboard battling, and Peggle 2 is sure to provide many hours of enjoyment and playtime.
Here's what we didn't like:
Peggle master imbalance – By introducing new masters with such strong and varied abilities, PopCap may have found it difficult to make them all seem even and balanced. Sadly, this appears to be the case with Peggle 2, as Gnorman, the electric master, seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of the rest. His ability allows you to strike nearby pegs with electricity, making it incredibly easy to clear out mass amounts of pegs. Although the other masters have similarly amazing abilities, Gnorman's is seemingly the most useful, making him more viable than the rest of the masters for most situations.
Constant video recording – This is an issue that is new to the next generation of consoles. The Xbox One has a built-in feature that records gameplay, saving those clips to the hard drive. Unfortunately, Peggle 2 abuses this feature by constantly saving what it deems to be good footage. In a single hour-long session, it isn't uncommon to see 10+ clips saved. For a system with limited storage space, this can quickly become an issue as multiple megabytes, and even gigabytes, can be eaten up by this feature. It's compounded further by the fact the Xbox One lacks a dedicated storage management system.
No colorblind mode – This may seem like a little thing, but here at XBLAFans, we have multiple editors who are colorblind and Peggle 2 offers no colorblind mode, making the game virtually unplayable for them. Stranger still is the fact that a colorblind mode was something included in the original Peggle. We can only hope this is patched soon, as it's an important feature to include in a game so heavily reliant on colors.
Peggle 2 is an incredibly fun game. It's packed with content and comes at a great price, and with the Xbox One currently light on games, there's no reason not to pick this one up. Sadly, it does have a few shortcomings, but nothing that warrants avoiding this title. It's a game for everyone, that can be picked up at any time and played for 5 minutes or 2 hours. If you are looking for a fun game to play this holiday season, look no further than Peggle 2.
Score: Buy It