Review: Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen!

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A video game series that focuses on movie trivia: it’s a (Cool) Shite reader’s wet dream.

Previously published by Microsoft on the Xbox 360 platform with titles Lights, Camera, Action and Box Office Smash, the Scene It? series has branched out to include the PS3 and Wii with Bright Lights! Big Screen! (like in most forms of media, we’re just plain ignoring the Twilight). With previous Xbox titles receiving rave reviews and being quite enjoyable, does this newest, multi-platform edition maintain the same level of quality?

Straight up? No. As to why, read on.

The hot: The game’s core elements, essentially untouched, are perfect for movie buffs. Trivia questions — and lots of them – are presented in a variety of different puzzle blocks such as Movie Clips, Anagrams, Celebrity Ties, Pictograms, and Songs & Slogans. Boasting 3,000 unique questions, dealing with movies as recent as the schlockfest 2012, the title is pretty good at ensuring you won’t get bogged down with the same stale questions over and over again.

Fans of previous Scene It? titles know that the announcer gets very annoying, very fast. Bright Lights! Big Screen! is quite successful in reigning the host in. Additionally, previous titles are notoriously bad for loading screens and gaps between question blocks; these timings have also been greatly improved.

The meh: You know you’re dealing with a crap game when you single out a less-annoying host and improved load times as big wins. To be frank, all of the game’s attributes are executed lazily and all deserve to be in the ‘meh’ column. That wouldn’t make a very good (or size-appropriate) review, though, so on we go to…

The cold: The previous Scene It? title, Box Office Smash!, was a great Xbox 360 game. It was one of the first titles to support the new avatar system launched beside the console’s NXE program. A majority of the title’s fun came from the competition you could generate via its online multiplayer mode. The title, simply put, did what a trivia game AND a next-generation game should – made an enjoyable and varied game that used online features to keep it fresh.

This new title takes many backwards steps from what made the series great – in one fell swoop, avatar integration AND online multiplayer were removed. Choosing from one of the twelve pre-rendered avatars doesn’t draw you in like seeing your own crafted representation had in the past. Worse, you will get sick of the pre-rendered character’s sobs when you get a question wrong. Continually. Take my advice and turn the avatar sound off. Additionally, other absent aspects like online leaderboards would have served to at least maintain some sort of competitive aspect to the game.

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”555″ caption=”The pre-rendered avatars. They suck.Some of the pre-rendered avatars. They suck.

”Bonus

The long and short of it? The game is okay, but not great – truly deserving of a Meh rating because of its multi-platform nature. If you have an Xbox 360, pick up Scene It? Box Office Smash! instead. If you’ve already played that previous game, just let this new one go – it’s shite. For those who haven’t experienced Scene It? on another platform, you might consider picking this up; it’s good only because you don’t have another choice.