E3 07: Scene It? Lights, Camera Action Preview

Prior to this year's E3, my experience with Screenlife Games' DVD-centric board game Scene It? had been limited to waking up on a plane to catch the last few questions of a Nickelodeon-themed version of the game. I had never had the chance to actually play the game, though I was familiar with the premise: watch clips from television shows and movies thanks to the magic of DVD, then answer questions, some incredibly obscure.

Following Microsoft's announcement that Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is headed to Xbox 360 this fall, and would be bundled with four wireless buzzer controllers all for the price of a regular Xbox 360 game, I was able to toy around with the new controller and the game itself.

I played through three different scenarios, growing more and more entertained with each section. The first displayed four images on-screen, asking us to deduce the name of a celebrity based off the pictures. As the first photo was that of a gavel, I smacked the bigger buzzer at the top of the controller and used the smaller buttons underneath to choose Gavin Rossdale. I was wrong, and the Microsoft rep chuckled. "They do that on purpose," he said.

The next round featured a clip from Mike Judge's Office Space, the infamous "TPS reports" scene. The following questions started off pretty basic, such as one asking the name of the main character, but quickly grew more and more outlandish. In the following minutes, I was quizzed on how many times the word "memo" was said in the scene, the year that Office Space was released, and even the name of Office Space lead Ron Livingstone's character in HBO's Sex and the City.

For the final section, the game slowly painted an image on screen and tasked us with figuring out the proper movie. As a dark and stormy sky came into view, I once again fell prey to my gut instinct, buzzing in and choosing Twister. This was the wrong answer. Immediately afterwards, a distinctive clock tower and a familiar white-haired scientists appeared, indicating the proper choice was, of course, Back to the Future.

The following question, I was determined to play it smart. As a bridge came into the frame, I held off. One of my opponents, meanwhile, buzzed in. I laughed, knowing they would get it wrong. They didn't, and were awarded a bunch of points for correctly guessing The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Both humiliated and defeated, though highly entertained, my time with the Xbox 360 edition of Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action came to a close. I walked away very impressed by the entire experience, especially the clever questions and the misleading hints. It's something I can see playing with my friends when the Xbox 360 edition hits this fall--but not online. Stressing the importance of the game's immediate social aspect, Microsoft has indicated that the game will feature same-screen play only, at least upon release.