Buzz! Brain of the UK PlayStation 3
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Buzz! Brain of the UK does little else but show that the series has grown stale and is in urgent need of an overhaul. There's precious little here you haven't seen before. The format is pretty much the same as in Buzz! Quiz TV. It's a dull single-player experience and to top it all off, it's just as unkind to deaf gamers as all of the other games in the series which after countless sequels is more disappointing than ever.
Brain of the UK offers three modes to play: Online, With Friends and By Yourself. Playing solo is a tedious affair as you're simply playing through several rounds of questions with the idea that you're given more points for answers that are correct and answered as quickly as possible. With Friends is the same old Buzz! formula with the same game types and the same avatars. Of course you can always play online but you could do that in Buzz! Quiz TV so the big question with Brain of the UK is it is worth your time?
What Brain of the UK has going for it is the 4,000 questions on British culture. To most this probably won't be a selling point but if you want a version of Buzz! that's solely based on British music, TV and sport etc., you will certainly find some value here. However, given that Quiz TV has a wealth of downloadable question packs and this is essentially Quiz TV with new questions (and no new modes or features) the question must be asked as to why this wasn't released as a mega question pack instead of a standalone product (at least on the PS3)? Sticking Buzz in a Union Jack tie and substituting the questions for British flavoured ones isn't really a good enough reason to pay out £24.99.
To make matters worse Brain of the UK is as uncaring to deaf gamers as previous titles in the series. There is no option to enable subtitles. Buzz's comments are not subtitled so you won't be aware of the woeful British accents that Buzz is attempting to imitate (which may actually be a positive thing). The presenter's voice isn't subtitled. Comments made by the contestants are not subtitled. Music questions are practically impossible to answer as, for a lot of them, you need to able to hear the music that's being played which means you'll simply be guessing at one of the four possible answers. As with Quiz TV, you can get around this problem to a certain extent by not selecting music based questions but nevertheless it's still a major problem and deaf gamers are prevented from enjoying the full product.
Essentially Buzz! Brain of the UK is Buzz! Quiz TV with different questions. If you own Quiz TV then this will feel like an expensive question pack. Those who don't own Quiz TV and who fancy British themed questions might want to opt for this over Quiz TV and for those it won't seem such an expensive product. At the very least there should have been an option for Quiz TV owners to purchase a discounted question pack from the PlayStation Network store instead of having to purchase a retail product that doesn't offer anything new apart from different questions. The series is in dire need of an overhaul then and part of that overhaul should be finally making the series deaf gamer friendly because support for deaf gamers is long overdue.