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What We Want From Peggle 2
I love E3. There is just so much going on at any one time, and in between the dozens of game reveals, hardware showcases, lengthy trailers and blatant fibbing, some things are just going to slip through the cracks. If you watched really closely during EA’s press conference, you may have seen the awkwardly short Peggle 2 announcement seen here:
Well that was certainly revealing.
Of course, it’s going to be kind of hard to mess up Peggle. Besides being more addicting than bacon-flavored heroin, the basic premise is so simple its absurd. Shoot a silver ball into a midst of pegs and try to clear out all the orange ones. Green pegs give you a unique power tied to your character, and purple pegs give you a point boost. Land the ball in the moving bucket at the bottom for a free ball. Listen to Ode to Joy. It’s not exactly rocket science.
Yet somehow these elements combined to form a certain undeniable magic. It’s hard to imagine PopCap changing up their charming formula too much, but here are a few ideas that they might consider for Peggle 2.
This one is probably a given, so I’ll go ahead and get it out of the way. With new characters comes new powers, and that is something everybody wants to see. That doesn’t mean we don’t want our old friends back, however; I would go crazy without my Magic Hat. However, surely there is room for a few extra powers, no? A few ideas: super bouncy ball, magnetic ball, remote control ball, bola ball, giant ball; I could go on, but you get the idea. There are clearly options. However, how cool would it be to make your own Peggle character, complete with customization powers? If you said “Too sweet to actually happen.” Congratulations, you are a Debbie Downer….and probably also correct.
I’ve probably put more hours into Peggle than is safe for one man to do (I now have a Pavlonian response to Ode to Joy), which is kind of surprising considering it is basically a series of one-off matches with no real framework. I imagine some sort of leveling system could be put in place, but I’m not sure how they could do it without upgrading Peggle to a Grade 3 narcotic. This could go two way: either you could have a persistant profile that could be upgraded with stats like better percentage of free balls on complete whiffs, lowering the score needed for free balls, more starting balls, more uses of powers, extra purple pegs, more points for pegs or any number of things. Or, you could split the progression up and give each Peggle Master their own leveling system complete with skill trees. Yeah, let’s do that.
Expanded Challenge Mode
I enjoyed Peggle’s challenge mode, even if it made me want to rip out my eyelashes one by one out of frustration sometimes. Clearing a whole stage with a single ball may be maddening, but it was a genius move in terms of replayability. I would like to see this expanded in Peggle 2. The beauty of this mode is that it doesn’t have to make sense. It’s an optional thing, so go a little crazy with it. Remove the bucket, make all the pegs orange, reverse gravity, shoot all 10 balls at once; shake things up a bit. There is a whole world of untapped madness just waiting to be unleashed. Go with it PopCap.
More Interactive Stages
Peggle Nights did a good job of this, but I would really like to see some more dynamic stages in Peggle 2. Some moving obstacles are nice, but I enjoyed the stages that PopCap used a little imagination on even more. Portals, pinball bumpers and one memorable UFO; those are the stages I remember most from the Peggle. The best stages aren’t the static ones, it is the ones where all sorts of craziness is going down. And maybe, just maybe, its time to add some interactivity with the background of a stage. I always enjoy seeing what wacky backdrop my next adventure will have, but maybe its time to move beyond still pictures?
Better Adventure Mode
Since were enhancing everything, why not step up the “Story” mode? The aforementioned progression could obviously tie in here, but two additions that I would like to see are a world map and boss battles. That’s right. boss battles. Whenever I picture a boss battle, I always see Sonic taking out a Robotnik contraption, for some reason. You just plink at it until it falls apart. Why couldn’t Peggle 2 take a similar approach? Adding a world map could add a much needed framework to the festivities, and could open up the possibility of branching paths or secret areas. Sounds pretty cool, eh? Also, please, please, give us a level editor. How hard can it be, really?
Do you have any ideas for Peggle 2? Or do you think PopCap should disregard everything here and try something else, or maybe just give us more of the same?