GGF#62: Review of CSI: Deadly Intent

Gamer Girl Friday

For the past week or so, each time I had the intention to sit down and write this review, my limbs would feel a magnetic pull towards my Xbox 360 controller, instead.

I would auto-pilotly power up my Xbox 360 and TV before realising what I’m doing.

Indeed, why would any sane person want to write a review when they can be playing a game?

So, I’m probably nuts.

CSI Deadly Intent

In any case, I find CSI: Deadly Intent a lot of fun, bearing in mind that I’ve never watched a single episode of the TV series, nor have I played any of the previous CSI games.

I’m a CSI virgin, to put it crudely.

You’re probably not one, if you’re bothering to read this. So forgive me if I wax lyrical over how fun it is to collect evidence, analyse them at the lab and terrorise question witnesses and suspects.

Granted, the graphics is a bit retarded — blocky humans with unnaturally lolling eyeballs. But in games like this, it’s always the content that counts. They can give me stick figures and I’d be happy.

CSI Deadly Intent

Okay, maybe not. It might be a little hard to detect fingerprints on stick figures.

In CSI: Deadly Intent, you get five delicious cases written by CSI writers, cool technologies for processing evidence, and celebrities to look at (Laurence Fishburne, Lauren Lee Smith), albeit blocky versions of them. Winning formula!

You get to feel like a real detective, although on a simplified scale. Like, if you cursor-over something important, it will turn “active” so you know that’s an important piece of evidence for solving the mystery. Obviously you won’t get that kind of convenient hand-holding in real life.

CSI Deadly Intent

But the game is still challenging enough. You’ll need to know what to do with each piece of discovery. Brush for fingerprints? Collect a sample for processing? Make a mould of an imprint? Compare under a microscope?

Once you have some evidence, it’s straight to the lab. What would you do there? Analyse DNA? Compare fingerprints? Process audio clips?

After that, it’s piecing things together to decide on your next course of action. Interrogate people? Examine a corpse at the morgue? You’ll shuffle back and forth between crime scenes, the morgue, the lab and the interrogation room throughout the case.

The first game is almost like a tutorial because it’s pretty easy and straightforward, but each case after that gets progressively trickier and takes a longer time to solve.

CSI Deadly Intent

Because the game is pretty linear, you won’t be able to progress the plot if you miss out an important piece of evidence or discovery. But you get hints in the game and you can specify how much you want to be hand-held.

I’m quite impressed with the plot twists. Not that I expected any less since there must be a reason the CSI series has been such a success. But it’s a real joy to unravel something that leads to a new shocking discovery.

The game will probably make many people feel really smart for being able to solve tough cases. There will be some people who think they can be detectives after playing this game because they fail to realise that it’s a lot easier to solve mysteries in games than in real life.

But I think the game does give a good insight on what it feels like to be a crime investigator.

CSI Deadly Intent

I’m playing the Xbox 360 version but I think playing on the PC will be a lot easier. This is the kind of game where you have to move your cursor on every inch of the screen to find an elusive piece of evidence. A controller lacks precision for that kind of task so it gets annoying.

Sometimes, the area of activation is, like, one pixel. Can you imagine how hard it is to land a console cursor on one specific pixel?

The good news, though, is that it’s ridiculously easy to get Xbox LIVE achievement points on this game, so I have no regrets, really.

CSI Deadly Intent

I think the DS version (titled CSI: Deadly Intent – The Hidden Cases) has different stories because it’s rated Teen while the other three are rated Mature. I shall have to try it!

After playing this game, I’ve decided that I want to watch the TV series. Oh no. More time sinks!

GGF#58: It’s raining food!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

This has been an eventful gaming week!

There was GCA 2009 with eclusive showcases of Forza 3 and Halo 3 ODST.

I met the great Ian Livingstone.

I also met with some Rockstar people, who shared with us developments in the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

I received five new games to play (and review): WET, Heroes over Europe, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, Dirt 2 and Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

So, I really, really need someone to invent a time stopper!

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Table of Contents

  1. Cloudy with a chance of meatballs
  2. Time Wasters by Swordplay
  3. Photos from GCA 2009
  4. Win a New Era Games haversack!!

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Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

This funny title started as a children’s book in 1978 about a town called Chewandswallow where it literally rains and snows food.

It’s now a movie and a game, released Sep 18 and 15, respectively.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Well, I have somewhat outgrown children’s movies and games (Hello Kitty not counted because Hello Kitty is for all ages), but of the five new games I received this week, I decided to play CwaCoM first because it looked the simplest and I just wanted to play something brainless after suffering an insufferably busy week.

Surprisingly, I found it enjoyable. In fact, I want to play it right now instead of writing GGF, but we can’t always do what we want, especially since GGF is already a day late!

So I will zip through GGF today and maybe have some time left over to get back to it. =P

In CwaCoM, you play a quirky inventor who invents this machine that makes food fall from the sky so that people can have better lives.

The machine works but then quickly gets out of control. Soon, your townsfolk are terrorised by giant foodstuff raining on them mercilessly.

Imagine being flattened by this giant piece of broccoli!

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Or giant burgers!

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

I must say, though, that playing this game made me very, very hungry.

So, your task is to get out there and vaporise food. You have five different weapons which deal with the monstrous foods in different ways, such as melting them down or hacking them to pieces.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

Killing food earns you points which you can use to upgrade your weapons.

Some foods just sit there harmlessly (or obstruct passageways) while other foods are aggro. For example, you could get rained on by sizzling hot chilli sauce or get bitten by cute gummi bears that won’t leave you alone until you slice them into oblivion.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

The first mobs you’ll encounter are annoying snowmen that shoot snowballs at you the moment you walk into range. You’ll need to melt them down before they pelt you to death with snowballs.

It doesn’t matter if you die, though. The game just lets you start over where you last died, with no penalties.

In this way, you progress through five acts, each of which consists about five missions. I’ve only completed the first act. It’s fun! And I believe it will get more interesting in the later acts when you get to change weapons mid-mission.

Besides fighting homicidal foodstuff, you also have the challenge of navigation. Once in a while, you’ll have to figure out how to use objects in the environment to help you get where you want to go.

There are some places that are quite hard to get to but you’ll want to get to them in order to unlock the ultimate weapon.

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

You can probably complete the game without it, or you can redo missions to get what you missed earlier.

I think kids will really love this game. Adults with a sense of fun will like it, too.

I think I want to watch the movie, now!

CwaCoM is available across all platforms.

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Time Wasters by Swordplay

Swordplay is my pesky li’l bro who spends all his time playing time-wasting games. To make him a little bit more useful, I’m sitting on him and making him recommend one fun and simple web-based game each week.

This week’s game: CANABALT

CANABALT

This game only requires one button (I use the spacebar). It’s a side-scrolling game with your avatar running automatically in superspeed mode across rooftops. You have to jump across obstacles and buildings to stay alive for as long as possible. (Crashing into a wall or falling to your death ends the game.)

CANABALT

Great for a quick distraction!

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Photos from GCA 2009

Games Convention Asia 2009 is still on until tomorrow (Sunday, Sep 20)!

Xbox fans are going crazy with the opportunity to play Forza Motorsport 3 and Halo 3 ODST before actual game release. (It’s free. Just walk in to the 4th floor exhibition hall and you can start playing — if there isn’t a queue, that is.)

I was there on Thursday to shoot some videos and do some interviews, but I don’t have time to edit the videos yet, so here are some photos first, taken from the Xbox 360 Facebook Fan Page.

GCA 2009
The Forza Motorsport 3 girls.

GCA 2009
John Wendl, Content Director of Turn 10 Studios, showcasing Forza 3 on the GCA stage.

GCA 2009
Me with John Wendl.

GCA 2009
The Forza 3 racing station with three-screen setup.

GCA 2009
Xbox 360 booth next to EA booth.

GCA 2009
Me with the Forza girls and Kellyn.

GCA 2009
Me with the Forza girls and Ian Livingstone.

GCA 2009
Taken with my crappy camera.

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Win a New Era Games haversack!!

I have an attractive haversack here with an interesting single strap at the back, and the words, “Gaming at its best!”

New Era Games haversack

I wanted to give this out last week but didn’t have time to include the giveaway section, so here it is today!

If you want it, just post a comment telling us what are the items always found in your bag! I’ll randomly pick a winner.

Closing date is Thursday, Sep 24, 11:50 pm!

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Whee! Back to playing kiddy games!!

Bah, who am I kidding? I have more (other) work to do, lol.

Enjoy your long weekend and Selamat Hari Raya!

[Gamer Girl Friday]

GGF#14: Videos of video games. Haha

[Gamer Girl Friday]

It is with a rather zonked state of mind that I address you today.

I haven’t slept all night. I started working on GGF last night at 10:30 pm and didn’t stop until 7:30 am, when I decided to go stun myself awake with a cold shower.

Another hour to neaten it up before I get ready to start my day with a morning meeting, and then an afternoon meeting, an evening event and a night engagement.

I see mushrooms dancing in my peripheral vision. GGF is zonked out her mind! Hurray.

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Table of Contents

  1. Video demo of Braid on Xbox LIVE Arcade
  2. Fable II Pub Games is out!
  3. Sheylara at World Cyber Games (Again)
  4. Too Human is too popular!
  5. Ask Sheylara
  6. Win a cool Friendster thumbdrive!!

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Video demo of Braid on Xbox LIVE Arcade

Oh, gosh. It takes freaking forever to make videos.

But here’s a video of me explaining the gameplay in Braid.

I love this game. I’ll talk a little about it in case you don’t like to watch videos.

So, Braid is an Xbox LIVE Arcade game which you can download for a small fee.

It looks like a 2D platformer, but it’s actually a puzzle game. You can die but you won’t die. That is, when you get eaten by monsters, you can rewind to when you haven’t gotten eaten, and then continue from there and try not to get eaten again.

Running around the world and not dying, you collect jigsaw puzzle pieces to make nice pictures. The pieces are scattered around the world and they just annoy the heck out of you because you can see them but you can’t get at them.

You have to really crack your brain in this game. And then crack it somemore. Until your brain hates you.

But I like the music, the graphics and the gameplay. It’s unique and refreshing. If you like abusing your brain and stomping on monsters’ heads, get it.

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Fable II Pub Games is out!

That’s right. This is the arcade mini game thingy which you can play now to earn gold for the Fable II game that’s coming in October.

Here’s a boring video I took of it. Well, watch it if you want to see what the mini games look like.

There are three gambling games and you’re given 500 gold to start off with. If you lose it all and go into debt, you’re in trouble when you start Fable II.

It’s freaking hard to win money. I’ve already lost like 300 gold. Haha.

Oh, well. Have never been good at gambling, anyway.

But I like the games. The graphics and sound effects are really cool!

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Sheylara at World Cyber Games (Again)

I mentioned last week that Bryan De Silva from RazorTV interviewed me for a segment. The video is out!

Click.

We did an interview and then we played Guitar Hero 3.

Bryan made funny faces. IT’S ALL IN THE VIDEO.

And I made victory poses.

That was on Thursday.

On Saturday, I went to WCG again because the Xbox ambassador had to make an appearance and tell everyone to subscribe to Xbox LIVE.

We did that on the main stage of WCG.

More interviews.

And friendly matches.

Offstage, I played several matches of Project Gotham Racing 4 with Xbox fans.

Which I sucked at. But it was fun. And no one booed me, nice chaps, all.

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Too Human is too popular!

I received a record number of entries for last week’s Too Human giveaway. There were 46 entrants. Wow. Didn’t know this game was so popular!

You know what… I’ve got the game in my hands already! Mwahaha!

I got two copies on Tuesday but, get a load of this, I haven’t had time since then to even open the box to kiss the disc.

In any case, I can’t publish a review of it yet because the game hasn’t officially launched and I don’t want Silicon Knights coming after me.

So… WHO IS THE LUCKY WINNER OF A BRAND NEW COPY OF TOO HUMAN?

He is… Kurow31!!!

(Or maybe he’s a she. I have no idea.)

Congratulations!!!!! You are very lucky because you’ll be playing Too Human two days before the rest of Singapore (that is, assuming you live in Singapore)!!!

The USA launch is Aug 19 while Singapore stores will only stock it on Aug 21. But I’m allowed to give it away on the 19th, so you’ll be getting it on that day if we can arrange a meetup.

Will be contacting you via e-mail!

Please thank the Singapore Xbox Team for your prize!

The rest of you who didn’t win, don’t be too disappointed. There will be more giveaways in the future!

Alrighty?

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Ask Sheylara

Ask me any gaming-related questions! Post them in the comments or e-mail me, I don’t really care. I will try to answer all questions (unless I get like 500 questions a day).

James Millbower asks a Wii question:

I have a modified Japanese Wii set that appears to be fully-bricked. Can it be fixed like a semi-brick Wii set by inserting a Japanese game with a firmware update that is higher than my Wii version? If it can be corrected, where can I buy a Japanese game in the US?

Sheylara Says:

I’m afraid I have bad news for you. There is currently no fix for a fully bricked Wii. Well, that’s actually why they called it a “brick” in the first place. Sorry, pal.

Chak asks an Xbox joystick question:

Do you have any idea where to download drivers for Xbox joysticks to use on the PC?

Sheylara Says:

I didn’t actually answer this question for Chak because he answered it himself before I could do it, lol. But I’m posting it here anyway in case anyone ever wants to ask the same question. You can download the driver here.

Lambert asks an Xbox LIVE question:

What’s your Gamerscore?

Sheylara Says:

Er… please don’t ask. If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you. No, actually, ask me in a year’s time. That will give me time to, uh, actually have a number to tell you.

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Win a cool Friendster thumbdrive!!

Look at this cutie!!

The sad part is that it has a capacity of only 500MB.

But the happy part is that it’s one of those thingamajigs you can take and show off to your friends and piss them off because they can’t buy one even if they had money.

Unless you sold it to them at a very high price, in which case, you should share some of that doosh with me, okay?

So… who wants it?

Yes, same old same old. Post a comment saying you want it before next Friday!

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And now… PLEASE GO READ MY XBOX BLOG. I mean, like, regularly. It’s very lonely.

Aww.

[Gamer Girl Friday]

Pirates of the Burning Sea review

I finally managed to play Pirates of the Burning Sea last night, after four days of not being able to touch it since installing it. Well, I only had a few hours to play but I’ve got some first impressions.

There are only three things I like about it.

  1. The costumes.
  2. The music.
  3. The poses.

That’s it. Pretty lame things to like about a game. Haha.

The costumes are pretty and authentic and very customisable, with many choices for mixing and matching, and a huge colour palette to dye your clothes.

I chose a black-and-red theme. Yes, very safe and boring, and probably the choice of colour for 80% of the Pirates population. But you can’t deny it looks good and that’s all that matters.

Meet Sheylara Scarlett, my pirate, captain of her own ship (albeit a lousy newbie ship):

I love how I can wear sexy cleavage-revealing clothes in MMORPGs.

I would have gone for a pink-and-white theme but the pastels in the game are dodgy and they all end up looking a pale dirty yellow, somehow.

The music is fantastic. You feel like you’re in your own Pirates of the Caribbean movie. There’s piratey carnival music when you’re gallivanting about town, and there’s piratey battle music when you’re battling. Cool.

And the poses. By that, I mean the way the avatar stands when it’s stationery. There are like five or so different positions which your character assumes randomly.

Other than all that, the game is more frustrating than fun. For me, at least. (There are certainly no lack of PotBS fans raving about the game.)

Some of the things I don’t like:

  1. The tutorials are stupid and redundant because they don’t teach you shit.
  2. You can’t jump in the game. I’m so used to jumping in MMORPGs that I feel crippled not being able to do it.
  3. There’s no tailoring! I can’t make clothes! (I’m always a tailor in MMORPGs.)
  4. The learning curve is very steep and the poorly-designed tutorials certainly don’t help.
  5. The UI is laggy. Like when you mouseover something, the tooltip takes two seconds to appear. Or when you try to change your ship’s weapon with a right-click, your mouseover doesn’t highlight until 50 years later, by which time your ship has already been sunk by the enemy and your loot plundered and your crew raped.

The game is really very hard to excel in, with lots of strategising if you want to rule the seas.

At this point of time, I have trouble even telling the stern and the bow, or the port and the starboard, apart. I certainly don’t have time to worry about picking the right ship, picking the right weapons, choosing the right side to shoot at and shoot from, taking advantage of the wind direction to out-manoeuvre the enemy, while at the same time making sure your crew doesn’t drink up all the rum before the battle is over.

And I haven’t even started talking about the economy aspect of the game. Building warehouses and factories, harvesting raw materials to produce goods you can sell to other players for a tidy profit, doing it without getting yourself killed because you have to visit enemy ports to get stuff that you need.

OMG.

This is a game for people who have too much time on their hands.

Not me.

I have like maybe two hours a week. Just enough time to sit in the tavern and listen to the bartender wax lyrical over the new wench in town.

I suppose the game concept is pretty cool. I just don’t have time to get into the thick of things. So I’m just gonna log in when I can, try not to die too much and live off the generosity of my guildmates, assuming I get into a guild (called Society in PotBS) soonish.

In the meantime, I’m a clueless lass pretending to be a captain.

Sheylara Scarlett plays on Antigua.