The Digest: Scene It? stays true to the formula of a great party game. The content is as rich as ever and is delivered as best you could hope. Although there are several shortcomings (including no Live support), this game still strikes its target audience.
THE FACT SHEET
RELEASE DATE: November 17, 2009
PUBLISHER: Artificial Mind & Movement
DEVELOPER: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
ESRB RATING: “T” for Teen
Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! offers a wide variety of media-rich trivia that provides movie fans and social gamers with a lively, competitive group gaming experience. Trivia content in the game will include recently released 2009 movies as well as fan favorite Hollywood hits from the last four decades. There are numerous game improvements, including:
- Thousands of new questions
- A new and improved single player option
- Party play modes
- Many new puzzle types
- 12 all-new player avatars
- A simplified game interface
- A new, entertaining game host
- New, unique mini-game content
Scene It? is back for one more round of movie trivia, liquor and good ol’ family fun! For those of you who are not familiar with the branding, Scene It? is the interactive counterpart to the popular DVD film and pop culture trivia games. The transition from the DVD board game to console game has been executed with style, and gamers young and old will find Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! to be a surprisingly fun experience.
This year’s follow up brings a few new features. The most notable of these features is the star system. Stars are awarded to players for various reasons; Things like answering the most questions correctly during a segment or being the quickest on the buzzer. After you’ve accumulated some stars, you have the open to cash them in for an advantage. You’re treated with a meter game where you try to get the moving cursor to land on your character’s color. As a reward, your points are multiplied as you earn them. Because I was so bad at the mini game, I was only able to get it as high as 1.5 times my score for each question. This is a great little addition, as it gives players who are losing a chance to catch up. Of course it goes the other way around as well, you could use the multiplier to really score big and pull away from the other players.
As you would expect, they’ve added a large amount of questions to the mix, as well as more than 20 different puzzle types. They range from the standard “guess the actress,” to a mode where the image is distorted and slowly comes in to focus. The sooner you hit the buzz, the more points you get for your answer.
The in game cut scenes look a lot better than the last year’s version of the game. You’d be hard-pressed to figure out if all of the videos are HD or not because a lot of the footage stems from old movies. But for the most part, the videos look a lot better than the versions before it. The audio quality in the movie clips are all on point.
Other improvements have been made to the core experience itself. For instance, before each trivia session, you’ll get a brief tutorial of the game type. In the last release, the player wasted too much time trying to figure out exactly how to play, and we all know that with most of these game types, every second counts. I also noticed that changing from round to round loads a lot quicker, something we can all appreciate.
The in game menus and backgrounds are all done very well. They’ve managed to maintain the same clean cut look from the past games. You never get the feeling you’re playing something cheesy. Even the menu transition sounds aren’t bad at all. The little comments and gestures that the default avatars make are fairly entertaining as well. The background music never feels out of place or gets boring. These few minor things all come together nicely to set a pleasant casual gaming environment.
However, not all is good in Scene It?-land. The Xbox Live integration, which allows the player to head online and compete against other gamers around the world has been removed. This will definitely remove some replay value from the game. They’ve also yanked the avatar support in the game, so you can’t have your avatar actually alive and well represented in the game anymore. It may sound silly to some, but I’ve spent a bunch of Microsoft points on my Splinter Cell outfit, and would love to take any opportunity I can to show it off! Instead, you’re forced to choose from a default set of 8 ridiculous looking avatars. Access to the Xbox Live market place is still an option in the game, so I would expect that somewhere in the foreseeable future, you’ll be able to download some new trivia packs.
After playing a few times, you’ll find yourself faced with questions you have already seen. Needless to say, it takes away from the fun if the only reason you already know the answer to a question is because you’ve seen it already.
Last, but not least on my list of gripes is the announcer! This guy is simply annoying. On numerous occasions, I’ve had to retrain myself from reaching through the TV and choking this guy. He wasn’t as nearly bad as the other announcer in the last game, but nonetheless he still managed to strike a nerve or two. The last straw was when I paused the game for a few seconds, and he was bold enough to let me know that I should hurry up because he had things to do!
Minor issues aside, this year’s iteration of Scene It? is a great one. Even though I can’t think of any logical reason why they’d remove the Xbox Live support, the game is still offers a great deal of fun. It’ll provide loads of fun for friends hanging out, or weekly family game nights. This is a must own for fans of the series or anyone who is always hosting social events.
|-Huge amount of content and questions
-The “almost game show” environment is done nicely
-20 different puzzle types to play
|-Lack of online play
-Lack of avatar support
-Some questions are repeated too often
-Announcer is still annoying
Single Player: 6/10 | Multi-Player: 7/10
Special thanks to FortySeven Communications for providing us with a copy of the game for review.