Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action
Written by John Yan
on 12/3/2007 for
I admit I'm a movie junkie. I try to go to as many as I can and I used to make plans weeks in advance for opening night of big releases. Games like Scene It are some that really appeal to me and Microsoft's implementation of the board game is actually pretty fun. I was surprised at how much fun I had and it's a great party game and fun for the whole family.
Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is based on the hit board game where you answer questions about movies. The game supports from one to four players but sadly no online play. With such a great resource in Xbox Live, I'm surprised the developers didn't take advantage of the feature to allow for people all over the world to play together. The game will use Xbox Live to grab new content in the future but I think this was a missed opportunity.
Scene It? consists of a few rounds of movie trivia. You'll start out watching a small clip and answering a question about that clip. Sometimes the questions pertain to something on the screen like what color shirt an actor was wearing or asking about something they said so pay close attention during this stage. Afterwards you are taken to a few different mini games that are randomly selected. My favorite happens to be one where you guess the movie based on a drawing in a kids style. Seeing Freddy Krueger as drawn by how a child would was pretty funny. Another interesting mini game is one where the scene is broken up into many little pieces that slowly fall back together. The first person to buzz in can guess from a choice of four what movie it is. Overall there are 21 different types of games you can play. Some games require you to buzz in first to answer. Others involve having everyone answer the question. Time is of the essence though as the faster you answer the more points you get. It's similar to those bar trivia boxes that you can get and compete with others in the establishment or around the country. Later rounds can penalize you points for guessing wrong so this can cause a lot of back and forth in the standings which makes the game pretty competitive.
Movies range from oldies in black and white to current hits. Some of the clips are in HD and they look pretty stellar on the big screen. Others such as the older ones are pretty clear as well. Besides movie clips, there's movie posters, stills, and audio clips to round out the media available when you play the game.
One nice thing about the scoring is that you don't have to be the fastest to score a lot of points. After each round, bonus points are awarded for various achievements such as answering all questions correctly in a game, slowest to answer a question, stealing a question from another, and so on. Even though you may not get the most points during the mini games, you can make it up between rounds. It can be a momentum swinging event as I've witness a few times where someone was behind only to take the lead with the bonus points. The final round involves a question about a scene but for each consecutive answer you get the score multiplier increases. One of my games had me leading my friend by almost double digits. He was able to get all the questions in the last round and I missed one. The final score ended with me only winning by a measly thousand points which made the game really close and exciting.
With games like these, one thing that can really reduce the enjoyment is repeated questions. Thankfully, Scene It? utilizes the hard drive to keep track of the questions asked so it minimizes the chances of the questions being asked again sooner rather than later. It's a great feature and should increase the game's replayability.
To play the game, four buzzer type controllers are included. The controllers consist of one big button that doubles as a D-Pad, the four main Xbox buttons aligned vertically, the Xbox button, the start button, and a select button. It holds pretty comfortably in your hand in a remote control type fashion. The big buzzer button is easy to hit with your thumb and the controller is simple enough so that it won't intimidate those that are unfamiliar with console gaming. It's a great decision to include it with the game as it increases the accessibility of it with the easy to use controller. The controller does need the included infrared receiver plugged into the Xbox though and you'll need AA batteries for it to work. I know that making it so it's not using the wireless feature of the 360 and rechargeable batteries lowers the cost of the game but it's still disappointing. Nevertheless, I like the big button controller for these casual games and at least they are wireless even though they use infrared.
Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action really surprised me. I thought it would just be another mediocre translation of a board game but the folks did a good job adding some fun factor into the game, making it easy to play, and enjoyable for the whole family. It's a great party game and if you do entertain friends who enjoy moves, this is a game you should pick up. With simple mini games, competitive scoring features, and a wide range of movie clips Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is a great entry into Microsoft's casual line of gaming.
While I'm disappointed that the controllers are infrared and there's no online play, Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is a solid entry in the casual area of games.
Rating: 8 Good
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. After writing for a few different sites that went under, it's nice to bring back a site that's not dependent on revenue and just wants to deliver news and reviews of products.
I'm married, and enjoy first person shooters, sports games, and real time strategy games.