[Gamers' Day 2007] Quiz Show, PS2-Style

We put our encyclopedic knowledge of useless pop culture to the test.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: May 17, 2007
Sony is doing something veddy veddy schneaky: they're re-positioning the PlayStation 2 as a casual games machine, opting to put it nose-to-nose with the Wii while waging war with the 360 with the beleaguered PS3. The two-pronged approach might just work, partly because having 115 million systems out there and offering it up for more than $100 less than the Wii is actually a stroke of smart business sense, and partly because of games like Buzz: The Mega Quiz.

Unless you're a transplant from over the pond or you just happen to be really down with value-priced European software, you probably haven't even heard of Buzz, and that's a good thing. Bundled with a special four-player controller (and supporting up to eight players in a game at any given time), music/movies/tv/pop culture quiz show comes set with slightly smarmy, accented Brit announcer and comely female co-host -- or at least the version we played did, though that's likely to change a little as SCEA localizes the game and strips out references to stuff like rugby and UK television shows among the 5000+ questions that will make it into the final game.

Still, with a icy drink in hand and a trio of fellow industry folks, we strode in, unafraid of getting the wrong answer (because, uh, we just pretended we hit the wrong button). To our surprise, the simple colored buttons and lighted buzzer worked exactly as they were meant to, meaning no level of inebriation would actually excuse us pressing the wrong button. We took turns picking a category, then plugged in our answer as quickly as possible and from time to time would dip into a lightning round where timing actually mattered.

What impressed us was just how long the "full game" option was. You can play shortened versions, but there were a number of various sub-games that would offer things like single-elimination mini-rounds to help smart enough players bounce back (or, uh, dumb enough ones get eliminated quickly. Repeatedly). Given that the barrier of entry was nil and all us editorial folk seemed to be having a real time, it certainly seems like Buzz could actually do well if it gets enough, well, y'know. It's not quite our dream of seeing You Don't Know Jack coming back, but it's close.