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No Question About It: Buzz! Is Fun

Test your brain power with the updated quiz game Buzz! Quiz TV for PlayStation 3.
Test your brain power with the updated quiz game Buzz! Quiz TV for PlayStation 3. (Sony Via Associated Press)

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Judging by the decades' worth of reactions from the folks prompted to "Come on down!" on "The Price Is Right," joining a game show is super fun. Sony and Relentless Software's Buzz! successfully captured such an experience for PlayStation 2. Now the interactive quiz show franchise has come to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable consoles.

Buzz! Quiz TV for the PS3 has more bells and whistles than its predecessor, including user-generated content, downloadable question packs, online play and wireless buzzers. The gameplay, however, hasn't received much of an upgrade and feels less spontaneous than the original. But that doesn't mean Buzz! isn't a blast. It is.

The basic setup remains the same: Players pick wacky avatars, outfits and buzzer sounds, then join an interactive multiple-choice quiz show hosted by an over-the-top master of ceremonies named Buzz (voiced by Australian soap star Jason Donovan) who praises the winners and mocks the losers as the game progresses.

Although Quiz TV can be played alone, the solitary experience doesn't quite do the game justice. With motivated players (not included), Quiz TV can transform your living room into something more resembling a raucous version of "Jeopardy."

Fans of the previous version of Buzz! will appreciate the updated functionality. The new wireless controllers will work with the old game. (And, yes, the tangled-up old buzzers work with the new version.) Perhaps the only downside is that the new wireless buzzers require AA batteries.

Buzz! Master Quiz for the PSP awkwardly attempts to bring the game show experience to Sony's handheld system. There are three gameplay modes, which include a solo option and a connected multiplayer mode that allows other PSP users participate in a scaled-down version of the game, even if a Buzz! disc is not loaded onto their system.

The game retains the look and feel of the at-home editions. Instead of a buzzer, players tap corresponding PSP buttons to answer questions, including many that utilize neat photo and video clues. Unfortunately, Master Quiz can't overcome its medium. The wonky gameplay just doesn't induce the same faux game show excitement as it does on the console.

-- Derrik J. Lang, Associated Press

Buzz! Quiz TV Teen; PlayStation 3 ($59.99) Buzz! Master Quiz Everyone 10+; PlayStation Portable ($19.99) Sony


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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