“Go Ahead…Make My Day!”
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.
Multiplayer modes include Hollywood Stars (everyone chooses from a list of topics), Fastest Finger (study a photo clue and quickly answer), Fact or Fiction (guess whether the question is true or false), Top Rank (order the four answers chronologically, etc. the quickest), Pie Fight (the first to answer the question correctly gets to launch a cream pie at whomever they choose), Rollover (missed points for wrong answers are put into a pool for your opponents to win), Point Stealer (allows you to steal 500 points from any opponent you choose), and the last round is The Final Countdown (all your accumulated points in previous rounds are converted to time; the last person standing wins!).
There are so many game modes it would be a real yawner to detail them all here, but just know that they all do a wonderful job of testing your film knowledge and provide enough variety to keep the game fresh and interesting. It’s also possible to eliminate specific game modes that you find to be dull by creating a custom game. The folks at Relentless Software really did think of everything!
In fact, Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz can do more than just test your familiarity with movies. There’s a neat game mode called Quizmaster that lets you ask the questions. This requires you to grab a pack of trivia cards from some other board game or to create your own from an encyclopedia if you’re truly O.C.D. By connecting a DUALSHOCK 2 controller along with the buzzers, you can create your very own game show. The points will tally for you automatically; all you have to do as Quizmaster is read the questions and tell the PS2 if the person who buzzed in got the answer right or not!
The quality, type, and difficulty of the questions being asked varies greatly. Some are very easy and others very few people could get right; questions run the gamut. There are literally thousands of queries covering various genres, eras, actors, and directors. These questions are presented via simple statements, short movie clips, and celebrity photos. There is more than enough variety for squares and pop culture enthusiasts alike to have a great time. Thankfully, in the few short hours I spent with the title there was no repetition, however, I’m sure that will not be the case should you play long enough.
Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz is an excellent game for the casual gaming crowd. It is a great alternative to movie board games due to its simplicity and interactivity. The developers have done a great job creating an accessible title that should keep your friends and family guessing for a long time to come. If you’re looking for something to do with that non-gaming, non-swinging couple you met at the library last week, or if you’re having your spouse’s folks over for dinner, Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz just might be the perfect icebreaker.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.8 Graphics
The graphics are everything they need to be to have a good time, but they aren’t nearly as sleek as the competition. 4.8 Control
The buzzers are just the thing for anyone to use and enjoy! The only problem is the cumbersome collection of chords. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The game show host is still pretty annoying, but the music, question narrator, and customizable buzzer sounds are the perfect choices. 4.2 Play Value
The varied game modes and questions make this game fun for everyone. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.