Review: Scene It? Box Office Smash

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You know when Christmas is approaching when the games start flooding in, and more specifically, the family games. Titles such as You’re In The Movies and Lips have opened the Xbox 360 into the more casual market. Accompanying them two is Scene It? Box Office Smash, the latest in the Scene It? video game series. Developed by Krome and Screenlife and published by Microsoft Game Studios, Scene It? BOS looks set to bring the family closer together, in a unique gaming experience.

For those of you new to the series, Scene It? is based on the DVD board game of the same name, which can be played in two lengths: long or short. Opting for the long game uses a bigger board with the opposite for the latter. Players take it in turns to roll two dice and to answer questions from trivia cards, DVD challenges or “Buzz cards”. The winner is the person who wins a “Final Cut” challenge at the end of the game. The video game is slightly different to the board game as it has been adapted so that it can be played using a big button controller.

As the name suggests, the big button controller contains, well, a big button, which can also be used as a directional pad. The big button is used, in certain rounds, for buzzing in for a question. Down the narrower section of the controller are the familiar A, B, X and Y buttons which are the main controls used within the game and are used to select the answers.

With four big button controllers being bundled with the game, it comes as no surprise to see the game feature a rather impressive multiplayer aspect. The excitement and thrills players will get defeating their friends and family is great for parties and social gatherings. Scene It? BOS may even prove to be the title to get the most unlikely of gamers onto the gaming scene.

From the off, players are given the option to play a short game (lasting around 15-20 minutes) or a long game (lasting around 25-30 minutes) – similarly to the board game. Which ever you decide to choose, both will have players testing their film knowledge through four rounds on various different game modes. Rounds one, two and three are an array of game modes whilst round four (also known as the final round) starts with movie clips to which players asked to answer questions about. Answering a question correctly increases the player’s multiplier whilst answering a question incorrectly resets the player’s multiplier.

The amount of game modes is pretty impressive. They range from watching a movie clip then answering the following questions to solving a crossword, and from identifying the distorted image to identifying which object is missing from the screen capture. There are all sorts of game modes to play which is relieving as one of the main problems with Scene It? Lights Camera Action – the game’s predecessor was game modes appearing too frequently.

It’s very easy to tell that Scene It? BOS wasn’t intended for single player use as there is no option to add AI. However the game still works perfectly well without it. It may get slightly boring being on your lonesome but thankfully you can take your film-knowledge to the online world.

A new feature missing from the previous title is Xbox LIVE support which is more-or-less the game’s offline multiplayer online. The long or short game options are the only two modes as such which comes as a slight disappointment. An even bigger disappointment is the fact that no-one plays the game online and I can see why. Do people really want to spend 15-30 minutes playing one game of Scene It? against a total stranger? The whole excitement of it is just not there.

Scene It? BOS is the first retail game to contain avatar-support. Signing in with your gamer profile automatically imports your avatar into the game. Your avatar is visible at all times, gracing his or her presence in one of the corners and on the in-game sofa. The addition of avatars is great and is hopefully the start of formidable features to come in other titles.

As for the rest of the game’s graphics, they successfully portray the game’s ‘child-friendly’ look and make fairly impressive viewing. The game’s audio matches the same standards of the graphics with the exception of the voiceover. After one game the voiceover’s fine, but after four or five you will repeatedly hear the same lines. Not only do the same lines repeat, but the same questions.

The main problem with games like Scene It? is the amount of content (or in this case, questions). After five or six games you may be starting to find the same questions slipping in from time-to-time, more noticeably on the ‘Movie Clip’ rounds. Scene It? BOS does manage to solve these problems by providing alternative questions for the same clips, though I feel it still isn’t enough. It would be nice to see more questions available for the game, though in this day and age, if it was to come it would no doubt come at a price, and at a price that wouldn’t be worth it.

You may remember that the game’s predecessor was a fairly easy 1000 GamerScore and the same opinion can be associated with Scene It? BOS. The achievements require players to answer a lot of questions, and I mean a lot. Anyone could easily bag themselves a fair amount of Gamerpoints from the game. It’s also worth noting the achievement names are fairly impressive, with each of them describing a film-related word or phrase.