Buzz! Hollywood

by Tracy Whitelaw
author awarded score: 70/100

Buzz! Hollywood Review
Publisher: Sony
Developer: Sony
Format Reviewed: PS2
Reviewer: Tracy Whitelaw

Anyone who is a fan of the Buzz! party games rejoices when they see yet another version hitting the shelves. Let’s face it, titles like Buzz! and Singstar are keeping the PS2 ticking along nicely with regards to sales and the fact you can play them on your PS3 means they’re not dated and people can take them with them when they move forward onto a new console. Buzz! Hollywood has been a long time coming with previous incarnations of the game focusing on sports, general knowledge and music. Let’s see if Buzz! still has that… well.. buzz.

Buzz! Hollywood is a very familiar game right from the offset. The characters that featured in all the previous Buzz outing are included in this one and as always the loveable host is voiced by Jason Donovan. Now, some people can’t stand the cheesiness that emits so easily from Buzz, but I personally think Jason Donovan has the cheese factor spot on. He nails the ‘talk show host’ vibe and adds a bit of humour to the game, which is desperately needed when your friends are thrashing you throughout.

As always the game features a variety of rounds, this time focusing on movie related questions. There is a sizeable bank of questions available and these often come with photos or video clips to make the experience more enjoyable. The style of gameplay is very similar to other Buzz games, even the rounds are the same for most of it. If any complaint is to be made, it’s that the end round where your points have been converted into seconds is a bit lame. You can be winning through the entire game and then someone can get lucky in the last round, only to steal the entire game away from you. They definitely need to come up with a better last round of the game, although to be honest the prizes that you win suck anyway – I actually won a hover pack twice in a row.

The graphics on Buzz! are as they always are – bright, fun and outlandishly cheap looking. This is good though because it fits the feeling of a cheap game show set and that’s exactly what it’s aiming for. You can dress your characters up as you wish from a choice of three outfits and it’s fun to see the style of personality your character has throughout the game. The inclusion of plenty of video clips and photos keeps the game interesting to look at also.

The sound in Buzz! is one that a lot of people hate. They can’t stand Jason Donovan’s accent, however I personally think it’s spot on. The game show music is also good and some of the chatter from the contestants when they win or lose is hilarious. Amusing buzzer noises can still make me laugh, even though I’ve played through all the Buzz titles previously.

As far as female gamers go, there are plenty of female playable characters to choose from in Buzz! Hollywood so female gamers can’t be disappointed. Of course there’s the pretty looking co-presenter, but at least she has a smart mouth and thus it would seem some smarts about her.

Overall, Buzz! Hollywood is at its best when it’s played with a group of friends. Get it out at Christmas or the next time you have a group over for some drinks. You’re sure to have a laugh with it and it will definitely bring out your competitive edge. If you want to go hardcore, you can play the hard version which is really only meant to be for movie aficionados. This is definitely a game worth owning, so check out Buzz! Hollywood some time soon and see if you deserve to be the movie critic you think you are in your heart.