Review by noidentity
I don't know what to say...it really is that amazing!
I know you've all been there. You find a game, play it, and you're sucked into the world of that game and there is no coming back. That game is SNATCHER.
June 6, 1996. A mysterious explosion destroys the Chernoton research facility near Moscow. Lucifer-Alpha, a powerful biological weapon under secret development there, is released into the atmosphere, creating a deadly bio-hazard. Carried by the trade winds, Lucifer-Alpha spreads throughout Eastern Europe and Eurasia, destroying 80% of the populous. Half of the world's people die. The greatest bio-hazard in history later becomes known simply as "The Catastrophe."
50 years later...
Mankind faces its greatest crisis; the mysterious appearance of an android life-form. It's purpose and origin are unknown. Is it a new form of weapon, or perhaps an invasion from some other world? They appear during winter killing humans, and infiltrating society by taking the place of their victims. Employing an artificial skin, they can sweat and even bleed. Part-organic, part-machine, they're almost impossible to distinguish from those they kill. As they steal their victims' bodies in order to take their place, these mysterious invaders become known as...SNATCHERS.
The game begins in Neo Kobe City, Japan in December of 2047. You are Gillian Seed. Gillian and his wife Jamie suffer from severe amnesia. They have no memories older than three years prior from being picked up by the 17th Siberian Investigative Force. After an attempt to rebuild their marriage, Gillian and Jamie separate. Following military training, Gillian has been assigned to J.U.N.K.E.R headquarters to combat the snatcher menace.
The game plays like a point-and-click adventure as well as a comic book. Many of the game's graphics are static and you interact with everything around you by choosing commands displayed below the graphic window such as LOOK or INVESTIGATE. This allows the player to become more involved with the atmosphere of the game and accordingly, the game also plays as an investigation.
As a junker, you must investigate the means of the snatchers, track them down, and take them out. You must find clues by talking to people, uncovering new information, finding new leads with whatever evidence you already have, basic detective work, with a dark side to it. You are also accompanied by a sidekick named Metal Gear; a navigator with many special functions who also provides insight for your investigation, and provides guidance of the world around you.
The game has a nerve-wracking atmosphere as most of the game takes place during night time which is accompanied by bone-chilling music. Add this to your investigation, and you're under suspense and emotional pressure. The game's depth is thanks to the deep plot and interaction with other characters such as junker secretary Mika Slayton, daughter of junker Jean Jack Gibson Katrina, and of course, Jamie. As the game is very suspenseful, there is a light side to it. A running gag in the game consists of the option to hit on beautiful women. Unfortunately, for the player, this only leads to the bad side of important characters, but is great for comical relief. So be sure to save your game before unintentionally making a jerk out of yourself. Metal Gear also makes several wise comments during the investigation, for your entertainment.
This version of the game also supports the light gun. There are several parts during the game which will require you to shoot snatchers and other such targets. You can use the regular controller, but it is highly recommended that you use the light gun for a more realistic experience.
Many who have watched videos of the gameplay on YouTube, will likely not see where the gameplay comes from. The difference with Snatcher is that you have to experience it first hand. You're not just sitting in front of the TV holding a controller, you become part of the world of Snatcher. It pulls you in, and doesn't let go. The game is almost like watching a movie. The dialogue, atmosphere, and music helps to create a phenomenon that you're watching a sci-fi film. I know that doesn't say much about the gameplay, but you have to play it to know what I mean.
Snatcher makes the most out of the Genesis sound chip combined with CD redbook audio which uses Roland Sound Space for a greater surrounding effect. I know this sounds sensationalized, but I mean it when I say this, the music is awesome! It's disturbing, creepy, eerie, and it works!
They may be dated by today's standards, but these are some of the best-looking graphics I've seen over any Genesis or Sega CD game. It was rumored that using programming tricks, that Snatcher displays more colors than what the Sega CD is capable of, but it's not true. It really DOES look that good! They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but the contents are just as sweet.
VOICE OVER: 10/10
There was no way in hell I would submit this review without mentioning the voice acting. THIS is the REAL high point of the game. For a 1994 release, the voice acting is phenomenal and it still holds up now. It is the voice acting that brings the characters to life, and to help you, the player, feel close to those characters. When an actor becomes a character and brings that character to life, you connect with that character and you relate to them. Snatcher has perfected characterization.
I won't spoil anything for you, but my perfect score is what I think of the plot. It is well executed, mysterious, deep, and shocking with many twists along the way. You've got to play this to find out for yourself.
It's absolutely perfect. There is not a damn thing about this game that I do not like. This is the reason I bought a Sega CD, and I couldn't find a better reason if I tried. Stop what you're doing now, and play this!
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Snatcher (US, 11/30/94)
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