Hey, Buzzer! Time to Play…
First of all, let me tell you this title is for those who enjoy trivia games. If you don’t fit in that category, there’s no need for you to check out the title. Of course, if you do like the genre, this might be the perfect game for you! Read on and find out why Buzz! Quiz TV is a winner.
Perhaps you didn’t know, but the Buzz! series has been around for a few years already – three to be exact. Different installments have been released for the PlayStation 2, some focused on general knowledge, and others on music, sports, movies, or the overhyped pop culture. People like to compete, and spending an evening with friends in front of the TV is not always a bad idea. Like a few other party games out there, this one allows you and your colleagues to become stars of a game show. You get to participate, demonstrate your knowledge, and ultimately fight to see who knows more. Even though there’s an ample selection of Buzz! games in the market, I think the PS3’s first installment offers the best experience.
For starters, Buzz! Quiz TV comes packaged with four wireless buzzer controllers. If you’ve played any of the PS2 versions, you’ll agree with me that the control system was a pure mess! Luckily, there’s no need to worry about cables any more – now it’s just a matter of loading each buzzer with a nice pair or rechargeable AA batteries. It’s definitely a price most of you will be willing to pay. The convenience of playing with cordless buzzers is truly priceless. The only downside is the USB wireless receiver. If it’s plugged in, it automatically becomes controller #1. Therefore, if you plan to play something else, you need to take it off and put it away in a place where you won’t lose it. That’s the tricky part. In addition, the USB receiver has a little cover that needs to come off when you plug in the device. That little cover might get lost as well.
But, let’s go back to explaining why this game is great. The new Buzz! title offers great online capabilities. Of course, you will be able to participate in online matches against other live gamers, but it goes beyond that. The quiz library will be continuously expanded by downloading new quizzes from the PlayStation Network. There will be new expansion packs available once in a while. There’s also an online community (MyBuzz!) where players can sign in and post new quizzes of their own. These can be shared with others (for free) or just for your own use. Imagine a theme party and a contest full of questions only you and your pals can answer! That’s what makes Buzz! Quiz TV unique amongst the rest. What’s more – entering questions can be done easily through the computer (Internet connection required). Subsequently, the quizzes will be downloaded into your PS3.
So, are you wondering what the questions will be like if you’re not online? Well, this Blu-ray disc really has a lot to offer. There are five quiz channels, each of them with their own sub channels. We’re talking about The Music, Movies & TV, Sports, Lifestyle, and Brainiac Channels. Within them, you’ll find categories like Recent Music, Oldies Music, Movie Buff, Toons, TV Hits, Extreme Sports, Sporting Personalities, Around the World, Science and Technology, People and Events, etc. and competitions like Stop the Clock, Fastest Finger, Short Fuse (Hot Potato), Pie Fight, etc. All in all, the game totals over 5000 questions. This should definitely satisfy your hunger for knowledge for a while, I’m sure.
Apart from all the nice new features, Buzz! Quiz TV offers a good amount of play modes. Do you feel lonely and want to prove to yourself you’re still the “King of Queens?” Even without an Internet connection, you can test your general knowledge or select a specific genre. Did your friends come for a visit? Up to eight friends can compete in an offline battle. Sure, things can get hectic with so many participants, but as long as you don’t start throwing controllers at each other, you’ll be fine. Also, if you own a PlayStation Eye or EyeToy camera, you can each put your own face in the game. Nice plus!
If your PS3 is hooked up to the Internet and you’re ready for some online action, Sofa vs. Sofa is the way to go. In this case, you’ll have to earn living room bragging rights by beating other online competitors. I have to admit, this mode had me hooked right from the beginning. I’m never one of the best contestants, yet I still have lots of fun with it. Just like online races added the needed spark to the Mario Kart series, online competition is just what the Buzz! series was missing. Now you can actually feel like you’re part of something bigger…you’re the star of a hot game show!
Whether you play online or offline, there are a few steps to follow before you begin to play. First, you get to choose a contestant, then your costume, and finally, your buzzer sound. The sound library is packed with interesting noises and effects, from train sounds to laughter, cows, babies, and of course, the belch. I’d say the one thing this game is sorely missing is character customization. You can only choose from 11 premade characters. Each of them has a closet “full” of costumes. Unfortunately, there aren’t many combinations available, which makes character selection more of an afterthought. However, I did enjoy the taunting and teasing animations. By pushing one of the colored buttons, you’ll make your characters laugh, complain, threaten, show off, or even throw a bat at their own head! These hilarious moments add a bit of a glimmer to the otherwise somewhat plain feel of the game.
If there’s anything that makes this game special, it’s the HD visuals. Buzz, the contestants, and the game show environments look awesome in high definition; the textures are incomparable, and everything looks really sharp. They should have taken advantage of that and sent the game to the next level. New stages and a bit more variety in general would have completely separated this game from the rest. Unfortunately, though it’s better than the previous titles, Buzz! Quiz TV doesn’t guarantee a purchase from those who already own one of the other versions.
The questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on this purchase vs. one of the PS2 offerings is: Do you have a spare $60 in your pocket? Do the old wired Buzz! controllers really bug you? Are high definition visuals important to you? Does online gameplay sound exciting? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, you should probably go ahead and do it! On the other hand, if you’re happy with wired controllers, paying less money, and playing just with friends in your own living room, then the upgrade to Buzz! Quiz TV may not be necessary.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.4 Graphics
Looks great in HD. Makes you feel like the star of a game show! Characters need some more detail and customization options. 4.5 Control
Wireless buzzers work like a charm, and menus are easy to understand and navigate. 3.7 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Soundtrack is typical of a game show, and therefore suits the game. It’s a bit repetitive though. Multiple sound effects add dynamicity to the formula. 3.9 Play Value
Playing alone is no fun, unless that’s how you roll. However, it’s a great party game, and online play makes it extremely addictive and entertaining – perfect for a rainy day at home. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.