Peggle Review: So Many Pegs On My Xbox 360
“Peggle.” I know, it’s freaking “Peggle,” that game that your Mom and/or sister are probably significantly more familiar with than you are, but now it’s “Peggle” on Xbox Live Arcade, and that makes it more bad-ass, and “hardcore” now right? Well, no, it’s still the same game as before, just on your TV, and in HD. Don’t write cutesy, casual “Peggle” off though, it’s a highly addictive, and surprisingly rewarding title, that I like to lovingly refer to as video game crack.
So, you’ve never played “Peggle” before, it’s cool, really. It’s exceptionally easy to get into; all you need to do is shoot a ball at the orange pegs on the board, and score points. You have ten balls to clear all the orange pegs off the screen, and when you do that’s it, you’re done, time to go to the next screen. There’s no real story mixed in, but there are some power ups (hit the green pegs) and some bonus points (hit the purple pegs) along the way to either help, or distract you. But, really, that’s pretty much all you need to know about “Peggle.”
No ones really sure when PopCap released the original PC version of the game to the casual masses (it’s rumored to have been sometime in 2007), but since then, it has been infecting gamers at an alarming rate. It offers an almost perfect balance of challenge and reward, with a bit of luck mixed in as well. There is a level of skill that is required to rack up the most amount of points possible, but if you don’t care about points, and you’re just in it to clear the board, then that’s cool too, and you can just shoot until your little heart’s content.
The thing about the XBLA version of “Peggle” is that it’s essentially the same game that’s been available for a few years now, BUT with a few additions, the online multiplayer being the standout. Sure, the loading screen is updated with some witty new comments that will make any “Peggle” fan chuckle a little, but being able to take on your friends on in online multiplayer is really where the enjoyment is. If you’ve played “Peggle” before, then you’ve no doubt recommended it to someone (I think there’s some kind of subliminal messages hidden in the layout of the pegs), and, hopefully, they’ve taken you up on your recommendation, as long as they don’t hate fun. Now’s the time to take them on, and prove that you are truly the “Peggle” master. The online games play out like a standard “Peggle” game, just in real time against your opponents, allowing you to see exactly what they are doing, and how they are scoring. It’s a quality addition to an already quality game.
Surprisingly, porting a PC puzzle game to the Xbox 360 isn’t all gumdrops and unicorns, there’s some changes that take a little getting used to. First of all, the distance/precision ratio just doesn’t compare to having a screen 4 inches from your face. Having to look across the room, and use the 360’s analog stick to lineup my shots really didn’t compare to using a mouse, and nailing the peg I needed to, at the right angle on my computer. While it may take a little getting used to, it’s not impossible to overcome, it’s more of an adjustment. Other than that, the game plays exactly the same, except I felt like Warren the Rabbit’s spinner was a little less forgiving, not lading on the score trippler as often as I have become accustomed to, but that could be me just being paranoid. Other than that, it’s pretty much “Peggle.”
Multiplayer is a fun addition to the game, but does that make it worth spending $10 on a game you may already own, and have beaten? Well, that depends. This is a must purchase for any newcomer who’s looking for a fun, casual game that they don’t need to think about – if you’re the type of gamer that requires guns in a game, you may want to stay away from this one. However, if you’ve already played through it once, you have to ask yourself if you think your skills are good enough to take online – if they are then you should absolutely pick it up. Even if they aren’t, there’s a good chance you’re already addicted, so you’ll need it too. Plus there’s the possibility of DLC, so you may be able to experience some new characters or levels, of even a “Peggle Nights” expansion, should PopCap be so merciful, and grant us our wish.
For me, “Peggle” has now joined the ranks of “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and the original “Final Fantasy” in regards to games that I have bought and beaten multiple times. That’s some solid company to be in, and “Peggle” deserves to be there, just try it, it’ll make you a believer. On a related note, if “Peggle” is based on pachinko, please keep me from moving to Japan, I’d go broke, and die in a parlor.
The version of Peggle reviewed was released on March 11th, for the Xbox 360.