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Jason Picker
26 Nov, 2009

Buzz: Quiz World Review

PS3 Review | Not just a trivial pursuit.
When they were making Buzz games for the PlayStation 2, developer Relentless Software lived up to its name by releasing a seemingly endless number of new Buzz question disks every six months or so with no real improvements being made to the core gameplay of the original. And then came along the new generation of Sony console and the release of Buzz!: Quiz TV, which made some pretty solid improvements to the Buzz package. When Buzz!: Brain of Oz was released not long after, we felt a sense of déjà vu and prepared ourselves again for a flood of of question pack disks and themed downloadable content without advancing the series. So it came as a surprise when we fired up Buzz!: Quiz World, as it actually improves the gameplay even further. In fact, the improvements are so significant that Quiz World actually makes previous Buzz games seem rather… old school, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to play them again.

For the uninitiated, this popular trivia series allows players to compete in a series of rounds that involve accruing points and sometimes removing them from other people. Players use a controller which features four buttons that corresponds to one of the multiple choice answers on the screen (and a large red button which is rarely used in the game). Buzz games are equal parts a test of one’s trivia knowledge and equal parts a game – the person with the greatest knowledge will not necessarily win. Indeed, the trivia buffs are likely to be targeted in some of the more malicious rounds.

The first major change that Buzz veterans will notice is the ability to choose from a variety of game types. You can play in ‘Standard’ mode, which will give you a random selection of round types and which runs for around 25 to 30 minutes. However, with the new options you can now choose a shorter 15 minute version of the game or a longer 45-minute version, and you can decide to focus a quiz on a downloadable pack you may have just purchased. In addition, you can also choose several other types of games based on how silly or straight-laced you’re feeling. For those who just want to test their knowledge without all the shenanigans (in which case we wonder why you decided to buy a Buzz game instead of just dusting off their Trivial Pursuit board game) can choose the ‘Serious’ mode which removes the over-the-top round types, or those who want their trivia experience to be a bit sillier and more of a game can choose the ‘Crazy’ mode which gives more of the zany rounds. You can even remove Buzz as host altogether if you so wish, but again, we don’t know why you’d bother buying a Buzz game if the Jason Donavan-voiced muppet annoys you that much. Whatever the reasons, you can certainly customise your gaming experience to suit your party or mood.

Whoa - look at the brains on her.

Whoa - look at the brains on her.
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The second thing you’ll notice is the ability to create and load profiles. When you load a new profile, you’ll be able to choose your name from a relatively extensive list. For example, should you have the rather excellent name of ‘Jason’, you can select it and Buzz will call you “Jase” during the game. Of course, not all names are covered (we even found that the relatively common Jim wasn’t there) but we’d imagine that more names will be added in updates in the future. By using profiles, Buzz will acknowledge you as either a new player or welcome you back if you’ve played before. He even knows if you won the last game or if you're a bit of a Buzz addict. Once you’ve played multiple times, Buzz will also comment on your statistics, such as letting you know that you’ve answered a certain amount of questions right or wrong. Hearing your name and your statistics certainly helps to immerse you on a deeper level to make it feel more like you’re actually taking part in a quiz show.

There are now also four new round types. While the favourites remain, such as Pie Fight, Points Stealer and Pass the Bomb, there are some interesting new additions. Boiling Point and Over the Top are relatively straight forward rounds where you have to answer a certain amount of questions to win the round and get the most points. Then there is On The Spot, where one player is singled out to answer a question while the other players decide on the likelihood of them getting it either right or wrong. In this round type, if you are certain the person selected will know the answer, then their ability to win (or lose) points is smaller. However, if you think they know nothing about that category, they have the ability to either lose or win a greater amount of points by overcoming the skeptics. It's an interesting round that demands some interesting strategy.

Herr, herr - he said "brown crack".

Herr, herr - he said "brown crack".
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The additional new rounds make the Standard game mode the best choice as you never know what you’re going to get. In past Buzz games, the limited round types meant you could plan a strategy based on the likelihood of a certain round appearing at some stage and you could collude with another player to take out the leader accordingly. However, with the four new rounds added to the collection, you aren’t able to easily predict what will be next. That is, unless you are asked to chose it. This time around, Buzz will sometimes get players to pick a round type instead of the category of the questions to be answered. This is also a great addition as you might choose Points Stealer if you are a mile behind and want to even things up a bit, or you might choose one of the less damaging rounds if you're well placed. Buzz also doesn’t always select the person in last place to choose the category/round type this time either as he did in previous versions, although that’s still often the case.

The online component of the game has also been enhanced. Besides the 8-player local multiplayer (up from 4 players, but requiring the purchase of additional controllers), you can now also communicate with your online opponents via voice chat and the PlayStation Eye for the first time. This means you can mock and psyche out your opponents to your heart’s content if that’s what you’re into. However, in our experience it’s generally better to turn them off unless you know the people you’re dealing with. Accessing and playing online quizzes (that are written by other players) is also a little more versatile this time around. You can choose to play only those player-created quizzes which receive good ratings from other players, or you can choose new quizzes, or you can just browse through and select a quiz based on a topic of choice. At the time of writing there were more than 6,000 quizzes online. However, there are only limited round types available online, and obviously the questions aren’t read out, so it's still a limited experience compared to playing off the disk.

Lord Vader was less than happy with his new witness protection identity.

Lord Vader was less than happy with his new witness protection identity.
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Another important thing to note is that all your previously purchased downloadable content from the PlayStation Store will work with Quiz World. As for longevity, the disk contains more than 5000 questions - including hundreds of picture and video questions - meaning you should get through a lot of games of Buzz before you see a dreaded repeated question. Add to that the downloadable content you can purchase as well as the ability to play online quizzes and you should be able to get excellent longevity out of this title until the next inevitable question pack.

Many people will consider that this is the Buzz game that should have been released the first time around for the PlayStation 3, while others may even suggest a lot of this content could have been simply included with updates. While Buzz fans who own one of the previous two PlayStation 3 games will be somewhat annoyed that they have to purchase another Buzz game so soon, Relentless Software should be applauded for listening to the feedback given to it by the fans. As for newcomers to the series keen to add a trivia game to their party selection - come on down!

Q - So is Buzz!: Quiz World worth purchasing?

A) No - it's lamer than a one-legged dog with a broken foot
B) Maybe - but I hear the new Bratz game is out soon so I'm saving my pocket money for that.
C) Yes, but only for newcomers because it's basically the same game plus a few minor upgrades.
D) Yes - the trivia party experience has been made even better thanks to the worthwhile upgrades.

A - Lock in D).
The Score
While some veteran Buzz fans may be a bit annoyed at having to upgrade so soon, they will realise like everyone else that Buzz!: Quiz World is the ultimate trivia experience on the PlayStation 3, or on any console for that matter. There has never been a better time to Buzz in. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Content

Buzz!: Brain Bender Review
23 Feb, 2009 Straining your cranium, PSP style.
Buzz! Master Quiz Review
18 Aug, 2008 You'll master it in no time.
Buzz! Quiz TV Review
23 Jul, 2008 Put your quizzing skills to the test.
2 Comments
4 years ago
Woo QUIZMAN! WOO!!!
4 years ago
Do they still have the annoying "last man standing" style final round? I miss having actual scores at the end of the game, and the high score board to record them.

I also miss the luxury prizes. Nothing like crushing your opponents, and then winning "World Peace" (or a selection of cheeses). I'd totally buy one of those World Peace statuettes if they made some.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  1/12/2009 (Deleted)
Publisher:
  Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre:
  Party

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