This quick posting is aimed at those who love mystery/murder and solve-it based games.
I’m sad to say that I’m disappointed in my latest acquisition: Crime Stories. I bought it Friday at CompUSA and finished the game in just a few hours’ straight play. In short, I can sum everything up into 3 words for y’all: Save your money.
I had been eyeing this game for a few months, but knew little about it. From the images show on the box, its enclosures, and the website, this game looked really promising. I thought maybe I had stumbled across another jewel — like Still Life. (Whatever my qualms with its ending, it was and is a VERY good game, and highly underrated!)
Funny enough, the two are published by the same company: The Adventure Company. Crime Stories is nowhere near as easy to maneuver as Still Life was, nor as challenging. Sadly Still Life was limited by outdated graphics, or I think it would have done a LOT better. Crime Stories had slightly better graphics, but there were too many bugs to overlook:
- Too many items were mislabeled. For example, a mouseover on a statue would say “Police car”.
- Conversations flowed as if William Shatner wrote them. “I can’t believe … *pause* … this is really happening … *pause* … to me!” — I shit you not, this was the most annoying feature of the game, IMO
- The very beginning of the game leaves you feeling a bit clueless because you don’t know what to do to get started. Most games will at least give you the right direction. i.e. get this from said person for this to happen, or you need this to gain access to this building.
- Moving around in the game is awkward at best — there were several scenes where I had to keep adjusting where the player stood so that it would stop moving the view from one place to another in order to achieve my objective. BIG ANNOYANCE!
- My biggest complaint would be the lack of challenges. If you don’t count having to figure out what items to combine for certain events and/or access to sections of the game to occur, there were only 3 puzzles in this game — the answer to one of which was included on a slip of paper in the box.
The game as a whole is way too short, the dialog needs some serious grammar and spell-checking, and IMO they should fire their QA/beta testers for not catching what were blatantly obvious flaws in the game.
Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the Law and Order and CSI games. Those have great graphics, and tutorial levels so you can familiarize yourself with how everything works first. Plus, a major thing they had that Crime Stories doesn’t: realistic looking dialog scenes — the mouth moves only when the character is speaking, and generally matches the syllables and sounds. (Rather than looking like a really bad 70’s Godzilla movie style dub!)
But that’s just my $.02 … and a waste of $20.00.
… I wish I had bought the City of Villains special edition DVD set instead — at least it came with toys!!