Well, probably everyone by now knows, has heard of or has seen Hideo Kojima's name somewhere. But I'm gonna be a hispsterish kind of guy and admit that I loved him more when he was doing visual novels. Yeah, yeah, I do agree that Metal Gear Solid is a fantastic game, one of the most impactful to be precise. I love MGS as much as the next person, don't get me wrong, and I do appreciate how Mr.. Kojima grew up to be a developer whose name is now sung on shrines and temples. He deserves every single bit of his stardom and wealth, if not more.
But, I grew to love him by exploring the cyberpunk streets of Neo-Kobe in Snatcher, and I didn't care if it was a direct nod to Blade Runner, Terminator and The Invasion of Body Snatchers. I didn't mind at all and while it was obvious, it didn't feel like a rip-off. It felt as if there was an attempt to mix all the movies we all came to enjoy into one cohesive, playable whole. The same goes for Policenauts which was only released in Japan; frankly I didn't mind playing as the anime version of Mel Gibson's character from Lethal Weapon.
The best thing in these games, besides the obvious focus they had on setting and story, was the music. I fell in love with each song that was featured in either Snatcher or Policenauts. I can still hum the main theme to the latter. Du du - du du du. Du du - du du DU. The atmospheric setup of these games was successfully transferred to the next games of Hideo. Whilst in Snatcher, the technological and sinister-like themes were engulfing the player as he or she dug deeper looking for answers, the eerie, jazzy, nostalgic tunes were flowing together with the smoke coming out of the cigarette of Jonathan Ingram and Ed Brown - the protagonists of Policenauts.
I'm not sure why HK moved away from the visual novel style. Perhaps the sudden tech evolution allowed him to follow an older vision. Perhaps he felt imprisoned within the gameplay confines of heavy dialog and action mini-games. Regardless, a huge leap of faith was performed.
And that's how we got MGS. And as I began playing it, I still remember my reaction when the Konami logo appeared on my screen. I screamed, "Oh, Oh, that's the song from Policenauts!", wondering if the latter was going to ever be translated in English for me to enjoy. (That took a long while, but it finally happened)
Thing is the mastermind behind all these games converted me to a believer. I was anxious to play any of his games after I came across Snatcher. Even though they were not exactly shaped for everyone, I understood the vision and I felt mesmerized by it. So, without crying and complaining about the same stuff over and over, Hideo, I would love to see a true sequel to any of your older games.
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