Kimberley Ellis
23 Feb, 2009

Buzz!: Brain Bender Review

PSP Review | Straining your cranium, PSP style.
With the popularity of Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? on the Nintendo DS, there have been a glut of imitators trying to capture the essence of the popular puzzler. In fact, it was only a matter of time before Sony would attempt to counter the brain teasing fun of Brain Training with a title of their own. Buzz! Brain Bender is the culmination of Sony's effort, which has tweaked the formula of the ever-popular Buzz! series to get in on the action. But does Buzz! Brain Bender have the grey matter to go up against Nintendo's darling?

Can Buzz pull out the stops to become a Brain Training killer?

Can Buzz pull out the stops to become a Brain Training killer?
The most notable difference between Brain Training and it's PlayStation Portable counterpart is that Buzz! Brain Bender borrows heavily from the quiz-show gaming concept of its predecessors. In Brain Bender, players are presented with a number of challenges (sixteen in all) that test the various aspects of their intelligence - all of which are playable on easy, medium and hard difficulties. Each of these challenges is broken down into four categories: observation, memory, analysis and calculation. While these mini-games are designed to test your mental capacity, there is one difference that differentiates Brain Bender from its Nintendo offsider - colour.

While Brain Training was very bland to look at, Brain Bender is its exact opposite. To those familiar with the Buzz! title, you'll know exactly what to expect as bright colours and the annoying voice of the host Buzz are the order of the day. Obnoxious host aside, Brain Bender's vibrant and clean presentation makes good use of the capabilities of the PSP. Developer Curve Studios has put a lot of time and effort into making the game accessible, and it shows. Even young children will be able to have a play as all in-game commands are limited to the use of the PSP's face buttons, making it easy to navigate.

The mini-games are simple and easy to navigate.

The mini-games are simple and easy to navigate.
Keeping in line with the quiz-show roots of Buzz!, puzzles are fired at players in rapid succession, with both the time it took you to answer and the accuracy of your answer having an effect on your final score.

The mini-games are quite varied in both scope and skill - ranging from the simple to the extremely difficult. Players will be expected to tackle puzzles that will require them to perform tasks such as counting the number of bugs that crawl across the screen, to simple mathematics and challenging memory games. Curve has done an excellent job of creating a wonderful balance of simple and challenging puzzles that will have most people sitting on the couch at all hours of the night to have ‘just one more go’. Adding to the fun is the series of trophies that players can warn for high scores, long streaks of correct answers and accuracy - allowing them to unlock further challenges in the game.

Players are scored based upon their speed and accuracy.

Players are scored based upon their speed and accuracy.
As with Brain Training, Brain Bender gives you the ability to view your training history for each particular mini-game - and for the category in general - allowing you to track just how well you are flexing your grey matter.

While many would simply dismiss this slick piece of software as a bright, shiny Brain Training clone, they would be doing the title a disservice. But with the same token, Brain Bender doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from the other titles in the genre. Nevertheless, Buzz! Brain Bender is a wonderful entry into the brain puzzling genre for Sony that'll keep PSP owners of all ages expanding their minds for a long time to come.
The Score
Buzz! Brain Bender has enough puzzles on hand that it'll keep players of all ages flexing their grey matter for a long time.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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5 years ago
I do believe that the images are for the wrong buzz game.
5 years ago
enix-zae wrote
I do believe that the images are for the wrong buzz game.
I'd hope so...

5 years ago

That'll teach me for posting after I'd pulled an all-nighter. Thanks for the pick up. icon_biggrin.gif
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  4/12/2008 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $49.95 AU
  Sony Computer Entertainment
Year Made:

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