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,

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

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. 

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

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

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.