I think all RS guides have you choose a buddy the first day. We did have one guide who didn't call for a "buddy check" whenever we left the hotel, got of the Metro or train, or gathered to get on public transportation. And we had one instance of 2 people missing from the group for several hours - on a side trip from the town in which we were staying, and two or three times when we almost left the hotel in the morning without the full group.
It pointed up how important the buddy system is. No, you don't have to pal around with them; you just have to look for them, preferably eye to eye contact, whenever the guide (or in our case, a fellow tour member) calls "Buddy check!"
The dreaded name game takes about 10 - 15 minutes. And it does help the people to learn each others' names. Of the 10 RS tours we've been on, we only did the name game twice, and buddy introductions once. The buddy intro in question took place during a "happy hour," so it wasn't horrible.