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BUZZ! Quiz World

Platform(s): PSP, PlayStation 3
Genre: Puzzle
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: Relentless Software
Release Date: Nov. 11, 2009 (US), Oct. 30, 2009 (EU)

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


PS3 Review - 'BUZZ! Quiz World'

by Brian Dumlao on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 4:19 a.m. PST

BUZZ! Quiz World for allows players to define their BUZZ! quiz experiences exactly how they want with several new customization and personalization options. Players can choose to play a short or long game and they can even select the round types and question topics.
As far as trivia games go for the PlayStation 3, Buzz! Quiz TV remains the best on the console. The game has some competition from the likes of Trivial Pursuit, but as good as that title may be, Buzz! Quiz TV remains that much better in both presentation and playability from a multiplayer perspective. The addition of official quiz packs and user-made content meant that the idea of a game sequel was hard to fathom, since all one would expect from the sequel would be new questions. Yet here we are with the sequel, Buzz! Quiz World, and there are indeed new questions to be answered. There are also a few new additions to the title that make it a much better game and a worthy sequel.

The concept behind the game is quite simple. Buzz! Quiz World is a trivia game under the guise of a game show. You create a profile and select a character to represent you before going on stage. Once this is finished, you start playing round after round, and your goal is to obtain as many points as possible. By the final round, those earned points are converted into time that gets counted down, and the last player standing wins the game.

Just about every round has you answering questions with a gimmick attached to it. Point Builder has you answering questions just to gain points. It's a straightforward affair with no extra bells or whistles attached to it, and it is the only one of its kind since the gimmicks and hooks start flying shortly afterward. Fastest Finger has you answering questions as quickly as possible in order to earn the most points. Stop The Clock is the same, except that the point system is different. Point Stealer rewards the player, who has correctly answered the question, with the opportunity to steal points from one of his opponents. Pie Fight gives that same player the opportunity to eliminate others (or themselves) via thrown cream pies. Boiling Point gives a bonus to the first player who answers six questions correctly before everyone else. On The Spot has you answering questions while everyone takes bets on whether you can answer the questions. On The Edge brings people into a competition where the wrong answers edges the player closer and closer to a pool of slime. Short Fuse is a hot potato-style game where players keep answering questions until the bomb explodes. The last player holding the bomb loses points. Finally, there's Final Countdown, where the previously earned points are converted into pedestal height that constantly goes down until correct answers are given. The last person to remain standing is declared the winner.

Multiplayer is the key focus of Buzz! Quiz World, and to that end, there are plenty of different game modes. You have the traditional game mode that lets you go through five rounds, where the Point Builder and Final Countdown games bookend three other randomly chosen games. You can choose to go for a more traditional game instead, where the game only goes through five rounds of questions in games like Point Builder and Stop The Clock, or you can go for five rounds of questions in more gimmicky games like Over the Edge or Boiling Point instead. If you know you're short on time, you can go for a 15-minute game instead of the 45-minute game. The 45-minute game is indeed long, but contrary to popular belief, the 15-minute game isn't as short as you think. If you downloaded any of the question packs from the PlayStation Store, you can choose to play with one specific pack or with a combination of those packs, omitting the ones built into the disc. Finally, if you just want to customize every aspect to your liking, you can do that as well. The advantage to this title over its predecessor is that you have full control over everything. It's certainly more varied than the previous title, where all you could choose is the category you wanted to play.

There aren't as many single-player modes as one would think. In fact, only two modes exist. One mode is a modified Stop The Clock and has you answering 30 questions to get the highest possible score. The other mode is Over The Edge, where questions continue coming until five incorrect answers are given. It's enough of a distraction to give solo players something to do, but if you don't plan on having multiple people playing the game, this mode isn't that exciting for anyone else.

MyBuzz remains the single most important feature the game offers simply because no one has done something similar since Buzz! Quiz TV did it. Users can go to the designated Web site and create quizzes of their own under any category and topic they wish. They can also search for specific quizzes and add them to a playlist if they want to play specific ones. Back on the console, players can choose to play this playlist, play their own quizzes, or play quizzes made by their friends. If the player chooses to play other quizzes instead, he will go through a multi-round game, where he can select from four randomly chosen quizzes for each round and answer questions from there. While this makes the mode feel more fleshed out and more like the other game modes, players of the old game will miss the ability to search for specific quizzes on the console itself. This can be circumvented through the playlist option on the site, but it makes the experience feel a bit cumbersome.

Apart from the changes already mentioned earlier, there are a few more updates that make the game fit the game show theme nicely. For starters, you can have Buzz either call out your chosen name or nickname, making the game feel more personal in comparison to just calling you "Player 1" or "Player 2," or so forth. The game also tracks winning and losing streaks for each profile and either praises you for winning the last game or makes fun of you if you lost when you start new matches. Also, you earn prizes for winning each competition. For the most part, the prizes mean nothing, but a few of them actually translate into rewards for PlayStation Home, which few games seem to be doing, despite the age of the service. Again, there's nothing too special here, but these little changes make the overall package feel better.

Despite the large amounts of praise heaped upon Buzz! Quiz World so far, there are still a few flaws that prevent it from being perfect. The first is the amount of load screens in the beginning of the game. There are no fewer than three loading screens appearing before the title screen appears, and while no more load screens appear after that, their initial presence makes the game feel like it's taking longer to start than the previous entry. The other flaw that's more concerning is the online stability. The game tries to connect to the online servers once it starts so that he gets the latest set of questions. However, the connection time can range from 30 seconds to minutes, making the player want to cancel the connection instead of waiting. Once it does occur, stability seems to be an issue since most of the games played during the review session disconnected before completion. Top that off with the fact that few people seem to be online, and this becomes a title where online play is the last thing you want to do with this game.

Believe it or not, the graphics are much improved over the previous offering. The studio got a massive renovation and is now much bigger than before, and it also looks much flashier, thanks to the multiple video screens and larger studio audience. The character models got a minor makeover, but you'll notice more details, like individual strands in hairstyles and more shine on some of the clothes. Lighting effects are nice as well, with the lights from the floor panels reflecting nicely on the character models. While the damage from both pies and bombs stay on the characters for a few rounds, the only disappointment is seeing characters dive in the slime only to emerge unscathed a few seconds later. It's a very small flaw to an otherwise excellent graphical package.

The sound was something that worked very well in the previous game, and it has only gotten better in this installment. Buzz's voice comes in clearly, and his smart remarks never seem to get old; the same goes for the narrator, who's reading the questions. Sound effects are nice and don't seem to play any louder than either the music or voices. Speaking of music, it does a good job of mimicking the game show vibe. Special mention has to be made for Final Countdown rounds, since they actually bother to do a game show rendition of Europe's "The Final Countdown" at the beginning. It's a nice touch and makes the game's audio that much sweeter.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Buzz! Quiz World is the best trivia game on the PS3. The overall gameplay style is brilliant, and it helps that the graphics and audio are also great, even though appearances often aren't very important in a trivia title. Combine all of that with a seemingly endless flow of new content from both the developers and the public, and Buzz! Quiz World would be a near-perfect game. It's still plagued with online-related issues and a slightly cumbersome MyBuzz search system, though. If you love trivia or just want a good party game alternative to the rhythm and mini-game compilations out there, this is the best one you'll ever get.

Score: 8.5/10

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