Buzz! Master Quiz
- Developer: Relentless Software / Curve Studios
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Did you know that Jason Donovan does the voice of Buzz, the flappy-mouthed host of these well-received exclamatory videogame quiz shows? You did? Then give yourself fifty points and take pride in the fact your head is probably fit to burst with the kinds of meaningless facts and trivia the Buzz! games voraciously thrive upon.
Having already dug its claws into both PS2 and PS3, Buzz! has gone out of its way to prove that even the plainest of formats can be invigorated by a bit of presentational polish. It's no more or less than a series of general knowledge questions about the world and popular culture turned into a game-show, where the winner is more likely to be lauded for time reading rum tabloids and Heat than for knowing their fine wines.
The big draw has always been the buzzers, though; two or more players gathered in the sofa's embrace, fingers on the big red buttons, trying to outsmart one another. Predictably, there's none of that on the PSP version. The multiple-choice questions are answered by pressing one of the face buttons on the handheld instead. It's a natural replacement, though hardly in-keeping with the game-show vibe the console versions promote, and even with several players huddled around the PSP it doesn't have nearly the same hook as the buzzers-and-TV version, despite a multiplayer option that lets you pass the PSP around like a trivia peace pipe.
There's also a Wi-Fi mode, and the back of the box boasts over 3000 questions (all read out by the ex-Neighbours star - the bloke's certainly earning his pay). To keep things ticking along, there are a few different rounds tailored to the handheld to break up the monotony. Virus, for example, asks you to identify a fuzzy image, stripping back points as the object pulls into focus. Picture This reveals parts of a picture and then asks if you want to identify it or pass.
Again, the handheld struggles to inherit the PS2 and PS3 versions' sense of involvement. Sadly though, it does inherit the repeating questions, with many of the same cropping up within a few hours of single- and multiplayer. Playing casually, this won't happen for a while, but you're going to run out of questions eventually, and to that end a handheld Buzz! with downloadable questions or compatibility with the PS3 version is worth waiting for instead.
It might go some way to negating the slightly impersonal feeling of Master Quiz, too. The format is always fun and yet, as polished as the presentation is, this PSP version is a little bit Every Second Counts to the PS3's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?