PS3/PSP Review: Buzz – Brain of the UK

It helps if you are from the UK…

With more than 4000 questions all about the UK as well as general knowledge – all of which you can play with your friends at home or online against other trivia fans on PlayStation Network, you won’t be able to put your wireless buzzer down. Compete for the high score on the national leaderboard and play with up to eight friends across five trivia channels: Movies & TV, Music, Sport, Lifestyle and Knowledge; then, when you’ve mastered your national knowledge, go online to the MyBuzzQuiz website to write your own quizzes or download extra premium quiz packs from PlayStation Store. (PS3 Only)
Buzz has been pretty busy lately. The most recent game was Brain Bender, which was a cheap cash-in at the Brain Training genre and as a result, got mixed reviews. Buzz: Brain of the UK is a return to the form of what to expect from the series, there are no surprises and both the PS3 and PSP version use the same engine that previous games in the series have run on. It looks no different, the only thing that is remotely different are the questions.

The PSP version has no online support, which is unfortunate. Its interface is exactly like Buzz Master Quiz and offers trophies with no way of linking them with your PSN account, just like the past game. I wonder why Sony hasn’t capitalised on this, to earn trophies in both PSP and PS3 games would be a huge bonus and it seemed like a missed opportunity on their part.

Upon doing a little research, I noticed that Buzz Brain of the UK is just one of 21 regional variations so each country should have their own version that is more relevant to them, which is a relief since I doubt the rest of the world would solely want to answer questions on the UK.
The PSP version makes you select different modes and gives you a target of points to obtain in a time limit, while the PS3 version is exactly like Buzz Quiz TV and plays out in different categories which each contestant picks. There’s more variety of options in the PS3 version like being able to steal points from your rivals, a game of Pass the Bomb in which a bomb is passed along by answering questions correctly, get one wrong and you are stuck with it until you get one right, but the longer you take…the more chances it’ll explode. There’s also a Pie Fight mode in which the fastest answer controls where a pie is thrown, when a rival is hit with 2 they can’t answer for the rest of the round.

The PSP version lacks all of this and most of the modes can be completed in about an hour or two, you can go back to attempt to earn the special trophies…but it seems pointless, really. The PS3 version on the other hand offers full trophy support and online play, so it’s more or less the complete package of what each PS3 game should offer. Yes, maybe the questions repeat too much and Buzz can be a total pain in the backside with his campy one-liners, but I guess that’s part of his appeal. I’ll let you know when I’ve worked out exactly why that is.

The visuals for each game are fairly strong, but don’t exactly push the system far other than a few character models and boxes with multiple choice answers. Voice-acting can be irritating; I don’t like Buzz but like most of his quizzes. I guess it’s different for everyone.

The Verdict

Buzz: Brain of the UK is a much needed improvement after the disaster that was Brain Bender. It doesn’t change the series but sticks to its strong points, just be sure to pick up the version for your own country…otherwise you may find it a little tricky.