PS3Blog Review: Buzz! Ultimate Music Quiz
Buzz is one of those franchises where you can get a group of family members and/or friends together, and just have some competitive fun. If you’re big into trivia, the series is all the more appealing. Releasing a couple weeks ago, the newest addition to the franchise entered into peoples’ homes, entitled the Ultimate Music Quiz.
Off the bat, I will say that my musical tastes don’t really extend beyond classic rock, but I am not going to let that hinder the score, as the game focuses on all sorts of genres, from the oldies to modern pop. The rounds are named after songs, or lyrics in songs; the trophy names have a music-based theme, and there are plenty of other music references throughout the game as well (including commentary from Buzz). The question that will be on everyone’s mind, though, is this addition to the Buzz! franchise worth purchasing? Read on to find out.
The main part of the game is Buzz! Classic. This requires the use of the buzzer controllers. Like pretty much all of the Buzz! games of the past, it’s best to play with at least one other person. You can, of course, play by yourself, but the round choice is very limited. With 2 or more players, you can play a quick game, or do the full-on Epic game, which has 8 rounds of questions with 8 different types of games (projected completion time is approximately 45 minutes). Most of the time, you’ll get the same rounds as a previous game, but, occasionally, one of the rounds will be of a different type, keeping some variety in there.
With the vast number of different genre/era choices, the list of selectable themes for the round offers up plenty of variety, so even if the rounds may have repeated themselves from a previous game, at least the different question choices will keep it fresh. I’ve yet to come across the same question twice, which has always been a nice thing with Buzz! The player who scored the last points in the round, as usual, also gets to pick the subject of the forthcoming round.
One of the cooler things is that the profiles that you create will also be tracked for when you play in the future. I played a few games, and I had lost to my brother on them (by one question no less), and Buzz gave me a hard time, poking fun at me for losing previous games. I got a laugh out of it, for sure, as that kind of commentary is one of the things I like about Buzz’s personality.
Anyway, the newest feature this time around is Move support. You can play with up to 3 friends, but only one person goes at a time, and the rounds go rather quickly. It shows a mirrored image from the PlayStation Eye on the screen, and you, essentially, play mini games to answer the questions (there is also a bar up top that acts like a timer for the rounds as well, which is also used throughout the game). On one, you use a mallet to pound on the question, another has you grab the answer with a magnet and drop it into a crusher (if an answer happens to drop off-screen because you let go of the T button too early, another will fall into place), you can shoot UFOs with a laser gun on another, and pop incorrect answer balloons with a dart on the fourth (I forget the exact order, but I think the order they play is the same).
Because of the way the Move stuff plays, it’s a little more fun playing on your own with that than it is just using the buzzers. And you can play from about 3 feet or so from the camera and still fit in frame with the Move. The only down side is that you don’t get to choose the question theme like you do in Buzz! Classic.
That’s about it with the Move support. Yeah, it’s pretty lacking, but can still be pretty fun in its own right. Maybe they’ll expand the capabilities in future titles. Besides that, though, the Eye gets used for a lot more. In Buzz! Classic, where you use the buzzers, it will take a pic of you and the contestants before the match (keep in mind this pic is timed; I have a few blank pictures and one with my bro and I attempting to pose, and failed miserably). You can even place your face onto the characters for more personalization (at least with this, you get to trigger the shot; doing this is called Paper Face, but is totally optional).
The only thing is, if you wear glasses, I would take them off because the reflection from the TV screen will block out your eyes. You should see mine with the astronaut helmet, it looks hilarious. I’m not exactly sure if this is new or not, as I haven’t played a new Buzz! title since Quiz TV, but it is a cool feature, and worth a few laughs. You can even record vulgar custom buzzer sounds if you so choose.
Besides the addition of some new features, Buzz, himself, also got a redesign, having a more human look to him than in previous games. Personally, I’m not sure I care too much for his new look. I liked the old Buzz better because of his cartoony look and personality. I guess you can say it fit his character more. At least the new one still has some of the old features, like the suit, hair, and, of course, glasses. He still has his trademark voice, too, so, even with the redesign, he’s still the same Buzz.
From what I can remember, online modes are pretty much unchanged from previous games, including the couch vs couch mode (which is basically your group of people versus another in what is, essentially, an 8 player game). You can still download and play user-created quizzes as well, if you happen to get tired of music questions (as these aren’t limited to music questions), but remember, the difficulty and the wording of the questions is totally dependent on the person who created it, so you might get a really good quiz, or a really bad one, but at least there are a ton of those to play.
Overall, I still find the Buzz! series to be one of the best there is for that type of game. To get the most out of this one, though, you will want both buzzer controllers and a Move controller, as well as a knowledge of all types of music (which is something I don’t have). If you’re only mildly into music, it’s still worth checking out, if only to play with friends and family for a night of friendly competition.
If you have never played a Buzz! title before, there is no bundle with included buzzers for it, but you can pick up the Quiz TV and Buzz Quiz World bundles, which include 4 wireless buzzers each, but can be pretty pricey. I’m sure there are some standalone buzzer bundles, but I’ve never come across any myself. With that said, if you do have the buzzers, this one is still one to check out, even if the formula for Buzz! games has been pretty much the same. Personally, I would love to see a full-on Nat Geo and/or History game, as that would be more like my kind of subject matter.
[review pros=”Buzz! Formula Still Works
Fun Uses for the Eye
Lots of Variety in Questions
Great For Music Buffs” cons=”Buzz’s Character Redesign
Move Implementation Limited
No Bundle With Included Buzzers
Need Some Interest/Knowledge in Music to Enjoy It” score=88]
*All game modes played for review purposes
This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Buzz! Ultimate Music Quiz provided by Relentless Software.