So, how many of you have played Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles for the DS? Don't worry if you haven't, that game was terrible. I'm a visual novel fanatic and I too think that Jake Hunter deserves all the bad reviews its gotten. Anyway, I'm complementing my review of the game and all my other Jinguji Saburo soundtrack reviews with this OST for the Japanese version of this DS release. It contains four discs worth of music which initially made me go "huh?" since Jake Hunter was such a stupidly short game without a wide variety of music. It should be noted once again that the Japanese version of the game contains six cases, five of which are retellings of Saburo's past adventures and the sixth one being a brand new DS specific one.
Atmospheric lounge jazz has typically been the order of the day for most Jinguji Saburo soundtracks and this one is no exception. As much as I like jazz music, I found the music in all the Jinguji Saburo soundtracks I've listened to rather boring. Maybe I'd enjoy it more were I in a lounge with some cognac and a cigar where the brain-clouding effects of alcohol and tobacco would take me to a "happy place" that the relaxed nature of the music would punctuate. Maybe that's what the composers intend given Jinguji's/Jake's love of cognac and Marlboro cigarettes. When the tracks are not lounge jazzy, they're downtempo video game synth pop. I found the music rather nondescript in the context of the game and rather boring in an OST when listened to on its own.
Discs 1 and 2 contain familiar music, since the US version of the game has the cases these tracks come from. A nice surprise was track 16 on disc 1. This track is a medley of various Jinguji Saburo tracks and some of the pieces in this medley were actually kinda exciting. The last handful of tracks in disc 2 were the 8-bit arrangements of some classic Jinguji Saburo themes, since three of the cases in this DS game were polished upgrades of NEs-era Jinguji Saburo games. In disc 2, compare track 1 to the beginning of track 15 and judge for yourself whether the sound upgrades in the DS game make a difference.
Disc 3's 46 tracks contained many repeats of tracks from the first two discs as well as other tracks from the game's cases. The entire disc was filled with 8-bit NES sound. As nostalgic as I may get from listening to ol' fashioned NES music, it does wear on me after a while nowadays and disc 3 was not an enjoyable one for me. Disc 4 was also 100% 8-bit PCM music including some 8-bit versions of tracks from prior discs. I also did not really enjoy this disc as too much NES style PCM became grating for me to listen to.
In short, I did not really enjoy this soundtrack. The compositions themselves were extremely pedestrian and often quite boring. They were bland in the game and even more so outside of the game. There was also way too much 8-bit PCM music in this soundtrack for my tastes. Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles was a game I was rooting for but it was a terrible game and the music wasn't very good either. I've certainly heard worse video game music, but this was a truly unenjoyable soundtrack.
Reviewed by: Neal Chandran