Buzz! The Ultimate Music Quiz

As Ready Up’s own Buzz! Quiz Expert, it falls once again to me to review the latest title in the Buzz! Quiz series.

To start out then, I’ll admit that I’m a fan of Buzz quiz games, and have been ever since the original Buzz! The Music Quiz came out on PS2, just over five years ago. At launch, it was the price of a normal game, but still included four wired Buzz quiz buzzers in the near-invincible plastic packaging that was all the rage at the time. It was, as the title probably tells you, a music quiz, taking the structure of a TV program where you and your friends play as the contestants. Buzz, voiced by Jason Donovan, was the host of said quiz, and you interacted with the quiz via the easy-to-use buzzers. This had the advantage of a) being easy to play for anyone who wouldn’t know which way up to hold a controller and b) being easy to play when you were pissed after the pub on a Friday night. It was also an incredibly polished game. That winning formula has remained untouched for five years, and every Buzz game I’ve played since has been an unremitting success, but until now, none of them have gone back to the classic music quiz formula.

Enter (stage left) Buzz! The Ultimate Music Quiz. As usual, the rounds are clever and varied, and our host Buzz skirts magnificently along the fine line between clever and annoying. For example, in this game, he makes a lot of song lyric based puns, which in theory should grate, but he’s just charming enough to get away with it. It never fails to amaze me how cleverly the game keeps track of your progress, with Buzz throwing out comments to remind you of that. If you get twenty right in a row, then get one wrong, Buzz will remark how that’s unlike you. Take ages to answer, then get it wrong, and Buzz will say “All that waiting, for that?”. It really draws you into the game.

The original Buzz! Music Quiz, due to licensing issues, had every piece of music covered by a session band. Most of them were very good, but just occasionally you would find yourself wrongly identifying a song due to a poor cover. The Ulitmate Music Quiz, however, has no such problem, so when One Day Like This by Elbow came up – the song I did my first dance to at my wedding – there was no mistaking it.

Despite being (in title, at least) a music quiz, this Buzz title also allows you to play any of the thousands of user generated quizzes that are available online, plus play online against other players on the Playstation network.

Brand new to this instalment of Buzz come new rounds, and two new headline features – Paperface and Playstation Move modes. Paperface mode allows you to take a photo of your face with the Playstation Eye camera, and stick it onto your cartoon-ish character. While it does work, I didn’t like the result much. Far from the clever facial mapping of Rainbow Six, the game simply sticks a 2D face onto your character, which always faces the camera wherever it is in the room. It’s a little creepy and disturbing that as the in-game camera sweeps down from above the players, they NEVER break eye-contact. And, if you select to not use a camera generated picture for Buzz, then, in a baffling decision, it sticks a 2D picture of Buzz over his face.

I fully expected the Playstation Move rounds to be tacked on and pointless, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are actually rather fun. Sure, it breaks up the fun of everyone playing at once, but the Move controls are well done and it is funny to watch someone trying to hit the answer “Beyonce” whilst holding a flaming mallet  or raygun in their hand on screen.







2 responses to “Buzz! The Ultimate Music Quiz”

  1. Walter avatar

    If we ever play this, I don’t want to play against Martin, he’s the walking talking equivalent of IMDb, but for music.

  2. Steven Chandler avatar
    Steven Chandler

    So the orginal Buzz music quiz was five years ago? Does that mean that of the Chandler siblings I have been top dog for over half a decade?

    Happy days are here again!

    Glad to hear there are no covers on this one, that really destroyed it for me. Some of them were awful.

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