You don’t usually hear video game developers talk about what may happen to their beloved franchises when they die, but at the same time, we all know Hideo Kojima is not a typical developer. For the past few years and after completing each one of his masterpieces, the game director has always stated that “that game” was going to be the last in the series, but for many reasons he has decided to keep directing more Metal Gear Solid titles.
According to Kotaku, the creator of the Metal Gear series said “First of all, I just want to say that as long as there are fans who want Metal Gear Solid, as a producer, I will always want to still make them and I want the series to continue.” Then, he added “So even after I die, I still would love to have the Metal Gear Solid series continue.”
The last comment is strange indeed and seems like an extremely weird thing to say.
In any way, in the following lines I’ll try to briefly explain and analyze what this man means to the video game industry. Although most of you probably know Kojima for directing Metal Gear and Zone of the Enders games, he has also participated in the creation of other popular and successful titles:
Snatcher is a cyberpunk graphic adventure game originally released in 1988. The title is quite well known for making many references to science fiction films like Blade Runner, Akira and Terminator. Eventually, the game received an English localization to which many changes were made in order to meet the censorship standards of its time. The game sold poorly in America and even though it was considered a commercial failure it was critically acclaimed and most reviewers generally praised the fact that the game feels like an interactive movie.
Policenauts was also one of Kojima’s first titles, which has been later on referenced in the Metal Gear series, the cinematic adventure first came out for the NEC PC-9801 in Japan and was later on localized for North America, as it was later on released for the Sega Saturn in 1996. The game uses a point-and-click interface, in which the player users the cursor to control the main protagonist to explore the various environments. Additionally, the title incorporated numerous shooting sequences and puzzles that added variety to its gameplay.
Boktai is a video game series developed for the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS consoles. There are currently four games in the series: Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand, Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, Shin Bokura no Taiyō: Gyakushū no Sabata and Lunar Knights. The first three games use a solar sensor attachment that has a direct effect on the gameplay, as the player may use it to progress with the main story. Lunar Knights on the other hand, does not use the interesting attachment as apparently many players complained about it and had some problems with its basic functionality. Apart from the omission of the specific add-on, the game retains the same gameplay, but it features a new plot with new protagonists. All of these games were really well received and are still considered one of Kojima’s most meaningful series to date.
After taking a look at some of Hideo Kojima’s most significant titles, let’s just hope that the Japanese director keeps introducing new ideas to an industry that has a tendency to rely heavily on repetition. After all, risk taking is something that the industry desperately needs, but at least, it’s great to know that there are still people who are willing to do so.