Buzz! Quiz TV PS3 Review

The latest game in the popular Buzz! series comes included with over 5000 questions split over a number of categories, but in no way does it end here, it also aims to have future downloadable question packs (cheekily there were four packs on the PlayStation Store the day before the game was released, to purchase) and one of the best things is that you, me, the man next door and pretty much everyone else (with a broadband connection and PlayStation Network ID) can dream up their own questions, publish them online and then allow others to test their knowledge by playing these quizzes through the game (or on the Buzz! site).

Directing your browser towards and signing in with your PlayStation Network account allows you to get into creative mode, using the grey matter to come up with eight questions. Uptake has been fantastic (6078 quizzes published when this review went live) and some have really got their creative juices flowing with some genius sets of questions (all of which can be rated at the end of their eight question cycle). Subjects are pleasingly varied, with questions relating to numerous interests, and if owners of the game are to keep these questions rolling off the production line, then I would imagine that Quiz TV will remain the ultimate trivia game for quite some time. This surely raises the question, do we really need any future sequels? This is one question that only developer, Relentless Software, has the answer to.

You can even use the site to create your own play lists of up to ten sets of user created questions. This means that if you’d rather not search through questions in the games very seamless online environment, or you’d prefer not to get random sets thrown out at you, then you can search through question sets on the site and then link them all together for a marathon quiz, or a smaller quiz if you’d prefer, or you just don’t have as much time as me.

Some may be disappointed to learn that you can’t mix created questions up with the others and that you can only create eight questions at a time, although both have reasons for their limitations, and whilst the game could have been better off without such things, it’s only a small grumble given the vastness and quality of the overall package.

Speaking of the quality of the package Quiz TV comes included with four buzzers (a further four can be purchased to increase the potential player number to eight). The buzzers have been entirely liberated and are now wire-free, which should be a cause for celebration in many living rooms around the world. The wireless buzzers are nicely made, comfortable to use, work through an included USB dongle, and come complete with batteries, which means you aren’t forced into additional expense upon buying the game. Those who have owned Buzz! games in the past on PS2 can also use their old buzzers on Quiz TV, so if you’re not too fussed about wireless devices then it’s possible to buy the game without the buzzers included. In turn, the wireless buzzers also work on all the PS2 Buzz! games.

The rest of the game is what fans have come to expect, the presentation is fittingly TV like and the zany contestants and the camp host add some real character to the game. Familiar and popular rounds such as Pass the Bomb (basically hot potato with a live bomb), Fastest Finger (the quicker you answer a question the more points you’ll win) and the comedy Pie Fight (the first to buzz in can choose which player to throw a pie at, with two pies eliminating you from the round) are included amongst other returning rounds. Obviously Relentless haven’t just thrown the same rounds into Quiz TV, although High Stakes is the only genuinely new mode to speak of, this brilliant new round allows you to bet from 50 to 500 points before you are given each question, with a clue giving you an inkling as to what to expect prior to each player placing their bet.

A Sofa vs. Sofa online mode was supposed to allow teams of players in one room to go against teams of other players online, although sadly this isn’t the case. You can still sort of play in teams, as you could always put your heads together before the buzzer handler answers the question. More heads are better than one anyway, particularly if it’s a stupid one. Those unhappy about this falsely advertised mode will be glad to learn that a patch (which will also introduce trophies to the game) is in the works to allow for additional buzzers to be used.

Other flaws are few, but perhaps the game could have done with some more customisation options (you can’t even set the length of each game) and it might have also benefited from a few extra rounds. One of the most glaring flaws is that being a Blu-Ray disc I would have certainly expected more than 5000 (a number that is shared in every single Buzz! game) questions. If you’ve got the extra space, why not make use of at least some of it?

Nevertheless I came into Buzz! Quiz TV as a series virgin and came back out with a big grin on my face. The game is fantastic in itself (particularly played in a group as it’s a rather lonely experience otherwise), but there’s also so many possibilities with creating and downloading questions, and so much fun and humour to be found in the rounds that it makes for one of the PS3‘s best games. The series has definitely managed to remove a barrier that so often divides those who play games and those who don‘t, and I’ve now seen the proof myself, that within mere minutes, absolutely anyone can get hooked on Buzz!