Buzz! Quiz World Comic-Con 2009 PreviewBy Sterling McGarvey - Posted Jul 25, 2009
Let's get one thing out there. I really, really like trivia night at the pub. Also, I have insanely twitchy reflexes when I play Buzz! Since it debuted on PS2 two years ago, I've taken gleeful joy in smearing any poor SOB who gets within five feet of a buzzer controller. Why's any of this trash talk relevant? Well, anyone else who's as fanatical about Sony's quiz show series as I am would happily run the latest game through its paces. And that's what I did at a press reception during Comic-Con.
Last year's Buzz! Quiz TV brought the series from the PS2 era to the age of DLC and user-generated content. It's remarkably easy to create your own quiz, and judging by the quizzes floating around Sony's DIY quiz website, a lot of gamers really like Family Guy, PlayStation products and WWE. All of that content is downloadable, and you can play user-made quizzes or buy specifically-themed ones from the PlayStation Store. Also, you can test your wits online against other Buzz! players.
All of that content still applies to the new game, but the difference between Quiz TV and Quiz World is immediately noticeable. The menus are sleek and much more streamlined than the last release, plus Relentless Software has added plenty of customization to the experience. When you fire up a game of Quiz World, you immediately notice the degree of personalization. You can pick the round type much more easily than before -- which means, at long last, that you can completely duck and swerve Pie Fight rounds. Also, if you desire, you can either play a game chock full of crazy stipulations ("Crazy Rounds" is the official mode name) or play "Serious" rounds, which are straight-up trivia without fighting to keep your character from falling into a giant tank of slime. Also, if you're interested in longer games, you can pick either a 15 minute game, or go the distance and play a marathon 45 minute game.
Quiz World's personalized experience expands beyond just round types. When you start up for the first time, the game scans your PSN ID and begins studying your play style and habits. It even remembers your name and calls you out when you play. Plus, it assigns you quiz rounds based on what type of topics and what sort of round stipulations you tend to pick. It even remembers what wacky avatars you lean toward when you play -- speaking of which, the new game includes a few new cartoony additions, including a Creature from the Black Lagoon-like monster, a nurse, and a Python-esque knight who's got all of his limbs intact. Think of it all as a more intelligent Buzz! experience. From the game side, that is.
Buzz! is one of those PlayStation franchises that, like SingStar, doesn't mess with a proven formula too much. The core concept of lightning fast reflexes still apply here. But it appears that Relentless Software has a better idea of how to streamline the process and make things more user-friendly. I'm definitely excited to play more, and I'm sure that I'll have plenty of fun humiliating Billy Berghammer in his own apartment. Wait. He might fire me if he reads this.