Buzz The Music Quiz ReviewCain Dornan
While many gamers consider industry veteran Nintendo to be the only company that releases innovative and refreshing games, Sony has proved this theory wrong with the release of a number of interesting alternative games over the recent years on the Playstation 2. One example is the EyeToy games, which allowed users to forget their traditional hand-held controllers and transform their body into one complete interactive controller that was capable of performing a large range of different actions that varied according to the countless game creations that Sony has released. Another example is the addictive SingStar series, which successfully transferred the classic Karaoke stage at the local bar into your own living room with the use of quality microphones and technology that rates you based on your performance, which certainly played host to countless late nights as a group of singing wannabes try to prove their worth with the decent range of songs that the franchise has offered so far.
Sony’s latest contender in the round of innovativeness is Buzz: The Music Quiz; an enjoyable and well-made quiz game that features everything from the cheesy host through to a completely custom controller that offers the classic large red “buzzer.” It’s a game that, as have the EyeToy and SingStar games, makes for a perfect game to have available when a group of mates or family are around, as the enjoyment and humor that can be earned from the game is simply difficult to beat.
Buzz: The Music Game comes packaged with four unique Buzz controllers that are required to play the game. The traditional Playstation 2 Dual-Shock controllers cannot be used to play the game, as the unique Buzz controllers offer a completely different button scheme than the traditional PS2 controller. Holding and using the controller is essentially an easy task; the controller is shaped like the letter L, with the longest part being host to four different-coloured rectangular buttons, while the shortest part offers the large illuminated red button, as can be seen in the image below:
As previously mentioned, Buzz: The Music Game is a game that is intended to be played in a multiplayer setting. While the game does offer single player support, the repetitive nature of the game is clearly evident whilst playing the game on your own as the enjoyment level seems to drop considerably when compared to playing the game in a multiplayer setting. When enjoying the multiplayer mode, it’s clear that the game is one that will be at the top of multiplayer games to play for quite some time, as each round can be surprisingly different based on the type of songs and questions that appear and the personality of those who are participating in the game.
The multiplayer mode allows from two to four players to compete to earn the highest points possible by participating in a range of varied activities that will earn and lose you points accordingly. Each multiplayer match begins with the Point Builder mode that allows you to quickly and relatively easily gain points without the worry of losing points if you do not select the correct answer. From here, you proceed through a variety of different rounds, which vary if you select the short, medium or long version of the game. Some examples of round types include Snap, which plays very much like the simple card game of the same name. Basically, this round type throws random answers onto the screen that are shown one at the time. When the answer to the question is shown, the player who presses the red “buzz” button first will win points.
Another mode type is the competitive round known as Pass the Bomb. As the name suggests, you are required to pass the bomb, which is ticking down to explode, from player to player by correctly answering questions before the bomb explodes. If the bomb explodes while you are holding it, your points will be deducted.
Another interesting mode is Buzz Before You Leap. Basically, you are required to press the red “buzz” button to answer the question. If you answer the question right, you will be rewarded points and will move onto the next question. If you answer the question incorrectly, though, you are hit hard with a considerable number of points being deducted. Since this mode usually appears at the end of each game, this mode can prove to be quite exhilarating, as it can easily affect who is winning or losing.
The Single Player mode offers a slightly customized game presentation, offering rounds that have been appropriately designed for a single player experience. The opening round, Time Builder, requires you to answer a set of questions correctly as quick as possible. The quicker you answer a question correctly, the larger your time allocation for the next round is. The second and unfortunately final round for the Single Player mode is the Hot Seat round, which requires you to answer a series of successive questions correctly to earn more points. If you answer a question incorrectly, though, you will drop back to zero points, unless you have been careful enough to bank points that can be done at any time. Although banking points after each question will ensure that you do not leave the round empty handed, the bigger points can be earned by answering multiple questions correctly in a row without banking in-between,
There is also the Quiz Master mode, which allows you to select from 10 to 100 questions to be asked in the standard round without any of the special rules that are found in the Single and Multiplayer modes. This mode is perfect for those who wish to truly test their music knowledge without the hindrance or unneeded additional rules.
The game’s presentation is simple yet effective. The characters are wacky and weird, as is the big-mouthed and vein host who makes regular smart comments that are not only humorous but also mocks the classic cheesy game show host. While character detail is kept to simplicity, the animation is often fluid and appropriate to the character’s appearance, which compliments the appropriate game show music and solid voice over work.
Buzz: The Music Quiz is an enjoyable experience that will grab the attention of gamers and non-gamers alike. While the limitation to music-only questions can be quite disappointing to some gamers, the likelihood of Sony delivering future games based on other subjects is quite high. Don’t be surprised if we see Buzz: The Movie Quiz next year. Until then, though, Buzz: The Music Quiz is an enjoyable group experience that will keep your family and friends entertained for quite some time.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.