Buzz! Quiz TV Review
Sony's line-up of party games is no doubt stellar. Featuring the likes of SingStar and Buzz!, both titles have been keeping gamers busy in their living rooms for extended periods of time. While SingStar is a bit more established than their quiz show game, Buzz, Sony's up-and-coming franchise is still gaining waves with every release. Just like SingStar, Buzz has amassed more popularity overseas but is slowly catching on in the states. With a number of games available on the PlayStation 2, the series is here to enter the next-gen world of the PlayStation 3 with an all new trivia set that covers a variety of genres, and a horde of other features that will keep you going for a long time.
Based on the name, you may be lead to think that this is a game with TV trivia. But it isn't; Quiz TV is the in-game TV network that delivers you a variety of trivia genres, such as Music, Movies, Television, Sports, Brainiac, and Lifestyle questions. In total, over 5000 questions exist in the game, and that means it'll be a long, long time before you run through the entire game's set of trivia to the point where you memorize it. Channel Hopper mode will allow you to switch between the categories/genres, giving you the ability to engage in diverse trivia offerings.
Gameplay is very much like the previous games. You'll go through a variety of rounds, until finally reaching the final round where your podiums are raised up high, and all of the points you've accumulated will keep you raised above the competition. For each question you get wrong, the podium lowers, if it reaches the ground, a trap door opens and you lose. Throughout the game you'll be able to steal points and choose a topic of your choice. The questions are a good mixture of obvious and fairly tough, as I had a hard time with a good chunk of them, specifically questions dealing with sports outside of the U.S.
Presentation makes the game feel very much like an actual game show. You'll have an assortment of characters to choose from, many of which are caricatures of celebrities and other well known icons, all complete with their unique personalities. Buzz's presenting is still very much in your face, as he'll make no reservations when it comes down to humiliating you.
To add to the presentation, four wireless buzzers come bundled with the game, which is a major plus and really allow you to get much more comfortable when playing. You can still choose to use your old PlayStation 2 buzzers, as they will be compatible with the PS3 game. If you're wondering what purpose your original buzzers have, here's your answer: eight gamers can put their buzzers to use and go at it offline, making Buzz! Quiz TV a superb party game. When you're online, four can compete from anywhere in the United States in Sofa vs. Sofa mode.
Other network options include downloadable quiz packs, each of which will feature a set of 500 questions, making the Buzz! experience on the PS3 that much less finite. These quiz packs will span across a variety of genres such as Sports, Pop Culture, Music, and more. Furthermore, downloaded content will be automatically mixed into the game's assortment of questions.
But perhaps the coolest thing about Buzz! Quiz TV is the ability to upload custom mini-quizzes onto MyBuzzQuiz.com, which will allow Buzz! owners to download the user generated content onto their PS3s. User created quizzes don't necessarily have to be uploaded, as they can be made up by you, saved and stored onto your console for your friends and family to experience. Up to eight questions can be entered per each user created quiz. Additionally, an option to report inappropriate custom quizzes will be made available to deter 12-year old, or 30-year old idiots from polluting the website.
To further add to the presentation is improved visuals, which include a better looking stage that boasts bright lighting, more detailed audience, vivid displays, better character detail, and of course HD resolution. Buzz! Quiz TV runs at a native 720p, but can be upscaled to 1080i. Framerates, screen tearing, and all of that other technical stuff isn't something to be concerned about, as there isn't a whole lot of action going on during the game. Visually, all you need to know is that Buzz! Quiz TV looks sharp for what it is.
The audio is about what you'd expect it to be. There are obviously voiced characters, specifically Buzz and the assortment of avatars you use, all of who have their own distinct voices and liners. The one liners may come off a bit cheesy, and Buzz's quips may get tiresome eventually, as well. There are some additional effects to be heard, including the audience, but that's about all there's to the game's audio.
All in all, with 5000 questions to swim through, ranging across a variety of genres, with downloadable quiz packs, and the ability to create your own quzzes, Buzz! Quiz TV is a fantastic value. Party gamers should really consider picking up the Buzz bundle for the PS3, which comes packaged with four wireless buzzers. Addtionally, being able to use the PS2 buzzers will enable veteran fans of the series to get a party of eight going immediately. This is one gaming experience that should be a hit at any party.
9/25/2008 Arnold Katayev