Buzz! Master Quiz Review

The Buzz series of trivia quiz show games has been around for a while on the PS2, but it is only now finally making its debut on the PSP. Unfortunately, a lot has been lost in translation, and Buzz Master Quiz will be a disappointment to Buzz fans and will have a hard time keeping trivia buffs interested for very long.

When you first start a game of Master Quiz, you select a comical avatar to represent your contestant, just as you did in the PS2 versions of the game. However, aside from a tiny headshot of your character that occasionally pops-up in a bottom corner of the screen, you won't be seeing your avatar again. I'm not sure why the game even bothered with the avatars in the first place. There is no competition from AI players in the single player mode and the only game show touches came from the background music and comments from the Muppet-like host Buzz. It feels more like you're playing a series of trivia games with a noisy spectator than anything else. Even the format of the game doesn't really fit the quiz show theme. You play your way through a tiered set of small trivia games that each take a couple of moments to play, and once you've made your way through them all, nothing really happens. There's no way to really win the game, and after the first time through your only option is to try and replay each quiz for a higher score... and odds are that this won't keep you coming back to the game for very long.

The games range from straight trivia questions to guess the picture puzzles, but are all accompanied by multiple choice answers. Most of the questions are pretty easy - if you enjoy more challenging trivia games like Trivial Pursuit, you'll brow bored pretty quickly. The most challenging questions are the pop culture related because if you've never watched Two and a Half Men, you'll have no idea what the neighbor's name is. Some questions are particularly dumb, for example, after being shown a clip of the Enterprise from Star Trek flying through space and then entering orbit around a planet, you're asked where the show takes place. Even if you've never heard of Star Trek, I'll bet you wouldn't select "under the sea" as the answer. There's also a problem with repetition. Replay one of the games a couple of times and you'll already begin to see repeats. Spend an hour or so with the games and the repetition begins to get significant. There are a lot of questions that are technically different, but are very closely related to each other. The game tends to have an unnatural infatuation with Lance Armstrong and eels...

The game support multiplayer play through game sharing (one copy of the game allows play on multiple PSPs). This mode is essentially the same as the single player game and suffers the same problems as the single player game in terms of easy questions and repetition. There's also a multiplayer "pass the PSP" mode in Master Quiz. This adds a few twists to the gameplay, such as letting a player see a question and then decide who will have to answer it, or letting one player decide which parts of a 'guess the picture' puzzle will be visible to the player answering the question. This is an improvement over the single player game, but it's not enough to make up for the lack of challenging questions and the repetition in those questions. The last multiplayer mode uses a single PSP as well, and has one player acting as the game host. This allows for the addition of some goofy competitions that have the host selecting the winner. This mode is a bit more fun than the others, but you'll have a lot more fun playing something like Cranium if you have that many friends over.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 60%. Buzz Master Quiz is not much of a quiz show and is far to easy for quiz masters. Even those looking for a casual trivia game will only get a few hours of fun out of it. You're best off simply taking a pass on this one.


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