Scene It? Box Office SmashESRB:
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Screenlife Games/Krome Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
1-4 Players (Offline)
1-4 Players (Online)
HDTV Output: 720p/1080i/1080p
Big Button Pad Compatible
Avatar Support (Next Xbox Experience)
Scene It? Box Office Smash is the sequel to the Xbox 360 trivia hit Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action. I had the chance to take the original through its paces and I quite enjoyed what it had to offer. Being a movie buff of sorts I was interested to see what the sequel had to offer. Well, Microsoft was kind enough to send us here at GameBoyz a copy of the game to review. After sitting through a few games, both alone and with some friends, I would have to say that there is enough entertainment here to warrant a purchase.
The visuals in Box Office Smash are pretty solid. The movie clips are generally the same as those in the original, but it is the other game modes that seem to benefit the most given that there are some new ones and thus newly designed graphics to suit each of them. It is nice that each game mode is so different and manages to maintain a look of its own. It makes each time you play a mode that much better as they don’t blend into each other. Box Office Smash also offers support for custom avatars via the Next Xbox Experience (NXE). Now we haven’t had the chance to try this out as we are not using the NXE at this time, but for sake of this review I have done some internet surfing to find videos of this feature and I have to say that it looks pretty good. There are small animated scenes at various times that include each avatar and this is nice as they are not just static characters. All in all Box Office Smash looks to be visually improved over its predecessor.
Sound in Box Office Smash is just like the original, solid but nothing phenomenal. What is notable is that the announcer from the original is gone and he has been replaced by two other guys who manage to bring some much needed humor to the game. They even manage to throw in some great movie quotes into their repertoire of speech. This was a pleasant surprise. The movie clips that you are presented with are generally audible as they allow you to listen to the material at hand. There are also some nice celebratory sounds that are made during an avatar celebration when you win a round or full game. Overall the sound manages to add to the overall gameplay of the title
Box Office Smash is a movie based trivia game that tests your knowledge in a wide variety of movie genres. Like the original release on the Xbox 360, this sequel is based on the DVD/board based trivia game that is in countless number of family rooms. Up to four players can sit down and test their knowledge across a wide range of movies from blockbusters, indie films, cult, and classic films from all eras. Microsoft once again utilizes the Big Button Pad. For those new to the this franchise on the Xbox 360 the Big Button Pads have been strictly designed for “Scene It?” and they are perfectly suited for this style of game. There is a very prominent and very large button on top of the controller which is used for players to buzz in to answer questions. There are also four vertically aligned buttons that represent the four face buttons of the regular Xbox 360 controller (A,B,X,and Y). They are also color coded exactly the same way too (see included screen shot). These buttons are used to choose your answer and the colors and order of the buttons correspond exactly to the four answers on the screen. These specially designed controllers are perfect for a group of people who don’t usually play videogames. If you already own the Big Button Pads, or just want to use your available controllers, Box Office Smash is available as a stand alone game at a cheaper price.
Much of what was good about the original has returned. Box Office Smash still has clips, pictures and lots of straight on trivia from the films that the game incorporates into the gameplay. Play is still broken up into three rounds again leading up to the ‘final cut’ (the final round). Some of the challenges still have you buzzing in before your opponents in order to be the only on able to answer the question. There are also other challenges where all players compete against the clock in an effort to buzz in earlier to score more points as the quicker you are buzzed in the more points you get. All of this feels familiar, but they were great features in the original “Scene It?” so it makes sense to carry them over. Box Office Smash also still allows you to play a short or a long game depending on how much time you may or may not have.
Not one to rest on their laurels, Microsoft Game Studios has made some refinements to Box Office Smash in order to make this an even better experience then the original. First off, although of a lot of the previous modes return, such as watching movie clips and answering questions about said clip, there have been some great new additions to the modes that you play. Being that I am a videogamer (hey, I write for a videogame website) I was enamored by one mode in particular. This new mode has 8-bit reenactments of specific movie scenes. These were not only well done but pretty damn cool too. Additions like this are refreshing and manage to refresh the playability of the game. Also new to this sequel is where you play the games various modes. Gone from the first game is the studio tour that you took when playing each round and in its place is a flying couch that takes you to movie locations.
Although the aforementioned changes are welcomed, there are a few bigger additions that are hard to miss. The first is support for online play through Xbox Live. If you read my original review of Lights, Camera, Action you should know that this was one of my biggest complaints. Although I understand any “Scene It?” game is a party game that should be played with friends in one room, but it is also a game that also cries out to be played online. Well now you can do this with up to three other players. Box Office Smash also offers support for downloadable content. Although I thought the original game supported this I was wrong, but this one does as the box indicates so. As of writing this review there is no information what the DLC will incorporate (e.g. type or number of questions) or what the price will be, but at least DLC will give the game some longevity as new content will keep it fresh. The final addition that has been added is that Box Office Smash supports the already mentioned use of the NXE avatars. As noted we have not personally had the chance to try this out.
Should you feel the need get a fix of movie trivia, and you have no friends available at the time, you can play a high-score Solo mode. Here you play through a regular game by yourself and every correct answer you get increases a score multiplier. The more correct answers you answer in succession the higher your multiplier goes which results in a higher score. As you manage to answer consecutive questions correctly you can rack up quite an impressive score which you can post on the leaderboards. Of course Box Office Smash also offers up a bevy of achievements for you to earn too, so this is even further incentive to play alone when your friends are not around or not online.
One small concern I have, and something that has been raising it’s head on forums all over the web, is that some questions do repeat after extended play. The original game had 1800 questions but I do not know how many this game has. However my experience with it is that the game hasn’t been too bad in repeating questions, but they do happen from time to time. This seems to be the only notable issue I have at this juncture. Personally this is not a deal breaker for me as when I play with others at home and I come across a question(s) that I may have seen in the past I don’t always answer it as I am just trying to have fun with those people around me. That being said, hopefully Microsoft is quick to pull the trigger on releasing some downloadable content to alleviate some of the major naysayers out there.
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