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Previews

Buzz! The Mega Quiz - PS2 - Preview 1

Gw

Posted by: jkdmedia

A picture of a tomato appears on screen with the words, “What kind of food is this?”

Four options follow and only one is correct. The three wrong choices have left me – I only remember the answer: vegetable. That’s the obvious response, but in my rush to score quickly, the first thing that came to mind was, “That’s a tomato.” “Tomato,” however, was not an option on the board.

In another instance, we were quizzed on where the Desperate Housewives live. That’s an easy Q if you’ve seen the show, but you’d be guessing otherwise. I knew the answer (yes, I watch it, but I’ll save that story for another time and place) and was eager to respond. However, I wasn’t eager enough – or at least, not fast enough. One of my seven opponents beat me to the punch by less than one second. At that time – as I struggled to answer questions before my opponents, and as I screamed in agony when defeat was my only option – I realized something: this game rocks.

Buzz! The Mega Quiz is a new trivia game from Sony Computer Entertainment America. It is not a hardcore gamer’s game. It doesn’t use a complex controller or adhere to the notion that games must get bigger and become more intricately detailed and difficult for outsiders to play. Rather, it follows the notion that Grandma can play and enjoy video games. And she won’t need a Dual-Shock 2 to get her gaming fix, nor will she need to pick any peripherals that come across as being unapproachable.

That’s because Buzz! will ship with four linked, USB pads that are as simple as a game show buzzer. The pads feature five buttons: four colored strips on the front and a big red, blinking buzzer on top. The contraption looks like something you’d see on the Game Show Network.

Among the quiz types are Globetrotter, a worldly game where the winner chooses which country the next question will come from. Players will have to rearrange items (such as the value of coins) from highest to lowest or vice versa in a game called Top Rank. Pie Fight tallies your points and converts them to lives, which are depleted every time you’re struck by a pie. The pie is thrown by the first player to answer the Pie Fight question correctly. However, because the target scatters across each player before the pie is thrown, it’s possible that you might accidentally hit yourself!

Awards and medals are given at the end of each game. However, just because you win doesn’t mean you were successful. The Loser’s Medal, for example, indicates who submitted the most incorrect answers. It’s a bit more rewarding to receive the status of Itchy Trigger Finger, an award given to the player with the fastest response times.

Buzz!’s graphic style is clear and straightforward. The character models are purposely goofy and cartoony and may be customized with different costumes and buzzer sounds (I chose a guy that looks like a superhero and a barking sound for my buzzer, which combines two of my favorite things: comic books and canines).

Buzz! is very good at upgrading simple questions to difficult status just by adding an element of speed. Up to eight players can duke it out simultaneously, a feature that makes the purchase of the other Buzz! product – Buzz! Jungle Party, a simple mini-game collection for young kids that includes four Buzz! controllers – too tempting to resist. Though you will be able buy the Buzz! games separately, the controllers will not be sold alone at launch. You’ll have to purchase both games in order to utilize the eight-player feature that The Mega Quiz offers. At $39.95 for each combo pack, the cost won’t set you back too much.

Testing our minds and hand-eye buzzer coordination this fall, Buzz! The Mega Quiz will ship in just a few months. The controllers are light, sturdy, and comfortable – everything a controller needs to be successful – but also very easy to use for those who don’t normally play video games.

Stay with us this week as we bring you more on Buzz! The Mega Quiz and other games from Sony’s Lollapalooza media event.

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