Buzz! The Sports Quiz - PS2 Review
To date we have see two titles in Sony's quiz based titles. The first release, Buzz! The Music Quiz, introduced us to the genre in a solid title while the second release, Buzz! The Big Quiz expanded somewhat, but also added little to the experience. Now we have a third game, Buzz! The Sports Quiz which also brings with it a new developer. While Relentless developed the first two games this third one is being developed by Kuju Entertainment. Can they bring something new to the table? Read on to find out.
|Buzz is back again.|
For those unaware the game ships with 4 controllers (you can also buy the game as a standalone title if you have the controllers already) that hook up through your PS2's USB port. It's even possible to have 8-players participating if you have two sets of controllers. These buzzers allow anyone to play the game, with no fiddly analogue sticks, or small buttons to get used to. All you have to do is either hit the red buzzer for the answer, or the coloured button depending on the type of questions being asked.
The first change you notice to this game is that the characters have been updated to reflect a variety of sports including sumo wrestling, tennis, golf, basketball and so on. The studio has been given a lick of paint and redesign, in part to accommodate the more "interactive" games such as the running treadmill.
|Characters are now sports based!|
With approximately 5,500 questions Buzz!: The Sports Quiz pretty much follows the pattern of previous games. To start with you have a single player mode. This is split up into two rounds, the first of which you must answer questions as quickly as possible to 'bank' time, before using that time to earn as many points as possible. The more questions you answer correctly in a row the more you earn, with the option to bank any points gained at any time.
Where this game really shines, as with previous versions, is the multi-player. The game is more configurable in terms of the length of the game, and the rounds to be played, but in essence it remains a series of mini- games. There are some new ones. We've mentioned the running treadmill but what occurs is that the players a all placed in the middle, and as you answer a question correct you move towards the finish line, get it wrong and you move back. Estimation is another new round in which you have a sliding scale and must press the button when you 'estimate' the correct answer. For example you may have a range of 8 to 20, and have to stop the slider when it reaches the number of goals a team scored in the World Cup and so on. Another is World of Sport where the players are placed on a globe, and must answer the questions correctly to move to the next country. The first to get around the globe wins the points. These modes are pretty cool and make multi-player a bit more entertaining then all standing in a row.
We do have a couple of concerns with Buzz!: The Sports Quiz. Firstly, and as we suspected may be the case prior to getting our hands on the title, there are way too many soccer (read: football) based questions. In one of our first rounds of Points builder we encountered 5 questions on the topic - and that's out of 10 questions! We know soccer is big, but try to find more then a handful of questions on topics like Ice Hockey, NFL, MLB, NBA - you know, all those American sports. Fortunately we fare a bit better with quite a few questions about Australia's favourite sports including swimming, cricket, Rugby and AFL. Still, it would have been wonderful if, much like Sony's SingStar titles, there could have been even more tailoring to our market. Having said that we did mention in our preview that we'd be surprised if there were any questions on the new A-League (Australian Soccer League). Well guess what, there actually are questions about the league in Buzz!: The Sports Quiz!
|One of the new rounds.|
Another area that disappointed is the loading in the game. Going from the menu to the game can take around 20 seconds, but even when you're playing there's loading. You don't see the logo, but the screen tends to freeze for a few seconds as the game shifts back from showing the contestants to the question board again. Quite annoying.
As previously mentioned the Kuju Entertainment have redesigned the studio with a bit more glitz and glamour. Character animation is rather limited with a couple of celebrations for each while Buzz moves and grooves around the stage while making some whimsical comments. The game now includes a wider range of photos and movie clips to ask questions about, although it's not long before they begin to repeat. Finally the developers have included a widescreen mode.
|The all new Buzz studio.|
Audio in this title is yet again highlighted by Jason Donovan providing the voice of Buzz. I did find though, that he is starting to irritate. The first game was charming, the second game he was in his groove, but now Buzz is becoming an annoying distraction to the main game. The music and effects are simply adequate.
We're in two minds about this title. On the one hand it expands the series, and is a fantastic addition for sports fans, but there is some loading and it really doesn't push the series to any new heights. One for sports fanatics only, or a rental for casual Buzz! fans.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
Talk about Buzz! The Sports Quiz in this forum topic now.
|GRAPHICS||Somewhat more detailed, but also not quite as polished as previous.||65%|
|SOUND||Buzz is starting to annoy, music and effects are still limited.||67%|
|GAMEPLAY||8-player support, too much soccer as expected, and some loading!||70%|
|VALUE||About 5,500 questions will have you going, but too much soccer.||64%|
|OVERALL||Buzz! The Sports Quiz is a good game let down by too much loading, and too many European based sports questions. One purely for sports fans rather then general Buzz! fans wanting more questions.||65%|