Buzz! Quiz World PS3 Review

Until the release of last year’s Quiz TV, I was actually a Buzz! virgin, but upon discovering the series for the first time I soon came to realise that, for multiplayer gaming, it was something really special. Quiz TV soon became a Saturday night fixture with the family, drink in one hand and wireless buzzer in the other.

I actually skipped Buzz! Brain of the UK as the word on the web was that it was largely a lazy update, with no new rounds or fresh newsworthy features to speak of. As Buzz! Quiz World is another general trivia version and has plenty of ways to play the game, I snapped the newest Buzz! up as fast as I possibly could.

As soon as the game had finished its rather lengthy loading cycles and arrived at the menu screen for the first time, I could already see that Relentless had made improvements from last time around. Menus are more streamlined and less cluttered, with the ordinary questions and the MyBuzz! creations of the community being sensibly split up into separate options.

There’s also a lot more options as to how you can play the game, meaning that you don’t have to stick to the standard game length of Quiz TV, which was oddly your only option. As well as standard games, you can now opt to play 15 or 45 minute games, crazy or serious rounds and it’s even possible to play a fully customised game: toggling rounds on or off, until you’ve got it setup to your own satisfaction. You can also play a game with only the quiz packs activated that you have purchased from the PlayStation Store, and finally there’s an option that gives random players the chance to choose what the next round is going to be.

Like last time, the thousands of created questions from the community can also be played in various ways. You can quickly access your own creations and play some of the fresher questions or highest rated, though now it’s even possible to play a set of rounds based on a popular keyword or subject. Also like last time, you’re able to leave it to the game to randomly throw out question sets from the thousands that have been created through the MyBuzz! website.

When in the actual game itself, much effort has been placed in improving the presentation. You now know what number round you’re on and how many rounds are left to be played, camera angles are more varied and the new studio is a lot more interesting. Improvements have also been achieved with the graphics, which look even better with more detailed character models and the earlier mentioned additional sprucing up of the studio.

Back to the game itself, when you play for the very first time you create your very own personal profile, choosing yourself a title from an included list of popular names. A few hundred more names wouldn’t have gone amiss (I was glad to see that Chris was an option, though) but fortunately if your name isn’t there, you could always choose one of the included nicknames for yourself. In a nice touch, Buzz (voiced excitedly by actor and singer Jason Donavon once again) calls out your name when he’s addressing you personally, and based on your profile he’ll remember things such as how many questions you get right or wrong, the frequency that you play and so on. This personal touch is really quite delightful and gives the game even more character.

Right, questions. Quiz World features over 5000 brand new questions on the disc, and whilst they’re still split into various categories, they are now presented in sub categories, meaning when the category choice appears on the screen, one could popup for The Simpsons, one for movie taglines, one for computing, one for club football and so on. It’s a much better manner in which to present the questions to your eyes, and provides the proof that this is no lazy cash-in: feeling fully featured and fresh as the confident, standalone product that it actually is.

The same effort also applies to the introduction of some brand new rounds, as well. All the rounds from the previous game make their return, alongside these are Over the Edge, Boiling Point, and On the Spot. Over the Edge has its similarities to the Final Countdown round, but getting questions wrong raises your podium, eventually sending you diving into the thick green gunge if you get too high, obviously with the round ending when there’s only one gunge-free player remaining. Boiling Point is a race to raise your thermometer to the top by answering questions correctly and is just as thrilling as it sounds.

The most unique new round is definitely On the Spot. This round gives a random individual player the opportunity to answer a question, whilst his or her competition can vote on whether they think the said player will answer correctly based on a clue. How players vote will determine the amount of points at stake, so if a few players vote that they think that the on the spot player will answer incorrectly, there’ll be a big stake of points up for grabs, though any wrong answers will lose the player in question that same amount of points. It’s an excellent round that can be both cruel and exciting, in fact Quiz World doesn’t have a single bad round to its name, and Pie Fight now slowly reveals the answers to you, meaning even some of the older rounds haven’t been left completely untouched.

The online multiplayer hasn’t been ignored, either. Sofa vs. Sofa didn’t exactly work in the manner that it was advertised in the last game, though this time around it’s possible to have up to four players on one console, each with an individual contestant whilst playing against others online. The good news is that it is wonderfully smooth, and voice chat has also been included for the talkative types out there. It’s just a shame that the community created MyBuzz questions still can’t be played online.

Buzz! Quiz World is the ideal game for social occasions (it definitely doesn’t have the same appeal in single player) and is as fun and as customisable as I hoped it would be. Its enhancements make the game well worth owning, even if you already own Quiz TV. Buzz! has quickly become one of my favourite franchises and Quiz World will certainly be one of those games that is going to be regularly in my PS3’s disc drive at weekends and over the coming festive period.