Buzz! The Sports Quiz PlayStation 2
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Kuju Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £24.99 (solus) £39.99 (with controllers)
We’re approaching that time of year again when family and friends get together and for some unknown reason feel compelled to get the old board games out (when for the rest of the year they simply gather dust on a shelf). Christmas has that effect on quite a lot of people but whilst there is certainly nothing wrong with board games (I actually quite like them), there are other things that the family can do together from the comfort of their living room sofa. Take the various Buzz! titles, for instance. Most of them are essentially virtual quiz shows that allow you to challenge three others. There have been various Buzz! titles and here we have Buzz! The Sports Quiz, a game that will really show who is the sports trivia champion in your household.
The game features a Single Player, Multiplayer and Team Play mode. Unsurprisingly the Single Player mode is the least interesting mode as it only consists of two rounds. In the first round you’ll answer questions in an effort to win time. The faster you answer the more time you’ll have added to your total. In the final round you’ll use the time you’ve amassed in round one to attempt to climb up a points ladder. Get a question wrong and you’ll be shot down to the bottom of the ladder losing all the points you’ve amassed so far. You can choose to bank the points if you can’t answer a question. Multiplayer mode is where the real fun is and 2-4 players can compete against each other in a variety of rounds. You can choose to have a normal or custom game (where you choose the rounds you want). You can choose the length of the game and finally you can choose the difficulty of the questions. Here the rounds are much more fun and you’ll play all kinds of games ranging from simply answering a question with no penalty for getting the answer wrong, to pass the bomb where you have to avoid being the one holding the bomb when it explodes (which loses 200 points). There’s also a Team Mode, which plays out in a similar manner but where you can team up in teams either 2v2, 3v1 or even 4v4 if you have a second set of Buzz! controllers.
If you’ve played any of the Buzz! games before you’ll know exactly how this all works. You just have to press the relevant coloured button on the controller in order to answer the question. Occasionally you’ll need to press the big red Buzz! button to perform actions such as having to stop the wheel spinning in order to pick a subject to answer a question on, or you can simply press it to skip various game type descriptions etc. In fact the controllers are simplicity itself and this is why the Buzz! titles are so accessible to non-gamers.
When it comes to the presentation of the game there are some problems. Graphically the game looks good enough. The various character models that you’ll use for your avatars look way over the top and completely suit the nature of the game. The bespectacled presenter with the blond quiff is as zany as can be and hops around all over the place. Of course a dolly bird assistant is also included and describes what needs to be done for each round. The problem of course is that there are no subtitles. None of the speech that is delivered whilst you’re going through the menus setting up your new game is shown in text. None of the presenter speech is shown in text and all of the comments from the contestants is shown in text. In fact the only text you’ll see explains the rules of each round and of course you’ll see the questions and possible answers delivered in text. This makes for an extremely barebones presentation for deaf gamers and whilst it’s still possible to enjoy the game it’s a shame you’re losing most of the ambience.
Buzz! The Sports Quiz is another enjoyable addition to the Buzz! collection. Naturally the game is available on its own or with the controllers so if you haven’t purchased a Buzz! game yet and fancy making this your first one then you’ll have to pick up a pack with the controllers. As a virtual quiz show it’s enjoyable although, as with all games of this type, you’re eventually going to get to a stage where questions begin to repeat. That said in our time with the game we’ve only encountered a few repeat questions, which is good to see. It’s a shame it’s not fully subtitled though as it prevents deaf gamers from fully enjoying the experience but thankfully essential details are shown in text so there aren’t any real obstacles to playing and enjoying the game.
Another good addition to the Buzz! collection. It really needs subtitling though otherwise deaf gamers are never going to be able to fully appreciate the game's charm.