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Buzz! Quiz World Review

3
  • PS3

Quiz World has some rough spots, but if you've got a group of trivia fiends in your home, Buzz! has your back.


The colored buttons on the controller match up to the on-screen presentation. 
The colored buttons on the controller match up to the on-screen presentation. 
Buzz! Quiz World continues the long-running Buzz! line by offering a decidedly game show-influenced take on trivia. The game disc claims to have 5,000 questions on it, covering a variety of topics. But Quiz World suffers a bit from some oddly regionalized question selection and, after a few rounds, you'll probably just want all the game show trappings to get out of your way so you can quickly move on to more questions.

Like the other games in the Buzz! series, Quiz World requires the use of specific buzzer controllers. These "Buzz! Buzzers" are sold with the game, but you can also just get the game by itself, in case you already have a set from the previous PS3 Buzz! game. The controllers are well-made, but feel really superfluous. They have four buttons on them, which you use to select your answers. There's also a large buzzer-style button at the top, but you never use it to actually buzz in to answer a question. All of the different round types I encountered allow every player to answer, instead putting a priority on being the first to answer, rather than being the first to buzz in for an opportunity to answer. With the game only really requiring four buttons, there's no reason that support for standard PlayStation 3 controllers couldn't have been included. But as soon as you get the game started up, you can't even use your Dual Shock 3 to navigate the game's menus.

Those menus give you a variety of ways to play Buzz!, ranging from a standard six-round game to a full 45 minutes of trivia. The rounds you play all have slightly different rules, with some that reveal the answer one letter at a time, or others that let you throw a pie at other players if you're the first to answer correctly. But they're all just different ways to serve you up trivia in a collection of different categories, and I found the more direct "we're going to ask you a question, then you answer it" rounds to be far more satisfying. 5,000 questions sounds like a lot, but if you're the type to choose your favorite categories (like '80s TV) every time they come up, you'll probably start to see a bit of repetition within the first few games. Also, some questions use photos or other bits of media to facilitate a question. Some of those bits--like a photo of singer Nelly Furtado--are used for multiple questions. The game has support for additional question packs, which can be purchased via the PlayStation Network, which should help expand the library once you start to notice a lot of repetition. If you've already purchased packs for the previous PS3 Buzz!, those plug right into Quiz World, too.

 Buzz's human eyes and Muppety look are kind of haunting.
 Buzz's human eyes and Muppety look are kind of haunting.
While the questions are well-rounded and the game comes at you with a good variety of categories, there's a certain regionality to the questions that you don't get from most trivia games. The Buzz! series originates in the UK, and it's easy to see that fact in the way some questions are written. One question, for example, asks you to name which of a listing of four supermodels is from Croydon. Maybe I'm underestimating the North American casual gaming audience that would eat up a trivia game like Buzz!, but I was left thinking that most of the people who encounter that question won't know what Croydon even is. Another question focused on action/singer Jason Donovan, an Australian that I've never heard of before. I guess what I'm trying to say is expect some stuff that you have no hope of answering. Someone probably should have gone through the question list and tailored it a bit more for each specific region. For example, no one outside of the US should be forced to answer anything regarding Toby Keith. Ever.

All of this trivia is couched in a game show format and hosted by a Muppety-looking guy named Buzz. Buzz comes across as an excitable British guy, and the show is very much tailored to look like the modern game shows that we stole from the UK, like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? or The Weakest Link. As such, you'll see plenty of swooping jib shots and other flashy camera movement as the show plays out. Buzz chats you up between rounds, and in a clever move, the game comes with tons of prerecorded names, so when you create your profile, you can set it up so that Buzz calls you by name... provided you have one of the names listed, I suppose. The list certainly looks lengthy. While Buzz is a fine host, after three games of having him describe the rules to every round, I found myself looking for ways to shut him up and get on with the trivia. I never found a way to make that happen. Multiplayer games, which can contain up to eight players in an online setting, get especially bogged down by the way Buzz breaks down the scores between rounds.

The winner will
The winner will "earn" a prize. 
Quiz World also has support for Sony's MyBUZZ! site, which is a quiz-focused site where users can create their own sets of trivia questions. You can import your questions into the game, or search by subject and be randomly fed three rounds of user-written categories. There appear to be some decent user-written subjects out there, but most of what I was fed was poorly written and not much fun at all. But if you want to answer a whole bunch of trivia questions focused on games, the options is there. Just know that you'll probably be rating them down after you finish, especially with such dopey categories as "UNCHARTED DRAES FORTUNE TROPHY" and "LIGHTNING KWIZ," where the answer is always "LIGHTNING!"

If you've already got a set of Buzz! controllers, Quiz World goes down much easier at a $39.99 price tag, but $59.99 for a copy of the game and a set of four wireless controllers isn't bad, either. While the edges of the action can get a little rough, especially after repeated use, the core of the game offers a lot of solid trivia and a controller that anyone--even a person who has never played a video game before--can easily understand. That makes it a good dose of group fun.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+