IGN Review of Scene It? Box Office Smash
The Scene It? brand has proven that movie buffs just can't get enough of showing off their encyclopedic knowledge of cinema. We've already seen dozens of releases of the DVD-based board game and now Microsoft has published its second Xbox 360 iteration of the franchise. Just like the first Scene It? Xbox 360 game, this release is a great option for an evening of play with your family or non-gamer friends.
Scene It? Box Office Smash is largely the same as last year's release with a few major additions. The concept is the same, the format is the same and the Big Button Pad controllers that come with the game are the same (you can also buy the game alone at a discount). If you loved the previous Xbox 360 game, this one will offer up new trivia and new movie clips to get your party going once more. Just don't expect that party to last all that long.
The Scene It? games on Xbox 360 follow the same format as what you get with the DVD board games, though in videogame form it does all of the score keeping for you. Each game is separated into three rounds and a "final cut" finale. During each round, players are challenged to answer movie trivia and solve puzzles, quite often using visual clues. The faster you answer the question, the more points you will get. You can play with up to four players, though you're free to make teams at home if more people want to join in the fun.
The types of puzzles range from placing a list of movies into their release order up to watching a clip and then answering questions. This last type of trivia is a bit odd, though, because the questions you get after watching a movie scene are rarely directly related to what you just saw. Other than those oddities, the questions and types of puzzles have a good variety and can be quite fun. You'll find questions that range the full history of cinema, straight up to recent 2008 releases. You'll have to be a movie buff in all genres to answer every question.
There are three major additions for this newest Scene It? release. The game now supports online play through Xbox Live. It also now gives you the option to download new trivia packs to play in the game. And lastly, Scene It? adds avatars into the game, making it the first release to be built with the New Xbox Experience in mind. Box Office Smash jumped the gun a little bit -- the New Xbox Experience Dashboard update doesn't come until November 19 -- so you're forced to choose from a stock of basic avatars to use as your character for now. It will only be an aesthetic change, but come late November you'll be able to bring your own custom avatar into Box Office Smash
The two Xbox Live additions are things that should have been included in last year's Xbox 360 game, Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action. It's a good thing they made it into this release because, together, they give Scene It? a shelf life of more than a few days. Last year's Scene It? game was well made, but once you were done with the questions on the disc, playing it just wasn't any fun. Unlike other trivia games on the market, Scene It? has licensed movie content. That means the stock of questions on the disc is significantly smaller than comparative trivia games. You'll burn through the questions in a few extended play sessions and start seeing repeats. With Box Office Smash, it only took about five games before I was given a question I'd already seen.
The online play won't change the fact that you'll be getting questions you've already answered early and often, but it will add some competitive spirit to the game when friends aren't around to join in your fun. And this game is not nearly as fun alone as it is against other humans. The online game runs smoothly and follows an identical format to the offline game.
The matter of how many packs of downloadable questions we'll actually get (and how much they'll cost) is still up in the air. That's not a good thing. Box Office Smash is fun, but gather a few friends over for a Friday night worth of playing and you'll be done with this release. Once the questions start repeating often, the fun grinds to a halt.
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