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Review – Jake Hunter

posted on August 7th, 2008 by jay
Now Playing: Anno 1701

You likely play video games for one of the following reasons:

To enjoy fun gameplay
To be amazed by pretty graphics
To fall in love with characters
To listen to an enthralling score
To read a well written story
To kill time because your life is entirely devoid of meaning, even fake, self-created, existentialist meaning

Bad news for those who play primarily for any of the first five reasons – Jake Hunter fulfills none of them.

The Hazakura temple or Neo Olde Tokyo would be nice.

Adventure games, specifically Japanese text adventure games, tend to lack dynamic gameplay and, as such, have a niche audience. If you enjoyed Phoenix Wright or Hotel Dusk you likely don’t mind game mechanics that are under-developed and only there to bridge text box A with text box B.

Jake Hunter’s crappy gameplay is the least of its problems, though it is alarmingly bad. It isn’t linear in the sense that until you find the next clue you can’t proceed. It’s linear in this sense:

I’m at the docks. What should I do?
Inspect
Talk
Move

Move – I can’t leave here until I’m done doing my detective work.

Talk – There is no one here to talk to.

Inspect –
Street
Docks

Inspect Street – No one is around.

Inspect Docks – You see a guy in the distance walking toward the street.

Talk – There is no one here to talk to.

Inspect Docks – You see a guy in the distance walking toward the street.

Inspect Street – A shady looking man is standing a few yards away.

Speak – The man murmurs something to himself then runs away.

Move – I can’t leave here until I’m done doing my detective work.

Speak – There is no one here to talk to.

Inspect Street – The street is empty.

Inspect Docks – The man dropped something behind. Could this be his wallet?

Inspect –
Street
Docks
Wallet

Inspect Wallet – Hey, there’s an ID in here.

Inspect –
Street
Docks
Wallet
ID

Inspect ID – The ID lists an unpronounceable name…what’s this, a post it note that says “Don’t look in my wallet”?

Inspect Wallet – You find a hidden compartment.

Inspect –
Street
Docks
Wallet
ID
Compartment

Inspect Compartment – You find a trace of white powder. What could it be?

The dialog is much better when you can’t understand it.

Inspect –
Streets
Docks
Wallet
ID
Compartment
White powder

Inspect White powder – I’m not sure what this is. I should bring it to Samantha.

Move –
Samantha’s Lab
Don’t Move
Commit Suicide

Graphics and music in Jake Hunter are uninspired. The music borders on good sometimes but the character art ranges from mediocre to bad. Hint to adventure game designers – character designs are important. If I don’t care about anyone I’m speaking to or even my own character I won’t keep playing, unless I plan on reviewing your crappy game.

Worst of all, Jake Hunter is boring. Hunter, every other poorly drawn character, the plots, mysteries, side stories, twists, dialog and even the DS case are just uninteresting. Even if the translation and localization were good (“Yes, this is America. Ignore the Kanji on every sign.”) the cases are simply yawn inducing.

Good detective games (books, movies, CDs) have shocking twists. Jake Hunter’s twists all look like this:

Killer – “I am not the killer.”
Move to other boring location.
Some other guy – “Killer is the killer.”
Return to original boring location.
Killer – “You got me, I am the killer.”

There are never “holy crap!” moments in this game. I will tell you who did it in each of the three cases and it will spoil absolutely nothing. The doctor, the ambassador, and the big company. There, now you incorrectly assume I’ve ruined the game for you and will stay away. You owe me.

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1 Comments

  1. HappyDead said on August 8, 2008:

    From Gamers everywhere thank you. I think we would all have fun watching paint dry than play this so called game. Cheers :)

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