Like the Singstar franchise, since Buzz! made its debut a few years ago the series has become a key franchise for Sony. Without fail, every six or so months Sony releases a new Buzz! game, with a different set of questions, as well as a few new rounds. Finally a film quiz has been released in the form of Buzz! Hollywood. But is the Buzz! series starting to get a little stale (like day old popcorn?) or a blockbuster that you'll be playing for months?
For the seven of you or so who don't know what Buzz! is, we should explain. Every Buzz! title comes packed in with four USB buzzers, which plug into the one USB port on the PlayStation 2. Every Buzz! game is played like a quiz show, with a set of rounds and questions being played until a winner is crowned. There are very few differences between the Buzz! titles, with the only exception being the subjects addressed in the questions.
The options in Hollywood Quiz should be familiar to anyone who has played a Buzz! game before. It's possible to choose a standard quiz (or one for film fanatics) but there is also a team play option, as well as a custom game and quickfire quiz option. Quizmaster (which lets a player at home step into the role of Buzz) is also back. In total there are plenty of options for players, so those who don't want to just play through a standard game should be occupied.
So we've said it before, we'll say it again, Buzz! is a lot of fun in multiplayer and not a game you will get a great deal of enjoyment out of in single player. Hollywood Quiz is probably the strongest title released yet, if not only because films and film knowledge is always being debated. Veteran fans of the series will appreciate the new characters, the glitzy sets and the new clothes, those new to the series probably won't even blink an eye at these though. Hollywood Quiz also features 5,000 questions, so question repetition is relatively low, though having a memory card handy will also reduce question repetition. It's also worth mentioning the Buzz! series will have some serious competition later this year when Microsoft releases Scene It for the Xbox 360, the key thing that differentiates Buzz from this title is the fact that Scene It has far less questions.
The lack of new rounds is a little bit disappointing though. Aside from fact or fiction (which made a cameo appearance occasionally in The Mega Quiz) the only new round is rollover. In rollover, players select their own category and if they get the answer incorrect then the points rollover to your opposition, who has a chance to gain the points you've let slip. There are a few variations to some of the rounds (for example, in top rank it is now the person who completes the ranking the fastest that gets the maximum points) but half the fun of playing a new Buzz! title is discovering the new rounds and unfortunately, in Hollywood Quiz you'll only make one such discovery. It is also a little frustrating that some of our favourite rounds from previous Buzz! titles have been removed, such as hitman or globetrotter. We're not entirely sure why these rounds aren't just carried over from previous Buzz! titles though.
Graphically, Hollywood Quiz looks similar to the other Buzz! games and Jason Donovan is back again to provide the voicework as Buzz!. For some reason it feels like Buzz! is becoming meaner with every new Buzz! title. The voicework is adequate, but the insults are dispensed quite frequently which may have some people reaching for the mute button. For some reason in Hollywood Quiz, Buzz will sometimes make comments that feel out of place, such as "how do you feel about getting that wrong Player 4?" when there are only three players playing. This is the first time we've experienced such a problem in a Buzz! title, so it's disappointing.
In terms of lifespan Buzz! Hollywood Quiz is the type of game you will drag out at parties or drunken nights in. Hollywood Quiz is not the type of game you will sit down and complete in one sitting, but rather a game you could possibly be playing for years to come, or until all the questions and their respective answers are memorised.
Buzz! Hollywood Quiz does not fundamentally change the wheel (except of course the question wheel), but nor should it be trying to. It is a little disappointing that there is only really one new round. The subject matter of films means that Hollywood Quiz is the type of game that anybody can play, as most people have seen various films, as opposed to Sports Quiz which was only appealing to a niche market. The Buzz! series is still undoubtedly good value and Buzz! Hollywood Quiz! is a game that Buzz! fans will definitely enjoy.