Review by FRIEDSTRUCK
"You Were Deceived? Women Will do That if You Give Them the Chance, Gillian..."
Konami is known for its awesome stories; from Rocket Knight Adventures (which goes beyond the simple, "save the princess," storyline), to the Castlevania series, from the little known Policenauts, to the massive, giant, Metal Gear series, Konami has an excellent track record in terms of story-lines. Snatcher is no exception. From the outset, one could see that this game would be a success, as Hideo Kojima was the man behind all of its development, and he wrote the bloody thing also! Snatcher goes beyond story though; with its superb game play, to brilliant soundtrack, to unique and awesome art-style, this game is a winner through and through. Now, mind you, a lot of the game contained elements taken from such films as, 'the Terminator,' 'Blade Runner,' and 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers,' however Kojima was able to blend everything together, to make a new, and otherwise unique game. Game play, as usual, will tell you more.
Game play: 10/10
Fairly similar to point and click games, the interface of the game play in Snatcher is that of menus; look, investigate, show, etc. By selecting these options, more menus will pop up, and this is how you progress in the game. Simplistic game play at its finest, however there is a lot more to the game play than simply using menus. Aside from that, there a small shooting segments, that require you to shoot enemies; there are only a dozen or so throughout the entire game, and most are simple (some are friggin' hard though!). A neat little quirk is that if you own the Konami blaster that came with Lethal Enforcers, you can use that gun for the shooting segments, though if you want to save your money, there is no need to buy the light gun. There are also little things you can do, such as look up historical documents (in the games canon, of course), or call people on the videophone. You can also use your pal, Metal Gear, for a variety of purposes, from scanning a dead body, to turning on a light. Little nuances like this add color to Snatcher, and they help establish the game as super in-depth (even though the play time is usually only ten hours or so). The game play is superb, no doubt about it, as is the story, which is one of the all-time greats in video game history.
Gillian Seed is a JUNKER. The JUNKERS have been established to take out Snatchers. Snatchers are bio-roids (read; something like Arnold in Terminator 1) that, "snatch," the bodies of high ranking members of society, to take their place, and eventually take over the humans. There is a problem though; Gillian (he is the protagonist of Snatcher, by the way...) has just awoken from a 50 year cryogenic sleep, and he cannot remember anything about his past, save for the word "Snatcher." As a result, he joins the Junkers in an attempt to find out both his past, and why importance of the Snatchers. There is another dilemma though; Gillian's wife Jamie (who was discovered in a cryogenic sleep chamber next to Gillian as well) also cannot remember anything about her past, and she is just as clueless about the world as Gillian is. They both are sent to Neo Kobe City, to hopefully find out what they can about their past, and, possibly, rekindle their love for each other. Brilliant story, and while it does include a fair amount of elements from the aforementioned three films, the Snatcher story stands on its own, and improves on everything it borrowed. Graphics will be next.
Probably the Sega CD's best, and most vibrant 2D graphics are found in Snatcher; everything in the game is drawn, and the amount of effort put in is remarkable. Every character looks and dresses distinctly, and every location is unique and highly detailed. Neo Kobe especially, looks just dazzling; never have I seen so much detail put into a cityscape setting. Metal Gear looks awesome, as well as the Snatchers, and every other bio-roid. The menu interfaces are simple text and nothing more, but they too are easy on the eyes, and it does not look bad, or low quality, or anything of the sort. The animated cut-scenes though are very well done though, as the audio synchronizes nearly perfectly with the animation. Sounds will continue the perfect train.
Superb soundtrack, just an awesome, awesome, AWESOME soundtrack. All of the tunes I am recalling in my head as I type, they are memorable, and catchy. The jazzy soundtrack is just great, and there are quite a few tracks on the game as well, thus, while the music loops constantly, it never gets tired or annoying. The sound effects are also brilliant, with realistic sounds aplenty, and quirky sounds that sound off whenever it is an important event, or when an important fact is found out. One area of the sounds that could be better than the soundtrack, are the voices. Until the late Sega Saturn/Sony Playstation era, the quality of voice acting was never as good and polished as it was in Snatcher. No name voice actors took on a number of roles, and every character is voiced brilliantly. Can Snatcher remain a perfect game?
Replay ability: 7/10
This area, is sadly where Snatcher falls short. Snatcher will (as mentioned above) run you about ten hours worth of game play, nothing more, and assuredly less on subsequent play-throughs. There is little you can do in terms of extras (there are a bunch of numbers you can call on the video phone, you can go eat Neo Kobe Pizza, Buffalo, etc.), and there are no unlock-ables. That's alright though, as the rest of the game more than makes up for it!
Buy or rent?
Buying Snatcher will be increasingly difficult as time goes on; prices keep on going up, and only 10,000 copies or so were made thus it is a hard game to track down indeed!
Has Snatcher had a massive impact on my gaming life? Absolutely. Once I completed the game, it instantly became one of my top ten favourite games of all time (though I have to refine that list!), and its not gonna move from there anytime soon. It also made me laugh, made me feel remorse, and the last bit of the game had me freaked out! Snatcher is an experience that ever gamer should sample at least once in their lives. The game has had such an impact on me, that about 2 months ago, I made Neo Kobe Pizza for myself! It was damn good too (I used a Dr. Oetker tomato pizza, and Miso soup), and I will definitely eat it again. Gillian and the rest of the cast are such great characters as well, I may be Gillian for a future Halloween (we will see!). Snatcher is, simply put, one of the best Konami games of all-time, and one of the best games outright, of all-time. Metal Gear: "You're acting quite paranoid, aren't you Gillian? Nothing is going to jump out at you. Don't worry... Gillian! Look out! There's a ghost behind you.............!!... Just Kidding." Gillian: "Cut the crap you little twerp!"
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/20/10
Game Release: Snatcher (US, 11/30/94)
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