A few years back Sony released Buzz!, a game that came bundled with four USB controllers and a disk which contained 5000 questions on music. It was a huge success for the company and years later new expansions are coming out for Buzz every six months or so. Well, Microsoft obviously wasn't going to get Buzz on their console but they've done the second best thing and teamed up with Scene It? to provide a quiz show game on the Xbox 360, but is the game a buzz killer or a quick cash in?
Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action comes bundled with four wireless big button pads. You may think that's not the correct name, but it actually is. Yes, the peripheral is actually called the big button pad. One of the major advantages Scene It? has over Buzz! is that the big button pads are wireless. They take 2 AA batteries each (which are included) and a USB infra red adaptor comes with the game, which plugs into the USB slot on the Xbox 360. Calibrating the big button pad with the console is as simple as turning on the console with one of the pads.
While the big button pad looks very similar to the Buzz! controllers it is a little different. Down the bottom of the big button pad is a back button, as well as a start button and an Xbox guide button. The actual buttons are coloured, but they have letters on them which refer to the relevant letter on the Xbox 360 controller (A,B, X and Y). The actual buzz in button is about the same size as the one on the Buzz! controllers, but has the advantage of being able to be used to scroll up and down through menus as well. Overall the big button pads all feel nice and sturdy and the battery life is decent. Sure, the design is less than inspired but ultimately what really matters is that the buttons do the job and they certainly do.
Enough about the big button pad, let's get to the game. Most people would have heard of Scene It? before. Scene It? first debuted a few years ago as a DVD game and ever since then there have been plenty of DVD Scene It? board games released, including Deluxe Editions, James Bond Quizzes and even a Harry Potter Quiz. Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action on the Xbox 360 is much like the very first version of the game and is strictly based on movie knowledge.
There are two main modes in Scene It? party play mode and play now. Party play mode teams four players up and randomly selects a round. It feels a little bit like a slapdash mode though as the game forces you to play with four players and the during the party play mode you can see what answers the other players have select. So if everyone selects A then you can be pretty damn sure the actual answer is A.
For serious competition you will want to select the play now option. The play now option comes with two timer settings, short play and long play. Short play games will take about half an hour, whereas long play games will take about double that. In each game there are three rounds (with three game types in each) as well as a final round called the final cut. Generally for each question the aim is to answer the question correctly and as fast as possible, with the game starting by awarding 2000 points but ticking down to 0. In the final cut, players are shown a clip from a movie and then simply must answer questions based on the clip. It's a rather simple mode but mixes things up a bit by awarding players a multiplier for each correct answer. This means that the scores can get rather large, sometimes making the previous rounds redundant.
For the most part the rounds are quite enjoyable and there is a large variety, so you will need to identify movies, actors, listen to audio and even movie posters throughout the rounds. Disappointingly there are only 1800 questions, but because you are playing on the Xbox 360, the game keeps track of which questions players have seen, which keeps question repetition to a minimum. One of the major disappointments is the fact that there isn't much customisation in the game, so you cannot actually set up a 15 round match with 15 rounds chosen by you, you are simply forced to play the rounds that the computer has randomly selected for you.
There are however a few problems with Scene It?. The game certainly lacks personality, where a title like Buzz! is entertaining because the host is always good for a laugh, it makes the game feel a lot more relaxed. Whereas the lack of humour in Scene It? makes it a lot more of a serious game. It's still a lot of fun answering questions and mocking the other players for getting the answers wrong, but those who go in expecting some "personality" will be disappointed. On the other hand, those who find Buzz! utterly annoying will probably appreciate the more serious nature of the game.
The achievements in Scene It? are quite easy to obtain and if you play for long enough you will have increased your gamerscore by 1000. One of the advantages that Scene It? has over the DVD board games is that the game should have the potential for downloadable content. However, at the moment we keep that as a should, rather than a definite. The game actually has no Xbox Live integration at all, so hopefully a patch is released down the track so downloadable packs can be offered on the marketplace. The lack of Xbox Live integration also means that there is no online play, which is a little disappointing.
Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is a decent debut for the series on the Xbox 360. The lack of live integration and omission of customisation options is quite disappointing, but the fact that the game is so enjoyable in multiplayer does make up for these problems. Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is much better value than the DVD board games and is sure to be a hit at those Christmas parties.