Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Mar 082021

When I started thinking of playing another 3DS game, I decided to check my 3DS to see what game I’d left in the system.

To my surprise, I found Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past, which I hadn’t played and didn’t remember prioritizing, but apparently at some point it was the next game I intended to play.

So why not? I decided to play it.

Memories of the Past is a visual novel adventure game in which you play a detective investigating various cases. It contains six cases, but the Jake Hunter release history gets a little complicated, so let’s talk about that first.

The series began all the way back in 1987 on the Famicom and saw consistent titles across a variety of platforms from then on, including a line of mobile games.

The first five cases in Memories of the Past are actually the first five mobile games, the first four of which are remakes of the original four Famicom games.

Finally, the sixth case is titled Memories of the Past and was created for this DS game. In fact, while all six cases are unlocked from the start and I played them in order, the game clearly intends for you to start with Memories of the Past, because it prompts you within that case to play through the others, creating a single continuous experience instead of treating each as a separate game.

(If you play them separately, like I did, you can skip the previous cases in Memories of the Past, but it still quizzes you on the major points.)

Gameplay-wise, everything is handled through menus. You won’t be tapping around the environment to search for clues, but rather choosing “Inspect” and then picking an area/object to inspect from the list that comes up. It can be a little tedious, since occasionally it needs you to inspect things multiple times or in the right order, but it’s fine.

It also frequently quizzes you on the current case’s events to make sure you remember the important details.

I found the first three cases to be pretty straightforward, entertaining enough to see how the mystery plays out, but not too compelling. The fourth was probably my favorite, with two alternating points of view and a story that had some fairly emotional moments.

The fifth case was fine, and the sixth was interesting in how it tried to bring things together, but not particularly noteworthy on its own in my opinion.

In addition to the main six cases, there are also a number of “Jake Hunter Unleashed” cases, shorter mysteries with chibi art and an emphasis on humor. They essentially feel more like puzzles, since they give you all the evidence and witness testimonies right away and you need to figure out the truth.

One more thing I want to mention is that this is another series that decided to change its setting to America for the localizations. Unlike Ace Attorney, where changing the names makes sense for the pun-based humor, there’s no reason for that to have been done in Jake Hunter. I assume they thought western audiences would be less inclined to buy “Detective Saburo Jinguji,” but honestly I find “Jake Hunter Detective Story” to be such a bland title I’m not sure it paid off.

Anyway, Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past was enjoyable enough. I wouldn’t say it’s a new favorite, but I’m intrigued enough to check out the next game that was released in English…

…which is not any of the five Jake Hunter games that came out after Memories of the Past, but rather the next one after that, Ghost of the Dusk. (And so far they’ve skipped over the next game, Prism of Eyes, despite it getting an English rating, so staying up to date with the Jake Hunter series doesn’t seem like it’ll get any easier anytime soon…)

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  5 Responses to “Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past Has Some Fun Cases”

  1. The “Hunter” surname is a proven success story in law enforcement work.
    Just ask Benjamin Hunter!
    So I disagree it’s bland and ineffective.

    (Not sure wot you get for Amazon referral links to permanently out-of-stock items, though.)

    • Hmm, if you say so.

      (If someone would decide to go from that page to another page and buy something else, I’d still get a commission from that. But mainly I did it because the lack of a link often means I don’t recommend it, so I wanted to link to a page for it anyway, especially since my review on it is a little mixed.)

  2. Ha, I love that this was just sitting in your 3DS waiting for you. Almost like you went through a little detective game yourself just to find it again.

  3. […] little over a year ago, we talked about Jake Hunter Detective Story: Memories of the Past, which I found I’d mysteriously left in my DS and decided to […]

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