Review: Peggle 2 (PS4)

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Title: Peggle 2
Format: PlayStation Network Download (2.2 GB)
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: PopCap
Original MSRP: $11.99
ESRB Rating: E
Peggle 2 is also available on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was purchased by the reviewer.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
In case anyone may be unfamiliar with the original Peggle which appeared on about every gaming platform including iOS, primer: Think The Price Is Right game PLINKO! with whimsical graphics, colorful characters and explosive musical punctuation.

Each board has ten levels and a Peggle Master who is a character that advises the player and has a special power unlocked by bouncing your ball off of a green peg or block. In addition to pegs like in PLINKO! there are also blocks which may be any of a number of colors. In some cases the blocks are in what appear to be metal containers. You must hit those blocks once to destroy the container and again to count the block as a hit. The boards are made of mostly blue and orange pegs or blocks with one purple peg or block for extra points and the two green pegs or blocks for Master power. The placement of the purple peg or block changes after every shot. You have ten balls to start with and can get bonus balls and you’ll finish each level by clearing all the orange pegs or blocks.

Balljector is the silly name they’ve given the device which loads the Peggle balls into the gun for firing into the board. It sounds like the last thing a horse meets before gelding.

Peggle2windy

In Peggle 2 you begin with Bjorn The Unicorn in the Peggle Institute levels. His power to assist you is trajectory divination. Hit a green peg and for the next three turns Bjorn, who by the way is constantly farting rainbow clouds, concentrates while the trajectory of your shots is made clear on the Peggle board. During these shots the problem becomes fine tuning them. Normally to fine tune your shots you use the D-pad or L1/R1. That fine tuning disappears during Bjorn’s power though there is a less accurate version mapped to L2/R2 while his power is active.

As in the first Peggle, there is a roaming receptacle at the bottom of the board. Get your ball to fall or otherwise bounce into it as it goes back and forth and you don’t lose that ball giving you a free turn which can be crucial during some of the more difficult puzzles.

Halfway through a ten round stretch of puzzles is a test or challenge. This is new to the Peggleverse and it’s fun! After the basic boards of each Peggle Master have been completed, ten challenges will unlock, the first of which you’ve already finished.

Peggle2trials

After clearing the first ten boards Peggle Institute trials are unlocked as well as the next area: Mountain Highs. The basic game comes with five Peggle Masters; Bjorn the unicorn, Jeff the troll, Berg the abominable snow man, Gnorman the robotic British Major General, and Luna the undead 6-year-old girl. Each master has ten boards to clear and ten trials. There are also 10 “Celestial Realm” levels which allow you to choose the master you want to play with. For anyone keeping count that is 110 levels of Peggle goodness.

There are, of course, DLC “Masters” to purchase but at $1.99 each they won’t break your bank. There are Windy the Fairy Queen and Jimmy Lightning. Additionally you can earn optional outfits for the masters. Or buy them. They have no effect upon gameplay and are thus completely useless.

Replayability is increased by optional objectives like “Clear The Board” or “Ace Score”. If you miss these objectives you can go back and replay to achieve them. There are trophies awarded at benchmarks along the way for each thirty or so optional objectives finished.

Visuals:
Video speaks louder than words. Enjoy this short piece from my play-through.

Audio:
The musical score is wonderful. Live musicians! And the background ambient sounds are terrific too. Except for the annoying unicorn farts which are fine initially but can wear thin.

Online/Multiplayer:
Several online modes are available, each detailed below:

“Peg Party Quick Match”
Each player plays alone on their board. 2-4 online with random boards. Choose your Master. Each match is ten shots taken in turns. No extra balls. 15 second time limit to shoot. The game shoots your ball at zero if you haven’t.

I was matched quickly and had a four person game by the end of two rounds. Players may drop in during matches. Later I was dropped into a match at ball six and simply could not make up the points deficit. Then again, that match was a loss but the next might not have been. Once you’re matched with other players then the games continue. So if you are dropped in, just consider the first incomplete match a warm-up. There is no overall K/D ratio to maintain so your stats don’t get dinged for it.

“Custom Match”
You are the host. Choose your Master.
Hit R1 to choose the boards and various attributes of such. You can choose the shot clock time from five to thirty-five seconds. Number of rounds go from one to fifteen. Special Master Powers green pegs from one to three, orange pegs to clear from twenty-five to thirty-five, and of course which boards are played. Then invite or open the search to find players.

In online multiplayer after you take your shot you can hit the triangle to view the boards and shots of your competitors.

“Duel”
Is either couch competitive or online.

“Local Duel”
Needs two controllers for couch versus play.

Peggle2couch

Conclusion:
I have enjoyed Peggle on PS3 for years. It is a great game to play after a draining day at work when you’ve already fought enough. Its whimsy and challenge never disappoint. Peggle 2 grows that experience with different Master Powers, sillier animations and micro-transactions. Okay, scratch that last part. At least they don’t ask you to buy a $50 Season Pass. Even if you factor in the ridiculous paper-doll-like costumes you’d still pay less than $10 for all the extras. Or pay as little as $3.98 for the two extra masters and get over forty more levels. It’s worth it.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Keith Dunn-Fernández

Keith Dunn-Fernández

An actor/director and more lucratively an Administrative Assistant at a small paper company in NYC, Keith loves his games. And he loves to write. And he is a bit of a sarcasmo.

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