SouthPeak Games’ Crime Scene arrived February 16, 2010 for Nintendo DS. The game should have piqued the interest of those looking for some blood on the system that only has a handful of M rated titles. Crime Scene throws you right into the action. Your first case involves two people dead. From there on the game can best be described as Trauma Center meets Ace Attorney. So, how does it all come together?
You have just become a forensics specialist. Now you’re trying to prove yourself in a town full of crime. The game comes down to your use of interviews and the use of your forensic skills. In Crime Scene you deal with the living and the dead. Gathering information from those involved, and collecting clues left behind at the scene of the crime. If you’re familiar with the Ace Attorney games, you know that evidence gathered is the most effective way to nail somebody for their crimes. You use the evidence to go further into the case at hand to gain access to more searching or an arrest.
That’s just an overview on how the game works, but let’s zoom into the details. You navigate through different areas to either speak with people or investigate the crime scene. The investigating is a point and click experience that can be quite tedious. Sure some are real obvious, but it’s mostly random tapping that let’s you eventually find some stuff. This is where my Trauma Center memories kick in. When you click a dead body you begin using tools to help gather anything that would lead to a clue. But Crime Scene goes beyond that. Dead bodies are nice, but in this game you collect everything from blood to bullets. You get to use swabs, tape, tweezers, scalpels and other little necessities for crime solving along the way. Forensic enthusiast will probably get a kick out of all the detail and interesting little uses of the DS (blowing the microphone to help dust for fingerprints, very nice) to give you that feeling like you’re actually solving a crime.
The game also goes beyond just gathering information. You got to analyze your evidence too. There is blood testing, DNA testing, and even ballistic testing. Talk about a lot to do in one game! These all trigger their own unique mini-game sequences, that again help you advance in your case.
The bad things about Crime Scene are issues that could have easily been avoided. The first being that the mini-games were timed. While doing something such as collecting blood, instructions on how to do the action would disappear before I knew it. Eventually, on the second or third try I would have read the instructions clearly, but by that time I have already made too many mistakes. Which leads to my second issue. Sometimes, I would have read the instructions perfectly, but I would think I messed up, but in reality the game just doesn’t have very good controls. Forensics, or for the sake of this review, a forensics video game requires precision. When you don’t nail controls in a game like this, the game turns into disappointment. You never know if the mistakes you make are your fault or the game’s. Too many mistakes, and you lose. And I don’t like losing. Simply put… Crime Scene is a great idea, done in a great fashion, but plagued by bad controls.
Title: Crime Scene
Platform Reviewed: Nintendo DS
Developer: SouthPeak Games
Publisher: White Birds Production
Release Date: Available Now
Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers Inc by the publisher for reviewing purposes.