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May 16 2008
Buzz! Quiz TV - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
3/7/2008SonySonyRelentless
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-82-8$59.95 game only
$109.95 with buzzers
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Characters are as whacky as ever.
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Selecting the types of questions.

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It's Pass The Bomb!
If you're among the 130 million or so PS2 owners then you would certainly be aware of how well Sony have pushed gaming to become a socially acceptable event. Be it SingStar, Eye Toy or Buzz! each series has millions of fans around the globe. Little wonder then that the series is heading to the Playstation 3, and developers Relentless are working hard to revamp the series and

For the few people unfamiliar with this series Buzz! is essentially a trivia based game show with Buzz being the host (and voiced by Jason Donovan). To play the game you simply select your characters, how long you want the game to last, the categories and then compete against other players to become the Quiz Master. Not only do you have to answer correctly however as there can be other goals such as being the first to answer among your friends. The game is split up in to numerous rounds, some even allow you to steal points from other players, or "Pass the Bomb" by answering the questions correctly and so on. The game can be played on your own, but this really is a party based game, and with up to 8-players competing at the same time it can be a hilarious experience.

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Obviously music is playing for this question.
The power of the Playstation 3 though has allowed the developers to push this series to new heights. As well as 5,000 questions covering five categories - or channels as they call them in this game. These channels include The Music Channel; The Movies and TV Channel; The Sports Channel; The Knowledge Channel; and The Lifestyle Channel. The PS3's connectivity to the Internet will allow gamers to download even more questions directly to the hard drive. These question packs will be tailored to specific categories, and even to some regions so we may even see a trivia pack based on the AFL, or Rugby League.

If those packs aren't exciting enough though this game includes the ability to make your own quizzes to use in the game or, if you wish, even upload to the Internet for others to download and include in their game. As you can imagine the number of questions is virtually limitless. Naturally, and thankfully, Sony are going to include an option to report inappropriate or offensive material, while users will also be able to rate the uploaded quizes so you know you're getting the best.

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The Buzz! Quiz TV packshot and controls.
Another key advance introduced in the PS3 version is the Sofa vs. Sofa online multiplayer gaming. Rather than just competing with your friends and family, this new functionality allows you to join forces with them and take on other groups of players across the world in games involving up to four teams at once. And that’s just the start – in the future, there will be leagues and tournaments that will leave the Buzz! community in no doubt as to who rules the world with their game show skills.

One of the biggest surprises, or should that be disappointments, is that while the game has wireless controllers, they are actually USB dongle attached controllers. We guess this is due to the game allowing 8 players at once, but the PS3's Bluetooth capabilities only supporting 7 controllers at once. Then again, with the lack of Bluetooth microphones for SingStar maybe there is something else going on with the PS3 hardware causing limitations or, date I suggest it, problems.

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Selecting the category, or Channel Hopper.
As you can see from the surrounding images the leap to Playstation 3 has also permitted the developers to beef up the graphics considerably. Sure, the characters look similar to those in the past, but they now look a lot slicker, and we expect the animation to be improved as well. The menus are clear to read, as are the questions, and the interface clean and simple to navigate, even with the Buzz controllers.

Sony has also confirmed that Buzz! Quiz TV will be the first PS3 retail game to support Trophies. As yet details on how this will work (not only in this game, but on the PS3 itself) remains under wraps until Firmware 2.40 is released on July 2nd - the day before this game.

With a release date now penciled in for July 3rd 2008 there isn't to much longer to wait for this games release. If you liked Buzz! on the Playstation 2, then this upgrade to the next-gen version looks very much worthwhile. If the online components come together well then this game will surely redefine 'family' entertainment. Playing family members from around the country, with 'personalised' questions. It won't get much better then that!