Review: Buzz! Quiz World (PS3)November 10th, 2009 | Written by Chris Selogy | Topic: PlayStation 3, Reviews
Buzz tried to take over your TV last year, but this year he’s kicking it up a notch to take over the world with his latest quiz game on the PS3. Buzz! Quiz World takes the Buzz style of quiz show and adds more customization and control over the kind of game you want to play. Buzz! Quiz World improves greatly in a lot of areas but stumbles in a few others that seemed to be perfect in last year’s game.
While Buzz! Quiz TV provided a good but simple experience last year, Buzz! Quiz World goes a step further and offers much more variety in how you can play the game this year. With several different modes in local multiplayer, it’s a much more flexible experience that can be adjusted depending on what your friends prefer. In addition to the standard mode, there are modes that focus on the more physical round types or the straightforward quiz rounds, the chance to go for a short 15 minute or longer 45 minute game, and a mode that lets you customize the types of rounds you will see. There is an additional that focuses just on the downloadable quiz packs that you may have purchased for Quiz TV, which lets you focus on the new content so you can get your money’s worth out of it. The only option that’s missing is the ability to limit a game to specific subjects, which seems like an odd omission for something that was great to focus on subjects you’re good at.
Single-player has taken an odd downturn in Buzz! Quiz World, as you can’t just jump into a quick local game anymore. Every mode but one in the local multiplayer side of the game is for at least two people, but they do offer two challenge modes that come off as more of a last-minute addition than meaningful modes to play when you’re alone. The two modes you do have are a basic survival mode where you get launched into a pool of goo once you miss your fifth question and the other tasks you with answering 30 questions quickly and correctly for as many points as possible. You do get local and online leaderboards, but neither of these options is as sufficiently entertaining as the basic mode in last year’s game. It comes off as a move to push you to playing online whenever you have the urge to play when friends aren’t around.
The online in Buzz! Quiz World has been improved quite a bit with an expansion in player count and voice chat. Up to eight players can now join a game, whether from matchmaking or by invite, which certainly ups the tension a bit when you have a lot more competition to worry about. It would have been nice to see a counter of how many players are online, as you really have no idea if anybody out there is available to play and could mean that you’d have to waste a good ten minutes of waiting before your buzzer turns off and you’re forced to stick to the challenges or play something else. Voice chat is a great addition since it was sorely lacking last year for friends that had to use Skype or Xbox Live as an alternative.
Rounding out Buzz! Quiz World’s package is the big push for MyBuzz! quizzes with its own mode to make them easier to access. There are a few options to filter what community-written quizzes you can choose from that includes, newest, best-rated, and sorting by subject or tags, though why the subject filter only appears here is baffling. It may be thanks to the trophy requiring people to make 20 quizzes in last year’s game that resulted in quite a few junk quizzes that are full of gibberish appearing during most of the initial MyBuzz! games that we played. Hopefully the few trophies in Quiz World that have an average user rating requirement can at least help minimize the amount of bad quizzes that are being submitted on the MyBuzz! website.
The new feature that probably adds the most to the in-game experience is the new profiles that are in Buzz! Quiz World. That means that you can create a profile where stats and your preferred character, name, and buzzer sound are stored to make the set-up process much easier this time around. The bigger effect is that Buzz can now use all of that info to comment on past performances and whether you’re a good player or not along with calling on you by name now, which adds a lot to his commentary. It’s a shame that you don’t have access to these stats along with being able to see the newly-added prizes that Buzz occasionally gives out at the end of a game, which hampers your ability to get the trophy for winning every prize. The trophy list itself just seems to be all over the place compared to the simple and achievable list that Quiz TV had last year that basically asked you to play every mode as much as possible, as most trophies here require you to do very specific things, several require a PlayStation Eye camera, one requires a trip through Home, there are a few about invites for online games, and it’s just not as good as Quiz TV’s trophy list overall.
Buzz! Quiz World doesn’t really look anywhere close to a step above Quiz TV, but it’s more about the new stage and new characters that makes up the majority of improvements to the visual portion of the game. The interface and presentation is very similar this time around, though the stage for the quiz show is much more elaborate and open as the camera makes sure to point out whenever possible. About half of the cast of characters you can choose from return from Quiz TV with recycled animations, but the new guys include some interesting choices like a Swamp Thing-like guy in a costume, a nurse, a Snidely Whiplash impersonator, and a few others that adds a nice variety to the playable cast. There are a few framerate hiccups that usually occur when Buzz is speaking near the end of a game, but most everything else runs just fine.
Buzz’s commentary adds a lot to the audio side of Buzz! Quiz World, which really only includes him and the announcer that reads each question as far as voice acting is concerned. There are some lines from Buzz where he tries to add some tension over who picked the right answer that are kind of ruined when the answer’s revealed half-way through and kind of shows that either his lines are too long at times or a necessary delay in showing the answers was overlooked. The music is decent game show music with the highlight being the bits of The Final Countdown that are used as the theme for the final segment of the game, which is coincidentally called The Final Countdown.
Buzz! Quiz World does a great job of expanding upon last year’s game with more options and more variety while making some odd choices in removing some key parts of the game that keeps it from being a great improvement across the board. If you have a love for trivia and want a great quiz game for the PS3, there’s no reason you shouldn’t check this out and get ready for some quality time with the family during the upcoming holiday season.
Final Score: 8.6 | Recommendation: Buy It