February 19, 2008
Quick, who played Frankenstein’s creation in Mel Brooks’ 1974 horror-comedy “Young Frankenstein”?
Did you not get the above question right off the bat? Well don’t feel bad, as there’s a wide variety of movies included in this game, ranging from the 1957 classic “12 Angry Men,” to the pop-culture phenomenon that is “Shrek.” With all these titles, you’re bound to know a few answers without needing to be a movie buff.
Questions similar to (but not including) the above are featured in the 2007 game Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action. Developed by Screenlife, who have also released other Scene It titles, this question-based party game includes well over 1800 questions and enough multiplayer excitement to get the whole family involved in. Right out of the aesthetically pleasing package, Scene It comes equipped with four “Big Button Pad” controllers, a USB infrared receiver, and hours of trivia fun.
The aforementioned BBP controllers are, to be blunt, pretty sweet looking. Coming in four colors (red, blue, green, and yellow) that determine which player you are, the controllers really add to the gameshow-contestant feel of the game, even including a buzzer used for certain sections of the game. The A, B, X, and Y buttons (used to answer the multiple choice questions) are arranged vertically with a convenient little bump on the B button to let you know where your thumb is in relation to the rest of the buttons. The only real downside to these BBPs is the fact that the infrared receiver is required for all four players to participate simultaneously. While this may not seem like much, it is a slight hindrance if you aren’t used to pointing the controller directly at the receiver. Just be sure to have a clear path for the signal to travel, and you’ll experience no problems on these otherwise nifty controllers.
The point of the game is simple; you compete against up to three players (solo games are available too) in order to gain the most points and become a “Tinsel town superstar.” Points are awarded based on time taken to input the correct answer (most counting down from 2000), and bonus points are awarded after each round, based on correct answers and other categories. The first round in each game is slightly easier than the rest, as there are no consequences for wrong answers, but after that, you lose points based on the time taken to input the wrong answer (again, counting down from 2000).
There are three modes to play in: Short and Long games, and an endless Party Mode. Short mode includes three rounds with three blocks of puzzles each, including five questions per block; ending with a final showdown containing 4-5 questions. Long mode is basically the same, but with five sections per round instead of three. This totals to approximately 50-80 questions in each mode, respectively, offering plenty of chances to catch up to and surpass your opponents.
Various puzzle blocks used to test your skills include: Child’s Play, a game type where you guess the titles of movies based on children’s drawings of scenes or clues; matching movie posters to their respective titles, solving anagrams of movie titles; and the hardest of all: Sequentials, a hair-ripping, coma-inducing, pain in the carcass puzzle block where you must arrange movie titles in order of release year. Unless you’ve got movie dates swimming through your brain, this will most likely be your least favorite block. Thank goodness it doesn’t appear as much as the next block I mention:
Possibly the most common puzzle block, the screening room forces you to answer questions based on clips from widely famous movies. Even if you’ve never seen the movies, you can easily make educational guesses with titles and actors. One portion that requires the utmost attention to detail involves questions based on the background objects and dialogue throughout the clip. Some of these can be easy; others can ask you how many times a character says the word “poop.” (Note: Not a real example.) These puzzle blocks require many skills, though guessing can help you through quite a few, especially if you know even the slightest bit of information about a movie.
The visuals in Scene It are as good as expected. The movie clips are in crystal-clear HD, and even clips from older movies look sharp, adding much to the game’s look. The menus and the rest of the game are basic and cartoony, yet vibrant and colorful enough to be easy on the eyes and a real treat to all. Aside from the clips, there’s really nothing amazing in the line of graphics.
The audio clips are of the same quality as the video; clearly re-mastered and brought to life for your ears’ pleasure. The main and blatantly obvious drawback, however, is the narration. In the first few play throughs, his witty comments and quips are somewhat amusing, but after several games begin to become repetitious; you’ll probably hear several lines multiple times in the same game. Being the most prominent audio in the game, the narrator is likely to get on your nerves after a while.
Achievement-wise, Scene It is an easy 1000, most achievements based on answering a certain amount of questions in a category or getting a high score in either a short or long game. You can get a few in your first game, and they only come easier as you play more often. Obviously answering correctly is vital to gaining these achievements, but you learn as you play in this game, even though you must run through most of the questions before they end up repeating. If you know your stuff, expect a 1000 fairly soon.
Chances are you’re not buying Scene It for the audio, even though the clips are top notch. As mentioned earlier, the narrator is a real flaw, dragging this category of the game down quite a bit.
Gotta love those video clips. Screenlife did a great job bumping up the quality for these, and the game’s visuals are a plus too, contributing to the feel of the game along side the controllers, though a bit childish and somewhat plain.
You can easily grasp the controls after the first few questions, a great thing to have in a reaction-based videogame, and with the handy bump on the B button, there’s little to no need to be looking down at the controller.
Scene It’s defining factor. There are so many clips and questions packed into this game that you’ll likely still be having fun long after your first game. The game also saves which questions each player has seen, making it much more difficult for a repeat question until well after seeing the majority.
Easy, fun achievements, though you’re not going to knock them out in the first game, and they do require skill along with time. If you’ve got the friends and the knowledge to play this frequently, you’ll have no problem getting at least halfway through in your first 5-10 games.
Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is a must-have for families and friends alike. This game is sure to be a party necessity, especially if you’re surrounded by movie fanatics. Scene It offers many hours of gameplay, and the inclusion of all four controllers in the standard box makes it easily worth its price tag.