Peggle had many gamers sent to rehab due to its addictive nature and its sequel is no different. Peggle 2 takes the basic Peggle formula and presents it in one beautiful package.
Peggle 2 is played the same way as the first Peggle and doesn't add much to the formula. For those new to the series, the game is played by aiming a cannon and shooting a small ball that makes its way to the bottom of the playfield while lighting up pegs. After all of the orange pegs are dealt with in a level, you win! There are also pink pegs that give bonus points and boring ol' blue pegs that give a small amount of points. Style Shots can earn players bonus points and are triggered by actions like bouncing the ball between 2 pegs that are far apart or sliding the ball across a certain number of pegs. Players start each stage with 10 balls but can earn more by having a ball land in the moving basket at the bottom, getting a lot of points in one shot by performing combos and Style Shots, or by winning a coin toss if all balls are lost. These extra tries don't necessarily make the game easy since earning them can be tricky.
The graphics are superb as everything on the screen is sharp, colourful, and easily distinguishable. The characters (known as Peggle Masters) are well animated and most of these animations are quite funny. The music is very well done and features mostly orchestral pieces with plenty of woodwinds that help establish the amusing atmosphere. Ode to Joy is played when you complete a level which is always rewarding. Sound effects are distinct and stand out as pegs light up and events are triggered.
There are 5 Peggle Masters in Peggle 2 that are unique and fun to play as, but it is slightly disappointing that there are only 5 of them when the first Peggle had 10. Each Peggle Master has a unique special move called a Super Shot that is activated by hitting a green peg. These look great as they wreak havoc on the level. Super Shots include abilities such as being able to convert your next ball into a giant boulder, freeze all pegs so they slide into each other when hit, and make the ball pass through all blue pegs. These Super Shots last a given number of balls and only 2 green pegs are in each level. This feature adds a strategic layer to the game as players must use their Super Shots wisely to maximize the amount of damage they'll do.
Controls in Peggle 2 are as simple as they get. Players rotate the cannon left and right and push a button to shoot a ball. You can make slight adjustments while rotating the cannon by using the shoulder buttons. This helps with precision and you'll need it to beat some levels. If you want to time your next shot, you can speed the level up by holding the X button. This comes in handy often and is a nice addition for impatient gamers. Peggle 2 can also be played with Kinect although it's not nearly as precise as using a controller. Kinect also requires players to shout in order to launch the ball which most gamers probably wouldn't be comfortable with.
The main game is comprised of 60 levels, 10 for each Peggle Master and a final set of 10. Each level has a set of 3 challenges like win the level with a certain amount of balls remaining or a certain amount of points. These challenges add some replay value to the levels even after you've beaten them. There are also 60 trials which basically act the same as levels except bend the Peggle rules. Some trials are won by performing a certain Skill Shot while others have the player beat a level with a limited amount of balls. These are great fun to try to beat and add even more replay value to the game.
There is both online and local multiplayer in Peggle 2. Online can be played in either Peg Party or Duel and local can only be played in Duel. Peg Party is for up to 4 players where competitors play the same level simultaneously. Duel is for 2 players where each player takes a turn firing balls in the same level. In both modes, the player with the highest score by the end wins. These multiplayer modes are simple and enjoyable.
Peggle 2 far exceeds its predecessor's presentation quality and is great fun for any gamer looking for a casual experience. With a lot of replay value and content, Peggle 2 is a worthwhile download for anyone looking for a fun pick-up-and-play game.
- + Great presentation with plenty of humorous character animations
- + Fun and addictive gameplay
- + Tons of challenges and trials to master
- - Doesn't add much to the classic Peggle formula
- - Only 5 Peggle Masters