Let me start of by saying I already own the other 2 games in the Scene It? range on Xbox 360 and am a big fan which is what led me to go for this game as the others in the series delivered great quiz gaming with excellent production values but this is most certainly not in the same league.
A brief description of Scene It?
Scene It? is a series which began life as board games and DVD's but in recent years has had two Xbox 360 offerings. The premise of the game is that you are set questions to answer relating to the subject matter (for this game films but for some of the DVD's this could be the Simpsons, Harry Potter, Twilight, etc) and answer to gain points to defeat your opponents. Very simple premise but when done right it just works.
The game has once again had a good variety and number of questions put in and so you are not likely to get much in the way of repetition. The game also uses auto save functions to monitor questions it has asked to cut down on repetition which is very good and does work well.
The control system is easy and if you already have the Scene It? controllers then it will make the game a lot quicker and more fun to play and allow it to be much more accessible for those who are not fans of games consoles.
This game has taken a huge leap backwards in terms of its graphics and sound, with an awful voice over presenter leading to the game becoming annoying and although you can switch him off this is something which should add to the experience not detract.
The presentation overall is very poor with little animations between rounds and quizzes being much worse than the previous offerings from Scene It? which has led to this game being widely panned by critics and gamers alike.
The previous games came with controllers and were excellent value for money due to this but this version feels very much like it is being done to be as cheap and as profitable as it can be and like they decided that this would be the last one they would do so wished to make as much money as they could. No controllers included, poor presentation and graphic standards, plus an awful "host" who you end up switching off all lead to this being a really poor value game.
Overall this is a game I had such high hopes for but felt completely let down by and after one session on this it was already traded as I knew it would never be used again. If you are looking for a quiz game then go with the previous Scene It? offerings.
--PLEASE NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS ALSO UP ON MY CIAO ACCOUNT UNDER "MONSOONBABY88"--
Film fans may already have heard of Scene It?, a popular board game which also incorporated the use of an accompanying DVD. Featuring movie clips, quotations and general trivia, and available for up to four players, the Scene It? Board games are still successful. It was only a matter of time before the main video game consoles got their own versions.
Scene It! Bright Lights, Big Screen is the third offering available for the Xbox 360, and can be played by up to four players at one time. For those familiar with the previous two, the typical trivia rounds make another appearance, such as anagrams, film clips, quotations, and general film knowledge questions. The film questions are taken from a selection of films from the past four decades, right up until the middle of 2009. There are three game modes to choose from, which are "Party Play", "Fast Fire" and "Play Now". All three of these I will discuss in greater detail as the review goes on. There are a few little changes here and there in this version of Scene It which those who have played the other two will not have seen before. In some ways, these are good changes, and in others, they are, unfortunately, quite bad.
The first change you will notice is the inability to use your Xbox avatars in game, like you could in the previous game "Scene It! Box Office Smash." Instead, you are able to choose from a selection of film characters representing different genres, such as "the leading man", "sci-fi cadet", "martial artist", "desperado" and more. Sadly, it appears that the graphics this time around have stepped down a notch, so these playable characters hardly have any personality or charm. Each character has a set amount of expressions and noises that they display whenever they have answered a question correctly or incorrectly. Sadly, these are very limited, and so it becomes a little irritating watching them repeat the same actions over and over again throughout the game. It seems a shame seeing as one of the best selling points of the previous Scene It was integration of your Xbox Avatars.
The graphics in the game make this seem like a bit of a low budget version of the previous two Scene It games available for the Xbox 360 consoles. The look and feel has completely been revamped. The moving between film sets, like in the last two Scene It games has been removed. In a way, this is a good move by the game makers. Some of the cut scenes between the trivia rounds in the previous games were very long-winded, which felt a little frustrating when all you want to do is persist with answering questions. However, having no flashy introduction into each different form of trivia does take away a little of the charm that the predecessors had. The cut scenes that are featured occasionally are, for the most part, very brief, and feature rather shoddy graphics that look quite outdated compared to the graphics of other games nowadays. The graphics look like they have been lifted from older consoles, such as the Playstation One, which at the time of the consoles release, would have looked great, but nowadays they look pretty poor.
Unfortunately, every Scene It game so far has included a rather annoying voiceover, which tries to voice witty opinions in between the rounds. Scene It! Bright Lights, Big Screen is another with this voiceover. This time around, we actually see the source of the voice, unlike the others. He is introduced in the form of a Director of "Scene It World", and introduces each new round, and tallies up the scores at the end of them. Thankfully, there is an option to turn off this guy if he starts to grate on you, which will probably happen by the second game of Scene It.
The game features three different modes of play, the first of these being the "Party Play" option. Party Play consists of unlimited trivia, puzzles and movie clips with the ability for multiple players to drop in and out when they choose. However, there is not really much point in this mode, as unless you have more than four players willing to take a turn on one of the buzzers, it is deemed redundant when there is the much better structured "Play Now" option. The "Play Now" option is the main mode in Scene It! Bright Lights, Big Screen. There are a set amount of questions spanned over three to five rounds, depending on if you wish to play a short or long game. This mode allows players to compete against one another in one of four places, and so points are awarded to the player who buzzes in with the correct answer the fastest.
The new Director host awards "star points" to the players who have passed certain criteria's in the game, e.g. if they have answered all questions right in a round. These star points allow players lagging behind a chance to catch up with the others. You can trade in these points in an opportunity to earn a score multiplayer for the upcoming round, by stopping a meter that alternates between all the players' names until it lands on their section. If the player messes up and selects another player, all the points are awarded to that player instead. The new mode in Scene It is "Fast Fire", which is the new single player mode in the game. The single player has five minutes to answer as many questions as they can correctly, with incorrect answers deducting time off. It is a pretty quick and simple mode, with the only aim to get a high score. Sadly, unlike the previous Scene It games though, there is no online leader boards, so you are no longer able to display your huge score with pride for all of Xbox Live to see. Also, the ability to take part in online play has been removed in this version, which is a real shame for those who wish to find themselves another three players to play the game with.
Those familiar with the previous two Scene It games will be familiar with the puzzle types on offer here, as most of the puzzle types are carried over from them. This can be seen as a good thing, as the best puzzles from the previous offerings have made a welcome return, such as "Pixel Flix", "Childs Play" and of course, the movie clips. However, the more dull rounds which for some reason seem to be included each time are "Anagrams", where you have to guess the name of the film or actor by looking at jumbled words, or the "Sequentials" round, where films have to be put in a chronological order. These types of puzzles only take away a bit of fun in the game, and to be honest, have only ever made me and anyone else I have been playing with release a groan when they pop up. Depending on the puzzle type, players will either buzz in for the fastest answer, or are all able to answer at the same time. Scene It saves the questions you have answered, so that there are not many incidences in where they are repeated for a very long time. Even if a movie clip has been repeated, you will find for the most part that the questions about the clip have changed.
Like the previous games in the series, Scene It! Bright Lights, Big Screen still supports the official Xbox Big-button controllers. You can either buy the more expensive bundle, which includes the four controllers and the game (normally around £30), or if you already have the controllers, then the game will set you back around £15. However, the buzzer controllers are not essential for game play, and you can use your trusty Xbox gamepad controller to buzz in and answer the questions if you wish to.
Those who enjoy unlocking achievements for their gamer score, the achievements in Scene It! Box Office Smash are rather easy. If you acknowledge yourself as a total film buff, you will most probably unlock around 450G in the first game. I had managed to amass over half of the achievements in my second game. Within a few games, you'll be well on your way to 100% the game.
Overall, this Xbox 360 version of Scene It! Bright Lights, Big Screen is quite a disappointment, even though it can still be quite enjoyable in a sense. The previous game, Scene It! Box Office Smash managed to successfully improve on the flaws of the original Scene It game, and really presented a visually striking, enjoyable film trivia console game. Although the question types from the previous games are still present in this venture, which for the most part, is excellent news, it is the small changes that let this down. The inability to use your Xbox Live Avatar is one of the most disappointing aspects of the game, as the replacement characters do not hold much charm and are, in all honesty, quite irritating. The games host is also quite annoying at times, but luckily he is able to be turned off in the options menu. The ability for online play and submission of scores into leader boards has been removed from this version, which was one of the best features in the previous Scene It offering. The three modes, which can be enjoyed by both multiplayer and single player, are all very enjoyable, if you can excuse the rather sub-par graphics, annoying voiceovers and the drawbacks of the available characters. Fans of the previous Scene It games may find themselves feeling a little disappointed, but there is still plenty on offer here to make it an enjoyable game for film buffs.