It only feels like yesterday that the fun loving quiz game show host ‘Buzz’, voiced by Jason Donavon in the UK edition, arrived on our television screens. Yet nine games and a next generation console later, I’m here talking about Buzz: Quiz World, which is undoubtedly the best edition of the game yet.
Buzz is a simple concept to grasp; each player has a 'buzzer' in which they must answer the questions on the screen using the appropriate colours. The aim, as with most quiz shows, is to get the most points out of all your opponents to win. It does get more interesting and entertaining of course, with the various different rounds including Boiling Point and Over the Edge (and into a gunge pit) which are new to the series. Some golden oldies return like Fastest Finger First which requires you to answer the question before any of your opponents, while other rounds require more skill and bravery like the High Stakes round, where you can gamble a value of your points, between 50 and 500, on the specific question. But before you even play around you need to set up your profile, which hasn't been done like this before.
The profile aspect of the game is new introduction to the series. Gone are the days of Buzz announcing that "Player 1 is in the lead" or shouting "Player 4, stop bashing your buzzer", and in are the days of a personal touch. As you create your profile you can name it after yourself; the game boasts a large collection of names, which Buzz will use throughout the game show. Was that just a sarcastic "wow" I heard? Anyhow it makes a massive difference when playing as it makes it feel more personal and more like a proper game show. Buzz will also record your game show history, meaning he will make witty remarks the next time you play a round you were particularly bad in. Again this only enhances the personal touch and your involvement in each game.
There is plenty of choice too when it comes to game modes, including a game show which takes an estimated 45 minutes to complete when four players are competing, with two contestants it took around 25 minutes to finish. You can also create your own game show by choosing which rounds you want to play, and if you're sitting in the house alone, you can try the challenge mode where you try and answer as many questions as possible without a time-limit. You'll have your work cut out for you however, as if you want to become number one in the world, you’ll have to overcome the current record, which currently stands at over 850 correct answers. Ouch!
With over 5000 questions available over a variety of different topics, the best place to get the ultimate experience of Buzz is through its online section. Up to four local competitors can take a buzzer online to participate in game shows of up to eight players. With the new personal profiles it makes online battles with opponents even more enjoyable, as it actually feels like you’re in the show. The rounds play out similarly to that in any of the offline modes, but they are more frantic, doubly exciting and fun, especially when approaching the final rounds. You do have to be on the ball though, as there are some serious egg-heads out there who know their stuff.
Just to make the whole Buzz experience even better, the game continues the “MyBuzz” world, where you can create your own quizzes and upload them online. It also works in reverse, so you can download thousands of quizzes created by other fans. It must be said that some of them are utter rubbish, however, it does add another level to the game if you manage to work your way through the library of questions on offer from the developers.
The only thing that annoyed me is after a while Buzz can get a little irritating, and without the ability to skip most of his scenes, it can make you want to kill him; not literally though as the next time you boot up the game, he's back in your good books.
Graphically Buzz hasn't improved too much from the previous editions of the game on PlayStation 3, but in this instance, it isn't a bad thing. The fun artistic characters still remain, along with a backdrop oozing with colour. Similarly the audio isn’t going to win any awards, but each round is accompanied with a genre of music tune. Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite jingle throughout any of the rounds is 'The Final Countdown'. You can probably guess what round that is for.
Overall Buzz: Quiz World improves in every way over all editions of the series which makes it the best yet. The profiles might not sound like such a major addition, but once you've played it, then gone back to playing previous Buzz games, you'll see what I mean and appreciate what has been included. With over 5000 questions based on different genres, it provides great fun and comedy value when playing with the family and friends. Buzz: Quiz World is the best party game available and should be in any PlayStation 3 owner’s collection, young or old.
I leave you with one question: Should I purchase Buzz: Quiz World? Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes!