Meta-Review: Snatcher – Sega CD
I’m always fascinated by cult clasic games. I can’t help but be drawn in by titles that the majority of gamers have only heard in passing, but genuinely derseve to be played to their fullest extent.
Snatcher is the classic example of a low-profile game that comes out during the final days of a short-lived console (actually an add-on in this instance) and is only discovered by hardcore gamers. Developed by Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame) and his Konami teammates, Snatcher showcased and entertaining experience and creative cyberpunk story built upon strong sci-fi influences.
Instead of being a typical FMV game that was quite common on the Sega CD, Snatcher is similar to the graphical adventures of old on the PC (some gamers refer to it as a “digital comic”). Actually, it was originally released in Japan for the NEC PC-8801 and MSX2 computers in 1988. It later went on to be ported to other consoles, but the Sega CD version remains as the only English release.
“The story of Snatcher is rather complex and it is chock full of interesting plot twists and unexpected scenarios… The dialogue and writing in Snatcher is simply put remarkable. Many of the characters have very deep and specific personalities and the flavor of the writing really fits the mood of the game. The dialogue is quite simply spectacular, and the overall effect of the writing when mixed with the dynamic characters and immersive story makes this game a totally engulfing experience. Snatcher easily has one of the best-done localizations in the history of gaming, especially when considering the astronomical amount of dialogue that needed to be written.”
“This game has no problem with is proudly displaying its influences right up front. As the storyline of Snatcher progresses, it becomes very clear that the authors lifted concepts right out of The Terminator, Blade Runner, and even The Manchurian Candidate, if you can imagine. But the story and world are so well reasoned, with everything from the biology of these biomechanoids to the reasoning for their existance being so well defined, that it manages to stand on its own…
In addition to the adventure-style gameplay, Snatcher also contains action sequences, in which you shoot down incoming SNATCHER robots or other enemies. These are fun, but a little rough around the edges. They were originally designed to be used with Konami’s light gun, so if you don’t have one you’re forced to make due with the regular Sega gamepad. The game compensates for this by creating an on-screen grid that your targeting reticle locks on to, and this restricts its movement to the eight directions possible with the Genesis game pad. After playing through the game, I’m convinced that using a real light gun would have been significantly harder for these sequences, and probably more than a little frustrating.”
“Because of the CD medium, the game boasts some pretty good sprite FMV’s and lot’s of good voice acting, as well as some excellent music, both in composition and quality. The game is also of perfect length for this type of game, you can finish it in about 12 hours. Because of the CD medium, the game boasts some pretty good sprite FMV’s and lot’s of good voice acting, as well as some excellent music, both in composition and quality. The game is also of perfect length for this type of game, you can finish it in about 12 hours.”
“here’s very, VERY little wrong with Snatcher. The only problem may be its length and lack of difficulty. I was able to beat the game is just over six hours, with very minimal help. But four of those six hours were when I was locked up in my room, playing the game, having one of the best damn video game playing experiences of my life. This is what an interactive anime should be. Now I only wish that Konami would translate Snatcher’s spiritual sequel, Policenauts, for the English audience to enjoy..”
Hardcore Gaming 101