Buzz! The Sports Quiz ReviewCain Dornan
Buzz, SingStar, EyeToy… all three of Sony’s “Party Starters” have certainly experienced plenty of success at retail, generating a healthy income and keeping themselves at the top of the charts for weeks on end. It’s interesting how many Aussie gamers, particularly the casual gaming crew which has grown to make up the vast majority of the market, have such a great interest in these simplistic multiplayer titles. Maybe it’s our love to party, to entertain, to have our mates around on a Friday or Saturday night, with little to do than make absolute fools of ourselves after a few cans (that is, if you’re old enough to drink. If not, red cordial usually does it).
Combining our love for having a good time with friends and family with our world renowned love for sport, Sony’s latest game show buzzing sensation focuses on sports. That’s right, if you’re tired of testing your intellect on music or general knowledge, you can now battle it out with your mates to see just who knows the most about sports. And with a fair variety of different sports and events with which the questions are based on, Buzz!: The Sports Quiz should put any sport fanatic’s knowledge to the test, all the while not making it completely impossible for those with only a remote interest in physical activity to get involved.
Just like the two past Buzz! games (not including Junior Jungle Party), The Sports Quiz features the two likeable, yet still oddly annoying, hosts that have played the stars in previous iterations. Buzz and his assistant, Rose, continue to run the show, with many of the familiar faces that you could choose to play as also making a return, although now boasting sporting attire. Quite a lot of new faces also make an appearance, such a mask-wearing ice hockey player and a large sumo wrestler.
As those who are familiar with the series will already be aware, the game poses questions in a variety of different manners. Some styles have returned from the previous games, however, the majority of the types now on offer are largely new. Point Builder, Point Stealer, Fastest Finger and Pass the Bomb make a welcomed returned, offering some slightly nostalgic gameplay that is straight to the point and enjoyable. The new styles that are introduced are based around the sports theme, such as one titled World of Sport where you compete to travel around the world faster than your opponents, answering questions in each country that are relative to the local sport. There’s also Finish Line, where your player is placed on a running track and must progress to the finishing line first by answering questions correctly. Answering questions incorrectly will see you falling back a position.
But not all of the different styles are directly based around sports. Some are more loosely based, yet still very much appropriate. This includes Risk, where players bet points on whether they will get the next question right or wrong. This is a true test on a player’s gambling streak, where betting big can yield a big point bonus – or put you far behind your competitors.
What’s pleasing to see is that the game has undergone a level of localisation in regards to the questions that are asked. You’ll be faced with questions on the AFL, about the Australian cricket team or the Socceroos. As well as the occasional American Football question, which will leave many Australian players clueless, the serving of questions that are relative to our sporting culture is certainly a welcomed inclusion.
The Buzz! titles have never been suitable for single player, with The Sports Quiz being exactly the same. The multiplayer is where the heart of the game is, boasting support for up to eight players at any one time. This can be achieved by plugging in two sets of the Buzz controllers into each of the USB ports on the front of the PS2. With this, you can set up teams to battle it out team wise, which can make things much more interesting and competitive.
The visual and audio presentation of the Buzz! series has never been outstanding. Choosing to keep to the basics, the game delivers a presentation that is simple yet effective. Character designs are cartoony and offer limited detail, however, their simplistic appearance adds to their charm. Voice over work performed for Buzz and Rose are decent – not exactly outstanding, yet far from poor.
As one would expect, the level of fun you’ll gain from Buzz! The Sports Quiz ultimately winds down to whether you have an interest in sport. If you do, and have a group of mates who share the interest, you’ll likely gain some solid hours of lifetime from this title. If your knowledge and interest in sport is limited, you’re likely better off skipping this one. The Sports Quiz plays very much like the previous Buzz! games, with little being changed apart from the questions and quiz styles that are now on offer. As such, if you’ve enjoyed the Buzz! games so far and wish to add further questions to your library, The Sports Quiz may be worth a look.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.