Games | Sega CD | Snatcher

Article by Tomm Hulett? | Nov. 1, 2010


Developer: Konami
U.S. Release: 1994
Format: Sega CD

In the wake of Metal Gear Solid 4’s indulgent cinematography, people forget that Hideo Kojima was once the salaryman equivalent of the starving artist: a brilliant, unnoticed auteur who poured his heart and soul into every game he worked on only to watch them sell disappointing numbers that kept him shoved in a corner, invisible to the big brass. But he had dreams, and vision, and all the disappointment in the world couldn’t keep him from trying.

Near the beginning of Snatcher, Kojima’s sci-fi epic hampered by the limited video game technology of the late ’80s, protagonist Gillian Seed finds himself tracking killers through an abandoned warehouse. Suddenly, everything goes quiet—too quiet. The sound effects have dropped to half-volume. Your robotic partner, Metal Gear, suggests you crank the volume of the television to compensate. So naturally, you follow his advice, and creep around, listening. Suddenly you’re attacked... and there’s a bomb… and just as you make your escape... the bomb explodes at normal volume! However, since you were duped into playing it loud, “normal volume” has become “a deafening explosion.”

Before Kojima had the budget and clout for self-indulgence, he had to make due with innovative genius alone. And thank God for that.

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