Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator Case 5 - Land of the Rising Dead
Description official description
After the events in London, Ben decides to return to his home... but then gets a call from his friends, Simon Booth and Alice Wilkins. Simon says that there have been a series of mysterious murders in Osaka, Japan... but they soon discover that there is much more going on than they had first suspected. Working together with local police and his friends, Ben discovers the involvement of living dead, and tries to find links between different events.
Land of the Rising Dead is a classic point-and-click adventure with actions to move around, examine, talk, and pick up and use items. These can be selected from the top of the screen, or you can cycle through them with the right mouse button. Ben has an inventory and important clues are stored in your notebook. The game has been divided in 5 acts, representing the 5 days of the investigation. In some parts of the game, it is possible to die, and at a certain point, there are multiple paths with different puzzles to complete the investigation. Your progress is measured by points, shown in the top right corner.
Credits (Windows version)
15 People (13 developers, 2 thanks)
|Ben Jordan Logo|
|"Woman from Tokyo" by||
Average score: 81% (based on 5 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 12 ratings with 1 reviews)
Ben Jordan is a paranormal investigator, graduated in International Relations. But not wanting to work at the local grocery, he decided to conduct investigations... involving paranormal - after all, it was his passion... After having returned from Europe, Ben is contacted by Simon, a fellow ghost hunter met in London, for investigating a murder case in Japan, called the Ghost Murders. Along with another friend called Alice, Ben and Simon travel to the Rising Sun Empire for solving this mystery.
BJ: Land of the Rising Dead is the fifth case of the BJ series, released since 2004 by Grundislav Games and is an independent game made with the AGS engine, with the spirit of the old-school adventure games. Case 5 was released in 2006, the same year as the Case 1 Deluxe Edition.
Gameplay is still the same as in Case 4 for the available actions. You have still the five icons for walking, interacting with your environment, talking with people about everything and nothing (the !), interrogating people, including your friends (the ?), and observing your environment. About the latter, you'll use it more than in the previous cases or you won't progress. As for walking, if you're not used to being obliged to choose the action, you'll be confused except if you play the previous cases...
The mobile phone, an important but frustrating feature from the previous case in London, has disappeared but the typing gameplay from Case 3 is reappearing... only if you choose one of the options near the end, consisting in Simon at your side or being alone when confronting the culprit.
As Ben is in Osaka, in a big city he's never been before, he'll be going from a location to another with a map. Basically, when exiting one of the many places you'll visit, unless that a scripted event must happen (like the strange guy wanting you for his show), you will reach the map. First, you'll have only two locations unlocked: your hotel and the police department. Progressing in your investigation will unlock the others. You'll even visit a village near Osaka!
You'll probably wondering why the map and not the usual walk from a screen to another. Well, if you played the Deluxe Edition of the first case, there is also a map for helping you to move. If it was probably more for fun than a real need, here, you can't ask Grundislav to make all Osaka in screens, given the fact that the player will be fastly bored to have to walk in screens where there is nothing to do. And then, if you played the others games, Dunesberg and Smailholm were small villages and the Case 4 was taking place in a locked house. So, the need for a map wasn't present...
Graphics are enhanced, meaning that every known character have had a lifting when their portrait is appearing. Only Alice seems to be the same. Well, that's not really a problem for Ben. This case seems to be more colorful with the Sushi Bar, Noboru's house and the TV Show. I didn't have such a feeling since the Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea and the town of Dunesberg.
I was fearing that the game will follow the path of the previous case, with more ambient sound than music. Well, I was wrong. Ongoing music is coming back and is really adapted to the spirit. Whether you're in Yoshi's office, Sushi Bar or your hotel room, you'll constantly reminded that you're in Asia. Special mention for the TV show, it was hilarious and so out of place.
I have also liked the references from the two previous cases, from the Madame Tilly's mention by Ben to his dream of Mary, without forgetting Percy's card. He still found a way to be mentionned even if Percival Quentin Jones isn't appearing in Osaka.
What must I say about this new investigation? Well, the idea of making two paths for reaching the same ending is a good idea. I was missing this kind of choice in the fourth case. Another thing is that you take control of Alice when talking to Japanese persons. But as usual, the game takes 2 hours to be completed... 3 if you're unlucky. It's enough to make this case very interesting.
Well, unless you want to hear about the usual complaint about the lifetime of the game (and that I don't want Ben Jordan being a five-hours story) or the walking action (for people not used to the gameplay), I didn't find many flaws to the game.
The only little complaint specific to the case I have is that Japanese people in this game weren't so Japanese except for Yamamoto, Noboru's mother and the Sushi Chief. Yoshi, the lead inspector on the case, hadn't any Japanese feature, he was rather odd. Oh and also, the Hotel Street was strange comparing to the rest of the landscape. Well, perhaps, it was the view chosen for showing it. Last but not least, the way Alice did black out after being poisoned was odd. I mean, her face was green and I believed to have seen her tongue out of her mouth, like she was dead.
The Bottom Line
Fugu, Sumo, Dinner - Three words on a paper, Day 5 Time? Time is just an illusion Noburo to Alice and Ben, Day 2
I love this game. It's rather simple, funny and relaxing. It's free and downloadable. It's also refreshing to see Simon teasing Ben about Alice. And it's still freaking to see one of them in danger. So, what will happen in the sixth game and last one to be released?
That's why I can only recommend you to play this game even if you're a young player who couldn't have known the time of the old-school adventure. Ben Jordan doesn't want to be the greatest game. No, Grunduslav Games is only doing it because, well, the team is deep involved in it and because it's just for entertaining people with a simple gameplay, a good storyline and with good music.
Time is just an illusion? Well, I don't know if the young Noboru is right or not. But if Ben Jordan can send me back to my childhood, I want this illusion going on, not forever, but as long as it can go.
So, Fugu, Sumo, Dinner anyone?
Windows · by vicrabb (7272) · 2008
Related Sites +
Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator Case 5 - Land of the Rising Dead
Official download and info page
on Games Over by Len Green (2nd April 2006)
- MobyGames ID: 21883
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Neon Hammerite.
Game added April 5th, 2006. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.