Jud’s Game Rating:
Graphics: **** Player participation (PP) ***** Satisfaction Factor (SF) ****
Frustration Factor (FF) **
I have decided that I must tackle this Game differently from the other CSI Games of the Series. I have left it till last, because it doesn’t fit their great 3D CG format that is so successful on all levels of Game Creation and Player Safisfaction. Instead of thinking of it as a CSI Game with Hidden Object tendencies – making it a very poor relation of the others in the Series – I need to treat it as a Hidden Object Game about CSI New York! As such it is quite a good one.
The Game opens using Windows 7 – although the computer parameters (Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP Pro Service Pack 3, or Vista) for this Game, listed on the Game box as usual, do not include it – but requires the DVD disk to do so. It auto-updates as it opens, but there is a patch to be installed using Ubisoft Patch Link in Blogroll on my Home page or ubisoft+csi+patch /CSI NY from Ubi.com. This will ensure that the Game opens to a full screen without any glitches.
The Options for this Game are very basic – Sound and Music Volumes, and FullScreen or Windowed choices.
The Tutorial is given by various characters as you progress, with instructions being displayed prior to each new mini-game puzzle of which there are many.
There are no Case Files to assist you when you need a reminder of evidence already found – for example, a suspect’s name. This is a shame, as you might need it for unlocking codes in emails.
There are great 2D images of New York city in the opening credits and between locations accompanied by the TV Show’s music – like the other CSI Games.
The Graphics are clear but 2D – the storyline is presented comic book fashion, though the active locations are full screen, with either Hidden Objects to find, or characters to interview. The characters, both Detectives and Suspects are 2D images with Dialogue boxes beneath them, and voice-overs. There is no lip-syncing to worry about. Due to a glitch in downloading the Bonus Game there seems to be no voice-over for the characters in Episode 5.
The Dialogues have an interesting quirk – a few words in the Suspects response text are links, which, when clicked on, lead to further Dialogue. To move on to the next response you must first return to the main Dialogue and then click the next linked word. Occasionally, you have to click on a particular part of the evidence to get the right response from the suspect. When all are done then close the box. You must also keep returning to this Main Dialogue to drag and drop evidence onto the Suspect to get their response. It’s a bit tedious, which causes FF, but certainly ‘Hands On’! PP
Regarding PP – there is a great deal of Player Participation in this particular CSI Game. The Game is heavily loaded with diverse Puzzles – some quite unique. Some are a breeze to do – others quite taxing. Most involve the collecting or processing of evidence, at the scenes or in the Lab. Usually you are given the evidence from the body in the Morgue, but occasionally you need to take photos there, or locate anomalies.
Many of these Puzzles are fun, especially DNA/Substance testing, Fingerprint construction, Codes in emails, and the Jigsaws for torn documents, but others require a really steady hand – especially blood collection. It is very FF if you don’t manage it first time. After the 16th time, you are ready to throw the computer into the Koi Pond! But sometimes you are lucky!
Much of the evidence collection is of the Hidden Object/Seek and Find kind – some of these items are then put into your inventory to be used when questioning suspects. The item list for this activity is surprisingly blank as you begin your search, gradually becoming visible as time passes. Initially disconcerting and a little worrying as you are searching ‘blind’, if you are really stuck you can just wait it out, and then locate the now visible items. Sometimes you need to use a collected item – for example, a key – to access something in order to find a final item.
The Storylines do not follow the patterns of the previous CSI Games. This is because this CSI: NY is created by Legacy Interactive – a different Game Creator than the other Games. The stories are interesting, well devised, logical,with many twists and turns, especially in the final Case. However, the Culprits are predictable, obvious well before the Case officially leads you to them, but that doesn’t mean that the Game isn’t worth playing. While for a CSI Game it is okay, for a Hidden Object/Puzzle Game it is really good! Besides, there is satisfaction in knowing you got it right. Adds to the degree of smugness in the SF.
Finally, and oddly, when you have completed the first 4 Episodes, you then have to Download the 5th Bonus Episode from Ubi.com, via the Game. When you put your cursor over the Episode Five window it brings up the Download Link. Follow the prompts. If you have problems, and a box pops up – Abort, Retry, Ignore – then click on Ignore and continue to Install. You will then need to close the Computer or reboot in order for the new Episode to be ready for you to use.
I do not like this – there are better ways to Lock the Bonus Game than making the Player Download it separately from the DVD disk – not so bad if the Game worked from the hard Drive. But it is still a nuisance!
NB: As a result of my downloading, there seems to be a glitch in the Sound Track – not Music Track – of this last Episode. There are no Voice-Overs for the characters, and occasionally the background noise sounds awful. I think that I should have clicked on ‘Retry installation using programs made for previous versions of Windows’ when it offered me the choice – I certainly did so when I subsequently downloaded the patch. If I find another solution to this problem, I will Update this blog to let you all know. Check my Problems and Solutions Blog for further help.
Episode One: DOWNWARD SPIRAL
The heavily tattooed body of a young man is splattered on the pavement outside the entrance to New York’s Empire State Building. From his shoulder blades there appear to be strange metal projections. Who is he? Why is he wearing pyjamas? And how did he land so far out?
Episode Two: JUST DESSERTS
New York’s premier food critic is found dead, locked in the freezer room of a soon-to-be-opened restaurant, Tutto di Amici. The distraught owner and chef can see the coming headlines: ‘CLOSED RESTAURANT KILLS CITY’S TOP FOOD CRITIC!’ Is this the case?
Episode Three: OFF THE MARK
On the stage at Nightmare Pete’s Coney Island Sideshow, amongst the abandoned props, with the Sword Swallower’s sword beside her, is arranged the body of an unknown well-dressed young woman. Found by the Carnival’s performers upon returning for work the next morning, they can supply no information to the investigators. But someone does know something.
Episode Four: HILLRIDGE CONFIDENTIAL
A High School girl is shot through her window while doing a live blog online. Focussed on dishing dirt and spreading rumours at Hillridge Prep School, she is shot mid-sentence in full view, causing the 911 lines to light up. In order to locate her body, the investigators must match the footage of the Manhattan background seen through her windows to maps of the city. Why was she so vitriolic about her targets?
Episode Five: DERAILED
A frozen body is found posed as a passenger in a carriage on the D-Train in New York’s underground. A criminal with a nasty past, all trace evidence leads to Detective Mac Taylor, who failed to ‘put him away’ years earlier. Can this be true?
Contrary to my previous views expressed about this as a CSI Crime Game – as a Hidden Object/Puzzle Game this is really excellent and entertaining.
For Walkthroughs of this Game go to UHS Hints at: www.uhs-hints.com/
(C) Copyright Jud House 9/06/2011
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