We have all played Buzz!, right? Over several iterations, on PS2 and PS3, Buzz has been a run-away success in both sales figures and creating a brand mascot for the PlayStation family and social gaming. Buzz! Quiz World is the latest in a long line of Buzz! titles on a PlayStation console and is the 3rd on the PS3. Over time, each Buzz! Game has stayed to the same knowledgeable quiz show format catering for 1 to 8 players. With the introduction of the PS3 came online play through the PSN and the ability to create your own quizzes through MyBuzzQuiz .com. So what is there that can be new on the latest game, having there been so many previous titles in the series?
Well, it turns out, quite a bit. Buzz! Quiz World is quite simply the most polished Buzz game by some margin and a definite step up from Quiz TV and Brain of the UK (the past 2 on PS3). One of the best features is actually one of the simplest. Buzz will now actually say your name during various parts of the game. You simply chose from a list of names when inputting a new profile, and from then on Buzz will verbally abuse you or congratulate you directly. It’s something that Codemasters have used to great effect in GRiD and DiRT 2 and something that is great to finally see in Buzz!
The actual phrases used by Buzz are now more intelligent and sharper, if not less crude, and his seemingly increased thinking power almost makes him human-like. The graphics have had an upgrade too. Buzz looks better, the contestants look better and so do the studio audience. The animations of Buzz and the characters you play with are also a step forward, providing something to laugh at in-between rounds. But, more importantly, the quiz studio has had a major re-work. There is a larger crowd which is more audible throughout the game and all contestants stand on a giant revolving studio floor which spins around depending on the type of round being played.
With the new studio, come more round types. There is Over The Edge, where for every wrong question you get wrong, your podium rises before you eventual fall in to a giant vat of gunge (just like the final round of Get Your Own Back!), Boiling Point, where there is a giant thermometer behind each opponent which rises each time you get a questions right (first to 6 correct answers wins the round) and On the Spot, where you place a bet on if an individual player will get a question right or wrong (bet correctly and you win the points while they lose the same amount, bet wrongly and they win the points and you lose).
Of course, old favourites return like Point Builder, Fastest Finger and Pass the Bomb amongst others, meaning that each game of Buzz will have a different selection of rounds to the last. This means greater variety and increased longevity. The final round is The Final Countdown, which is the same as the final round from previous Buzz! games (Your podium is higher depending on your points in the game so far, decreasing every time you get a wrong answer), only know they have the rights to the actual Final Countdown song by Europe. You can even create a custom game with the rounds that you want included, or chose from a list of pre-set games with certain rounds within them (e.g. a crazy round game, a 45 minute game or a quiz pack game).
It is also nice to see over 5000 new questions and I haven’t played the same questions twice yet. There also seems to be increased use of licensed video, pictures and music than in previous Buzz games too which all adds to the pseudo-TV game show feel.
But better than all of that is playing Buzz! Quiz World online over the PlayStation Network. You can now play with up to 4 people on your PS3 against another 4 people from around the world. You can player 4 vs. 4, or 2 people on your PS3 and 6 random people online. It all just works too. In an era where online modes are promising a lot, only to fall down due to complicated menu systems or broken laggy performance, Buzz Quiz World never ceases to impress. It is quick and easy to jump into a game (how many times have you heard that before and then be disappointed?), the games are well paced and you get a full 6 round game each time. You can also play using the brilliant MyBuzz user generated quiz questions. All in all, the online mode is highly accomplished, slick and great fun.
Local multiplayer has also had a bit of a spruce up too. In the past, if you played with more than 4 players (between five and eight) the game would be shorter and with limited round types. But now, you can play a full length game of Buzz with 8 people, which is a real blast. The front end menu is now easier to navigate (with descriptions beneath each game mode) and it all adds up to being a great night-in experience for everyone to enjoy.
- Improved graphics, animations and atmosphere
- Superb online modes
- Still great fun local multiplayer
- Increased question and round variety
- You either love or hate the character Buzz
- It’s yet another version of Buzz, so nothing ground breaking here
Every area of the game feels polished and complete. It remains great fun and competitive. With every element seemingly refined to television aping quality, it remains to be seen where else the series can improve further. It may not be not revolutionary, but Buzz! Quiz World is almost definitely the best and most complete Buzz game to date. 8/10