Oh, what a fitting title. After a particularly… interesting bender about a week ago, I decided it might be a good idea to swear off the hooch for a while, and it’s actually done wonders for productivity (I mean, have you seen TPS lately? We’re actually updating again!). Without my normal haze to cloud the daily routine of playing through all manner of crap games, though, it’s been something of a quest to actually keep my brain active. I’ve become a complete Jeopardy! junkie again (though not the PS3 game — we actually shelled out $15 here at the office and were so horribly disappointed that we wished there was a way to get PSN refunds; how can you have multiple-choice Jeopardy!? And without Trebek? Naaaah, bad mojo, that one), but then I’ve always been something of a game show die-hard to begin with.
Maybe that’s why I took so quickly to the Buzz! series in the first place. The PS2 games had just the right blend of smarmy host quips (it’s always important when the contestants get berated a little by a high-and-mighty emcee, after all) and great questions, plus a ton of different categories that usually ended up leveling the playing field a few times to keep those that would try to pull ahead by answering every question like their life depended on it (it’s called “The Sam Technique” around here for a reason, I suppose). Even when getting pies to the face constantly, though, the game was a blast, and we’d even turned it into a drinking game well before the PS3 version came out.
When it did, Sony was actually cool enough to send over beer and pizza (a seriously welcome gesture, as it was Round Table, and it literally disappeared from its little cardboard cage in about five minutes. Yes, we’re an office of Round Table lovers. The Heineken Light? I think there’s still three or four o’ those in the fridge, and we keep trying to pawn ‘em off on PR folks that stop by to no avail (what, no drinking at 11AM? Surely you jest!). In any event, Buzz! Quiz TV — that’s the PS3 one, mind you. Was a big hit here too, though that’s hardly surprising.
What did surprise, us, though, was how comparatively trimmed-down the whole experience was when it moved to the PS3. Yes, the graphics were quite nice and the game itself was classic Buzz!, but there were fewer modes and, it seemed, a few more repeats in the supplied questions, which had shrunk by a couple thousand. Granted, there was now the ability to create your own quizzes (some of which were pretty awesome, actually) and share them online, but clearly there was something else planned.
Turns out (surprise, surprise) that Sony had planned to release multiple themed question packs (about 500 Qs apiece), and have since rolled out Comedy, National Geographic: Safari, National Geographic: Undersea, Sci-Fi, Videogames and Horror Quiz Packs since the game hit back in September, which isn’t a bad run. For whatever reason (likely because we’ve all been insanely busy over the Holidays), I never really had the itch to jump in, but when Sony kicked over a code for things, I really couldn’t resist anymore.
The American Culture Quiz Pack is, surprisingly, pretty awesome. Any downloaded Quiz Packs just become an extra category, but they won’t always crop up, meaning you won’t burn through the 500 questions in week or something. American Culture pretty much covers the gamut of US geography, music technology, history, politics, people, places and so on, so there’s plenty of variety. I am starting to get a little burned out on how easy a lot of these questions are (and yeah, I understand, they have to make it accessible for anyone who drops coin for ‘em, but still). I also didn’t pick up on a whole lot of (if any; it’s been a while) new comments from Buzz himself, which the PS3 version desperately needs (especially if you’re playing solo, as it’s literally the same lines over and over and over and over…), but content-wise, things are exacty as billed.
Despite any little gripes I might have about things, running through the questions here both by myself and with some of the other staffers has definitely rekindled my interest in picking Buzz! up again, and we’ve already decided that we’d be stupid not to have some kind of contest (sadly, no drinking for me) with the Videogame Pack, so I’ll probably be grabbing that this week. If we make something fancy of it, I’ll be sure to update you guys with pics of the debauchery. Something tells me it’s going to end with Sunny making me shave my head or something. On second thought, maybe pics are a bad idea.