Being a private eye might seem glamorous in the movies…ok so it doesn’t…but it’s especially dangerous and dirty when you’re Jake Hunter, the PI who’s got all the guts and not much of the glory. Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk Is the newest game in Aksys’ Jake Hunter Detective series. This case has him scoping out haunted houses, damsels in distress, shady characters, mythical creatures, and possibly even the mafia!
In Ghost of the Dusk, you inadvertently end up having to solve two murders. The first chapter has you trying to solve the murder of a homeless man who is found in an abandoned, and possibly haunted, house. Then this seamlessly small case ends up sprawling out into a much bigger and deeper murder case involving a backstreet doctor, a mythological beast, and maybe even the KGB! You’ll be looking at crime scenes, talking to witnesses and possible perpatrators, and of course yukking it up with your even patient and understanding secretary Yulia (whom you even control for a small portion of the game when Jake is indisposed). You will also be working with the police and your good friend inspector Kingsley to check out clues and evidence.
The gameplay involves a lot of dialogue and interrogating. Not really a lot of exploration but there is some. As you are talking to people, you will need to put info together and deduct info and clues so there are different times when you will have to use “Ask” or “Deduct.” Ask mode lets you investigate deeper than just speaking to a person, it basically involves Jake thinking to himself for a bit before and piecing things together. Deduct mode is where you piece it all together and get the scumbag to confess everything! Basically make them squirm a bit to get the real truth out of them.
There seems to be no penalty for incorrectly “deducting” other than ticking off the person you are talking to so there’s that. In fact, there is no real way to screw up in Ghost of the Dusk because the game won’t let you follow bad leads or go to places you don’t need to go to. This really makes it more of an interactive novel then an adventure game. If you do get lost though, you can click on the Jake smoking at the top of the screen and he will whip out a cig and quickly think about what he should do next. What I liked was that if you are somewhere where you shouldn’t smoke, like the hospital, then he will say “shouldn’t smoke here…” but still tell you what to do.
There is also the occasional crime scene investigation where you explore a room using the 3DS stylus or the d pad and look for clues. Once you have found everything you need to find, the story advances which makes things a lot easier and no time wasting. You also can only investigate when Jake feels the need to, so you also won’t have to waste time going back to the same locations for no reason.
I loved the characters in Ghost of the Dusk as well! None of them were stereotypical and all had their own personalities. You can really see that Jake is rough and tough yet also a nice guy who really cares about his clients, even enough to never get paid which probably annoys Yulia. The voice acting is all in Japanese with various language subtitles so I can’t really comment on that as I have yet to learn Japanese.
Overall I found Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk to be a fun and engaging narrative adventure. I loved the characters and loved how the story branches out into a much deeper affair with many twists and turns. It is a very easy and straightforward game however, so if you were looking for a challenge, perhaps keep looking. Great for the casual gamer though! I give it 4 outta 5 Ankhs!
There are also several other episodes included in the collection that are all very short, one of them there just to be a silly parody, that are also fun and should be checked out. I did not include a review of these however since they are simply short games to play when you complete the main story. The entire collection is available physical or download now for only , $39.99 for more info check out the website
HERE Happy detective…uh…ing!
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