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Jeremy Jastrzab
18 Aug, 2008

Buzz! Master Quiz Review

PSP Review | You'll master it in no time.
Video games in a quiz or game show format used to be confined to PC bargain bins. However, Buzz! The Music Quiz changed all of this when it was released for the Playstation 2 in 2005. Along with the Singstar series, five other titles and four junior titles, Buzz helped reinforce the casual market that allowed the PS2 to dominate proceedings during the last generation. It’s not a huge surprise, but following on from his PS3 debut earlier this year with Buzz! Quiz TV, it seems that Buzz is further broadening his horizons with Buzz! Master Quiz for the PSP.

As mentioned, quiz games usually were found in PC bargain bins, because even though their content was solid, the presentation was usually the equivalent of an Internet flash game. Buzz changed all this by adding some flair and a dynamic presentation. The game recreated an actual game show, with some zany and over-the-top characters. This included the show/game’s host, Buzz (voiced by soapie star, Jason Donovan). To further give you the feel of actually playing a game show, each Buzz game came with four plastic ‘buzzers’.

Not quite a bombshell.

Not quite a bombshell.
Close
Given this, one of the obvious drawbacks from the recently released PSP game is that you obviously won’t be playing with buzzers. Answering questions now falls on to the face buttons, but not all of the different games made it over from the PS2/PS3. This hardly ruins the game, but it doesn’t recreate the same intuitive feel that came with playing with the buzzers and it somewhat comes back to the rest of the field of flash games.

One area of Buzz! Master Quiz that hasn’t been compromised is the presentation. If you have played any of the PS2 games, it will be instantly familiar. It is streamlined to an extent, but this has helped with the technical performance, which is fluid and clean. We were also pleasantly surprised with the quality of clips in the game. However, there is one game called Virus that was slightly irritating due to erratic picture quality. As mentioned, Buzz is voiced by Jason Donovan and he’s equipped with his usual cheesy (though oft repetitive and annoying) remarks.

In terms of single player, Buzz! Master Quiz doesn’t have that much to offer. You have a series of games that get more challenging as you go, and you need to get enough points for at least a bronze medal. If you’re only up for sampling the entire offering, you can wipe through in an hour or two. However, the game offers special trophies and high scores to try and get you to replay and practice. This may not seem too long or too much, but it’s actually quite handy and enjoyable in short spurts.

We'll pass, thanks.

We'll pass, thanks.
Close
There are a few twists and differences made to the types of ‘rounds’ that you have on the PSP version. In all, there are a total of six of them. Some old favourites such as Pass the Bomb are around again, while you’ve got new ones such as the previously mentioned Virus. It wasn’t our favourite addition because at times it was very hard to make out the picture that was trying to be shown. Also, you never got to take on any AI opponents in the single player, which would have been nice, even as an option.

As with most Buzz games, multiplayer is where the game is really played. And Buzz! Master Quiz puts in an offering that hasn’t really been done before. You’ve got typical multi-UMD and sharing options, but now you’ve also got the option of multiplayer with just the one PSP, known as Pass Around mode. How does that work? Well, it’s basic, but one player picks a portion of a picture and then hands the PSP to the other person. That person must then answer a question based on the part of the picture that they can see. This continues until the end of the round. Pass the Bomb is played like this as well.

Multiplayer can be played with up to six players, with a choice between long and short rounds. Obviously, short rounds are more convenient if you’re playing on the go while longer rounds are similar to the PS2 game lengths. Furthermore, you’ve got a choice between easier and harder questions. This may seem like a fairly basic set of options, but in the very least, there’s nothing in Buzz! Master Quiz to over complicate things.

What a freaky bunch.

What a freaky bunch.
Close
While previous Buzz titles had some sort of specific theme to them, Buzz! Master Quiz takes a much broader approach. Expect just about any sort of trivia, be it music, sport, geography or more, as the game boasts around 5000 questions. Even with this boast though, we found that within the first few hours of playing (and by few, we mean one to two), we were already repeating questions. This was especially prevalent once we had a go at the multiplayer, having finished off with the single player. You may know nothing about a certain topic, but you will have an advantage over someone if you’ve played through a couple of single player rounds beforehand.

As far as a quiz game for the PSP goes, Buzz! Master Quiz doesn’t really have any competition and it happens to be decent. The multiplayer options, while comparatively light do the job pretty well and the game is very good to play on the go, as you can get a game in within five minutes. And at a lower then retail price, it isn't unreasonable. However, there is something to be said about the game when questions start repeating so soon and you’re rewarded for memorising and playing before hand as opposed to having good general knowledge in that particular area. So while the game is good first-up effort, it feels as if there could have been more to it.
The Score
As far as quiz games on the go are concerned, Buzz! Master Quiz is a solid effort for the PSP.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Content

Buzz! Quiz TV Review
23 Jul, 2008 Put your quizzing skills to the test.
Buzz! Quiz TV Preview
04 Apr, 2008 Buzzers at the ready.
Buzz! Hollywood Quiz Review
20 Oct, 2007 Five stars?
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  31/07/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $49.95 AU
Publisher:
  Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre:
  Party
Year Made:
  2008

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