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Buzz! Brain of the UK

For a group of countries whose national identity is based on bad teeth, rubbish weather and eating crumpets we’ve not done too badly for ourselves. Our Empire used to stretch across the globe and we’ve given the world the likes of Charles Dickens, The Beatles and Ricky Gervais (sorry). Needless to say we’re great and Relentless Studios agree, as they’ve deciding to give us a Buzz! game all to ourselves in Buzz! Brain of the UK.

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Ok, so strictly speaking it’s not all to ourselves as Brain of the UK is just one of 21 regional versions, with the likes of France, Germany and Croatia also having their own variations. Still a new Buzz! game is nothing to be sniffed at, as the series is well regarded as one of the best casual games on PlayStation platforms.

For the UK version, the game offers over 4000 questions based on the UK. Buzz, the host, is now stylishly attired with a Union Flag tie and handkerchief and regularly dons a stereotypical, regional accent to interact with the contestants. The main menu overlooks the Houses of Parliament, and the stage is decorated in the flags of England, Scotland, Wales but oddly not Northern Ireland.

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The question is, can Brain of the UK build upon the solid PS3 debut of Quiz TV and produce the best game in the series? The answer, in short is no. There’s nothing wrong with Brain of the UK in itself, but when compared to the previous game it managers to take a step back. As anyone who’s played Buzz will know the single player has always been lacking. Quiz TV took a step to resolve this by adding MyBuzz, a feature that let users create an 8 question quiz on whatever subject they choose and challenges people from your region to play it. Whilst in Brain of the UK, this feature is still available for local multiplayer it’s no longer accessible in the single player mode. Add to that an almost dead online community and it’s not looking very good. Thankfully Stop the Clock (the game’s only single player mode) has been lengthened by a few extra rounds, although it does little to make up for the removal of single player MyBuzz.

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Besides the new stage dressing, the game comes with little new content. All of the existing rounds return like Pie Fight and Pass The Bomb, as do the characters, costumes and buzzer sounds. The only other thing that is different is the return of the comical prizes at the end of multiplayer games (think steak knives and a slab of turf) which were missing in Quiz TV. Unfortunately all the annoyances have also followed. Repetition is still apparent and is joined by the inclusion of some odd questions; how a question on American Dad can come into a quiz based on the UK god only knows.

There’s no faulting the actual gameplay, that remains as intuitive and enjoyable as ever: get a good group together and you’ll have a great time. However, the lack of additions makes it an almost pointless purchase for anything other than the extra questions. Buzz! Brain of the UK is best for hardcore fans only, anyone else should stick to Quiz TV.

6 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in January 2008.

Gentle persuasion

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