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Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action


Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action

ESRB: Teen - T
Platform: Xbox 360
Category: Miscellaneous

Developer: ScreenLife Games/WXP
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios


1-4 Players (Offline)
Downloadable Content
EDTV Support – 480p
HDTV Support – 720p/1080i/1080p
In-Game Dolby Digital

Anyone who is a movie buff and who owns a DVD player knows the game “Scene It?”. This game has been played in many living rooms by many people for many years. If anything it has been one of the premiere party games that many have tried to emulate but many have failed. Well, Microsoft knows a good thing when they see it and they have transferred this game to the Xbox 360. “Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action” adds a few new twists to make it a must have party game for 360 owners to play.


Overall the visual style of “Scene It?” is pretty solid from the presentation to the content available. The game is basically connected from game mode to game mode through a series of animated cut scenes that take you through various parts of a generic movie studio such as an editing room or a props department. These cut scenes are decent and makes for an interesting feel to the game. Each game mode has its own visual look given that there are so many modes and each one should look different from each other. During my time with the game I was somewhat let down as I watched the various movie clips used to play some of the game modes. Given that the Xbox 360 is a high definition machine I was really hoping to view the movie clips in high definition, however the majority of them are not presented in such. This is a little puzzling given how Microsoft has a great relationship with many movie studios and they have a lot of movies to download on the marketplace in high definition. To have to watch the majority of the clips in standard definition was quite a let down, especially since I have had the chance to watch so many movies on HD-DVD, using the 360 HD-DVD drive attachment nonetheless, or on Blu-Ray. This is not a deal breaker though and overall the presentation and look of the game is very clean and everything adds to the feel of this movie based trivia title.


Sound is relatively solid but nothing phenomenal. The game has an announcer who manages to do his job well, and to me he wasn’t too annoying to listen too. There are some generally funny lines during the presentation of the game too, but sometimes they do come off as trying too hard to be funny. The movie clips that you are presented with are generally quite audible as they allow you to listen to the material at hand. You may find yourself turning up the volume now and then, and this maybe due to not only the volume of some of the clips, but how many people you have sitting in front of the TV bantering or bickering that they are the superior team playing. Overall the sound manages to add to the overall gameplay of the title, but hey the majority of the game is made up of existing movie material so it would take a lot of bad programming to mess this area up.


The DVD version of “Scene It?” is designed to be a played as a combination of a board game and a video game. You play the videogame portion through a DVD player where all those people playing share the DVD Player’s remote. All the while you track your game piece on a standard board and move forward with the roll of a dice. This is pretty fun but can be somewhat of a hassle now and then. There is a much better way to play it, and the Xbox 360 is where “Scene It?” really finds a good home.

First off Microsoft Game Studios and developers ScreenLife Games/WXP have utilized the Xbox 360 and its ability to be a multi-function machine capable of registering and/or using many different peripherals. When you walk down to your local game store and pick “Scene It?” up off the shelf and take it to the counter to pay for you will notice that the game comes in one very large package. The reason for this is to accommodate four new controllers simply known as Big Button Pads. These newly designed controllers have been strictly designed for “Scene It?” and they are perfectly suited for this new game as they are small, simple and very easy to use. There is a very prominent and large button on top which is used for players to buzz in to answer any questions. There are also four vertically aligned buttons that represent the four face buttons of the regular 360 controller (A,B,X and Y) and they are color coded exactly the same way as the regular Xbox 360 controller too. These buttons are used to choose your answer and the colors correspond to one of four answers on screen. Bottom-line with these controllers, they are perfect for a group of people who don’t usually play videogames. If there is any negative to these controllers it is that you need to plug an I/R receiver into one of the 360’s USB ports and place it in such a way that each controller has a clear line of sight to it. This is a small price to pay for the included four controllers that are necessary for this game.

So enough about the controllers, let’s talk about the actual game itself. “Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action” plays very well. One to four players can sit down for some movie based trivia. There are a total of 21 different game types within the whole game, and all of them will test not only your knowledge of movies through regular trivia, but also through memorization or puzzle skills which are presented via actual film clips, standard pictures or creative puzzles of some sort. For example, you will find yourself watching a clip of a specific movie, and then you are challenged to answer a series of questions based on that specific clip. You will be very surprised with the details the game actually questions you on. There are also challenges where you have to figure out a movie title from bits and pieces of the actual movie poster itself or name a specific movie by looking at pictures of real life objects (e.g. a real beetle and a cup of orange juice equates to Beetle Juice).

All the modes in the game are very simple making them easy to understand and easy to play. Players have the option of playing a long or short version of the game as well. For enquiring minds, a short game can take around 30 minutes or so while a long game is about double that. “Scene It?” also allows for a four player only mode known as Party, where the game eliminates all of the cut scene material and gets right down to the nitty gritty game modes themselves.

There are around 1800 questions in “Scene It?” and it should take you awhile to get through all of these questions one way or another. To my amazement the game does not become nearly as repetitive as I thought it would. After signing in under my gamertag the game seemed to recognize who I was and it somehow figures out the bulk of the questions that I was already asked. This is a nice feature and actually adds to the replayability of the game. “Scene It?” also supports DLC, but there has been no indication to date what this exactly will entail. It could be themed question packs (e.g. movies from the 80’s) or just random question packs, regardless the ability to download new content for this game should only add to the longevity of the title.

If there is any negative to this game it is the lack of online play. Sure, the focus of “Scene It?” is as a party game for people to enjoy together, but in many ways this game is also well suited for some online play. Not everyone has a group of people over every weekend, so the inclusion of online play would have allowed for gamers and movie buffs alike to hook up online for some movie trivia madness. I think Microsoft Game Studios decision not to include this type of feature was somewhat of a bad one. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a deal breaker but it is something that I hope they include in a future version of this game, or in a downloadable patch.

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