Although Buzz! Quiz TV has already been entertaining Europe for a few months, it'll finally arrive in North America next week. Sporting wireless buzzers, online play, and the ability to create your own quizzes, Buzz! Quiz TV for the PlayStation 3 brings the excitement of game shows to your living room in high definition.
Just as in previous offerings, you're a participant in a game show hosted by Buzz, who's voiced by Australian actor Jason Donovan. You can opt to customize your avatar, which includes options such as Asian schoolgirl, Mexican luchador, mime, Napoleon, robot and others. Once you've selected your avatar, you can choose from a few costume choices, and then you pick a buzzer sound, which can range from a predictable buzz to various animal noises. Each character has a few victory and loss animations, and they're humorous and well done. If you'd rather get right into the game and bypass the avatar customization process, you can select the question mark option, which throws together a random character, costume, and buzzer sound.
Once the game starts, you can select from quiz categories, including: Brainiac, Lifestyle, Movies & TV, Music, MyBuzz (more on this later) and Sports. If you can't decide, you can opt to include questions from all categories. If you select a category, you'll be asked to specify a sub-category to further tailor your quiz questions. Under the Movies & TV category, you can select from the Blockbusters, Movie Buff, Toons and TV sub-categories. Under the Music category, the sub-categories are '80s Music, '90s Music, Oldies and Current Music.
After you and your friends have settled on a sub-category, the game launches into seven rounds of questions. We played three games, and there didn't seem to be a way to change up the number or order of the rounds (in order of appearance: Point Builder, Short Fuse, Fastest Finger, Pie Fight, Point Stealer, High Stakes, and Final Countdown).
The setup — with the audience, host and podiums — really helps you feel like you're participating in a game show. The host is even condescending! The main game will offer 5,000 questions upon launch, and three question packs, offering 500 new questions apiece, will be made available as downloadable content on launch day: National Geographic Safari, Sci-Fi Movies and Video Games.
If you select the MyBuzz category, you can opt to play quizzes that were created by you and your PSN friends, a playlist that you created on mybuzzquiz.com, three random quizzes, most recent quizzes, most popular quizzes, favorite quizzes that you've played in the past, and, of course, you can choose to find a quiz by wading through the various channels, categories and sub-categories. All MyBuzz quizzes consist of eight questions, and they all use the Fastest Finger format. Player-created quizzes will be rated by other users in the MyBuzz community.
When you highlight a quiz, you'll see the rating of the quiz and the number of people who've played it. If this screen includes your score and rating, you'll know that you've already played that particular quiz. This helps to differentiate the quizzes from one another once the player-generated quizzes grow numerous and the quiz names start blending into one another.
If you encounter a quiz that you feel is inappropriate, whether it isn't family-friendly or you think that the quiz is trying to sell you something, you can report it to the administrators, who will evaluate and take the appropriate action. Once you've reported a quiz, though, you won't see it again in your quiz selection screen.
The mybuzzquiz.com Web site offers up a bunch of features that help expand the Buzz! Quiz TV experience. After you've signed in with your PlayStation Network ID, you can create quizzes, assemble a playlist of quizzes that you can load up the next time you start up the game on your PS3, leave a note for an author about an incorrect answer, and play quizzes directly on the Web site, which are presented in Flash format.
In the PSP offering, Buzz! Master Quiz, you can select from a handful of premade characters, and you work your way down a grid of quizzes. The first three available rounds were: Quickfire Movie Challenge, Snapshot Challenge and Top Rank Challenge. In Quickfire Movie Challenge, you watch a movie clip and then answer a question about it. In Snapshot Challenge, each correct answer reveals one of 12 segments of a snapshot; if you feel confident that you know what it is, you can decide to answer a question about it. Finally, in Top Rank Challenge, you're given four choices that you must rank in the order indicated by the question (i.e., chronological order of four Tom Hanks movies). A bar at the bottom indicates how you're doing as you progress toward a bronze, silver or gold medal.
While the Buzz! franchise has been a phenomenon in Europe for years, garnering seven titles and four Junior iterations, the quirky game show is finally making its next-generation debut in North America. Offering Trophy support and a slew of DLC on launch date, Buzz! Quiz TV is sure to have many a couch potato buzzing in.
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