Hideo Kojima is a name well-known in the video game industry, invoking a wave of emotions, generally ones of awe and aspiration. The man has done a great deal of good for the industry, many of which deserve to be looked back on. As such, this article is a recount of some of what he has created and done; happy 53rd birthday Kojima-san!
The Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid Series
Released on the MSX2 in 1987, Metal Gear started the series of games which would ultimately impact Hideo Kojima for the next three decades. Being arguably, and rightfully so, his most popular series, Metal Gear is a tactical espionage game with pixel graphics. It’s story about a special forces operative assigned to find a super weapon known as “Metal Gear” which would come into full fruition in the Metal Gear Solid games. The series would progressively evolve into a highly cinematic world with a story fans of the series could not get enough of.
Zone of the Enders Series
While not as successful as the Metal Gear series, Zone of the Enders is a cult classic, featuring glorious mechs and a action packed story set in space. Released in March of 2001, the game features a young Mars colonist named Leo Stenbuck who finds himself forced into a massive conflict, piloting the Orbital Frame known as Jehuty. Soon after its release, a spin-off and subsequent sequel were planned and made. A third game was in the works, but due to the apparent crucial issues with the HD remastered version of the first two games, the third was cancelled.
Released in 1988, Snatcher is a point-and-click visual novel with sharp graphics and atmospheric music. The story is flat out amazing, having multiple references and extremely obvious influences from popular science fiction novels of the time. In Snatcher, there are highly sophisticated robots taking the place of people by killing them and taking their exact form. Playing as Gillian Seed, an amnesiac, he hunts the robots known as Snatchers to reclaim his memory. This is one of my favorite games Kojima has made, and I highly recommend finding a copy of it to play for yourself.
With plenty of cameos and references from his other games, Policenauts, released in 1994, is definitely a treat to be had. Played in a similar fashion to Snatcher, Policenauts is a game set in the year 2040. Jonathan Ingram is a private detective who, thirty years ago, was chosen alongside five elite policemen to serve on a new space colony called Beyond Coast. However, during a routine spacewalk, a freak accident occurs which causes him to be sent flying towards the unknown. He manages to survive due to him entering a state of hypersleep, and is rescued in the present time. Advertised as “The Next Generation of Snatcher”, Policenauts became a cult classic, known by many as Kojima’s unknown masterpiece.
Oh, we all weep for what could have been one of the greatest games of this generation. P.T., or Playable Teaser, was a demo released in 2014. Touting the name of Silent Hills, the demo teased one of the greatest partnerships there could have ever been, Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. Konami canceled the game after their relationship with Hideo Kojima splintered last year.
Hideo Kojima has made some truly beautiful games. His new game, Death Stranding, is currently in the works and I am looking forward to what he has in store for the future. I hope he has a prosperous time doing what he loves; making video games. Happy Birthday, Kojima-san.