Snatcher (Sega CD, 1994) MicroReview
Hideo Kojima’s cyberpunk adventure game certainly still holds its own today, and actually has some interesting ties to his Metal Gear franchise. While design and some story concepts are unbelievably derivative of notable 80’s sci-fi cinema, this weird Frankenstein-narrative fits all its pieces together to make a surprisingly gripping tale. The voice acting is better than one might expect, and the anime-style visuals are crisp and expressive. Strange scenes of incredibly graphic violence are peppered throughout however, which don’t seem to fit with the tone. Many of the characters are well fleshed out and memorable, sometimes even quite endearing- much about the writing bears the recognizable stamp of latter-day Kojima. Most of the adventure-style gameplay is excellent, sporting strong puzzles that would sometimes even require my trusty notebook, and plenty of fun tidbits to reward a bit of digging. It was hugely frustrating however, when I would sometimes exhaust every possible action and still not be able to progress- only to find I needed to perform the same action multiple times, even after characters had run out of responses! Shooting segments can drag as well, and mostly feel like the result of publisher interference. There’s a long and complicated history to this game, and the English version is actually a remake, though most would agree that it’s the one to play rather than the original (which is missing the story’s final act). This game is extremely rare, so aside from spending hundreds of dollars, emulation may be your only choice until it’s given a proper re-release.
Snatcher / Konami / Konami / November 30, 1994
This review was conducted on the Sega CD version of the game.
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MicroReviews are short, one-paragraph critiques of games we’ve been playing. Learn more here.