The team at Popcap know what goes in to making a great, addictive puzzle game. They’re the creators of some of the most popular games on iOS in the forms of Bejewelled and Plants vs Zombies 1 and 2, as well as easy-to-learn-not-quite-puzzle-not-quite-strategy game Xbox Live and Playstation title Peggle.
If you were asked to describe Peggle, what would you say? You have to drop a ball down a psychedelic animal picture while hitting pink balls and avoiding falling in a hole.
The game is addictive, and despite its simple premise, it is engaging and a hell of a lot of fun. It’s the perfect Xbox Live title, and doesn’t require a huge file size due to its ingenious one note gameplay and two-dimensional yet colorful graphics.
Now, Peggle 2 is just around the corner and is due to be a release title for the Xbox One.
It’s a safe choice for Popcap, because they know that the game will sell well. What is strange however, is why a game with such a simple approach in both gameplay and graphics is a launch title for Microsoft’s powerful new console. It’s not going to impress anybody as far as introducing the world to the next generation of gaming goes, but it gives gamers familiarity when switching on their new console.
Peggle 2 is a straight sequel to Peggle, so Popcap are bound to have some tricks up their sleeves, however from the footage that has been released, it’s difficult to determine how Peggle 2 qualifies as a sequel when it looks like no more than a simple… add on. Games such as Call of Duty are often criticized for looking the same each time a new installment is released, and it looks as though that is what we are facing with Peggle 2.
In fact, I’d go as far as saying if you saw some footage of Peggle 2 you wouldn’t be sure whether you’re looking gameplay from Peggle 2 or the original game.
So if it looks the same, sounds the same and plays the same, what are we getting that is new?
While some characters return from the original game, we have some new, funny and cheeky characters added to the lineup, including Berg, a bear-like creature who will flaunt his butt when you’re playing well. If that isn’t an incentive to play well then I don’t know what is!
The biggest change is the addition of new power ups, known as Masters, which have different abilities the player can control. Power ups were one of the highlights when playing the original title, so adding a new variety of these is certainly a welcome addition.
With so few new aspects to the game it does make you wonder why Popcap have left it so long to release Peggle 2, and why they’ve chosen for it to be a release title on Xbox One. It could go either way for Popcap – either gamers will think ‘wow, a new Peggle game, let’s download that’ or ‘a new peggle game, I’m not playing that on this powerful new console, I WANNA KILL ZOMBIEZZZZ’.
Or is that just me?
Kinect is being utilized by the game, but just how exactly is yet to be known. My guess would be voice activated power ups, but it could easily be motion controls as well. I couldn’t think of anything worse than standing up in my living room to play a slow paced strategy/puzzle game, so I really don’t think this will be a much loved feature if it comes to be true.
Popcap have also stated that the game will utilize the ability to upload footage straight to YouTube via the Game DVR feature, so be prepared to see hundreds of thousands of new videos pop up featuring KILLER AWESOME SHOTS MAN WOOOOOW!
Or something to that effect.
I may have just spent this entire article complaining about the lack of new features in Peggle 2, but familiarity is something gamers crave. If I were discussing Peggle 4 or 5 and still nothing had changed then perhaps I wouldn’t be as kind, but for me, I may well just pick up the game. The first was a great way to waste an afternoon, and I imagine the second will be just the same.
What do you think? Will you be downloading Peggle 2 to your Xbox One?
For more info check out the official Peggle 2 site!
Article by - Mike Jeavons
Insert Date: 10/23/2013
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