Sony’s hit trivia franchise, Buzz!, has finally made its way to everyone’s favorite maligned handheld in the form of Master Quiz. This first entry on the PSP has many modes of play, many different and, perhaps, better than the PS3’s Quiz TV, and does a great job of catering to different people playing the game at different times.
Many people play their PSPs on commutes, during travel or other situations where they are alone and want to play a game that they can dig into on their own. This game certainly caters to that crowd with a single player challenge mode that, unlike its big brother on the PS3, offers varying challenges that keep the gameplay from getting too competitive. The challenges also award bronze, silver and gold medals and different questions each play through which lends itself to a large amount of replay value even on your own.
When not on your own, Buzz! Master Quiz can be played by you and up to 6 others in person or over the Internet. The pass around mode is probably the biggest departure from normal Buzz! gameplay, in which (as you may have guessed) pass one PSP back and forth taking turns answering questions. This mode and the host mode, in which one player does their best Regis Philbin impersonation and speaks aloud the questions to participating players, make this version into a very social experience unlike many other PSP titles. The Internet mode plays closest to the PS2 and PS3 Buzz! games but, by virtue of either having to have up to 6 PSPs or being in different locations, makes the experience inconvenient or less social than Buzz! games are meant to be.
One thing that people may notice right away about this game is its difficulty level. While previous Buzz! titles for home consoles are meant to be party games, this title, with its more fleshed out and varied single player experience, this title ramps up the difficulty of the questions. So, for hardcore, well-rounded trivia fans or all-around brainiacs, this will be a fun challenge.
Buzz! Master Quiz is a very fun on-the-road version of the series and has done a very good job of adding social gameplay to a handheld title. Some form of interoperability between the PS3 and PSP versions (perhaps downloading MyBuzz quizzes to take on the road?) would have made this title the complete package but it is very solid in what it offers. While not an exact replica of the experience you would get on a home console, it is a great adaptation that has replyability in both the single and multiplayer modes which will keep PSP owners buzzin’ for a while.