Whether it be in its original DVD-based board game format or the videogame-based titles, the Scene It? brand has been vastly popular over the last few years, showing that film buffs just can't get enough when it comes to sprouting their volumes of knowledge on all things celluloid. Scene It? Box Office Smash is the second title in the videogame iteration of the franchise and like its predecessor, it proves to be a great party title for you to share with friends (even the non-gamers) and family for a fun night in.
For those uninitiated in the world of Scene It?, Box Office Smash is a trivia game that is playable for up to four players and is designed to test your knowledge of movies - with this title collating images, video clips and trivia from blockbuster, cult, and classic movies released from the 1950s all the way through to films that graced the silver screen in 2008. In some cases, players are challenged to be the first to buzz in - an experience which is decidedly more fun with the specially designed Big Button Pads, though regular Xbox 360 controllers are supported for those not inclined to store another set of plastic controllers away in the cupboard. In other cases, the puzzles give everyone the opportunity to cast their votes for what they believe is the correct answer. As well as providing the correct answer, players are encouraged to answer the questions as quickly as possible as the sooner you answer, the more points you can rack up. The timing factor adds a sense of urgency to the game and provides rewards for players who are lightning fast with their fingers. Whether you play a short or long game, the game puzzles are broken up into three rounds which contain various sets of puzzles. At the end of these three rounds players then participate in the Final Cut, where each correct answer rewards you with a multiplier allowing players to rack up a quick score in a short time. Prizes are also offered between rounds where players are rewarded with bonus points for things such as being the fastest buzzer of the round or correctly answering a block of questions in a row. These bonus points are a good way to keep games fairly close as even the worst trivia participant can have a chance at bumping up their score.
Scene It? Box Office Smash doesn't differentiate from the solid gameplay formula of the original Xbox 360 title very much, but it does add a handful of refinements. Essentially, the concept, format and control scheme of the game is the same - it should also be noted that the Big Button Pad controllers remain the same, so if you already have a set then you can purchase the controller-less edition of the game at a cheaper price. If you loved the previous Xbox 360 title, this one will offer up a whole new set of movie clips and questions to get your brain matter going once more. Just don't expect that that the new set of questions will last you very long - we'll explain in due course.
There are three major additions for this newest Scene It? release. After the glaring omission from Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action, we are very excited to say that Box Office Smash now sports an online multiplayer mode though Xbox Live. This title also contains the option to download additional trivia packs to increase the longevity of the title, though at this point in time there is only one pack available for download. Lastly, Scene It? adds support for the New Xbox Experience by allowing you to use your cutesy Xbox Live Avatar in the game.
The two Xbox Live additions are things that many gamers believed should have been included in Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action and we're happy to see its inclusion in Box Office Smash as it will drastically improve the shelf life of the title. Due to its licensed movie content, the Scene It?titles pack a significantly smaller stock of questions when compared to a number of the other trivia games on the market. Because of this you'll find that you'll burn through the questions in five to six hours if you play through a few long versions of the game. The inclusion of online play won't change the fact that some questions are repeating, but you're a hell of a lot more receptive to the fact when it means that you've got an advantage over the person you are playing over Xbox Live. The inclusion of downloadable content should also rectify this situation, though the fact remains that the title has received only one DLC pack since its North American release in November 2008, showing that the DLC is not coming through as thick and fast as we had hoped that it would. But hopefully, now that the game has been released throughout all territories, we are keeping our fingers crossed that this DLC trickle will turn into a flood.
Like any good movie sequel, Scene It? Box Office Smash manages to refine the experience of its predecessor and better itself in almost every way. The one glaring negative about this title is the short lifespan out of the box, but with the promised DLC support we are quite confident that Box Office Smash will be giving gamers a solid movie-trivia experience for a long time.