Buzz - PS2
Sony has a knack for creating interactive games for its PlayStation2 console. If it's not a camera that makes you have to clean the screen of bubbles, it is a microphone that will have you belting out the latest Britney Spears song at the top of your voice.
The latest interactive venture from the company is Buzz, a multiple choice music game that requires you to use a special controller and answer questions as if you were on a real life game show.
In the box you get four controllers to control the game and this will immediately give you a sense that you are playing something much more than just another quiz game on the PS2. The controllers, which all trail into a single dongle that then plugs into your PlayStation's USB slot, have four colour-coded buttons and then the big red buzzer button on the top.
Much to the disappointment of the gamers we tested it with, you can't send electric shocks to each other via the controller nor does it buzz and rumble when you press it.
What it does do is make it very accessible for anyone you've invited around that might not be familiar with the PlayStation's controller and therefore, like SingStar and its microphones, be an instant hit with drunken party goers.
The game itself takes the guise of a tongue-in-cheek game show. Players can choose to battle it out on their own or as expected and preferred, play up to four players against each other.
To differentiate between who is who, there are a number of characters to chose from and these range from Madonna to Liam Gallagher and you can even go as far as setting your own buzz noise.
In game and you can choose to play a short, medium or long game and whether the music the questions are sources from are newer songs, older songs or a mix from the two. Questions are based around either filling in the blanks, general music related questions or name that tune with the music crooning through your speakers.
Games are spilt into a number of different levels with the game format changing with each one. Games range from players being rewarded points not only if they get the question right, but how fast - to later levels including game formats like Pass the Bomb where you have to not be left with bomb when it goes off. A banking the points round similar to The Weakest Link can also be found and more faster question rounds like Snap and Fastest Finger where you've got to beat your opponents to the punch. Each question has a timer on it to avoid someone sitting in the corner taking forever.
Sitting at home on your own in a cold house without a couple of beers will mean this game looks staid and contrived. Put the fire on, invite a crowd around and get the beers flowing and the game brings on a whole different feeling as you all become uber competitive to be crowned the winner.
Win however and rather than be rewarded with unlocking extra levels, getting access to a batch of new questions or opening up special characters won't be anywhere in sight. Instead you'll win a tent, a dartboard or something equally as dull.
VerdictWhile this game is innovative and great fun, you've got to want to be involved to have to play it and get the most out of it.
The presentation is incredibly cheesy and the shows host as annoying as Bruce Forsyth, Chris Tarrant and that bloke off Catchphrase all rolled into one (and no we aren't talking about Mr Chips).
With 1000 music clips to play and answer the game should get you through the Christmas break but maybe not much further. What would have increased the longevity of the game is not telling you the answer at the end but alas that's not the case.
Where the game succeeds though is the easiness in getting players involved. You'll have no problems getting older members of the family caught up in the action and with the chance to tailor the games length and questions to suit your gaming patience you won't find a bored gamer anywhere.