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Now I love a good gaming session but Mrs B does get annoyed and call me all sorts of names for wanting to sit in front of the television screen with head-set on whilst carrying out important quests and battles with strangers over the the wonders of The Internet. She always rolls her eyes when it's Playstation time but we have recently invested in Buzz! This is an interactive quiz game which makes the Playstation seem less 'geeky' to Mrs B who enjoys playing along and it is a great way to have fun with various people and have some light hearted competition. Buzz has been around for several years. I first heard of it about five years ago around the time that there was a lot of drive towards interactive DVD quizzes. We had several of these DVD quizzes but they were slow and clunky so we found whenever we played them with friends we would grow bored. Buzz, however, is a much speedier, sleeker version of these quizzes and with each new release there are more special effects and features which really take you into the world of quizzing. We used to go to a local pub quiz at least once a week. Mrs B and I love to test our knowledge and to have some light hearted competition between ourselves and our friends, however, now that we have a family it is hard for us to get out to quizzes let alone just out! So for Mrs B's birthday this year I bought her this version of Buzz so that we could recreate some of the fun we used to have competing against each other testing our knowledge but not needing to go out to a pub quiz to do so! Buzz is set out very much like an all singing all dancing game show which you may see on television. It is as though it has taken elements from many, many shows and blended them all together to get a winning formula and I can say for sure in my opinion that this has worked! There are so many elements to this game that it isn't the kind which you can grow bored of after playing once or twice, it is the kind of game which you will be reaching for when you have friends round or if it's just the two of you... or you can even play online with others! At the beginning of the game you select your character and make a profile. These characters are always very flamboyant and dramatic with them being cheerleader types or aliens... you can select what clothes they wear and a 'buzzer' noise as well as setting your name so that it will save your character every time you play. This sounds like a length process but trust me it is not, it never takes us more than a minute or two and all players can do it at the same time using their controls so that it isn't as time consuming as it would be having to wait turns. Even when playing with my 80 year old grandfather he didn't take more than a minute or two! These characters will then be saved along with all information that they accumulate (scores, fastest reactions etc) over the time you play. The show is introduced by Buzz who is a lively, crazy game show host with the voice of Jason Donovan! Unlike watching television game shows this is not dragged out, there is no lengthy introduction and annoying spiel which takes up time instead it's pretty much straight into the first round. There are various rounds in this game and depending upon how long a game you have selected they vary in length and which ones come up. I like this as it means that not every game is the same- you will not always have the same rounds or they will come in a different order. The different rounds have different rules and elements to them; there is point builder where players just answer as many questions as they can correctly, there is fastest finger where players who answer fastest get more points, pass the bomb where you have a time limit and players take it in turns to answer as well as other rounds too. In this version players are selected to choose the category at the beginning of each round. This seems to be at random and there are four categories to choose from which then dictates the nature of the questions for the next round. The categories vary hugely; fairy tales, quartets, sport, literature, geography... so as you can see not just standard every day categories but ones which are more abstract and imaginative. To answer questions on this you use the Buzz Controllers which you can buy separately to the game although some game packs come with the controllers. Once you have bought them they can be used with any PS3 Buzz game so you do not need to buy them more than once. There are two kinds- wire ones and wireless. The wireless ones are far better so I recommend these. There are four in a pack as it is an up to 4 player game. They are very, very simple and straight forward to use they barely need explaining to a new player and like I said previously I have played this game with an 80 year old and he certainly didn't need a lot of explanation as to how to work them! The controller has a big red button at the top, this is similar to an 'enter' button and may be used for things like selecting options, firing a pie at an opponent etc. Then beneath this are four rectangular coloured buttons which usually correspond to an answer of a question and you press the relevant coloured button to answer the question. The buttons are not joined together so you don't stand much chance of pressing the wrong one by mistake but if you are not looking properly and are in a rush (like in some of the rounds where time is everything!) then you could end up pressing the wrong one just by not being careful! The hand set is very light and fits in your hand comfortably, it only need to be held by one hand so you can sit and pick at snacks etc whilst you are playing! At the end the winner receives a 'prize' and all the scores are added up so you can see that although you may not have won in terms of getting the questions right and building up enough points but that you may have won in terms of having the fastest reaction times and such. This is a fun part to it. The graphics on this game are bright and dazzling, creating a bright setting to the quiz show. It does remind me of good old Saturday night game shows! The picture is very sharp and the sound quality and such is also very good. The variety of questions in this game is immense. I haven't had the same question come up yet. There are over 4,500 questions in total apparently so again this is a game which isn't likely to get boring or run out of steam as the same questions are not likely to keep appearing unlike so many other games which are more limiting. The variety in questions means that there is something for everyone so it doesn't matter if you don't know your sport or history there will be many, many other categories that will come up that you may very well have a sound knowledge of. We play this game when it is just Mrs B and I when we want to have some fun and time together but we also play it when we have friends round. It is up to four players but if there are more than four of us we tend to do it on teams with each player taking it in turns to have the control of the round. We have played this with a friend who was just 16 and a family member who was 80 and every one of us had fun which goes to show how appealing this game is to the whole family. It is only fun, there is some healthy competition where you can knock points of each other so it can get a bit heated but at the end of the day it is a fun, interactive quiz game which works extremely well. It is very fast, it runs smoothly without any clonking or thinking time needed by the machine! Each round is quickly moved on to without needing to load up so you are not likely to grow bored and fed up of it. It isn't a difficult game, some questions you simply will not know as is with everything but because it's multiple choice you can always guess and there are time limits so it's not as if you have much thinking time to try to work it out which means that again you don't become bored or frustrated with the game or yourself. I think this is a great creation which has hit the nail on the head completely. It is amazing that a game can bring such a large age range together and be enjoyable and fun for them. The fact that there is such variation between rounds and that every game you play will be different is great, it keeps you engaged and wanting to play more. I also like that you can play with just online players or up to four people so you do have options available. The control pads to use are great as they're simple to use so don't need a huge explanation when somebody new comes along. RIght now this game is on sale on Amazon for just £6.32 (without the controllers) which is a bargain as we paid £20 for it and it usually retails at around this price. If you are looking for a Christmas present or a game to play over the festive season that will bring the whole family together then this is definitely one to recommend so long as you have a play station 3 and remember to buy the controllers too! Buzz is also available for other Playstations and in a variation of styles- some just dedicated to music/film etc. I like this one though as it's general knowledge so includes everything!
Buzz Quiz World is the latest version of the popular Buzz quiz game series and this PS3 one is superb. If you can afford the wireless controllers, you won't regret it, easy to set it up and no more tangled wires and spending ages de-tangling them and moving your sofa's closer to the TV to play. The host is still voiced over by Jason Donovan, who is very funny and has very witty cute lines throughout it. You can play with others in your own house and also over the web against others, which is a nice twist and keeps the game more interesting. There are also various different types of rounds you can play, so it's not just all fastest finger first, there is pass the bomb, high stakes - betting points on if you think you will get it right and lots more that add great variety and fun to the game. It's so easy to play, that children through to the elderly can easily grasp it and join in, and the questions get updated every so often over the web when they release an update to the game! The categories cover everything, so enough to keep all players keen and wanting more. Graphics are great, bright, lots of funny characters to choose from, and you can pick your own buzzer sound too. If that wasn't enough, if you have an EyeToy camera plugged in, it takes funny pictures at certain times while you are playing so you can look back and laugh at them. For those of a certain age, the last round has a great intro tune - "The Final Countdown" by Europe, need I say more? Go get it.