VG REVIEW: Scene It and Buzz
“SCENE IT? LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION"
Microsoft, for Xbox 360, rated T for Teen (blood, language, suggestive themes, use of alcohol and tobacco, violence), $59.99.
“BUZZ! THE MEGA QUIZ”
Sony, for PlayStation 2, rated E10+ for ages 10 and up (alcohol and tobacco reference, comic mischief, mild language, mild suggestive themes, mild violence), $39.99.
If you follow the video game industry at all, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I note that casual games (i.e. games aimed at a wide audience that don’t require an enormous investment of time or a huge learning curve) have become popular lately.
For instance, not one but two major publishers — Microsoft and Sony — have recently released trivia games aimed at attracting more than your average gaming geek.
“Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action” from Microsoft takes the popular DVD movie trivia game and adapts it to Xbox 360.
The game comes with four controllers that resemble the sort of buzzers you might see on your average TV game show. That in and of itself is an improvement above the usual clunky DVD interface these games have previously had (there are no tiny board game pieces to lose either).
Players compete against one another by watching movie clips and then answering questions or by solving anagrams, guessing famous quotes and a host of other low-rent puzzle options. Ostensibly you can play the game for hours without having any repeated questions.
While fun, “Scene It” is decidedly not a game for movie buffs. Few clips are from films made before 1980 and most are of films everyone and their dog has at least heard of, if not actually watched. As a former movie buff, I would have appreciated the option to turn up the difficulty level so the questions could have provided an actual challenge.
I also wouldn’t have minded if the game slid the other way so I could have played the game with my kids. Most of the clips and questions were either inappropriate for their age or featured movies they had never seen. Perhaps Xbox Live could provide a downloadable kids pack?
The lack of online play seriously hinders “Scene It,” because you can only play when friends or family are all together, but if you’re looking for a simple, fun Xbox game that your parents and siblings can join in on, it fills the bill nicely.
Like “Scene It,” “Buzz! The Mega Quiz” also comes with four “buzzer-shaped” controllers, though these somehow seem less sturdy.
Set on an imaginary game show set, hosted by some freakish muppet-type character, “Buzz” allows up to eight players to answer questions on a variety of subjects, including politics, geography and pop culture in alleged rapid-fire fashion.
Unfortunately, it’s a staid affair. The questions aren’t terribly difficult, even on the harder levels, the minigames don’t offer a lot of variety and the lengthy pauses in between questions deaden the affair considerably.
Ultimately, the game takes too much of a middle-of-the road approach to be exciting. It needs a good dose of humor, spontaneity and (dare I say it) general goofiness in order to distinguish itself.
Copyright The Patriot-News, 2007