Buzz! Quiz TV PlayStation 3
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Relentless Software
Release Date: Out Now
Few could argue that the Buzz! Quiz titles have been the premiere console quiz titles for the last few years. Coming with their own family friendly controllers and with support for up to eight people to play together, the games have been very popular. In fact the game's formula has been so successful it should come as no surprise that there have been few changes made for the first title in the series to appear on the PlayStation 3. That's not to say there haven't been any additions but anyone who has played a previous Buzz! Quiz game might initially be underwhelmed when they play Buzz! Quiz TV.
Buzz! Quiz TV comes with over 5,000 questions that are split between the categories of Music, Knowledge, Sports, Lifestyle and Movies & TV. You can choose to either play a game with all of these topics or you can play a game with just one of these categories (presumably there are around 1,000 questions for each topic). You can play a game with friends and family who are in the room with you, play online or play solo. The best way is to play Buzz! Quiz TV in the same way you played the PlayStation 2 versions; with those who are sitting on the sofa with you. The single-player game just gives you several rounds of questions and there's no real fun here unless you simply want to learn as many of the answers as possible in order to give you an advantage in a multiplayer game.
The structure of the game hasn't changed much at all. The offline multiplayer game is made up of seven rounds which include: Point Builder, Pass the bomb, Fastest Finger, Pie Fight, Point Stealer, High Stakes and Final Countdown. In High Stakes you bet a certain number of points and if you answer correctly you'll earn the same amount of points as you bet, likewise you'll lose the amount of points if you get the wrong answer. In most rounds the person who is in last place will get to pick the topics meaning they always have a chance to catch up the leaders although some will view this as a little unfair. Strangely, there are no difficulty levels to choose from and you don't get to choose which rounds you want in the game. You simply have to play through each of the aforementioned rounds in the exact same order. Surely some level of customisation in this respect could have been given?
One of the big changes this time around is the use of wireless controllers. This will mean the end of having to unravel the wires every time you want to play which has to be a good thing. Should you already have a set of controllers from the PlayStation 2 version, you'll be pleased to know these work flawlessly with this game meaning you only have to pay out for the game itself (which costs half as much as the pack that includes the game and controllers). Probably the best new feature is the support for downloadable question packs. Currently on the PSN store you can purchase four question packs, each containing 500 questions, for £3.49 each. These question packs are inexpensive and will give added replay value to the game. The current questions packs that you can purchase are Australian Culture, UK Culture, Rock Legends and Sci-fi.
Of course you now have the ability to play online but whilst this feature has the potential to be something of value, at present it's not that good. Only one person per console can take part in an online game and you get a small amount of rounds to play. It's a rather flat experience and pales next to the eight-player offline multiplayer games you can have. You can also create your own quizzes (using the mybuzzquiz.com website), choosing to keep them private or share them with friends or everyone else, and play them, as well as hundreds made by others, on your console. This is a great idea and is something that should have had a lot of potential. The problem is that you're limited to eight questions and as such the usefulness of these custom quizzes for anything other than fleeting amusement is questionable.
In regards to the game's presentation, some aspects have been improved whilst others have not. Graphically the game has received quite an upgrade and it looks just how you would expect a high-definition version of a Buzz! Quiz game to look. The menus and general interface all look much smarter than in previous games in the series. The character models have all had significant upgrades too. Sadly the game still doesn't include the options for subtitles and the game isn't as deaf gamer friendly as it could have been. The questions are shown in text but the comments made by Buzz and the contestants are not subtitled. Some questions rely on the ability to hear. We encountered a music question where you had to listen to the music in order to be able to answer the question. This is a major problem and whilst you can get around this by choosing to pick topics other than music it does prevent deaf gamers from having full access to the game.
Buzz! Quiz TV represents a solid, if unspectacular, start for the series on the PlayStation 3. The game is as enjoyable as ever but it's a real shame that the developers haven't tried to make the game more deaf gamer friendly than it was on the PlayStation 2. There's a good amount of questions here and you'll have to play for many hours before you begin to see questions you've seen before (during our time with the game we didn't see any repeat questions). The downloadable question packs are inexpensive and will only serve to add even greater replay value to the game. The custom quizzes are an excellent idea but they need to allow for more than eight questions if they are going to be as useful as they could be. Nitpicks aside however, Buzz! Quiz TV is currently the best quiz game you can currently purchase on any console and we really hope the developers can make future titles completely accessible for deaf gamers.