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Sean Pettibone


Buzz! Quiz TV (Playstation 3)
Sony's popular casual TV quiz game has arrived on the Playstation 3 in fine form with the arrival of Buzz: Quiz TV. Featuring improved visuals, cool new wireless buzzer controllers and access to a huge array of questions thanks to its new online community features, this is probably the best title in the series to date in terms of content and breadth. The game's quiz modes offer some variety, but the basic premise and actions are fairly easy to understand, which makes it accessible for a broad audience. Buzz: Quiz TV isn't the most complicated game ever, but it's a solidly entertaining title that should appeal to the casual and party gaming crowd.

Taking the basic formula from the previous installments of the Buzz series and taking it online, Buzz Quiz TV is a solidly entertaining title that builds on the successful games. It's a fairly simple concept to explain, and the game basically takes the form of an interactive game show. Each contestant in the game uses an special buzzer controller, which are very much like the ones in the PS2 editions, except for the fact that they're wireless. This makes it much easier during the gameplay to avoid crossed wires, and makes set up easier. The drawback to these is that they need batteries which can be annoying. However, they're easy to use and quite responsive, and make the game easy to learn. When a question comes up, four color-coded answers appear on thee screen. Players merely press the button of the same color on their controller to select that answer, which makes for a remarkably simple interface. When it comes to actual gameplay, Buzz uses a fairly straightforward structure that mimics the style of an actual game show. From the over-the-top host Buzz himself, to the wild flashy set, it definitely has that studio vibe. There are loads of wacky animations that bring the contestants to life and their reactions can be quite humorous. This helps to play up the party game aspects of Buzz, making for an instantly accessible and entertaining title. Its overall pacing and design is easy to understand, and the frequent funny comments from the host help to keep things moving throughout.

Before each game begins players can select a wacky character from a menu and can also select clothing and a unique buzzer sound for them. They can use their own names, or create a funny moniker as well. Once this is done, players can select a general quiz topic such as movies, sports or brainiac categories - each of which is called a channel. You can also choose to skip around between these channels during individual quizzes if you want some variety. From here, the basic Q&A mode rewards players for jumping in and answering correctly first, earning more points. The game has several basic modes of play, the simplest of which is Stop the Clock, where the how quickly you answer determines how many points you get. A timer begins the second the question is revealed and you have to answer as quickly as you can. This is a fun style of play and the most straightforward in Buzz. To make things interesting, there's a Bomb mode, where a bomb is passed between players and the one who's holding it when it explodes is knocked out of the round. Players can also have fun with a Buzz Pie Fight mode, where players earn cream pies that they can throw at others - the one who gets two in the face is knocked out. There's also a final countdown mode, where you are given a set amount of time for the round and lose time when you get a question wrong - the winner here is the player who is left after all the others run out of time. The one area where Buzz seems to fall a bit flat is in its single player mode, which gets dull and monotonous in a hurry. However, the game really shines when you play it with others. Its varied multiplayer modes give Buzz Quiz TV plenty of variety and help to keep things interesting through multiple rounds of play. There are five unique quiz channels in the game, each with more than 1,000 questions, which means you probably won't find many repeats for quite some time. However, the game doesn't end there, and there are two unique ways to add more content to the game.

Purchasing Buzz expansion packs on the Playstation Network Store adds entire categories of questions to the game, quickly and cheaply. However, the more interesting aspect of the game is its MyBuzz! Online community feature. This is quite extensive and helps to differentiate this edition from the previous ones in a big way. When you log in to this service, you can play against others online, check leaderboards and challenge your friends to an online duel. This is all fairly impressive, but players can take things one step further by creating and uploading their own questions and answers to create their own quizzes. After they've been uploaded, other online players can then play these quizzes, and challenge each other as well. In order to maintain quality control, after each player-created quiz is completed, they can be ranked and rated by the users, which is then displayed. These rankings help to separate the more challenging or interesting quizzes from the inaccurate ones, and help to make an even more diverse range of questions available on a much wider variety of topics ranging from Star Wars to 24 and many other unique categories. This gives online players an almost limitless range and scale of questions to choose from. Navigating the menus and locating the user-created content is quite simple, and since these share the same professional and polished animation sequences as the pre-made rounds, it helps to make the experience of MyBuzz very much like the main game. This extensive selection of user-created content is definitely one of its most impressive features and helps to keep things fresh throughout. Combined with the question packs available for download, and you have a very deep well of questions to choose from. This community approach is fairly cool and is implemented effectively, making it easy to add content to the game without too much effort.

Despite the fact that Buzz - TV Quiz doesn't really the basic formula of the franchise too much, aside from presenting the game in HD, it remains loads of fun to play, this is especially true in multiplayer matches, where you can battle it out with friends in numerous challenging quizzes. It's production values are decent, with easy to navigate menus and simple gameplay mechanics that make it very easy to understand and play. It doesn't really add much in the way of structure to the game, but its online community features, where you can play competitively, create your own questions, play others' quizzes and join in online battles really makes the game shine. Buzz isn't aimed at the high-end, hardcore/bleeding-edge gamer, but it's still an entertaining party game that works well in social interactions and should appeal to casual gamers looking for some trivial fun.

- Michael Palisano

Grade: B

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