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Snatcher

スナッチャー

Developer / Publisher: Konami
26 November 1988
Snatcher [スナッチャー] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.95 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
158 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#325 All-time
#2 for 1988
In the cyberpunk metropolis of Neo Kobe City, robots called Snatchers have been killing humans and disguising themselves as their victims, causing mass panic. To eradicate them, the government establishes the JUNKER task force to hunt down the Snatcher menace. Its newest recruit is Gillian Seed, an amnesiac who is sure that working for JUNKER will help him remember more of his past, and help him come to terms with his estranged wife.
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In collection Want to buy Used to own  
1988 Konami  
5xFloppy 5.25"
JP 4 988602 541304
1988 Konami  
3xFloppy 3.5"
JP 4 988602 541298
Show all 6 releases
1994 Konami  
XNA 0 83717 16502 6
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Title
Snatcher is Hideo Kojima's major title after the first Metal Gear that would come to define the Kojima style of game-directing. Kojima places a great accent on storyline and cutscenes, and indeed, the last cutscene of the game is literally just watching the drama unfold for 30 whole minutes, requiring no input on the players' part! It's truly a taste of what's to come in future Metal Gear games.

Originally, Snatcher was released for the PC-8800 series of computers in 1988 with an MSX2 port coming just a couple of days later, and both share the same graphical fidelity. The sprite animations were stunning for the time and the soundtrack was rich, while the intriguing adventure-game style gameplay with limited options provided a big scripted storyline with limitless potential. Today the game is technically considered a visual novel: Imagine Phoenix Wright-styled hub traveling with searching for clues and talking to people, but minus the courts. However, instead of court sessions you have actual shooting stages, attacking robots in every occasional chapter and aiming with your numpad.

You are Gillian Seed, an officer of Junker that's tasked to hunt down Snatchers: robots who steal identities of humans to blend in and push their masters' agenda. The setting is not at all subtle from pulling elements from contemporary cyberpunk, ripping a lot of its vibe from the likes of Blade Runner, Akira, Terminator, and of course, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, while a John Carpenter-esque soundtrack follows suit. Snatcher is very much a neo-noir of the 80s which adds so much to the game's flavour, and its topics of promiscuosity, drug abuse and violent imagery are a sight to behold at a time when games were still a young medium. While the storyline of Snatcher is intriguing, deep, and engaging, there can be annoyances that are largely tied to some of the basic game mechanics. For example the game is largely insistent on searching things a very specific way and order, which can really grate players who need to get to the point, and other plot points in the game are too obviously hinted that it can just frustrate you how you're the first one to realise it, while, in-universe, it takes half the game for Gilian to realise what the link between a chess piece and QUEENS hospital is, for instance.

Other times story details are awkwardly hinted from a mile away and occasionally delivered poorly, like for example how Harry is Gilian's son is so painfully obvious, but also on the other hand seeing Harry die giving his touching monologue about "living alone all his life" falls on deaf ears because the game did very little to flesh Harry's character and make his outburst understandable or cathartic. Dude seemed just fine before. Those unarticulated storytelling methods can be ignored considering the immense liberty the game offers with progression of events regardless, as it offers inventive sidequests and mini-games: You will have parts of the game where you need to make phone calls(just like how Metal Gear games use radio frequencies), and other times you have to use a supercomputer's data to gain information, or reconstruct a suspect based on eyewitness accounts. They are very engaging puzzles, and ask the player to keep a paper and pen in handy to jolt those clues down!

The original game had an awfully cut-out ending after only two of its story acts, when three were planned to be included, so sadly, for the full experience I can not recommend the PC88 and MSX2 versions. The game was ported to the PC-Engine with updated sprites, the epic Act 3 included, and added voice-acting(Japanese) which many consider the definitive version of the game. However, since it's untranslated, the go-to port is the Sega CD port which is the same version in all respects, only dubbed in English(in that amateur-yet-innocent 90s anime style dubbing) and some slight censors that don't take away from the game at all. There were future Playstation and Saturn ports, but those do very questionable graphic changes(like including poor CG intros) and make even further censors which I don't approve at all. For me, the definitive version of the game is the Sega CD version, which provides a curious look at the way games predicted the future of entertainment in 1994: The Sega CD wanted to plant itself as a sort of proto-Playstation, and used its CD capacity to provide all this beautiful sprite art that is mesmerising. As an added bonus, try emulating the Sega CD Snatcher on the Wii: You will have full light gun support for the shooting sequences that was designed for the Sega CD!

In all, Snatcher is an unforgettable experience as a technical milestone of what both visual novels of the 80s and Sega CD games of the 90s were capable of with an intriguing storyline, but if you've played Kojima's Metal Gear Solid games, you will notice and probably get tired of the same plot twists you'd come to expect and associate with the producer and find the storyline horribly larval. Indeed, there are a lot of archetypes and tropes in Snatcher that Kojima would specifically borrow again for his Metal Gear Solid games, and so for Kojima fans who wish to seek novelty, Snatcher has little to offer. In all other fields it is outstanding as an exhilirating Blade Runner: The Anime.
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Catalog

Bskeezer スナッチャー 2022-12-06T22:34:24Z
2022-12-06T22:34:24Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
IWishYaIWishYa スナッチャー 2022-12-02T06:10:10Z
2022-12-02T06:10:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
esr スナッチャー 2022-11-27T23:04:03Z
2022-11-27T23:04:03Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
songtitlepun スナッチャー 2022-11-24T01:12:30Z
2022-11-24T01:12:30Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ravaro スナッチャー 2022-11-22T18:08:56Z
2022-11-22T18:08:56Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
GaryDoesStuff スナッチャー 2022-11-20T03:49:06Z
2022-11-20T03:49:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sanagami スナッチャー 2022-11-18T23:26:53Z
2022-11-18T23:26:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
emulate
KeeBlade Snatcher 2022-11-08T11:38:06Z
Sega CD/Mega CD • XNA
2022-11-08T11:38:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
toffey スナッチャー 2022-11-07T07:20:34Z
2022-11-07T07:20:34Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
willwokbir スナッチャー 2022-10-31T11:11:01Z
2022-10-31T11:11:01Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
UltimateHick スナッチャー 2022-10-29T19:55:41Z
2022-10-29T19:55:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
icepickmethod Snatcher 2022-10-23T04:10:47Z
Sega CD/Mega CD • XNA
2022-10-23T04:10:47Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
5x Floppy 5.25"
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Also known as
  • Snatcher
  • Snatcher CD-ROMantic
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  • Aurochz 2020-12-23 13:26:49.741215+00
    All the man wanted was some pizza in soup.
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  • vodsel 2021-08-06 18:49:59.891021+00
    This is ranked highly but I kind of doubt that many people here have played the game. Not a comment on its quality just its accessibility, and maybe a goofy gamer reverence for mythological games.
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    • ... 2021-08-09 07:53:30.24986+00
      I'm pretty sure everybody who has downloaded a Sega CD emulator has played this and/or Sonic CD
    • Aurochz 2021-08-27 05:54:28.424639+00
      Yeah, this game is way more well known than you seem to think.
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  • funkacademy 2021-08-27 06:20:15.000745+00
    MSX version has the best credits theme I've heard in any 8-bit game.
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  • MildredCubicle 2022-06-07 19:21:57.728873+00
    "One Night in Neo Kobe City" is one of the best goddamn VG songs ever.
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  • Jaxijin 2022-08-01 19:08:12.197185+00
    Finally got this running on the Steam Deck, so gonna dive into this shortly. I have always been shocked this game never got re-released considering it got a full English translation and the Kojima cult status would guarantee some sales.
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  • MateusAuri 2022-08-31 05:05:50.854962+00
    Just imagine if this and Policenauts were remade in the style of L.A. Noire (sans the crunch and awkward mechanics)
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