Available On: Xbox 360
General knowledge quizzes and quiz-based games are all the rage these days. Everyone likes to be tested on their knowledge of various subjects to either massage their own trivia-based ego or to simply prove to themselves that they are perhaps smarter than they realise. Quiz games can be fun as well mind you, which is why so many of them exist across a variety of platforms. Scene It? Lights Camera Action is the rather awkwardly-named Xbox 360 equivalent of the Buzz! Hollywood game from Sony, only this one is firmly in the Microsoft camp, has 1800 or so questions in its arsenal, and also comes with 4 Big Button Pads that act as the peripherals with which you'll play the game.
The title alone is enough to guess that the game is concerned with all things movie. The game has a total of 1800 questions on the disc, which is a fair amount to be getting on with in terms of afternoons or evenings in the house testing your movie knowledge. Don't worry: your console will keep a record of the questions already asked of you in order to avoid any repetition, a flaw in some quiz games that can make things get very boring very quickly.
There are many similarities that this quiz has with Sony's Buzz! quiz series (most notably with Buzz! The Hollywood Quiz). The first is that you are able to choose from shorter or longer rounds, with the shorter one setting you back about 25 minutes in total and the longer an hour of your time. The format is very similar to the DVD-based game of the same name, including Party Mode which annoying makes you wait for the clock to count down to zero if you happen to be playing with less than a total of four players. It's very annoying but it's not all bad as you will find out.
Party Mode is actually the best mode of the game by far since it simply allows you to answer questions repeatedly until you decide you want to stop. Even better, the mode doesn't have all of the irritating game-show style annoyances that the game's regular mode does, namely the unbelievably grating presenter that exists only in voice form. This is in contrast to the presenter in Sony's Buzz! series who at least has the decency to show his face in order to annoy you.
In spite of the game's generally poor presentation and awkward, mind-numbing jokes from Mr. Scene It?, the questions themselves are sufficiently challenging and cover enough of a range to appeal to almost anyone that's ever seen any of the major blockbusters of the past few decades. The game does take you around various behind-the-scenes sections of the movie-making world such as various trailers and there's a dangerously thin premise lurking somewhere that entails you being evaluated for your movie knowledge because Mr. Scene It? is looking for new talent apparently.
Many of the questions come in the form of viewing clips from a variety of different movies (massive blockbusters as well as some of the less well-known films that have hit cinemas in recent and not-so-recent years), with questions that either focus on general information/knowledge about the film or simply observations on the clips such as asking how many of a certain object appeared at a certain time in the clip. This latter form of question is rather generic in that it could be any clip from a TV show or home video. The general consensus is that the movie clips definitely play for too long as well, making for some boring and awkward silences as you lose concentration whilst praying for the current clip to come to an end.
The game's other rounds are plentiful, which is a good job because the movie clip rounds require some redemption. Among the better rounds are: Credit Roll where players guess the movie based on a list of actors and the characters they played; Drawing Board, a mode that involves guessing a movie based on drawings/sketches of things related to the movie; Quotables is a particular favourite since it involves finishing famous quotes from various movies, a thing that many movie buffs truly enjoy doing even when they're not playing console-based quiz games.
Customisation really isn't one of the strings to Scene It?'s bow since you can't customise the rounds like you can in Buzz! Hollywood. Still, if you're a true movie buff then you will enjoy the in-depth questions that Scene It? offers, often coming up with questions that only the most knowledgeable of movie-goers will be able to answer - this is really the only true advantage this game has over Buzz! Hollywood.
Microsoft Game Studio really could have done a lot better with this game however: its visuals are uninspiring, the music is utterly shocking, and those movie clip rounds really hurt the momentum the game barely manages to get going in the other rounds. This isn't a terrible game, it just does nothing to really separate itself from any of the competition, particularly those that exist for iOS such as Moviecat! HD.