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May 29, 2007
Buzz! The Mega Quiz - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
24/5/2007SonyRelentless Software1-8PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Check out the crazy characters.
Sony have done a fantastic job in recent years of expanding games beyond the hardcore gaming market and bringing them into the mainstream. We've seen Singstar take off in a big way, Eye Toy generate quite a bit of interest, and most recently (well, in 2005) they released a trivia series called Buzz!. We have seen quite a few titles released in the series including Buzz! The Music Quiz, Buzz! The Big Quiz, Buzz! The Sports Quiz and also the entertaining, but not trivia based, Buzz! Junior Jungle Party which was a hell of a lot more entertaining then we expected it to be.

So here we are with yet another trivia based game, the fourth in the series, and yet again the developers have reverted to a wide range of question types rather then focusing on music or sports. By doing this the developers have ensured that a wide audience can pick up and play this title - and yet again, if you have enough controllers, you can have up to 8-players participating in the game at once. Certainly the more the merrier.

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The all-new final stage!
So what do you get in Buzz! The Mega Quiz? Well the developers have included over 5000 questions, 500 images, 100 celebrity photos, 50 pop videos, 20 sporting clips, 10 blockbuster movie clips as well as nature clips and TV footage. While it may not sound like a lot it will certainly take quite a bit to see everything in this title - and the developers have made improvements to stop question repetition.

This latest game doesn't stray from the formula of previous titles. After setting up the game length and difficulty (with three levels for each) players are then asked to select their characters, the characters uniform and their initials. When you enter the game it's business as usual. Some rounds will get you to hit the red button to answer the question, or at least get in before the other players to answer it, while others require you to press the coloured button that matches the answer on screen. There's a couple of new rounds including Winner Stays On which sees the people answering incorrectly being knocked out while another round sees you placing the answers in the correct order.

Finally the game introduces a winner takes all final round which gives anyone a chance to win right up to the last round. In this round your points are put towards a timer. You then have to answer the questions a quickly as possible. Get it wrong and you lose time, get it right and answer first and you gain extra time while answering the question correctly, but not being first sees you remain with the time you had when you answered the question. It's a great round that adds quite a bit more pressure to the end of the game.

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Picking your category.
One of the new modes added to this game is the "Mystery Challenge" which sees you taking on Buzz, and the other contestants in a specialty round. It may be backing a horse in a race, or picking the card in a card shuffling game. It doesn't have any trivia based skills required but is a good break in the middle of a lengthy trivia session.

I have to say that many of the problems we had with the previous game have been ironed out for this release. Buzz! The Mega Quiz now saves on a regular basis which pauses the game for a couple of seconds between each round - but that's not a bad thing. What the game is actually doing is saving which questions have been asked to reduce repetition and in the many games we played there was certainly much less repetition in the questions. Having said that there was still some loading in the game between rounds which could, or should, have been reduced. Finally, while there is a single player mode present this really is a multi-player game so keep that in mind.

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Level scores - but not for long!
Graphically the game has been given a spruce up yet again with an improved set, more animations on the characters and better presentation overall. It's nothing earth shattering, nor something worth shouting about but the series has never looked this good. The video clips are quite good quality but still a little small for our liking - we're viewing it on a rather large 117cm TV set, but those playing on a smaller (make that less then 50cm) may struggle to see some of the smaller details.

Yet again Jason Donovan has provided the voice of Buzz, and this time he actually still sounds like he's enjoying the experience again. The game is lively in its audio from the intro music, to the comments from Rose and Buzz, and even the cheers, grunts and groans from the characters in the game.

We have to say that Buzz! The Mega Quiz is the best game we've seen in the series to date which is good to see considering that the series seems to have stagnated since the first release.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSIt will never win any awards, but for what the game is, it does enough.
SOUNDGreat speech, music and effects. This really is the total package.
GAMEPLAYIt's a quiz game with special controllers, anyone can play this.
VALUEThousands of questions, plenty of modes, and - most importantly - fantastic multi-player thrills.
OVERALLBuzz! The Mega Quiz is certainly the best game in the series. If you skipped the previous games then this is well worth picking up if you get the chance - and you can probably find the previous titles pretty cheap as well.

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