Investigation! Aksys talks about Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles

By Spencer . December 6, 2007 . 4:35pm

jakehunter1.jpgRemember how we opened the floodgates for Aksys questions in a Reader Response a few weeks ago? I got a chance to speak with Gail Salamanca about their upcoming Nintendo DS projects and we’ll start by talking about Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles. While the series is new for North America, Jake Hunter has been around since the Famicom under the name of Jinguuji Saburo.


So, why now? What made Aksys decide to localize Tantei Jinguuji Saburo DS?


Well, as you can probably see from our most recent titles we have a good working relationship with Arc System Works. As far as the game goes, we thought it's a genre that's definitely underrepresented in the US, so we're glad to be able to bring such a unique game to the DS library.


It's pretty obvious that Aksys wasn't going to keep the Japanese name for the protaganist, but where did Jake Hunter come from?


After many weeks of going back and forth in the office, it's basically the name that everyone finally agreed upon.


jakehunter2.jpgWere there any alternate names you were kicking around at the Aksys office?


Quite a few actually…


We wanted a name that had a good ring to it and sounded something like a character out of a pulp detective novel like Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon. We also decided early on that we wanted to have a name that started with a J to go along with the "J" in Jinguji. So we went through names like Jack Maverick, Jonathan Murdock, James Hunter until we finally decided on Jake Hunter.


Is the setting going to change from Japan to another country too?


Yes, we took the Anywhere, USA approach when it came time to localize the game.


How would you describe the tone of the game? Is it serious or comical like Phoenix Wright?


It's pretty grim and serious in tone although it does have its lighthearted moments.


jakehunter3.jpgIs the gameplay like a traditional point and click adventure game? Or are there unique features that set Jake Hunter apart from the crowd?


It's not really either as it's closer to a straight forward digital novel. Although, you'll still need to search for clues, talk to witnesses, find the right line of questioning to progress in the game.


How long do you think it will take someone to pass through the three cases?


It would probably take you about 4-5 hours to complete 1 episode. So about 15 hours to finish all 3 episodes.


Does Aksys plan on releasing anymore text adventure games in the near future? Perhaps, Apathy: Narugami Gakuen Toshi Densetsu Tantei Kyoku?


We're definitely not ruling it out. We're hoping Jake Hunter is the first in a long list of digital novel style games.

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  • Visionnerz

    Damn, so they’re changing the location of Tokyo to “Anywhere, USA” … :(

  • ryne11

    At least we are getting it. Can’t wait

  • Anon

    I’m glad more publishers are giving niche genres a chance in North America. Hopefully we’ll get more Visual Novels, Point & Clicks, Dating Sims, etc. As soon as the bigger companies realize that there will be a market for all different types of games, the better.

  • Ash

    3 episodes? The Japanese version has 5 old episodes and one new DS case, AND 6 superdeformed cases….

  • mikael

    Well if the game really is 15 hours im thinking of getting it, was afraid of the length to begin with but this interview helps a lot :)

  • Cyborg

    I, too, thought there would be more than 3 episodes. I saw a screenshot and it had the old episodes from the NES games like Ash said. I don’t think they will change that. I wish I could play “Kind of Blue” — it had such a sweet intro! Oh and please change the location back to Tokyo. It’s not as if you’ll have anyone under the age of 13 purchasing this game, who is unaware of where Tokyo is located, or would even care that it’s in Japan. Oh and don’t forget the smokes!

  • i started to play with this game and it dealivers.

  • Its the best game I have seen so far on the market. Though I’v only reached episode 2, Hope to finish it soon.

  • Hoa

    Ash says:
    3 episodes? The Japanese version has 5 old episodes and one new DS case, AND 6 superdeformed cases….

    According to the Nintendo Power, you open bonus content. Maybe these extra cases are the bonus content? I sure hope so. xD A total of 12 cases is real big.

  • seeya

    I’m kinda bummed about the 3-episodes thing as well. The Japanese version has so many eps, I sure hope the bonus content will be serious, proper-length cases and not some little mini-games or something.
    Nevertheless, I’m soo dying to play this – it’s a totally awesome game (I LOVED the gba version although it’s only in Japanese) and they’re right, we need more of this genre in the US. I’m totally getting this as soon as it comes out in June.

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