Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is not a good trivia game. It gives you more than 2,800 questions on the movies you know and love, includes clips from feature films, and keeps that cool mode where they digitally erase someone from a frame and you answer questions about it, but the good news ends there and big ol' annoyances take its place.
The announcer's jokes are lame and his lip syncing is waaaaaay off; when you're in a four-player contest, you have no easy way of knowing which of you buzzed in to answer a question; the Buzz! Quiz TV buzzers are the only peripheral that works with Scene It on the PS3, but the game does recognize them when they're connected so be prepared to tinker with menus until you figure out what button "Triangle" converts to on your pad; and the presentation is super-flat here -- you're just a blocky bust of a character answering trivia against a pastel background.
Quiz show nuts can do better than this.
Buzzers at the ready.
Like I said before, what Scene It does do right is bring a bunch of movie trivia questions complete with clips from the film, photos from the set, and more. There's really no flair to them – no crazy mini-game to play or anything – you either try to buzz in with the correct answer first, buzz in first and then answer, or order four things in the correct sequence. The questions stick with the same Scene It concept some people love and some people hate -- you know, you watch a clip of the 40-Year-Old Virgin, get two questions about the clip, and then the rest are about the actors' careers and personal lives. I dig that, but I know some don't.
I found it refreshing that this version of Scene It tosses out the goofy bonuses awarded at the end if the game that often led to the worst player getting a major point-boost. There are still awards here for cleaning up in a round or being super-fast, but their implementation makes more sense -- well, kind of.
See, at the end of a round, the horrid Scene It host will give out star icons to players who have rocked the last few sets of questions. You can store three of them, but the bigger deal is trading them in. Once you have two stars, you can play a mini-game before the next set of questions and try to earn a point multiplier. A segmented meter pops up with each character's description on it and you need to stop a scrolling arrow in one of the sections to decide who gets the 1.5 boost. This is cool, but only one person can do it a round. I'd rather be able to go head-to-head with my friend when we both have our multipliers. On top of that, you can only start trying to buzz in to get the multiplier after a player has clicked through the upcoming round instructions. So, if you're the first to click through the instructions, you have a pretty unfair advantage at deploying your multiplier seeing as how you're the only one who knows when players are going to be able to buzz in for the multiplier.
Previous Scene It games had a problem with repeating questions pretty quickly, and it appears that's the case here as well. On my third game, I had A Fish Called Wanda question repeat. Most of these questions were new, but still, that's pretty ridiculous.
Another failing of this game is that there's no online play. Eventually you're going to be able to download trivia packs when they're uploaded to the PlayStation Store, but there's no way to square off online against friends. This is odd considering Screenlife's last attempt at a Scene It game (Box Office Smash on the Xbox 360) included such a feature.
Of course, I probably shouldn't be surprised that there's no online in this Scene It – everything about this game says that it was developed on the Wii and then ported over to the PS3 and 360. Build a game optimized for the lesser system, and then bring it over to the bigger consoles with the same limited features. It's sad how little work was done to optimize this for the PlayStation 3. It's visually boring with blank backgrounds and blocky characters, the load times are too long, using a controller to play is clunky because X is the lowest button on the PS3 controller but the top pick onscreen, the Buzz buzzers aren't recognized by anything on the screen so you have to figure out which PS3 face button is which Buzz colored button, and so on. It's just a mess.
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