Jan 28

Written by: Thryon
1/28/2008 12:05 AM  RssIcon

Box Art
Clatto Verata Nicto
Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action
Release Date: November 06, 2007
Developer: Screenlife / WXP
ESRB Rating: Teen
Reviewed by: Brian Wray
The first time I ever played Scene It? (the DVD/board game) was at a friend’s house. Everyone was having a good time, even though is took a few tries to figure out how to control the game properly with the DVD remote. Even after having played most of the game, the remote handler would often press the wrong button registering an incorrect answer or no answer at all. It may not have been entirely their fault as everyone was screaming out answers, leading to many arguments about who got the correct answer or who screamed it first. Even with all there drawbacks, the game was still quite fun.

It was with great pleasure that I read Microsoft’s press release indicating a version of Scene It? Lights, Action, Camera (or Scene It? LCA)was in development for the Xbox 360 console. This game was part of Microsoft’s new strategy to appeal to the the more casual gamers and try to steal some thunder away from Nintendo. To this end, they also developed a new controller to be used specifically for this game called the “Big Button” controller. It was so named, because it is adorned by a big button to allow players to ring in, and 4 small buttons to answer the question. The game ships with 4 of these controllers in the 4 colours of the Xbox 360 buttons. These big button controllers are all controlled by a wireless receiver that plugs into the console’s USB port. The controllers are very responsive as long as they maintain line of sight with the infrared receiver plugged into the console. Also cool to note the controller of a particular colour will correspond with the player of the same colour in the game.
Screenshot
(Click for larger image)
Scene It? LCA, similar to its board game counterpart, is a movie trivia game. The Xbox 360 version plays just like the non console version with more interaction and less confusion. The game is broken down into different four acts (rounds), three of which are filled with various questions and challenges while the fourth and final act made up of a single movie clip with 5 follow-up questions of increasing value. Each Scene It? game can be played in a short or long format. The difference relating only to the amount of questions asked per act.

The game offers a large variety of questions ranging from simple flash questions, to complex anagrams. Some types of questions will provide visual clues such as video clips, props, or pictures, where other provide sound clips, or even just credit listings. The range of questions does vary greatly; with some more fun than others. I personally disliked the questions that ask you to list in chronological order the release date of 4 different movies. In reality all questions can be broken down to two genres; type of questions that everyone can register an answer and a score is assigned according to how fast the correct answer was provided and questions where contestants must first "buzz", then answer the question correctly. Again this is simple with the big button controllers, as gamers need only press the big button on the controller, and then use the regular buttons to answer the question. The all answer questions were the most fun as we could see who knew the answer, and who did not.

It is very important to note that this game is not geared towards a single player experience. Sure it can be played in single player format, but to fully enjoy the game it must be played with friends. I had a few friends over, and we decided to play a game of Scene It?. Two of the players were seasoned Xbox 360 gamers, but the third one never held a controller in his life. I mean the last game this person most likely played would have been Pac-Man. Not a console version, but the original arcade version from the 80s (well he told me he used to play the SNES). This lack of gaming experience did not affect his enjoyment of the game as everyone, including my non-gaming friend, found the big button controllers very easy to use. I would even say that the big button controllers favoured the non-games as he could follow the on screen order of the buttons to answer his questions. Each time I knew the answer to be the YELLOW option, I kept pressing the uppermost button on the big button controller, as on the gamepad this is the location of the Y or yellow button , but on screen and on the big button controller the yellow is the last button.
Screenshot
(Click for larger image)
My biggest complaint with the game was with the “producer”. This virtual host was annoying and only really managed to slow down the flow of the game. I wish the developer would have allowed an option to turn “him” off. No such luck. If you want to play Scene It? Lights Camera Action, you will need to endure the producer.

When I had first played this game at my friend’s house (on DVD) we started to see many repeat questions after only the first game. This problem has been somewhat corrected on the Xbox 360 as the game will remember which questions it already asked a particular player and will try to pick new questions to ask from its database of over 1800 questions. This system works to some extent. While the game will try to pick different questions from each category of question, with 20 different categories of questions that is still only 90 questions per category and repeated questions started appearing after about 4 games. Still the game does provide for a lot of potential via downloadable content were the database of questions could grow exponentially.

All in all, this is a must have game for party hosts. Just be warned that the single player experience may be a bit lacking.
--Brian Wray

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