Operation Backlog Completion 2024
May 252022

A 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 play.

So as part of our mystery game celebration this month (if you’ve just arrived, be sure to read that post to learn about the contest!) I decided to follow up with the next localized game in the series, Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk for the 3DS.

(Which has become difficult to find everywhere except directly from the publisher.)

If you’ll recall, the Jake Hunter release history is rather chaotic. Memories of the Past included the first five mobile game cases and a sixth new case. Ghost of the Dusk has a similar model, this time with another brand new case as well as mobile games 21-24.

So what happened to mobile games 6-20? They’ve been re-released along with other new cases in games that were never localized.

Anyway, let’s get back to Ghost of the Dusk. The main case lasts a few hours and tells an intriguing story, while the other four cases are shorter, but still have their high points. Most of the gameplay is still handled through menus, but now you’ll occasionally have an investigation section where you need to tap objects to investigate, although sometimes the areas it wants you to click felt a bit too precise.

I found it to be much more straightforward than the previous game, with far fewer times where I needed to repeat actions to get new results.

I also enjoyed the mysteries more, especially Ghost of the Dusk itself. Focusing on an old mansion people claim is cursed, it starts out as a single murder and quickly spirals into a much larger conspiracy. They’re the sorts of mysteries where I could think over the clues to try to piece together the case as the protagonists did.

In addition to the five main cases, there’s also another Jake Hunter Unleashed case, a chibi story that tasks you with solving a smaller mystery.

Now, Memories of the Past is one of those games that is clearly set in Japan but tries to convince you its localization is set in America. Since Ghost of the Dusk takes place in the same fictional city of Aspicio, I assumed it was doing the same thing right up until one case had Jake mention how he once traveled to America. That’s right, unlike its predecessor, this game’s localization now claims to not to be set in America… but not Japan either despite its very Japanese background images, so it seems Aspicio now exists in a vague fictional country.

(It also continues to pretend its yakuza characters are mafia, except for one case that straight-up calls them yakuza, so I don’t know what was up with that.)

My guess is they wanted to drop the pretense of being set in America but keep the existing localized names, and since things like Aspicio and Tripudio don’t sound Japanese (not to mention the names of Jake and his supporting cast), that resulted in this strange change to the setting.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk. It’s a nice collection of detective cases, and it makes me sad that Prism of Eyes still hasn’t made an English appearance. There’s a prequel game that was localized, though, so I’ll be sure to pick that up one of these days.

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  2 Responses to “May Mystery Game Madness: Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk Review”

  1. So what you’re saying is that this is another case of a game set in San Fransokyo/Japanifornia? 😂

    • Memories of the Past absolutely had a “Japanifornia” setting for its localization. I don’t know what to call Ghost of the Dusk’s localized setting now that it’s decided it’s not America either.

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