Buzz! Quiz World ReviewBy Dana Vinson - Posted Nov 13, 2009
Buzz! Quiz World is a marked improvement over its predecessor, Buzz! Quiz TV. With support for up to eight players and community-created quizzes, Quiz World represents a great title for teens and families. However, for true trivia buffs, the game doesn't quite beat the buzzer.
- Up to eight players online or off
- Variety of gameplay options
- Can torture boyfriend with NKOTB community quiz
- Can torture girlfriend with Rush community quiz
- Too much filler
- Questions aren't challenging enough for many players
- Matchmaking UI leaves something to be desired
On the surface, there’s a lot to like about Buzz! Quiz World. Exclusive to the PlayStation 3, this trivia-based party game offers up to eight players the opportunity to buzz in and answer questions on everything from space to spacey pop stars. But when you delve a little deeper, the game gets repetitive and fails to scale at all—up or down—depending on your knowledge level.
Much is familiar and comforting in this sequel and there have been noticeable improvements. Like its predecessor, Quiz World ditches the DualShocks and instead, utilizes specially designed five-button buzzers for gameplay. It’s a fun little device that is easy to use once you learn the color sequence of the buttons. The game comes with over 5,000 multiple-choice questions and again, you have the option of purchasing DLC Quiz Packs to supplement your question collection.
Much to its credit, Relentless did a great job of responding to player criticism. Quiz World now supports voicechat, which makes online multiplayer matches much more entertaining. The game also supports up to eight players, either online or locally or a combination of the two. It’s nice that they’ve accommodated both those who always have friends over and those who never do.
Quiz World still supports community-created quizzes and users will find thousands, created for Buzz! Quiz TV, awaiting them upon booting up the new title. Simply by logging onto MyBuzzQuiz.com, users can submit their own questions and answers. The quizzes appear immediately and seamlessly in your MyBuzz menu. The process is remarkably efficient and fun. It’s probably more fun to explore the user created quizzes than it is to play the actual game, if only because you can engineer minutes of torture for your snotty friends who claim to never watch TV or who were too cool to pay attention to the Backstreet Boys in the late 90s.
There are a few letdowns that are blaringly obvious in Quiz World. The game has some navigation issues. For instance, when a friend and I tried to join an online match, but there were none available, we couldn’t figure out how to quit out of the screen. Turns out you press all four answer buttons at the same time for two seconds. The only way we were able to figure this out was by reading the manual. The controls, because of the nature of the buzzer, are not always intuitive.
The matchmaking interface is also clunky. For instance, Quiz World doesn’t let you know how many players are currently available to join games. When players do join games, their icon pops up on the screen and you get the option to start. Beyond that, there aren’t a lot of options. Plus, if a player drops during your online session, there’s no indicator. They simply stand there, not answering questions until the game finishes.
Then there’s Buzz. Buzz is the host of the “quiz show” and the lynchpin for what really holds the game back: the long load times. I understand that part of the fun and presentation is the show itself, but there’s a lot of show here. Some of the cutscenes you can skip, but most of them you can’t. Sometimes, you just want to answer questions, but Buzz won’t let you do that. He’ll say one of the ten or so phrases he says over and over again and you will have no choice but to sit there, listen and watch the flashy graphics.
While Quiz World is most definitely a party game, trivia on a console can be a fun solo affair when there’s a computer to play against. (Hours of my childhood was spent, alone, typing answers, letter-by-letter, into the old NES Jeopardy game). Quiz World offers little in the way of a solo experience. Sure, you can jump online and play against other people, but for when you feel like proving to yourself that you’re smart without human interaction, Quiz World only offers you two boring modes. Blah.
But there’s one elephant in the room I haven’t touched on yet. Here’s the real rub with Quiz World: it’s really easy. In some respects, it’s easy in the most obvious way. Many of the questions you’ll encounter are the very basic—and I mean basic—of what an adult should know the answer to. In more specialized categories, this isn’t really a problem, but in general, you’re going to get a lot of questions that make you roll your eyes. This turns Quiz World into a game of one, how well you know the order of the buttons on the controller and two, how fast you can press them. It’s not so much about trying to figure out the answer to the question, but your reflexes.
Quiz World attempts to remedy this with a “Serious” mode, but all it does is take out all the questions the game considers fluff, categories like Sports, Music, Movies, etc and replaces it all with either general knowledge questions or more hardened subjects like History, Science and Vocabulary.
The game also does a horrible job of making easy questions harder. Quiz World often gives you the right answer and then three other choices that are not even in the stratosphere of what the possible answer could be. To illustrate, let’s say the question was “Who was the first president of the United States?” The choices might be George Washington, Measles, Cheese, A Dodge Stratus. Even if for some bizarre reason you didn’t know that good ol’ George was our first President, you’d know that it couldn’t possibly be any of the others. Although, I think we can all agree that it SHOULD have been Cheese.
Odds and Ends
Buzz! is Sony’s premiere trivia franchise and although it’s fun at times, shiny and solid, it lacks depth and doesn’t offer much of a challenge for trivia buffs. In a way, Quiz World is akin to that overproduced Trivial Pursuit show hosted by Donny Osmond--enjoyable, but shallow.
However, if you are looking for some family fun on the PS3 or enjoy getting face-meltingly drunk with you friends, making fun of an uppity British cartoon host and answering questions you probably know the answer to, Quiz World is for you.