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I was first introduced to Buzz whilst playing a quiz game on my friends Xbox and I was hooked so I decided to find out if there were any games from this yellow haired professor on the Playstation Portable. After a brief search I came across this game and decided that my brain could do with a bit more exercise so decided to give it a go! Brain Bender is basically a game that has been brought out by Sony to rival the Nintendo DS's Brain Training. These kinds of game seem to be very popular and it was only a matter of time before Sony jumped on the band wagon, be it a bit late! Brain Bender is basically a puzzle game and it's head line is 'Build Yourself a Better Brain With Buzz'! I have only been playing this game for a few weeks and I am not sure that my brain has got any bigger but I have had a lot of fun trying! The game is split in to four categories, designed to test different parts of your brain. These four categories are memory, observation, analysis and calculation. The game consist of sixteen mini games each with three levels of difficulty of easy, medium and hard. I have to confess to only having played the easy levels of the games so far and they seemed quite tough in places so I guess I will have to keep practicing! After playing some of the games a few times I soon got the hang of them, I think my earlier trouble was that Buzz did not give very clear instructions on what to do (that's my excuse anyway!). All the games have multiple choice answers and you must select the correct answer by hitting the corresponding key on the right hand side of the console. The games are quite varied and range from basic mathematical calculations to counting shapes. You receive a score for each game you complete and will be awarded wither a bronze, silver or gold star depending on how well you have done. Once you have received a star in each game you begin to unlock the challenge modes which test your skills further. To unlock some of the challenges you need to complete all the games in medium and hard difficulties so I may be a while of this one yet! Throughout the game you can ear what are called Boffin Awards. These are awarded for various achievements and help to keep you motivated! There is also a multiplayer option where up to six players can compete against each other. You can set up and save each players profile on the game so they can train on their own on the same console. There is a test option on the game which you can take to see how much you have improved over time. Brain Bender isn't really anything new in its concept however it is a much brighter and more interesting game than many other similar ones I have played. The bright colours and hosting by Buzz give the game a slightly comical feel. The graphics on the game are some of the best that I have seen on the PS and the sound is good too. I quite often have this playing with my headphones on the commute to work but I am sure my facial expressions and gasps of breath may annoy some fellow passengers! Buzz himself can be a bit repetitive and annoying at times but the good thing about this game is that you can skip through his intros. If you do skip them though he will still make a little comment such as 'hmmm', or 'nope', in other words sod you then! I do find this quite amusing! Overall I would highly recommend this game. I would not say that it is addictive and I do feel that it may have a short shelf life for players as once you have unlocked all the challenges there really isn't anything to keep you coming back other than improving your scores. The multiplayer is fun though where you can compete against each other in the same mini game, especially when you try and distract your opponent when they are trying to concentrate! I do still enjoy this game although the most I tend to play it is half an hour at a time otherwise I tend to get more of a brain ache than a brain bender!
Buzz! swaps his trademark game show suit for a lab coat and clipboard. Welcome to Buzz!: Brain Bender - a lighter, entertaining and humorous new take on the puzzle genre!