Popcap’s success knows no bounds. Many companies have tried to emulate their business model, and have failed miserably.
One of their greatest successes is Peggle, a pachinko-style action game that was ported to the Xbox Live Arcade earlier this year. Popcap is following up on their bid for multi-platform domination, and just opened up the sequel, Peggle Nights, to more platforms.
You’ll immediately notice that Peggle Nights isn’t a separate title, it’s actually absorbed by your 360′s Peggle Arcade game. The immediate advantage is the fact that you can simply access every Peggle level ever made in one simple menu, similar to importing track packs from a previous Guitar Hero. However, you may also feel shortchanged, as the PC release was a full-on separate title.
Peggle itself is a very simple game to understand. Each level contains blue and orange pegs, and your mission is to clear all of the oranges by hitting them with a ball shot from the top of the screen. Every level features a “Peggle Master”, who grants you certain powers, such as unleashing multiple balls, or a fireball that burns straight through pegs. With the PC version, you would simply use the mouse to aim, and left-click to fire wherever you wanted.
The 360′s controller translates fairly well, allowing you to hold a trigger to slow down your aiming cursor, and press A to fire whenever you’re ready. Considering there’s no time limit when shooting, having a slower aiming system doesn’t really detract much from the gameplay experience.
As a whole, Peggle Nights has a much darker feel than it’s predecessor. The game’s sixty levels will mostly be presented in hues of dark blue and purple, which is a nice touch. You’ll also find that a lot of the earlier levels are much more challenging in comparison to the original, which felt very much like a tutorial for the first twenty boards.
For your hard earned cash, you’ll also be purchasing one new Peggle Master: Marina the squid. Her power is fairly cool looking, but I feel like a lot more could have been done here. Additionally, each character will have a new “theme” between levels; Bjorn the Unicorn, for instance, will become a caped crusader at night. Although it’s a nice attempt to mix things up a bit, the characters don’t change their appearance at the top of the screen, which is a bit of a disappointment. You’ll also inevitably feel a bit slighted once you realize the PC has a free “Valve”-themed level pack, and a few other extra packs that most likely won’t come to consoles.
Unfortunately, Peggle Nights still lacks true four player support (just like the original XBLA release), but the fact that Popcap included any multiplayer support at all is still better than the single player only PC release, and you can always peggle away on the same board with a second player on the same console. But ultimately, since Peggle Nights feels like an expansion pack rather than a full game, it’s only appropriate that the Xbox Live release is priced at $5.
Despite the fact that not a ton of content was added, this is still the same Peggle you know and love, with all of the spectacular animations and sounds intact. Everything runs so smoothly on the Xbox 360, and the sounds are very high quality and crisp. The amount of positive reinforcement you receive, accompanied by the bright color palette, will no doubt put a smile on your face.
Some of the “style shots” from the PC version of Peggle Nights have been patched in, meaning that nearly every single shot you make will look cool in some manner, making it fun for the whole family! But don’t let the “casual” moniker dissuade you: Peggle Nights, like the original Peggle, contains a challenge mode that will take a whole lot of skill and patience to best.
Ultimately, Peggle Nights is a must-have for Pegglemaniacs. You’re getting an extra set of sixty challenging levels that will no doubt support your all day addiction of “randoming” levels for hours at a time.
Peggle Nights looks better than it's predecessor stylistically, but some of the presentation elements feel tacked on.
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This is the same old Peggle you've always enjoyed, and the new character's power is fun to use, although a bit underwhelming.
Ode to Joy never sounded so good, and you'll hear the iconic bouncing peg noises in your sleep (that's a good thing).
Unfortunately, Peggle Nights doesn't really add a whole lot to your existing game that you haven't seen before. You're only getting one extra character and extra levels, but they're still a blast to play, so long as you don't mind doing the same ones over and over.
Peggle Nights is a worthy sucessor to the original Peggle, but it would have been nice to see a bit more content. For Peggle fans however, this is a must-buy.