Peggle: Dual Shot [Nintendo DS] – Review

When I started playing Peggle: Dual Shot, I envisioned that it could be my next “bedtime” game. That is, something in the vein of Picross or Pic Pic, a game where I could complete puzzles through an almost Zenlike unthinking process, and perhaps listen to a podcast or otherwise just drift off to sleep. Which is a bit of an oxymoron isn’t it, since those games feature logic puzzles, which uh, require you to, you know, think.

Anyway, there is a certain amount of logic inherent to completing the standard Peggle stages. The goal of each being to clear orange pegs from the peg board by launching a ball and having it hit them, either directly or indirectly as it bounces around the playfield. As advertised on the back of the box, the game bills itself as “part pachinko, part pinball.”

I found the logic portion of stages to be front-loaded into deciding where to launch the ball. Because of an indicator, I knew exactly where the ball would go upon entering the playfield, and I could predict a bounce or two afterwards, but a variety of factors including the ball’s diminishing momentum and unexpected trajectories made for a pretty random experience.

It was pretty cool however, to clear the last orange peg in a stage and have the euphoric “Ode to Joy” section of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 play, which seems to be the touchstone moment among those who’ve played a Peggle game.

For what it’s worth, this seems to be a pretty good version, too. Not only do the touch screen controls fit well, this release actually includes both the original Peggle and its sequel Peggle Nights, in addition to some unique stages designed by Q Entertainment among other version exclusives. The (now defunct?) Tokyo studio, founded by Tetsuya Mizuguchi following his departure from Sega, handled development responsibilities of this port, while the game’s originator PopCap Games, published it on February 27, 2009.

Within the hour or so I played, which admittedly just scratched the surface of what appears to be a seven hour game, I found that completing stages felt like a majority random/minority logic proposition. This wasn’t an issue with the game design per se, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. I’m a little miffed that this wasn’t my next bedtime game, if only because that meant my search had to resume. All the same, it sure is nice to briefly dabble with a game and know that it’s not my cup of tea. Moving on!


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