Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! Review
By Gaetano Prestia
Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is pretty much the equivalent of a straight-to-DVD movie. You expect it to be bad, but sometimes what you get is “so bad it’s good” quality that you can’t help but enjoy it. Unfortunately, this quiz game is so bad that it’s, well, really bad. It tries to be a good trivia game, but it fails miserably through a terrible presentation and gameplay functions that often make it a chore to play.
There are over 2,800 questions on movies and many of the trivia games from other Scene It? games appear in this iteration. What’s on offer is actually pretty good, but it’s the execution that ultimately brings this title down. Beyond the sheer number of questions available and the cool little guessing games that appear every now and then, there isn’t all that much more to like about this title.
With each question you can either buzz in and answer the question, buzz in first with the answer, or buzz in and order the four options in the correct order. There’s the occasional film clip from a movie that will be followed by a few questions about the clip, as well as some common knowledge questions about the actors in the scene.
The bonus system has been changed from previous Scene It! games, with the game host awarding stars to the players who do the best in a round. You can then trade in these stars to play a mini-game and attempt to earn a multiplier before the next round. In theory this idea is great, but only one person can play at a time and the other gamers are left waiting for this person to finish their bonus round. It would have been a lot better to allow several people to join in at once, or even have the specific player go up against everyone else to try and earn the multiplier that way, as opposed to going up against the easy AI.
The more people you play with, the more difficult the game is to play. Considering this is a title best experienced with a minimum of two players, that’s not a good sign. It mainly falls down to the fact that you can never tell who buzzed in first. If two people buzz in at around the same time, there is no way to distinguish who got in first.
The peripherals from Buzz! Quiz TV are the only ones that work with this game, so be prepared to spend a few minutes figuring out the button configuration if you’re not using the PS3 controller. There’s little-to-no explanation as to how the controls work, which is pretty disappointing considering this is a family game typically aimed at casual gamers. If you have a bunch of non-gamers giving this a go, they might give up before they even answer their first question.
The questions themselves are good, but the fact that some are repeated after only a few matches is pretty unforgiving, considering there are 2,800 in total. It’s all randomized, which is fair enough, but to receive three questions more than once within the first hour of play is pretty bad.
There’s no online, which makes it pretty clear that this was a direct port of the latest Wii version of Scene It?. Considering the boring visual presentation (including the hideous and out-of-sync game host), it’s obvious that this wasn’t a game optimized for play on the Playstation 3.
The Final Verdict
Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is probably the worst choice you could make when deciding on a movie trivia game. It’s a lazy effort visually, made worse by controls that don’t really work with the PS3 controller. The Buzz controllers don’t seem to be configured correctly, and it’ll take you a while to get used to the layout of the buttons. For whatever reason, X is mapped as the top answer, although it’s on the bottom of the facebuttons on the PS3 controller. Overall, this is a disappointing effort, especially considering the great collection of movie trivia that is actually on offer.