Snatcher (Sega CD):  If Blade Runner was an anime and you got to shoot the Terminator.

Hideo Kojima will forever be associated with Metal Gear, but not many know of his other, less popular games like Snatcher. It was one of the first visual novels for American audiences and one of the only good games the failing Sega-CD it ever featured. Naturally, no one heard of it and it trickled down into obscurity as Konami pushed more Contra, Castlevania, and Metal Gear to a demanding audience. It’s a shame with Snatcher since it was one of the coolest experiences you could have had for the system once you got over Sonic CD and the Dragon’s Lair bullshit.


Meet Gillian Seed. Special Agent. Expert Marksman. Horrible with the ladies.

Snatcher puts you in the future where everything looks like a happy version of Blade Runner. There’s also a problem with human looking robots murdering people and replacing them with cyborg look a-likes called Snatchers. Junkers solve the problem by having carte blanche to shoot them to hell but have to hunt them down first. You are one of those Junkers tasked with taking them down to a department in Neo-Kobe that happens to have a slight case of amnesia. As you can imagine, shit goes down from the get-go as a fellow Junker gets killed and set you off on a quest to not only stop an outbreak of Snatchers, but discover your kind of convoluted past.

Snatcher didn't make a good case for violence in video games so it gets extra point for that.

The game mixes a text-based adventure game searching for clues, and if you had a Justifier light gun, included shooting sequences as the story progressed. The adventure aspect was text based as opposed to the American, find the stupid pixel with your mouse, bullshit counterpart. It still did take some getting used to like having to use an option as something twice before another option opened up. Yes, this is about as annoying as it sounds. The story was also as predictable and clichéd as hell. What draws you in spite of all this is the presentation of it all. This is the start of Kojima pulling different elements and turning this shit from a game to a sort of interactive experience. The fun you have trying to figure things out on your own and the pacing through it all was great. The music, the art, the stupid jokes? It made the whole thing fun. You know how cool it is dropping the controller and scrambling for you’re the fucking Justifier? Shit was cash.

Look. Look. Look. Investigate. Look. OH SHIT. SHOOT THAT GUY!

As far as the U.S. was concerned, Snatcher for the Sega-CD was considered a commercial failure, only selling in a few thousands regardless of being critically acclaimed in review circles. Considering the effort put in to the story, voice acting, and the flawed yet compelling gameplay, it would have cool to see Snatcher take the place of Metal Gear in popularity. Kojima made Policenauts later as a Japanese exclusive and went on to shoot the Metal Gear franchise out of orbit. Maybe we’ll see a return to this form now that he’s out of Konami’s contract. Here’s to hoping.