Replay Value: 8.5
Developer: Relentless Software
Number Of Players: 1-8
Trivia games are a lot of fun. You'd have to be a very unusual type of person to not enjoy them. I've always been a fan of game shows such as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Millionaire, and the horde of other trivia shows TV has seen over the years. Playing trivia games with friends, usually a Milton-Bradley product of some sort, is always fun, too. But the days of picking out and reading trivia cards are long gone, as products such as Buzz! are here to make the experience much more interactive, realistic, and fun.
Buzz!, like Singstar, is Sony's other party franchise, but it deals with trivia questions across a variety of different categories. The game in question is The Hollywood Quiz, the latest entry the series has seen. It's recently arrived in North America, and continues to grow the PlayStation 2's library. Unlike a lot of last push efforts many consoles get, games like Buzz! are actually a lot more fun than you'd imagine, and certainly worth your attention.
Much like Singstar, Buzz's visual layout is very easy to navigate through and shouldn't cause anybody frustration. Ultimately, it's the trivia questions that hold the fate of them, and I must say that Relentless have done a fine job in this regard. As opposed to getting a slew of generic and easy questions, your knowledge of the movie biz is tested with much more in-depth bits of trivia.
So as not to be overwhelming difficult, you will still find a good dose of trivia that you're very familiar with, helping you to score some easy points. If you're a frequent movie watcher, movie goer, Hollywood critic, and in general find interest in the movie industry, this iteration of Buzz will likely strike a chord with you.
As you play the game, often times questions will be paired with pictures or a movie clip, of which there are hundreds of in the game. It makes the experience of Buzz that much more engaging for the gamers. As you stroll through the questions, you will enter a variety of different phases, or rounds, just like you would in a real game show. While playing, you'll also be encouraged to secure the money you've won, and starting from scratch all over again. This is important, because if you feel the questions getting harder, and you've got a large pot of points won, you will lose them all if you answer wrong. So after a decent roll, it's a good idea to bank your money for the future rounds.
The Fastest Finger round is self-explanatory, buzz in first to answer; faster answers mean more points. Fact or Fiction is a round of true or false, it will list a question pertaining to a rumor or gossip, and you'll have to say whether it was fact or fiction. The Top Rank phase will have you putting answers into a necessary order. The Rollover round allows the worst player to select a question from a category (like Jeopardy); if they get the question wrong, they risk the chance of losing all of their points to the person who gets the next question right.
In the Pie Fight round, the first person to buzz in and answer a question correctly gets to throw a pie at a rival of choice. Getting hit with enough pies can eliminate you from the game. In Point Stealer, you watch as a picture and question appear first, with the answer choices appearing later. If you answer right, you're able to steal 500 points from an opponent of choice. But if you're wrong, you're eliminated.
The Final Countdown is, obviously, the final round. Now all your points are transformed into time. This round is a lot more fast paced than any other. When you answer a question right, the time stops decreasing briefly. If you get a question wrong, you lose time. On the other hand, if you answer it correctly lightning fast, you get a time bonus. So as you can see, the objective here is to be the last one standing with time left on your ticker.
If you're paired against a worthy opponent, the Final Countdown can often become very epic, and very tense. So if you've got a crowd around you, expect a lot of noise, consisting of cheers and the disappointed, heart-breaking "Oh!!" shout. Up to eight players can partake, but the package comes with four buzzers out of the box, which is enough to get a party going. You can always form partnerships and switch between rounds, or share a buzzer.
There's a wide variety of ways that you can play Buzz! Hollywood Quiz, and chances are, no matter how you play it, you're still going to end up having a lot of fun. With 5000 trivia questions in total (don't worry, the game's host reads them all for you), it's unlikely that you're going to memorize all of the answers, and in turn feel bored. This is a game that should keep you, and your friends, going for a rather long time.