Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is the third major console release and the first multiplatform offering for the popular DVD-based board game. Unfortunately, like many popular film trilogies, Scene It seems to have reached its peak a bit too early. If you have played either of the first two games in the series, the newest iteration will feel like little more than a pricey expansion pack. Although Bright Lights! Big Screen! lacks some of the best features of other Scene It games, the uninitiated player will still find plenty of party-friendly fun.
Pictograms is one of the more inventive puzzle types.
Scene It is a four-player movie trivia game with questions from films of the past four decades up through the earlier half of 2009. There are three main multiplayer modes. Party Play consists of nonstop puzzles with drop-in, drop-out multiplayer. In keeping with the party moniker, there's really no reason to play this mode unless you have a large group of people who want to take turns with the buzzer. The more structured Play Now mode offers short and long game types consisting of three or five rounds. Fast Fire is the new single-player mode that gives you five minutes to answer as many questions as quickly as you can. Wrong answers deduct from your total available time, and the object is simply to reach a high score. This is a decent option if you're in the mood for a quick Scene It fix by yourself, but the lack of leaderboards means it won't be your main attraction.
In the Wii version, you use the D pad to select among the four answer choices and buzz in by lifting the remote quickly into the air. This seems counterintuitive at first because your instinct is to slam the controller down as you would a real buzzer, but the system works well once you've adapted. Each round begins with a movie clip and accompanying questions. You'll occasionally see clips from the same movies, but if a repeat clip pops up, there are plenty of different questions for each film. Clips can easily turn the game around if a player who is behind in points is also the only one who recognizes the movie. The new star system in Scene It is also designed to help out players who are lagging behind. Instead of handing out random bonus points to each contestant after a round, this time, you'll earn stars that can be traded in for an opportunity to earn a score multiplier for the next round. The player who cashes in his or her stars determines who actually gets the multiplier by stopping a meter that revolves with everyone's names on it. This makes it risky to try because you can easily give the lead player yet another boost if your timing is bad.