While Jake Hunter Detective is a long-running Japanese mystery adventure game series that has always interested me, I never actually got to try any of the titles out, mainly because several of them were never localized into English. That’s why I was excited to hear that Aksys Games was localizing Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk for Nintendo 3DS this year.
This year at E3, I met up with Aksys Games to try out both Yasuhiro Wada’s upcoming title Little Dragons Café and Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk. While I only got a tiny taste of what the full game will have to offer, I could tell from what I played that all of Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk is a very intuitive and competent investigation-adventure game that will surely please fans of this niche.
I started right at the beginning of the game, with the titular detective Jake returning to Bar Kasumi after a day of work. It was there that he met Kasumi and Manami who own and work at the bar, respectively. While the beginning of the game is relatively calm, things quickly take a serious turn when a clearly perturbed man turned up to the bar asking for alcohol. It was here that I got my first taste of the game’s investigative conversation mechanics, which is reasonably unique and brings the game more in line with visual novels.
In addition to traditional conversation, Jake can “investigate” whoever he is talking to and interrogate them further based on things he sees, they say, or inconsistencies in their stories. Once he came in, I started to question this man as Jake, evidently to his dismay. Eventually, after covering several different topics with him, I learned exactly what happened. The man and his friends broke into an abandoned and supposedly haunted house for fun, but once inside, they found what they thought was a dead body, and quickly fled.
Shaken up by this experience, the man turned up at Bar Kasumi, which Jake just happened to be at this night. After this conversation, I was granted the option to leave and investigate the house with the man, Even though Jake didn’t believe the man’s story completely, he still goes to the mansion with to investigate alone.
Once he arrives, I investigated the outside of the house and decided to enter through a broken window that had blood on it. Once inside, a point-and-click adventure style of gameplay exposes itself. While examining a room in the house, players can use the touchscreen to focus on suspicious areas. With every click, players, along with Jake himself, keep learning more about the case they are investigating. Eventually, I found the room the disgruntled man from the bar was talking about.
Inside it, a corpse laid on the ground. It was human, likely a homeless man, so the scared nature of the man at the bar was entirely justified. Jake investigated the body further, which functions similarly to the other investigation sections.
While my time with the demo ended here, I was still pretty enthralled by the mystery set up. Who was this man, who killed him, and how did his body end up in an abandoned mansion? As my time with the game was brief, none of these questions were answered, though I’m excited to see how things play out. From what I played, Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk seems well written and translated accurately.
The game also clearly knows the niche it and other titles like Ace Attorney set up within the visual novel and point-and-click genres and will deliver more of what fans expect. While there is a new Jake Hunter Detective game for Nintendo Switch and PS4 on the horizon, Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk looks like it will serve as a welcome return of the series for western audiences beforehand, and will please fans of both investigative detective games and visual novels.