Buzz! Master Quiz 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. But let's take the experience away from the couch, and onto the road, as Sony's Buzz! Master Quiz for the PSP marks the series' first entry for Sony's handheld. With already a number of games available on the PlayStation 2, and now the PS3, the series is here to enter, perhaps, it's most suitable home...the handheld world. There's lot to like about this Buzz game, as With an all new trivia set that covers a variety of genres, and a horde of other features, this little title will keep you going for a long time.
Solely based on value alone, Buzz PSP is a winner. For $20 you are getting a lot of game, here. Much like past iterations in the series, Master Quiz delivers you a variety of trivia genres, such as Music, TV, Science, Celebrities, Nature, Sport, Movies and General Knowledge questions. In total, over 3000 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.
For the PSP, gameplay is done slightly differently in single-player mode. You pick a challenge type and make your way through it, or until the time runs out. Each challenge type has a trophy to win, from bronze to gold. The more correct answers and the faster you answer them, the more likely you are to score a gold. There are six unique challenge types for the PSP version, all of which are rather well done. I'm fond of the Snapshot challenge, where every time you answer correctly one of 12 squares will reveal part of a picture. You can choose to play a bonus question that pertains to the picture, or pass and try to open up a few more squares.
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. There's also the Quickfire Challenge, a mode that requires reflexes; Picture This, where a blurry picture slowly sharpens up; Top Rank Challenge; where you have to arrange answers in certain orders; and Virus Challenge, where points are lost continuously, and you have to stay alive by answering quick and right.
Presentation makes the game feel like one of those embarrassing foreign game shows. You'll have 10 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.
Multiplayer is another facet of the game that would-be purchasers should enjoy. Not only are there pass-around modes in the game that require you to pass the PSP around, but you can also go up to 6 players locally, and to top it all off gamesharing is supported. Multiplayer events are great fun and you can even act a the game show host, a plus to those who enjoy their power-trips.
To further add to the presentation, a good chunk of the game's 3000 questions are backed by videos, so you'll frequently see more than just bits of text and Buzz popping around on the PSP's screen. Unlike the PlayStation 3 version, there isn't a whole lot to see in Master Quiz, so if it's not text, it may be a picture or a video clip. Not like it matters, because for a $20 trivia game, you shouldn't be expecting anything more.
The audio is also about what you'd expect it to be. Buzz still retains his quips and punch lines, on top of reading out every question, but as far as other voices are concerned, there are practically none to speak of. Even though some people like Buzz's dialogue, the one liners and quips come off a bit cheesy to me, and 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.
For a trivia game, Buzz! Master Quiz features a good assortment of value, with 3000 questions to swim through, ranging across a variety of genres, extensive multiplayer options and modes, Buzz! Master Quiz is a fantastic value for a mere $20. For a commute, a trip, school, or even work, Buzz! Master Quiz really makes the time fly and is a ton of fun. It's an overall solid package that won't set you back very much at all.
11/1/2008 Arnold Katayev