Trivia buffs are likely familiar with Sony’s Buzz franchise, including the obnoxious host who bares the same name as the game. If you have a group of friends who frequent trivia nights at local bars, you may instead want to give the latest addition in the series, Buzz! Quiz World, a shot and test your knowledge at some 5,000 questions crammed on to a single Blu-ray disc. By now, you should know whether or not a trivia game is up your ally, and if it’s not, this game will have little to offer you, but if you are trivia dorks like us, Quiz World will keep you and your friends busy for many, many hours.
Quiz World is one of the few games on any console that sports action for up to eight-players offline or online. This PlayStation 3 exclusive holds its own in the trivia genre, and with some noticeable additions and tweaks, it’s a modest upgrade from its predecessor, Buzz! Quiz TV. This series is, after all, a party game and meant to be played with other people, so it is easily one of Sony’s best multiplayer experiences. Still, there are some noticeable flaws that keep this game from being the ultimate trivia powerhouse – if there is such a thing.
If you aren’t familiar with the series, the first thing you should know is that the game is played with special (Buzz!) buzzers. You cannot use your normal PS3 controller, but your PlayStation Eye camera can be used to snap random shots of you and your friends during gameplay. The game is setup like a TV trivia show, complete with snappy dressed host named Buzz. The host sports a British accent, a tight yet typical game show suit, and a healthy dose of sarcasm and wit to boot. You choose between a few different styles of games, including a Standard Game of various rounds and a Serious Round with straight trivia, no silly modes like Pie Fight (this round lets you toss a pie at an opponent if you answer a question correctly) or Short Fuse (Buzz’s answer to Hot Potato). There is an assortment of question categories, from traditional topics like history or geography, or quirkier topics like 70’s Sitcoms or 90’s music.
One of the parts about Quiz World is the revamped player create mode. There are only a handful of characters to choose from, but you can select your name, and Buzz and the announcer will actually use your name during the game. This is great when you score big points against your friend, and Buzz makes fun of your friend, using his/her name. This is definitely a cool feature, but the overall player create mode isn’t flawless. For one thing, adding new friends’ profiles is a bit cumbersome. We played the game a few times with a small group of friends, and after brining on a new player, we realized how annoying it is to start a new character if you have already created and loaded other characters. The problem is the interface is weak, and it doesn’t give you the necessary information to tell you what person isn’t pushing the right button to advance to the next screen. This is only a small annoyance, but one we feel should have been ironed out before the game was released.
Having Buzz address you by name, verbally, is a great addition. The game also remembers your user profile. For instance, when a new player joins in on the fun, Buzz will likely give that new player a shot at choosing the first category. Behind the scenes, the game remembers how many times you played, how long it’s been since you last played, and how well you did in previous attempts. After you’ve finished playing and the credits roll, there are little tidbits about each player tossed in, essentially showing off who was the fastest, who scored the highest on various topics, etc.
We would be remised not to mention the online functionality. First of all, Quiz World supports voice chat for online modes. You can also play with four friends locally, and play against four other opponents online via the PlayStation Network. Like previous entries, there is full functionality for user-created questions. There are tons of questions you can try through MyBuzzQuiz.com. You also have access to the user-created questions from Quiz TV and all the previous downloadable packs will also work on Quiz World. So, even though the game comes with 5,000 questions, there are thousands more waiting for you to try out.
We certainly enjoyed Quiz World, but alas, it had some rather noticeable issues. As we mentioned before, the player create interface is decent, but feels a bit clunky. Our biggest gripe comes with the game’s pacing. Everyone we played the game with shared the same sentiment – the game was just too slow. Buzz has to explain each round, regardless of how many times you’ve played a particular round. The more people you play with, the slower the game, as Buzz likes to comment on how everyone did in the previous round in between each match. We would have liked to have seen an option to skip ahead. Perhaps we’ll see that in the next round.
Our only other major complaint has to do with the game’s difficulty. To be completely honest, the game is just too easy – and that’s coming from someone who is terrible at general trivia. Sometimes during a certain category, the game mistakenly gives you the answer to a question based on the answer to a previous question. Plus, some of the answers are just too obvious. While we don’t think everyone will share in our feelings that the game is too easy (and after playing the game quite a bit, we haven’t seen any repeat questions), we would like to have seen the game get progressively more difficult as we racked up the answers.
Buzz! Quiz World is truly a great trivia game to play with a group of friends, either locally, or online. If you are a trivia buff looking to bolster your collection, or a fan of previous entries in the series, Quiz World makes for an ideal purchase. Even our primary complaints will likely not draw too much attention away from the otherwise polished quiz romp. If anything, the game looks too good and plays too smoothly – it’s just a matter of how fast you want to play through the game.
-The Final Word-
Despite its slow pacing and simplicity, Buzz! Quiz World is a terrific sequel and makes for an ideal purchase for trivia aficionados.
|Platforms reviewed : PlayStation 3|