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Getting Buzzed With Buzz! Quiz World

Can you test your knowledge of art history and '80s television in the same sitting? Trick question! Those are the same thing!

My favorite feature of the newest Buzz! trivia game for PlayStation 3, Quiz World, is that you can't type in your own name.

Whoa there, sparky! Hang on a minute. I'm not regressing into company-shilling apologist mode. Instead of typing in your name, you select from a huge list of monikers that includes common first names and a number of silly nicknames. It's a cool feature because the game's Muppet-headed host, the exuberant but vaguely unsettling Buzz, then verbalizes your name during each round. That's attention-getting and useful for people like me who tend to zone out a bit during games like this. It's also weirdly funny from time to time; "Dude" is a name option, for example, which Jeff rightly pointed out we would all probably respond to.

Along with the preset name selections, there are a bunch of cartoonish avatars including knight, alien, cheerleader, and Snidely Whiplash-looking railroad baron guy with tophat and curly mustache. You can customize these characters with different outfit options and then make them do goofy animations between questions that will get Buzz yapping at you. These profiles are persistent across matches once you create them, and Buzz remembers your statistics and favorite categories to make recommendations in future play.

 These people are down to quiz.     
 These people are down to quiz.     
Speaking of, there are over 5,000 questions in here, and you pick a specific category from four choices before every round, including things like art history, musical instruments, and '80s television. I noticed the TV category had a strange predilection for Knight Rider and The A Team. Wait, there's nothing strange about that. And would you believe Ryan killed it in the art round? We were playing a mode where you could bet your current points, and his strategy of betting big on every question really paid off when he went from third to first at the end of the round. 

Other round types include variations on the answer-first formula, and one I especially liked that had each player's podium raised into the air at a height proportional to their score. As each question's time ticked down, the podium lowered toward a trap door that your character would dump right into if your overall time ran out. That sort of round really levels the playing field, if you can answer faster than your competitors.

From what we played around here, Quiz World is honestly a good, silly sort of fun in a group setting, if you're into trivia games. I think our match actually got a little heated here in the office. It's also interesting to note that, despite the name and the controllers with gigantic light-up red buttons that ship the game, you rarely actually buzz in to answer questions. But who's splitting hairs?

Brad Shoemaker on Google+