Most of the puzzle types are holdovers from previous Scene It games. This means you'll get such favorites as Pixel Flix and Child's Play where you have to guess a movie from an 8-bit or child's artistic interpretation, respectively. You're also stuck with more mundane puzzles, such as sequentials, in which you put four films in order of their release dates, or solve anagrams that makes you figure out a movie's name based on jumbled letters. Depending on the question type, players will either buzz in for the opportunity to answer or engage in a free-for-all where each player has an opportunity to answer before time runs out. The latter option tends to work better because the minimal use of onscreen indicators makes it difficult to tell if you're the player who buzzed in first.
If you've played Scene It before, one of the first things you'll notice in this installment is the simplified presentation. Initially, the audiovisual refit is beneficial because it speeds the game along. Instead of spending time traveling to different areas of a movie set, the next puzzle type is introduced as soon as you finish the previous one. The host, who tends to be more annoying than entertaining, can be turned on or off to suit your tastes. However, the novelty of this streamlined interface quickly gives way to reveal a disappointing bargain-basement audio and visual style that becomes grating. Instead of the avatar support introduced in the previous game, Bright Lights! Big Screen! features various film archetypes, such as the leading man, sci-fi cadet, or martial artist as playable characters. Each character has a set of expressions and exclamations that repeat far too frequently and will become annoying before the end of your first game. Animations and cutscenes suffer from the same halfhearted aesthetics and look as if they were taken from the early days of computer-generated imaging rather than modern-home consoles.
Stock characters are a poor replacement for Xbox Live avatars.
The Xbox 360 version of Bright Lights! Big Screen! is a disappointment when compared to previous games on the platform. Online play, leaderboards, and avatar support are all absent, despite their inclusion in earlier games. The subpar visuals are even more glaring when viewed next to other installments. If you've never played Scene It before, Bright Lights! Big Screen! will serve up plenty of multiplayer fun. The wide variety of movie genres and time periods means that casual movie fans and fanatic film buffs of any age can enjoy the trivia challenge. Unfortunately, if you fancy yourself a Scene It guru, the addition of minimal new puzzle types and game modes makes Bright Lights! Big Screen! feel like an expansion pack that would have been better suited as downloadable content.