A few thoughts on CSI Games

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I’ve been revisiting them lately and find that they are still the most enjoyable formats of Crime games I’ve played.  I love them.  You play as an adult.  You are treated as an adult player.  The crime scenes are just that, with bodies, destruction, evidence, suspects, laboratories and diagnostic equipment, interview room, multiple suspects and their locations, and even a morgue.  They are not games for children.  They have not been sanitised, for fear of upsetting the player, into a bland and boring game.  I know that there are other Crime games out there – the LAW AND ORDER games; NICS; CRIMINAL MINDS; SHERLOCK HOLMES; NANCY DREW and a whole gammut of Fantasy Crime games that I’ve played and own – but none of them measure up to the CSI game format.

It’s not just the storyline format and engaging content that is so satisfying, though both contribute significantly to the whole experience – the 4 separate and distinct Cases that culminate in the combination of their characters for the 5th Case creates a resolution to the set that feels complete.  I like that upon completion of the 5 Cases you can then revisit any of them in whichever order you wish, missing out your less favourite if you choose to focus on your most favourite; or if you only have time to play one Case you can pick one out and do so.  This eliminates being locked into having to proceed from the 1st Case and finding that if you want to play a little CSI you keep playing the first game over and over.

I know that the Graphics and technical developments in game production have streaked ahead since the last CSI game FATAL CONSPIRACY was released for PC and Mac markets, but those presented in the CSI Series still hold their own.   The 3D CG characters gradually improved as the Series progressed, as did the attention to detail in the settings and backgrounds. How wonderful it would be if Tell Tale Games could produce a Patch to upgrade the Graphics for the existing Series [similar to the ReMastering of one game of the MYST series].  Long-term CSI games fans deserve to be considered, not shoved aside for the ‘latest thing’ in game-play.

I am not a fan of Online game-play, nor of Free-to-Play games which of course are not free.  I’ve tried enough of them to know that they are a shadow of the Standard PC/Mac game downloadable or disc version.  I don’t want to play a truncated game.  I want the full playing experience.  What has that to do with CSI?  Well now the only CSI games being produced are for Online publication.  I have appealed to their publisher, Ubisoft, to issue those games as downloadable/disc versions also, but received an automatic negative response- brushed off as a trivial enquiry.  Even a contact of mine within Ubisoft was unable to assist as the publishing and marketing policies were fixed.

Tip: The earliest games are still best on XP or reset Windows 7, but the rest play best on Windows 7.  I’ve tried the last two on Windows 10 but the Graphics were a little too pixelled for comfort.

Update:  I installed my copy of FATAL CONSPIRACY which included a couple of Auto-Patches onto my Windows 10 computer to see if it Play the game without any glitches. Unfortunately, although the Graphics were really good generally, the audio/dialogues were out of synch, continually over-lapping, and juddering occasionally.  As the characters talked over each other, it was very annoying.  I found I couldn’t bypass the dialogue, and noticed that the characters’ mouth-actions were a little jerky.  Initially, I couldn’t turn off the Tutorial, but managed to via MENU OPTIONS after a few false starts.  Also the Mouse/Cursor action is rather quick and so a little hard to control at times.  The only Pixelled Graphics were in the DNA testing in the Laboratory.  I doubt I’ll try DEADLY INTENT on the Windows 10 computer, but if I change my mind I’ll let you know the results.

Tip: You cannot play the earlier version if your QuickTime is higher than 6.1 – it is only needed for the first game anyway.  However if your computer has QuickTime on it it will interfere with the first 3 or 4 games so that they are unplayable.  My advice is to remove it from your computer and only load version 6.1, or play the CSI games on an older computer with a similar QuickTime version.  The later games will play fine.

Please do check out my CSI blogs in Archives and also those in Troubleshooting as I have written and updated several that are relevant to the CSI games.

If you agree with me concerning the sad lack of CSI games now being produced for fams of the fuller PC/Mac downloadable/disc versions, please comment, let me know, add force to my pleas to Ubisoft.  If you have had more luck than I’ve had re this issue please let me know what and how.  If you have an email/contact address for TellTale Games that I can use to contact them, please pass it on to me.

Enjoy playing the CSI Series often.

Jud House   1/03/2016; 3/03/2016

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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10 Responses to A few thoughts on CSI Games

  1. LEEAL says:

    Hello, I agree with your comments about CSI and other crime games. You may use my e-mail for a petition to the manufacturer.

    • Thank you so much. How do I set that up? As a blog?

    • I’ve never run a petition online before. Should I also go to Twitter and Instagram and Facebook too – or do that just with my blog-link? I don’t mind using my email address, but will add yours too if that’s okay and hope you are also able to spread the word for me by Re-Posting my blog to any fans you know of. I hope you won’t mind assisting me with this. If you can’t I’ll try my go-to blogger – Pete Davison from angryjedi.wordpress.com who’s been a game journalist. Please let me know if you can help me – thanks Jud

  2. Steve Veasey says:

    I agree with you in principle about the CSI series but the last few games (Hard Evidence, Deadly Intent & Fatal Conspiracy) were ‘much of a muchness’. For people who had played all the previous games there should have been a higher difficulty level with options such as choosing the correct questions to ask in interrogation and an expansion of the available tools (or reversion back to the spread of tools in the earlier games) with penalties for incorrect usage. It was impossible to go wrong in those last three games, the only time I got stuck at all was using the manuscript light filter in a ‘help the CSI’ scenario which you can just skip anyway.

    I also didn’t like small changes like not showing a description of search results onscreen but your partner just describing what you had found and the ‘blink and you miss it’ scrolling evaluation at the end of each case. I much preferred having Grissom (or Catherine) giving you your evaluation. Brass also had very little to do in the later games, at least he would look things up for you and put out APB’s in the earlier ones.

    My favourite out of all of them is still Dark Motives, of course it isn’t as glossy and doesn’t have 3D graphics but the cases were all interesting and there wasn’t as much hand holding as the later games.

    • judsartwork says:

      Thanks Steve for that response. I too missed those extra tools and the interaction of the earlier games. I don’t agree with you about penalties for incorrect use though – the fact that it won’t work if used wrongly should be enough. I disagree strongly with the use of any penalties in games as it treats the player like a recalcitrant kid instead of a player who just wants to play the game their way and enjoy it. But I agree with all the rest you’ve said. I still DO wish that they would release more CSI games for PC though, because their format is still unique and involves the player so much in careful observation, and deductive thought processes that are frankly really good for us all. If only I could inspire more CSI fans to respond to my blogs so I can send a quantity of pleas to Ubisoft and TellTale Games. Thanks again, and don’t hesitate to reblog my CSI blogs, or comment to me whenever you want to. Jud House

      • Steve Veasey says:

        My guess is that the sales for the later CSI games did not justify the expense of making them so that’s why the series stopped. I don’t think any kind of player petition will convince Telltale to bring it back sadly.

        I guess you are right about the penalties thing. You inspired me to reinstall the very first game and play it again…wow, i had forgotten how much that game actually just tells you what to do at every stage! It was a nice piece of nostalgia but I got through it all in three hours getting Master ratings in each case so not much of a challenge.

        I played all of the Sherlock Holmes games apart from ‘Crimes and Punishment’ which I very much like the look of but don’t know if it will run on my 4 year old laptop! Some of the puzzles and leaps of logic in the Frogwares games are incredibly frustrating but you definitely get your money’s worth out of them.

        I thought I had played all of the Agatha Christie games but there is one from 2009 based on The ABC Murders that I somehow missed so will probably pick that up on Amazon.

        Do you have any experience with either of those games?

      • judsartwork says:

        I have Crime & Punishment but have barely played it – I find the scanning/scrolling around the room thing very floaty which makes me feel motion sick. I’ll tackle it again in a while when I’ve caught up on all my ‘Pile of Shame’ games. 😀 I haven’t heard of the new Agatha Christie game though of course I’ve seen the movie multiple times and have the book too . I have all her works in book form and also most of them as movies. I wonder where else I can get it? Maybe Steam? I might try and check out EB Games store and see if I can get a hard copy. I’ll let you know. That’s here in Oz of course, but you may have it where you are. I actually really like playing the CSI Miami game. And the one with the Triplets shootout – it’s actually not an easy game to play – there is always something you miss and can’t find. 😀

  3. Steve Veasey says:

    The ABC Murders is available on Amazon, I couldn’t find a download version anywhere. The graphical style is different to the other three games but it was made by Dreamcatcher Interactive so I assume it is of a similar quality. To be honest I have no idea how i missed it if it came out in 2009, considering I was a forum member at Adventure Gamers and Just Adventure for many years!

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