Xbox 360 Help goes Mobile! Click the button below to have Xbox 360 help on your cell phone.

Add to my Widsets

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Scene it? Review and Trailer.

Scene it game is making its way to Xbox 360, complete with four newly crafted (and by "newly crafted" we mean that they blatantly ripped off Buzz's controller design) controllers.

The real question with Scene It? isn't whether it's fun, because it is, but instead it's whether or not you should spend the extra twenty bucks on converting to the Xbox 360 alternative when there are already a bevy of board game options available.

A big point of contention that 360 owners are obviously going to be gabbing over for awhile is the controllers that come packed in the game.

Yes, there are four of them. Yes, they use infrared lights to communicate with your console, and yes, you do need to attach a new IR port to receive the signal. Why are they handcuffing 360 owners to the limitations of infrared technology rather than using Microsoft's proprietary wireless technology?

Our best bet is to cut costs. The additional IR dongle also allows you to keep your 360 in an entertainment center behind a closed door and simply run the receiver's wire up to ten feet away from your system. It's just a hair shorter than the wired controller's cable, so there's a good bit of freedom.

The Big Button Pad also is fairly flexible and doesn't need to be pointed directly at the receiver. The manual reads that you can be up to 15 feet away, but ours functioned properly from more than 25 feet so chances are you won't have any issues. There's also a good bit of freedom when it comes to pointing the Big Button Pad at the IR port. We were able to point our pad directly up and even tilted slightly opposite the direction of the port and could still answer questions. Just so long as there's no solid object sitting in between you and the receiver things should run smoothly. There's no question that bona fide wireless support would have been preferable but we understand the decision to leave it out and are happy to report that the IR port does indeed function well.

But does the Big Button Pad actually push Scene It? on Xbox 360 forward from what the DVD game offers? Surprisingly yes, it does. It's fun to have something different than a standard DVD remote in your hands, passing it between players, and will definitely make the game more accessible to those who have never played an Xbox 360 game before.

Not only do the controllers function just as they should, but the gameplay within Scene It? is actually pretty damn fun. For as much ridicule as I've taken for defending this game over the last few days everyone who has actually picked up a controller and given the game an honest chance has come away with at least a small grin on their face.

There are three basic modes: short play, long play, and party play. Short and long play are essentially the same game, but short play will run you around 25 minutes, whereas long play is around an hour depending on how good you and your posse are. Short play contains three rounds, with three different puzzle types (five questions per type) per round whereas long play has five puzzle types per round.
Check Scene it? At the Xbox 360 help store.
Party play is the most disappointing of the modes, as it's the one that requires you to have four players taking part. You can play with three people, but the computer will assume that there is a fourth so you'll be sitting idle as the clock ticks down waiting for someone to buzz in on the fourth controller. Granted, if you're at a party you'll likely have at least four people to play with, but if you aren't the most popular kid on the block it would be nice to have the option to play with fewer.

The short and long play are where you'll spend most of your time, and both perform extremely well once you factor out the annoying announcer and the unneeded cutscenes that are intended to set up the game. One of the features that separate the Xbox 360 version from what you've been playing since 2001 is the fact that Microsoft's system keeps track of which of the 1,800 questions you've seen already.

That means that you won't have a repeat for quite some time. When you do get a repeat, and we have, it'll likely be in the movie clips section of the game. is Scene it? constantly taking you into the "screening room" and showing off the different movie clips that it holds, far more often than any other game mode. Luckily there's no set cycle of questions, so just because you get one repeat set of questions doesn't mean that you'll have already played the subsequent bunch.

Even though the gameplay won't blow anyone's hat off, there are plenty of puzzle types that stay fun throughout the experience, which is exactly why Scene It? can be looked at as an overall success. It doesn't try to be more than it is. It's a party game through and through and you and your movie buff friends--or even casual fans--will have a blast yelling at each other and obsessing over every question that comes along. Time factors into the score you get for each correct answer and games do come down to 30 or 40 points (out of a total of around 40,000) on occasion so you can imagine the amount of tension that can bring to a household.

The game designers also did a good job of crafting questions and puzzle types for different types of players. Some types are geared towards more creative thinkers, others are geared towards analytics, and then there are strictly memory-based games. That means that you could play with four friends, through four games, and it's entirely within the realm of possibility that there could be a different winner each time.

The biggest downside to the gameplay is that there is essentially no Xbox Live integration. This game would have been perfect to play with friends or random people from across the country, or at least have the ability to download new questions for a fee from Microsoft's online service. As it stands there doesn't seem to be anything of the sort, but that's not to say that they couldn't release a patch that opens up online functionality later on.

Xbox 360 Scene it? Trailer: