Buzz! Quiz TV - PS3 Review
While hardcore gamers have always demanded attention with the biggest, most refined, and glorious titles of them all, it has become the social gamers that are bringing in the dollars for developers and publishers. In recent years, games have evolved into a social event rather then an obscure bedroom-locked teenage obsession.
|The Buzz! Quiz TV packshot and controls.|
As we are all aware SingStar is keeping karaoke fans happy, Eye Toy is keeping gamers physically interacting with games and fitness titles and Buzz corners the trivia market. Over the last couple of years PS2 Buzz! games have sold by the millions and now this PS3 title aims to repeat the success while adding several new features. Buzz! Quiz TV's release is another boost to a console which is gathering a lot of steam during 2008.
For the few people unfamiliar with this series Buzz! is a trivia based game show with Buzz being the host. To play the game you simply select your characters and the preferred subject matter and then compete against other players to become the Quiz Master. Not only do you have to answer the questions correctly but many rounds also require you to have the 'fastest finger'. 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. While the game can be played on your own in order to score as many points as possible this really is a party game, and with up to 8-players competing at the same time it can be a hilarious, and occasionally aggressive, experience.
|Selecting the types of questions.|
Buzz! Quiz TV includes 5,000 questions spread over five main categories - or channels as they are called in the game. These channels include Music, Movies and TV, Sports, Knowledge, and Lifestyle. Each of the categories includes hundreds of images, video and audio for use during the questions. You may, for instance see an clip from a movie, and then have a question based upon that movie.
As you may have noticed the game includes all-new wireless controllers and they are just as responsive as the wired controllers so there's no worries there (you can still use your PS2 USB controllers though too). The game modes are all very similar to previous titles and there was some disappointment that Relentless Software didn't add some more new modes to the mix. What is new is that Buzz! Quiz TV is one of the first games to support Trophies so you can then compare your progress and success against other friends. It's also interesting to note that Rose doesn't make an appearance in this game, and that's a good thing as it keeps the pace of the game up and you don't have long-winded explanations of each round.
|The Pass The Bomb game mode.|
When you get bored of playing with friends at home, head online. 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.
Official downloadable content is also being made available online with trivia packs consisting of 500 questions from a variety of topics including (at the moment) Australian Culture, UK Culture, Science Fiction Movies and Rock Legends already available for $AU8.45 each. These will certainly help in expanding the longevity of the game and we can only hope that Sony continue to push more of these packs out in future. The only slight disappointment is the price, which is a bit high in our books when you work out a cost per question versus the full game (which we've spotted at retail for $84 for 5,000 questions and the buzzers).
|Obviously music is playing during this question.|
If those official expansion packs aren't exciting enough though this game includes the ability to play any of the thousands of user-created quizzes online. It is also possible to make your own quizzes. As you can imagine the number of questions is virtually limitless however the quality of each quiz varies according to the creator. Naturally, and thankfully, Sony are going to include an option to report inappropriate or offensive material, while at the conclusion of each online game users are asked to rate the quizzes, thereby giving average scores from all the people that have played the quizzes and also allowing you to pick and play only the best.
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, dare I suggest it, problems.
|Characters are as whacky as ever.|
I was also a little disappointed in that user created quizzes are pretty short - only 10 questions. It would have been nice to see quizzes bumped up to 20 or so questions just to add that little extra longevity. While we never expected Buzz to read out the questions it would have also been nice to see users able to include images or audio in their quizzes, although I can see that legal issues would prevent that.
Graphically the Playstation 3 version is vastly superior to the Playstation 2 games. Given that the game now runs at 720p the text is certainly a lot sharper on screen then it ever was. Characters are entertaining with several new animations on each one. The set looks pretty nice, for what it is, but don't expect this game to set the world on fire.
There are two disappointments I have with this game in terms of visuals. The first is that Buzz himself could have been given a bit more an upgrade and made a little less 'cartoony' then previous games. Still he looks, and is animated, much better then the PS2 titles. The other disappointment is that the game only runs at 720p. For a game with so little visual demands, and one released by Sony who continually claim the era of '1080p HD gaming' the 720p resolution comes as a bit of a disappointment. Still, neither issue affects the gameplay at all.
|Selecting the category, or Channel Hopper.|
As with all games in the series the audio is very much dialogue based with the odd sound effect for the buzzers and crowds cheering. Jason Donovan has returned to voice Buzz and his comments are pretty much in line with other games with the odd comedic remark here and there. There is some use of surround sound channels for the crowds which adds ambience.
Buzz! Quiz TV is essentially the same game as on the PS2, but the addition of custom quizzes, online gameplay and improved visuals makes this an essential purchase for those with lots of friends and those who like trivia games. Family friendly entertainment at its best.
Review By: Dave WarnerOrder your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
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|GRAPHICS||A lot sharper then previous games as one would expect, but could still be much better.||77%|
|SOUND||Buzz is better on his own, it's a quiz show with adequate noises!||80%|
|GAMEPLAY||The same trivia game we have all come to love, a bit easy though.||87%|
|VALUE||5,000 questions as per normal, but with downloadable packs, and fan made quizzes this could last a long time.||85%|
|OVERALL||Buzz! Quiz TV is a great release on the Playstation 3 that combines great gameplay, and online connectivity. Great fun.||83%|