|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Relentless Software||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA (SONY)||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 11, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz stays right in step with the other solid titles in the series, but this time movie trivia has been tossed into the mix. The fully customizable title has a good deal of interesting game modes, a fun presentation, a very user-friendly control scheme, and a ton of movie trivia to keep you and your friends guessing for a long time.
Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz is set in a game show / Oscar-like awards gala. Buzz, the game's big-mouthed host, and his curvaceous assistant, Rose, will take you and your friends through a movie trivia bonanza. The presentation sets the tone of the game quite nicely. The graphics are by no means stellar, in fact they're full of "jaggies," but they are more than sufficient to achieve the task at hand. The only real gripe I have with the visuals is that the instructional text is fuzzy and difficult to read. Thankfully, the trivia questions use large, bold type that is very easy on the eyes and conducive to quick use of the buzzer. The look of Buzz! is not nearly as sleek as SceneIt! for the 360, but that's to be expected considering that Buzz! is solely for the PS2. There are also a total of fourteen new movie-themed character avatars to choose from that are simple yet do a good job of representing clichéd movie personages. I think gamers who pick up this title will agree with me that the graphics do an admirable job of conveying the appropriate feel in a fun and interesting way.
The music and sounds of the game also help to set the game show feel of the title. If you have played other Buzz! editions, you'll know that the host and his sidekick are pretty annoying. This is still the case, but they have been improved due to the incorporation of famous movie lines into their dialogue. The music is very appropriate for the glitzy game show atmosphere, but it too gets on your nerves after a while. Luckily, the narrator that reads the trivia cards is very professional and easily understood. Best of all, I really enjoyed the ability to choose unique buzzer sounds. Chiming in with an awooogaaa, bleating sheep or hilarious yodel is a nice touch.
Gameplay is, of course, centered on the timely answering of movie trivia. There are several modes of play that allow for solo or multiplayer competitions with up to eight total contestants. Actually, even more can play considering that there is a team play function, however, a maximum of eight Buzz! buzzers can be used at a time. The buzzer controllers are quite well-designed and simplistic for anyone to use. The big red buzzer and four multi-colored buttons allow even non-gamers to navigate through the menus and quizzes with the greatest of ease. However, clean-up after all the fun can be a bit of a chore. That's because the four controllers are all wired to a central hub and then plug into one of the USB ports of the PS2. This can be a lot of cables to deal with and will leave you longing for IR-based controllers. Along those lines, playing alone while tethered to the three other controllers is also bothersome. If you're playing this game alone though, you should be writing reviews for a living!
If you do decide to play alone, you will be treated to Time Builder and Hot Seat. Time Builder asks you a series of ten questions. The quicker you answer them the more time you will accumulate for the Hot Seat round. In Hot Seat, each question you answer correctly will be worth more than the last. As the points begin to accumulate, you will have to press the red buzzer button in order to "Bank" the points. If you get a question wrong before banking the points, then all of your hard work will be for naught.