Peggle XBLA Review: Extreme Fever!!!

PopCap Games' Peggle comes to Xbox Live Arcade, bringing the super powered pachinko-esque, point and shoot gameplay to Xbox 360s. It's incredibly addictive, the aim of PopCap's casual games.

Peggle's concept is simple: fire metal balls from a cannon, destroying colored pegs with the help of talking unicorns and skateboarding beavers, ultimately resulting in a screen clearing orgy of points, rainbows, and a feel-good blast of Beethoven. It's all very rewarding work. The Xbox Live Arcade port of Peggle adds what you'd expect from the transition to the Xbox 360, including online multiplayer, voice chat and Achievements, retaining the core gameplay.

Should you catch the extreme fever of Peggle addiction, even if you've already become a graduate of the Peggle Institute?

Loved
It's Peggle, Faithfully Recreated: Everything that made the original Peggle so enjoyable and addictive is present in the Xbox Live Arcade release: the peg crushing fun, the wacky Peggle masters, the challenges that will test your mettle, the overblown, colorful presentation. The game controls beautifully with the Xbox 360 controller, with two precision aiming options that make lining up shots simple without a mouse. The only downside? Not being able to determine exactly where you're aiming as one could with a mouse pointer.

Multiplayer: The ability to hop online and challenge others, extending the life of the Peggle experience, is a fantastic addition. Two-player versus modes are similar to the Master Challenge in the original Peggle, with players taking alternate shots at the same field. Four-player is akin to a scoring challenge, with players competing for the highest score on an individual field. A shot clock keeps the game moving, ensuring that multiplayer games are quick and easy. Given the amount of chance involved and the potential imbalance of the ten Peggle Masters, it may make more sense to take Peggle multiplayer more casually than other Xbox 360 titles. But it's still a blast.

Hated
Not Much New For Peggle Vets: If you've played either Peggle (or Peggle Nights), don't expect to be swimming in new content, new characters and new challenges. Those totally fresh to the Peggle experience likely won't consider this a fault, but this is very much a port of the two-year-old game of the same name.

The Xbox Live Arcade port of Peggle is fantastic, casual, relaxing fun. It's also one of the better deals on Xbox Live Marketplace, considering blowing through the Adventure mode alone will probably take a good six hours or so. Unlockable challenges and master duels will likely double that, with solid multiplayer support pushing it into the ultra extreme value zone.

For casual fun on the Xbox 360 it's nigh impossible to surpass Peggle.

Peggle was developed and published by Popcap Games, released on Xbox Live Arcade on March 11th. Retails for 800 Microsoft Points ($10 USD). Played Adventure mode to completion, played multiple challenges and tested online and local multiplayer modes.

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