Buzz! Quiz TV
Players: 1 to 8 Player Game | Release Date: 09/23/08 | Genre: Party
Building on the success of the PlayStation 2 party game, Buzz!, Relentless Software brings Buzz! Quiz TV to the PlayStation 3 for the first time. But this isn't just a simple remake of an already great game. No, Buzz! Quiz TV takes the same formula from the original, polishes it, adds user created features, online play, and wireless buzzers to deliver one of the greatest quiz game experiences on a console.
Buzz! Quiz TV features the same setting as the previous Buzz! titles. Up to 8 players can select a wacky and crazy character, their costume, buzzer sound effect, and jump in for some fast-paced questions and answers. In fact, players will find over 5,000 questions in Buzz! Quiz TV. When you grow tired of these questions, Sony will be releasing content packs that you can purchase over PSN, to expand upon the original set of questions. But what sets Buzz! Quiz TV apart is the inclusion of MyBuzz. This is a service that allows users to log in with their PSN ID on the Buzz! website and write their own custom questions. These can be shared and rated by other users. The downside to this is that only eight questions can be included per quiz and there is no way to ensure the questions and answers are accurate besides playing through them.
MyBuzz is a glimpse into a future of what this franchise could be. Imagine being able to create the entire single player campaign with user-generated content. While Buzz! Quiz TV doesn't offer this degree of customization--I have a feeling future installments of this franchise will begin to move this way.
My biggest complaint with Buzz! Quiz TV is the inability to save names and track the progress of how you are doing versus your friends. For example, if you are playing with a party of eight, you have to input your name every single time you start a game. But there is no real benefit to doing so. Why should I spend the time typing in my name when no details are saved? A better way would be if you make individual users, within the Buzz! world, and your stats would be tracked by this game and all future Buzz! titles that could connect to PSN.
Another misstep with Buzz! Quiz TV is the user interface for starting a game, locating MyBuzz Questions, and getting online. The interface is clunky, confusing, and several times I found myself lost trying to locate a particular menu so the party could play. This is one area that could be adjusted with a patch. However, I wouldn't expect this to happen.
Not trying to be overly negative, I do need to rant for a moment on the requirement to patch your game. Even on the day it was released, Buzz! Quiz TV had a mandatory patch to download and install before you could play the game. I understand wanting to patch the game and fix bugs--but is it really necessary to lock users out of playing a brand new game to patch it? A better way would be to do some type of background patch that would allow users to at least participate in a game while waiting for a lengthy patch to download.
Although the focus has been on some negative features, these are still minor complaints and do not take away from the overall experience. As I mentioned above, one of the biggest improvements to Buzz! Quiz TV are the wireless Buzzers. These are tied to a USB thumb drive that can be plugged into your PS3 and will work up to 30 feet away with no line of sight issues. Each Buzzer uses two AA batteries but still look and feel like the previous wired Buzzers. Another added bonus is that you can use the new wireless Buzzers with the PS2 version of the game and the wired Buzzers will also work with the PS3 version of the game. If you want to add an additional 4 wireless Buzzers, you will need an additional USB thumb drive though. When you are through playing Buzz!, make sure you unplug the USB thumb drive. Failure to do so will result in the Buzzers always being the Player 1 controller.
During the gameplay, one of the best features is the lack of Buzz's sidekick. In past games, she would explain each round and how to play. Besides being entirely annoying, she didn't fit with the feel of the game. With her gone, Buzz explains every round very briefly and everyone is happier for it.
While Buzz! Quiz TV is not without its faults, this is still the best Quiz game I have ever played on a console. There is definitely some competition on the horizon with the new Xbox Experience Quiz games and the new Scene It title on the 360. However, Buzz! definitely stands tall and you can be sure your party will be that much more enjoyable if you pull out the wireless Buzzers.