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BUZZ! Master Quiz - PSP - Review

When it comes to trivia games, the Buzz! series has developed a loyal following on the PlayStation 2 and finally on the PlayStation 3. Using peripherals that resemble game show buzzers, the Buzz! games tested each player’s knowledge of everything from movies and television shows to science and history in true party game fashion. So it came as a surprise to this trivia game fan that SCEA has brought the familiar trivia series to the PSP with Buzz! Master Quiz. 

 

Of course, it’s hard to imagine playing a Buzz! game without the Buzz! Buzzers and you would think that the portable format would ruin the party game feel but, surprisingly enough, manages to pull off a decent multiplayer mode that’s fun enough to share with up to six other players. There is also a single-player mode, but it’s way too simplistic to be much fun on your own seeing as it barely offers any real incentive to play on your own … unless you’re aiming to earn Trophies.  

Still, the single-player portion of the game does allow you to experience the round types and quiz challenges via a branching tree that offers a number of quiz challenges and round types. You start off by picking an avatar (the selections are rather slim) and play a quiz show-like game that has you playing without any other competitors. You’re really just playing it alone with Buzz as the show’s host as you attempt to earn a bronze, silver or gold medal by answering trivia questions before the timer runs out. The faster you answer a question the more the meter fills up to earn a medal. If you incorrectly answer a question then the meter lowers. This, of course, lessens your chance of earning a medal to move on to the next round type. 

Each round is composed of different round types such as Picture This where you can pick a section from a grid and from that section try to correctly guess what you’re looking at before the timer runs out. Virus is a mode that has your meter slowly evaporating so you are tasked with correctly answering as many questions to keep the meter full. There are also themed trivia challenges that offer questions geared towards movies, science or history. Timed Challenge mixes up the questions to include various subjects in one of the most challenging game modes. 

 

The game offers a little over 3,000 questions that include short movie clips for identifying a movie or a particular actor or pictures of things you must identify. The variety of questions is phrases in interesting ways to increase the challenge. A question might ask you to finish a famous movie quote but the words are mixed up so you must put them in order. For example, you must finish the line from the movie “Apollo 13” and the answer appears like this:  

Question: “Houston …
Answer: Problem, We, A, Have.” 

Unfortunately, the problem is that despite the fact that there are hundreds of questions, many of the same questions are tossed in again during another round. I don’t know how many times I had to answer the question that had me placing - in chronological order - the birthdays of actors George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan. Secondly, there was very little to do after playing the single-player mode. 

Thankfully, multiplayer is handled rather well and the game features Game Sharing so up to six of your friends don’t even have to own a copy of the game to enjoy it. For those instances when a group of friends don’t have a PSP, Pass Around allows you to pass around a single PSP to compete game show-style. It’s rather fun tackling on the game with others and there are enough avatars for your friends. There’s even a game mode, called Weak Spot, which allows one of you to assume the role of Buzz and ask the question a friend must answer. This is certainly a game you will want to take on a long road trip. 

The game’s visuals are decent enough, although I do wish Buzz’s words were in synch with his lips movements. Then again, he moves his mouth like a Muppet so lip-synch is out of the question. Still, the game’s presentation features slick-looking pictures and wonderfully crisp movie clips. There’s very little in terms of music as well but what is here sounds like it belongs on an old 1970s game show. Even Buzz, voiced by Jason Donovan again, sounds like an old game show host. The problem is that Buzz doesn’t have many things to say and what he does say is repeatedly heard throughout the game. 

 

Buzz! Master Quiz for the PSP is a worthwhile portable version of the PlayStation’s fun trivia game that might be far from perfect but still a good title to have on a long road trip. While the single-player portion of the game feels devoid of any real competition or fun, the real treat comes from playing this game with a group of friends that appreciate intelligent trivia questions served game show-style. If you’re a fan of trivia games then you should consider buying this game.  

#Review Scoring Details for BUZZ! Master Quiz

Gameplay: 7.5
While the game boasts over 3,000 questions, many of them repeat throughout the single and multiplayer game. Still, the challenges are fun to share with friends rather than tackling them on your own and movie fans will definitely enjoy the numerous cinema questions. 

Graphics: 7.0
Visually, the game’s presentation is snazzy and the movie clips look sharp. Buzz pops up throughout the game, which is good or bad depending on how much you like this Muppet-like character. 

Sound: 7.0
The music and buzzer sounds come straight out of a game show and it’s good to hear Jason Donovan voice Buzz once again. 

Difficulty: Medium/Hard
The picture-related questions are considerably hard to solve and so the timed rounds will certainly offer quite a challenge considering it covers a variety of questions from different categories. 

Concept: 7.5
Buzz is back and he’s on the PSP with a competition featuring a number of interesting topics from science to celebrities and most of the questions are surprisingly very current. There are challenges aplenty in this game as well and if you fancy movie quizzes then you are in for a treat. 

Multiplayer: 7.5
Master Quiz supports Game Sharing so your friends can take each other on in fun game modes. Pass Around allows you to share with up to five friends using a single PSP and the competition can include up to 50 questions for a full competition. 

Overall: 7.5
Challenging and loads of fun, Buzz! Master Quiz is the perfect road trip companion to take along with you to share with friends. As a single-player game, Master Quiz just doesn’t cut it but there’s multiplayer fun to be had for those who enjoy a fun game show title fit for the PSP. It’s just too bad the game didn’t support multiple copies for the full effect.

Good

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