Another game that doesn't get the attention it deserves. It's a little gem made by Hideo Kojima, called Snatcher.
Back in the 1980's, games were not exactly strong on the whole storytelling front. They were usually just mindless action games, with a very basic plot, if any plot at all.
Snatcher is a "Graphic adventure game", which I think is a very fancy way of saying Visual Novel. It's very cyberpunk, and you can easily see that the game was heavily inflluenced by movies like Terminator and Blade Runner. Kojima loves his movies.
The story starts off with some backstory. Turns out half the world's population was wiped out because of, what may be the best name for a virus ever, Lucifer-Alpha which was accidentally released in Russia and wiped out 80% of the Eurasian population.
50 years later after what is now refered to as The Catastrophe, is where the fun starts though. These androids start appearing out of nowhere in "Neo Kobe City". Or Japan.
Why is this an issue ?
Well, they kill you, and they take your place in society completely. They wear your skin, and have all of your memories.
. . . I don't know about you, but that's damn creepy.
But that's where you come in. You play as Gillian Seed, quirky, good looking detective guy. You join J.U.N.K.E.R. HQ, and become their newest "Runner". Your mission is to find out where these SNATCHER bastards came from, and eliminate all of them.
Oh, what does J.U.N.K.E.R. stand for ?
Japanese Undercover Neuro Kinetic Elimination Ranger.
See ? Simple ! . . . . But silly.
Now, alone, this whole SNATCHER task may seem a bit hard for you, but that's why you get a partner. And an amazing one at that. You get Metal Gear, MKII. Or, Metal for short. And yes, it's the exact model from Metal Gear Solid 4.
Together, you are the ultimate SNATCHER busting team.
For gameplay, you mostly just have a few options, kind of like a point and click adventure game, except you are constantly in first person view. You mostly just investigate everything in a room, and I do mean everything, before the story continues, or battle ensues.
As for battle system, it's nothing grand. You just get a 3x3 grid, and SNATCHERS appear in random locations. Point and shoot, simple. And if you need some practice, then you even have a shooting range in JUNKER HQ! You may master your shooting there.
Too bad the game doesn't tell you that the game gauges your skill during the shooting range, and changes difficulty accordingly. What that basically means is, if you're a master shooter, the game will be very hard. If you suck, the game will just make it pretty easy. The bad thing about this is, if you do REALLY well, the final battle will be stupidly hard.
All in all, it's a pretty great, and underappreciated game. If you do end up wanting to play it, I'd suggest getting the Sega CD version, since it's the only finished version. The other versions are missing the final chapter, because of time and money constraints.
Either that, or watch a "Let's Play" of it. I personally would recommend Slowbeef's LP of Snatcher.
Until next time readers. And watch out for SNATCHERS !