Review: Scene It? Movie Night

Note: This review was done using the Xbox 360 version of the game. It is also available on the Playstation 3.

Scene It? has long been the film fanatic’s game of choice when it comes to trivia board games. Microsoft, in an effort to capture a more casual user base, brought the board game to the Xbox 360 with the 2007 release of Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action. Since then, a pair of disc based sequels have been released and Microsoft eventually gave up the publishing rights, which allowed the series to go multiplatform. Sadly none of those console releases ever captured the audience that they set out to. Scene It? Movie Night is the latest attempt to crack the casual nut.

Scene It? Movie Night, available via Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network, forgoes the big budget stylings of its predecessors and opts to deliver a very straightforward trivia experience. The game has a very bare bones approach to its style and even when held to the low standards of other trivia games, Scene It? Movie Night looks like a budget title. As mediocre as the visual presentation may be, the faux game show host sounds a bit like a coked out Will Smith and is potentially the worst aspect of the game. Comedy is highly subjective but anybody that thinks his lame jokes are funny should probably have their comedy button reset.

Budget presentation aside, losing the bells and whistles of past iterations does not hurt the actual experience at all; in fact it may even strengthen the core question and answer experience.  Scene It? Movie Night focuses on simply delivering solid movie trivia using the developer’s unique brand of questioning. Despite being a downloadable title, the game comes packed with a good selection of movie clips and still-imagery from blockbuster films. Nothing quite trumps watching a scene and then being asked how many times a coin was flipped and by what actor, except for watching classic movie scenes played out as 8bit video games.

The core trivia experience in Scene It? Movie Night is amongst the best of this genre. But playing by oneself is rather pointless, thus players are going to need opponents. This, sadly, is where Scene It? Movie Night stumbles. We are in the midst of an unprecedented era of competitive gameplay but it is also an era where much of that competitive play is done online. Scene It? Movie Night offers no option to play online, ultimately limiting any competitive play to those sitting around the television with you. For me, this just does not work; my family and friends may be willing to play a round or two of Scene It? but only to appease me. Simply put, they don’t like losing to me over and over again. Considering that previous versions of Scene It? have had online play, the omission of it in Scene It? Movie Night is somewhat disheartening.

As someone who watches a lot of movies, I love that Scene It? gives me a place where I can utilize all the worthless movie knowledge I have collated over the years. This iteration however, with its bare bones production and lack of online multiplayer, is a bit of a step back. It is still great fun with a group of friends but considering you can get a more fully featured version of the game on disc, for a few dollars more, it is hard to recommend Scene It? Movie Night to anyone other than those looking for the latest in movie trivia.

 

Pros

  • Still the best game when it comes to movie trivia.

Cons

  • Bare bones presentation.
  • Awful announcing.
  • No online multiplayer.

3 / 5

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Author: Chris Scott View all posts by
Chris is the Reviews Editor here at Vagary as well as the co-host of The Perfectly Sane Show and the Movie Dudes podcast.He is long time gamer and film fan that also happens to be full of opinions and a desire to share them with others, even if you don't want to hear them.