Buzz! Quiz World [Available on PlayStation 3]
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1 to 8
Developer: Relentless Software
Release Date: November 12th, 2009
PSN – DLC/Multiplayer
Buzz! Quiz TV was an enjoyable, yet flawed trivia game. Its entertainment value really surprised me. The PlayStation 2 releases never kept my attention, but Sony seemed to be heading in the right direction with the PS3 version. I’m just not into these trivia games for whatever reason. Here we are a short time later and Sony’s back with a brand-new Buzz!, which turns out to be a home run. Quiz World is the surprise party game of 2009. Instead of playing it on my own system though, I took the game and my four wireless buzz controllers to a friend’s house. I wanted to experience the game from day one with someone else, so as to not taint my initial impressions. As a result, I returned home realizing how addicting Quiz World is, and why you must try this game.
The core concept is that one to eight players participate in a quiz show where an obnoxious announcer throws questions your way. Every round is different. You might be required to chime in fastest with the correct answer, whereas others allow everyone to answer, but only the player with the highest number of correct answers is awarded the largest sum of points. At the end, the person with the highest points overall wins.
Outside of the familiar gameplay, Quiz World has taken everything to a new level. Upon first booting, you create a profile that encompasses your avatar, costume, etc. The interesting part comes when choosing a name. The game features a giant list that will more than likely have yours ready for the taking…and better yet, Buzz will refer to you by it! Buzz is a jerk, always has been, and can now say your name when poking fun. He knows the last time you played, how many questions you answered incorrectly, etc. Buzz scolds you with every chance he has with this information. Balance-wise, Quiz World lets new players select the first category. Everything comes together magically, and it’s surreal to actually hear your name. Not every name in the world is featured, but for those lucky enough, prepare for some wild times.
The amount of customization options is also very nice. Not only can you select the total number of specific rounds to play through, but you can limit the questions asked. If you want to enjoy a 15-minute game based on the downloadable content, have at it. Fear not though, Quiz World comes with 5,000 pre-installed questions for those worried about DLC overkill. You can also play what you love, like Pie Fight for example. That mode has players race to a correct answer. Whoever scores first has the ability to throw a pie in the other players’ faces. Anyone hit three times is history. It’s not as simple as just answering correctly though, you must press the correct color on your buzzer to ensure the pie hits the right player. I can’t tell you how many times people make a mistake and hit themselves in the face, which makes them the loser after three times. Regardless of the mode or breadth of customization, everything is recorded on online leaderboards.
Naturally I wouldn’t be impressed with a slim round type count. Aside from the typical Buzz! rounds like Pie Fight, Short Fuse and Fastest Fingers, new rounds including Boiling Point and On the Spot help freshen the experience. Boiling Point awards the first player to score six questions correctly in a row with a ton of points, while On the Spot tasks players to guess who from the competition will know the correct answer. These wacky modes make the overall game a delight to play.
Given everything Quiz World does well, I wasn’t surprised to encounter only a few issues. For starters, only one PSN account can be signed in, which limits trophy distribution. Since I played on a friend’s PS3, I missed out on all the trophies. My other slight annoyance lies with Buzz’s repetition. Questions don’t repeat, but his actions do. He always does the same gestures when introducing a new round. It’s a trivial nitpick, but hey, it’s something Sony can work on for the next game.
At least we’ve come to the best part, the online multiplayer. Not only is voice chat supported now, but four players on one PS3 each have their own character. Before only one was available, and completely useless. Up to eight can play together online, and it’s a blast. On top this, the user-created questions from before have returned, and there are tons of them. Everything from Spider-Man to Zelda is featured, offering an unlimited amount of trivia fun. This truly is a complete package.
In terms of presentation, Relentless Software completely reworked the engine. Everything is sharper and nicer looking. The ‘game show’ stage is brighter and Buzz looks better and more animated than ever. The menu also sports easier navigation; you can still take pictures of yourself with the Eye, and the download packs are seamlessly added when purchased from the PSN Store. The new characters look twice as detailed compared to the last Buzz!, and the action just appears more lively. The game is comprised of eight characters on a stage, so it’s tough to make things interesting, but Relentless did a bang-up job using a wacky art design and great visual assets.
Additionally, the audio is better thanks to Buzz’s new jokes, and it’s an added bonus that your name is now involved. Depending on the chosen category, you hear different audio clips, video clips, etc and it all sounds great. Even the crowd sounds better, and is more involved in the show. Buzz! now feels like a real game show.
Buzz! Quiz World is an absolute delight to play with friends locally, online or even by yourself. The category variety, great new presentation and killer online offering make this a no-brainer for any party game fanatic. I can’t wait for the next release. After playing this one for a short period of time, I think you’d agree with me.
Overall (Not an average): 9/10