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Joystiq hands-on: Scene It


Stepping into Microsoft's "Social Fun" suite at the truck defying Viceroy Hotel, we got a chance to lay our hands on the recently announced 360 version of Scene It along with its kooky candy colored controllers. As you can see, the controllers are fairly small. They are very light, run on two AA batteries, and come in four oh so fashionable colors. All of the standard face buttons are topped with a huge button that also serves as a D-pad. The button, as you might expect, serves as the game's buzzer. The A, B, X, and Y buttons are used for selecting answers. We settled in to play a quick game and test our movie trivia knowledge.

Scene It is comprised of several trivia and memory games sprinkled with some decent though definitely not mind blowing 3D window dressing. One game requires you to watch clips of a movie and answer some questions about it. Players of the Scene It DVD board game will know that these questions rarely relate to the movie itself. We watched a clip from Office Space, for example, and were asked how many times the word "memo" was spoken (you did get the memo, didn't you? about the TPS reports?). In this game, all players answer at the same time. The faster you answer, the more points you are awarded.

Another game had us identifying what was missing from a movie still. For example, a Three Amigos still without the singing bush or a Ghostbusters still without any self-frying eggs.. Again, this game was open to everyone, with highest points to those who answered the fastest. Another game required us to decipher a celebrity's name by putting several pictures together. For example: gavel + wrench + fish + match = Lawrence Fishburne a gavel, a wrench, a fish, and a match equals Lawrence Fishburne. First one to buzz in and answer correctly wins this challenge. Finally, we were faced with a game in which an image is slowly appears on screen. The object is to guess the film being drawn. You have to be careful though, as you might get a curve ball. What we positively knew was Patton turned out to be Tootsie.

All in all, the game turned out to be a fun experience, and certainly one that movie buffs will enjoy. Of course, the game falls squarely into the category of casual family fun, a market it seems everyone is keen to expand on these days. The Microsoft reps informed us that there were definitely other games in the works for the new controllers, though they had no comment on anything specific. Ummm ... hai guise, how about You Don't Know Jack? K thx bai.

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