MOVIES: Opening this week, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (PG-13), “Walking With Dinosaurs 3-D” (PG); opening Wednesday, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (PG), “47 Ronin” (PG-13), “Justin Bieber’s Believe” (PG).
CONCERTS: Linda Eder, 8 p.m. Friday, Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda.
Scinta’s Christmas Show, 8 p.m. Saturday, Riviera Theater, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda.
Kim Mitchell, 8 p.m. Dec. 27, Seneca Niagara Casino Bear’s Den, 310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls.
Blue Coupe, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 27. Howdy’s, 8166 Main St., Clarence.
Vanessa Williams, 8 p.m. Dec. 28, Seneca Niagara Events Center, 310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls.
Cheap Trick, 5 p.m. Dec. 29, Seneca Allegany Casino Events Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30, First Niagara Center, 1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza.
Headstones New Year’s Eve Bash, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31, Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls.
Paul Revere and the Raiders, 7 and 10 p.m. Dec. 31, Seneca Niagara Casino Bear’s Den, 310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls.
THEATER: “It WAS a Wonderful Life,” 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Forest Lawn, 1411 Delaware Ave.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new addition to the Peggle franchise. The original game easily won its way into our game collection with its crazy ball physics, charming “Masters” and challenging levels. Its expansion, “Nights,” continued to buck the trend with even more Peggle-y goodness. Now, at long last, we have the sequel, “Peggle 2,” which continues the status quo of the original in terms of prolonged entertainment. It’s hardly a perfect effort, but consider this another notch in PopCap Games’ well-made belt.
The game is very similar to the original, as you’ve given a specific set of balls in which to clear away orange pegs on a board. Some are easy to get to, while others require a bit of skill to get around blue pegs that are in the way. You can bounce off walls, other pegs, bumpers and additional obstacles to get at them, though you’ll need to be a true master of physics to get the hang of your shots.
Like the original, you’re not alone. “Peggle 2” provides five Masters to help you with power-ups. Bjorn the unicorn is always a trip, but our personal new favorite is Jeff, a Big Lebowski-esque “chill” troll who specializes with big bowling ball-like boulders. The runner-up is Berg, a yeti with a great freezing power – and a distinct lack of pants.
If you’re expecting a redefining puzzle experience for the Xbox One, “Peggle 2” isn’t necessarily it. However, it continues the fun trend that made the first game and “Nights” work so well, and the new Masters and puzzles will keep you busy for hours. This is a no-brainer – this batch of Ultra Fever is well worth catching.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela, who championed for education rights and also inspired Oprah Winfrey to open the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Mandela died Dec. 5 at age 95.