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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you’ve ever wanted to be a game developer or even just wanted to make a game for fun, here is your chance.
Microsoft now has the platform for you to fulfill those dreams. On top of that, MDA (Media Development Authority Singapore) is offering massive financial support to deserving talents!
Recently launched on Xbox LIVE in the USA is Community Games, a showcase of arcade-type games created by people just like you and me.
Call it the YouTube of video games. Anyone can create and upload a game using the free XNA Game Studio software by Microsoft.
Gamers can browse and download any titles to try, and then purchase the full version for a few bucks if they like it. Game creators retain full rights to their games and receive money for every game sold.
This will be released in Singapore later, and MDA wants to prepare Singaporeans for this by offering $50,000 grant packages to successful applicants!
Absolute madness! If this had come years ago when I was still free, I would have gone for it!
You can read the guidelines and download the application form at MDA’s website.
If you just want to fiddle around with the game development software to see if it’s for you, head to XNA Game Studio.
Two months back, Team Gambit put Singapore on the map by winning the global Dream-Build-Play game development competition by Microsoft, beating 7,500 participants from all over the world.
Me with Team Gambit, holding a billboard of the winning game: Carnyvale Showtime.
Four of them are army boys! Haha. Cute. But there’s nothing cute about the US$40,000 prize money they won. That’s serious business!
I tried the game. It’s fun! Will do a review of it when it’s officially out on Xbox LIVE.
Okay, now go forth and do Singapore proud! Apply for the grant, make a masterpiece and win next year’s competition, why not?! ;)
I can’t believe The Sims 3 is coming soon! Like in a couple of months!
I call the game “Traumatise Little People” because that’s what I’ve discovered most of my friends did in The Sims 2.
They enjoy doing stuff like set fire to their sims’ houses, trap them on islands to starve to death or something equally gross.
YOU PEOPLE ARE FREAKINGLY SICK.
I always treat my sims with tender loving care, going ballistic when any of their needs fall to below 80%. Yes, that’s what being a control freak and perfectionist does to you.
The Sims 3 screenshot.
I’m not sure if I will play the new game, though, because it takes so much time. I believe The Sims 3 will demand even more because virtually everything is customisable this time and there are plenty more game features.
I spent like a zillion hours in The Sims 2, creating my friends, a neighhbourhood and a bigass house. By the time I was done, I was too exhausted to play the damn game. *lol*
My friends in The Sims 2:
I created each and every one one of these peeps from scratch, customising them to look and behave as much like their live counterparts as possible.
My house, which took me 16 hours to build:
An entire neighbourhood with customised stores and houses for all my friends:
I had a microsite with screenshots and descriptions for these. Check it out!
Back then, I went by the name Serena Sim, so that’s what I named my sim, which was very punny. I mean funny.
That was fun! But I don’t know if I could do it all over again, even if I had the time, which I most probably won’t. =(
Last week’s contest was very entertaining. Participants had to answer five questions to win a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC. Two of the questions were about me.
One was: “What’s my favourite dessert?”
I think many people misread that as “What’s your favourite dessert” because I had cleverly popped that question between questions asking about them!
This is a lesson, people. Do not speed read through instructions!
I also found out that I have arsonists for readers. One had set a tree on fire (-p!HCÐØM-A:I:M-) and another had blown up a morgue accidentally (Yoi).
Please stay away from my house, thanks.
Before I announce the winner, here are the correct answers to the two questions about me.
What’s my favourite dessert? A) Mango pudding B) Durian ice cream C) Chocolate fondue
Answer: A) Mango pudding
I love durian, but it doesn’t mean I particularly like durian ice cream. Although I don’t mind it, I prefer eating the real fruit. And I don’t like dark chocolate so chocolate fondue is yucks. I’m a milk chocolate person. Therefore, mango pudding for the win!
How many pearls are there in this bracelet?
Here’s a better view of the bracelet so you can count the pearls yourself!
Shockingly, only ONE PERSON managed to get both answers correct! He is also the ONLY PERSON who managed to get even one correct answer!
This is amazing!
Congratulations and TOTALLY WELL DONE, tiger4!!!
You deserve to win this prize!
Please e-mail me to claim your prize, okay? Thanks! =)
Thanks all for participating. I had fun reading your answers!
My favourite answer to the question of “What did you do on your 18th birthday?”:
Oh god it was awesome. 18 means I was still living off my dad. “Uh dad can i get a 100 bucks?” “What for?” “uh… for food?” “What kinda food that costs 100?” “Dinner.” “What dinner?” “My birthday dinner.” “OOH YOUR BIRTHDAY TODAY.”
How many movie scripts are there? Feels like you’ll end up repeating the same project very soon.
There are 30 scripts provided in the game. But you can also make your own scripts and customise your own movies in the Director’s Mode. And there is also a download section where you’re supposedly able to download more scripts but I haven’t seen anything on offer yet.
portman91 asks a You’re in the Movies question:
Do you just make trailers or longer films?
Mostly just trailers because it’ll take a really long time to make a full film! Just think of Hollywood blockbusters, which sometimes take one to two years to film! But you can make your own long films in the Director’s Mode if you have the time and the fancy.
forthja10 asks a You’re in the Movies question:
Do you need a green screen to play this?
Not necessarily. The game will take a screenshot of your background so that it can tell the difference between the actors and the background. But you will get a better result if your background looks as clean as possible. And you should wear clothing in different colours from your background.
dh asks a comparison question:
If I only want to buy one console, which is a better console and why? Xbox 360 or PS3
I have answered this question a billion times! =P But I guess there will always be people asking, so I will answer it again.
The question should really be: What are you looking out for?
The PS3 has slightly better graphics and acts as a Blu-ray player. It also allows you to play online free.
But for online play, Xbox servers are more stable. You get faster downloads and hardly any lags or link deaths. There is also a larger online community and a dedicated program to ease all new users into the community.
In terms of games, both consoles have their own exclusive titles to entice gamers. For instance, PS3 has God of Wars, Resistance and LittleBigPlanet. Xbox 360 has Halo, Gears of War and Lips. There are many more but you need to do your own research on that! =)
In terms of pricing, the Xbox 360 is more affordable in console and game software.
In terms of support, definitely the Xbox 360, because there is dedicated Singapore team so Xbox gamers always get tons of special deals and game launches and promos. PS3 does not have that in Singapore.
You know what my favourite thing about Gamer Girl Friday is? It’s the contests. I love giving stuff away and seeing happy people.
I was born with that crazy affliction, I think. I’ve loved giving presents since as early as I can remember. Once, on my 8th birthday, I invited my friends over for a birthday party and organised a treasure hunt for them. I ended up giving out more presents than I received.
Of course, my poor parents had to foot the bill for my generosity. Haha.
So, anyway, the reason I’m talking about contests and giving out stuff is because I will be running about two contests a week now. One in Gamer Girl Friday and one in my Xbox blog! Check out the latest giveaway over at Xbox Xperts!
Exciting news for PC gamers! You don’t have to turn off your anti-virus program when playing a game, anymore.
Norton claims to have developed a product with “zero-impact” performance, delivering top-of-the-line security without affecting your PC performance the slightest bit.
And it won’t pop stupid messages out at you, either, while you’re in the middle of a dragon raid or whille you’re busy getting your ass fragged, unless it has absolutely critical news to deliver to you, such as an army of viruses commandeered by your neglected girlfriend is about to mount an attack on your hard disk right now.
But I’m sure that’s not going to happen.
So, anyway, I had the pleasure of witnessing first-hand how Norton Internet Security 2009 works. David Hall, the regional product marketing manager of Symantec came to Singapore to demo the product for us. How nice of him!
The demo was held in a private dining room in Le Strada.
There was a lot of good food but I’m hesitant about posting photos of food because Jesta is now in China on a very noble mission and I don’t have the heart to annoy him.
Wait till he returns to Singapore. Haha.
Okay, digression over. Let’s look at some of the exciting features you can expect in Norton Internet Security 2009.
Goes into “silent mode” when you run a full-screen application.
Simplified user interface.
Reduction in weekly scanning times without compromising security.
Performs scanning and updates only when you’re not using the computer.
A new layer of protection to stop security threats before they even touch you.
Of course, it’s not only for gamers, being very relevant and useful to non-gamers as well. It’s just that, for the first time, we’re seeing a security software that won’t annoy gamers.
You can try it out yourself now. A beta version is available for download here. It’s very close to the final build now and will be launching any time soon (Symantec doesn’t want to commit to an ETA), so try it out now for free!
And keep your eye on my blog if you want a chance to win one of these indispensable silent helpers. Details will be announced soonish!
Mythic Entertainment has released a Warhammer Online trailer, causing much frenzy among gaming communities of the world. which have already begun to foam at the mouth with anticipation of the imminent launch.
I have tons of friends asking me to join their guilds. There are so many that I am going nuts deciding whom to join.
And I have friends forcing me to watch the new trailer or else they “dun fren me”.
So, fine, I watched it.
I guess it’s pretty good.
OKAY FINE IT’S FREAKING AWESOME.
I hate Mythic. It’s going to make me a gaming addict for the second time (first time being Dark Age of Camelot).
Thanks to Shelly, I just spent 10 minutes of my life staring bug-eyed at a black screen.
She introduced me to this Internet puzzle adventure site called weffriddles.
It’s one of those “games” in which you have to solve a “riddle” on each page to advance to the next page (level). I love those because you never know what to expect. Each level is very different from the last. And you really need to think out, around, under, above, and inside out of the box to figure it out.
weffriddles seems to be largely text-based. I can’t be sure, I’m only at level 3. But I’ve played a similar game before which is graphical. It was infuriatingly fun and addictive, only I can’t remember what it’s called.
Anyway, I love how wefriddles has a forum where people provide hints. Spoilers and outright answers are discouraged, so you can have more fun figuring it out yourself.
I took 10 minutes to find the answer to get past the first level because I was using the wrong browser. This is one time Internet Explorer wins. And that was a very subtle hint. Not that you’ll need any, I’m sure.
Last week’s contest was to win a Friendster thumbdrive!
I’m quite surprised by the number of responses I got for this. Although it’s lower than the GT5 windbreaker and Too Human, it’s still higher than I expected for a tiny little thumbdrive!
Well, regardless, we have a winner this week!
And the winner is… modchip!!! :)
I want to say that I’m a little surprised that modchip won. lol. I’m not being mean, okay, I’m just about to reveal how I pick winners every week.
First, I put your names on a spreadsheet in the order of your entry. So, like, if you signed up first, you’re number 1. If you signed up second, you’re number 2.
Then I get the randomiser to pick a number from 1 to 30 (assuming there are 30 participants).
Now, modchip is always number 1 because he’s almost always the first to comment on my blogs! While I believe intellectually that the randomiser doesn’t play favourites, I always feel psychologically that first and last have smaller chances of getting picked. I know that’s illogical, but life isn’t always logical.
So, when the randomiser returned “1” today, out of 24 choices, I was quite shocked.
Oh, but I’m happy for modchip. Congrats again! One Friendster thumbdrive coming to you! :)
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.