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PSP Fanboy review: Buzz! Master Quiz

Have you ever seen the game show Temptation? Probably not. It's a game show with an incredibly low budget -- so low, in fact, it doesn't have a studio audience. Prizes are worth only a few thousand bucks at best, and it's syndicated on stations that used to be the UPN. If Buzz! Quiz TV on PS3 is "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" then Buzz! Master Quiz on PSP is "Temptation."

Unfortunately, PSP isn't very well suited for a Buzz! game. The franchise is best in front of a television with three of your friends. However, Master Quiz simply can't offer the same kind of competitive spirit, especially on a system like the PSP. It's not to say the developers at Relentless Software didn't try -- there are a number of creative multiplayer modes included. However, they're ultimately unsuccessful in emulating a fun Buzz! experience.

Gallery: Buzz!

Unfortunately, the most time people will be spending in Master Quiz will come from the single player mode. There's no doubt about it -- the PSP is largely a solitary experience for many here. The tired and true "answer the question as fast as you can" approach is in full swing here. Granted, there are many different kinds of questions. For example, in one mode, your score will dwindle away as mosaic images slowly become clearer. Identify the picture and salvage your score. Another set of questions may be exclusively on celebrities. Players must complete these challenges and break through a threshold score to unlock more quizzes.

The production values are a mixed bag. We really appreciate the voice acting, as it adds so much charm to the Buzz! universe. Questions are read aloud, and there's always a good amount of supporting multimedia. However, you no longer feel like you're actually on a game show, as the 3D element is for the most part, missing. With such a drab setting, one can't help but find Master Quiz to be a bit lifeless compared to the PS2/PS3 games.

Quite possibly the biggest flaw with Master Quiz's single player experience is that there isn't much to do. There are the quiz challenges, but there aren't many to choose from -- and many are simply variations of the same question type. How many celebrity questions do you want to answer? There are in-game trophies, but acquiring them usually involves getting a high score -- there's nothing out of the ordinary about that. Why can't I select questions based on category? Why can't I create my own quizzes? Why can't I connect to the MyBuzz website? These ommissions seem ridiculous, especially when there's so little content in the first place.

The multiplayer modes are met with an equal level of success. You may have to pass the system around, as players answer the same question on the same machine. However, this is rather cumbersome. The Game Share feature, which allows multiple systems to play with only one copy of the disc, is rather limited. Not only is the load time rather long, the rounds themselves are rather short.

It's nice to play against a real human, but the PSP simply isn't the platform to do this genre of gaming on. If you're really starved for trivia games content, then perhaps Master Quiz will satiate that itch. However, we're upset at the lack of proper categories to choose from, and the lack of MyBuzz integration. Without these key features, Master Quiz just feels like a cheap, hollow, syndicated version of what should be a glamourous quiz game.

PSP Fanboy score: 6.0

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