12 Nov, 2006

Buzz! The Sports Quiz Review

PS2 Review | Are you feeling sporty?
The Buzz! series debuted last year, a series of games that routinely come packaged with four unique buzzers which plug into the USB port of the PlayStation 2. For the price of a full game, you get the four USB buzzers and a game. Last year’s title was packaged with a music quiz, earlier in the year came The Big Quiz (a general IQ test) and now we’ve got Buzz! The Sports Quiz, which unsurprisingly centres around a whole bundle of sports questions. So is the game a perfect ace or a double fault?

The first thing you'll notice when you jump into a Buzz! game is that the characters have been updated to reflect the Sports Quiz theme. Hence, when you’re choosing a character you can choose from players who are holding cricket bats, tennis racquets and basketballs. If you don’t like the tedious selections, you normally have to go through (such as choosing what outfit to wear) to get to a game, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can now choose to skip these options and just get straight to the game.

When you begin the actual game, you'll also notice that the playing field has been changed to reflect the sporty nature of the game, so this time you’re playing on a sports field that looks a little bit like the one found in basketball. In total, The Sports Quiz features 5,500 sports-related questions, and just about every sport you can think of is included, such as soccer, American football, cricket and athletics. The game has been localised to an extent, so you'll find questions in the game relating to AFL and the Socceroos, although the questions don't come up often and it's likely that if you're from the UK you will just simply have no idea for those questions.

Buzz is back, but this time he's feeling more sporty.

Buzz is back, but this time he's feeling more sporty.
The Sports Quiz plays much like the previous Buzz! titles, so you’re given the choice between a single player mode or a multiplayer option. The single player mode only contains two rounds and you’re only playing against yourself. In the first round (Time Builder), you have twenty questions to answer as fast as possible; the quicker you answer, the more time you take into the final round. In the second round (Hot Seat) you need to try and answer as many questions in a row as possible. The amount of time that you have to answer each question is determined by how many questions you got correct in the first round. Every question you answer in the Hot Seat round scores points, and, as the questions get harder, more points can be racked up. If you’re stuck on a question, you can bank your points or you could take a risk and lose them all. The idea is to try and get as high up the point ladder as possible.

The single player mode isn’t all that enthralling and you’re probably not likely to play more than one round before never coming back and playing by yourself. Predictably, it’s the multiplayer where Buzz: The Sports Quiz! really shines. You can choose to just play a normal game or you can completely customise your game. There have been quite a few new mini-games added, including Estimation, World of Sport and Finish Line, though the Point Builder game is mandatory. All of the new modes are quite creative; for example, in Spin you get to stop the spinning wheel to choose the category of questions. Every Buzz title changes the mini-games, so it would be nice if you could choose some of the mini-games that were in the past two titles, such as Hit-Man. All of the Buzz! titles also keep track of your individual stats for each title, such as how many wins and losses your character has had in The Big Quiz. Plus it would be good if the Buzz! titles kept track of your stats for every game, so that you didn't have different records for each game.

We're back after a six-month ad break.

We're back after a six-month ad break.
Buzz! The Sport's Quiz still has a few problems that degrade the quality of the game overall. The game isn't exactly pushing the PlayStation 2 hardware, so why we're subjected to lengthy load times with a green circle spinning around in the corner is anybody's guess. The load times weren't as substantial in the previous two titles, so it's certainly a surprise when you're waiting for over ten seconds at a time. And even though there's 5,500 questions in the game, there are quite a few times when you'll get repeat questions, although it does take quite a few rounds for this to happen. Overall, the game really just hasn't changed all that much from its predecessors. There's just a different set of questions.

Visually, the game has never really tried to push the capabilities of the PlayStation 2 and Buzz! The Sport's Quiz is no different. The animation is simple and the arena that you play on is appropriately themed. As usual, the characters that you can choose to play as are over the top, but they're likeable. Jason Donovan lends his voice to the eponymous Buzz once again, and the result isn't as cataclysmic as you would think: truthfully, Buzz still remains a very likeable character. The rest of the sound effects are basic, but do the job.

Spin the wheel.

Spin the wheel.
Buzz! The Sports Quiz isn't the type of title that you'll drag out consistently, but it will get a lot of play time at parties - you'll constantly be dragging out the buzzers whenever you have a social gathering. Having said that, this sports version of Buzz! is also a very safe title. The developers have added a few new mini-games, spruced up the setting and donned the characters in sports outfits. Aside from this however, you're still getting Buzz, Rose and even some rounds you've already played before, like the Point Builder. But if you like your sport and believe you have a good knowledge of it, then here's your chance to prove it. Just don't go expecting much to have changed.
The Score
Buzz! The Sport's Quiz is pretty much the same game from last year, just with a new set of questions, a few different gameplay modes and longer loading. It's still fun in multiplayer, but the previous two titles were a lot more memorable. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Buzz! The Sports Quiz Content

E3 2006: Buzz! The Sports Quiz coming our way
12 May, 2006 Hands up if you're surprised?
LGC 07: Buzz! Quiz TV announced
23 Aug, 2007 Buzz makes his PlayStation 3 debut.
Buzz! Junior: Jungle Party Review
17 Oct, 2006 This one's strictly for the kids.
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  Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  Kuju Entertainment

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