Like a great movie sequel, Scene It? Box Office Smash improves upon its predecessor in almost every way imaginable. This release delivers refined gameplay, more party-friendly antics, and enjoyable online play that was sorely lacking from the original. Even the hit-and-miss announcer from the first game has been swapped out for two voice-over guys who bring some laughs while working memorable movie quotes into their routine.
Just like the first Scene It release on the Xbox 360, Box Office Smash is a trivia game for up to four players that is designed to test your knowledge of blockbuster, cult, and classic movies. This great sequel collects videos, pictures, and trivia from films released from the '50s all the way up to some films from this holiday season. In some cases, up to four players are challenged to be the first to buzz in, which is more fun with one of the game's Big Button Pads, though regular controllers are supported. In other cases, puzzles allow everyone the unfettered opportunity to cast their ballots for what answer they think is correct. Regardless of the question type, the sooner you answer, the more points you can win. The timing adds urgency and provides rich rewards for players who are fast with the fingers, and able to quickly draw from a deep well of cinematic factoids. Whether you play a short or long game, the puzzles are broken up into three rounds of various puzzles, with a final round that is full of big payoffs. Prizes in between rounds also do a good job keeping games close so as to discourage complete blowouts.
Box Office Smash reinvests in better special effects and more game-type variety. Gone are the less-enjoyable old yearbook photo questions; in are some impressive new modes, including the deliciously 8-bit reenactments of movie scenes. Each of the returning game types has gotten a face lift. Instead of visiting movie studio locations for each type of puzzle, a flying couch takes emotive player avatars to amusingly interpreted movie locations. The puzzle stages range from deciphering anagrams in archaeologically inspired Mayan ruins to completing broken quotes in a mountaintop martial arts shrine.