Review by GameTitan83
The Reason to own a Sega CD
If you're one who can't stand a game if there's no challenge, then walk away from Snatcher. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you've ever enjoyed a good story, especially a mystery, then Snatcher might just be worth the admission price of a Sega CD console and a rare and expensive game to match.
Mix movies like "Blade Runner", "Terminator", and "They Live", and you get a pretty good picture of what Snatcher is feels like. Taking on the role of a Junker looking to destroy dangerous androids posing as human beings, Snatcher unfolds like an exciting movie, thanks to excellent voice work by several characters, as well as quality mood music to set the tone.
Snatcher is also a reminder of what the Sega CD really is, which is a Sega Genesis getting an upgrade in audio and video capabilities, and Snatcher uses it all to enhance the story. While the graphics look like good stuff that the Genesis could do without the help of a CD, the simplicity of the art is part of what makes the game endearing and artistic, as Snatcher uses a lot of dynamic camera angles and character facial expressions to bring the scenes to life. Meanwhile, it pulls great atmospheric, CD-quality sound effects and voices into play without allowing you to notice the CD is even running, making still frame scenes feel like movie magic.
Snatcher is also great because it keeps the story moving. Although sometimes it can be frustratingly obvious that you've missed something because the game won't let you move on until you do or say the right thing, this also ensures that you don't end up chasing hours of nothing trying to find an important clue. And yet, Snatcher always allows you to make dozens of your own choices along the way, taking fun little detours in the mini-story to kind of make the game and the actions of the main character all your own.
Be aware that Snatcher is quite violent. Personally, I don't think the "T" rating it received back in the day would fly now. With a guy's head getting twisted off, a dog getting its entrails removed, a woman having her face shot in, and another woman basically topless under a see-through bath towel, an "M" rating is probably more appropriate. You should at least know this if your kids are watching you play.
For a game with a fair amount of violence, there really isn't much combat. I like how you can use the "Justifier" gun to play the game, and it adds to the feel of getting into a shoot-out. However, don't expect to feel like a precision gun-slinger, as the shooting is pretty basic, and rarely ever difficult. In fact, if you die, you simply restart the shootout, so there is no real tension in combat. Like I said earlier, if you're looking for a challenge, look elsewhere.
I loved playing Snatcher. You could probably just watch a "let's play" on youtube and experience the story all the same, but there is an extra addition of personalization to the experience when it is you calling the shots in the conversations and investigations. In the end, however you experience it, Snatcher is totally worthwhile, and has dozens of memorable moments that will stick with you. I will admit that I found the game's conclusion rather underwhelming, even after giving it a second chance, but the road there is worth the ride, and I highly recommend you take this game for a spin at least once in your lifetime. If all Sega CD games had been made with this kind of artistic love, we'd have seen a much more successful Sega CD legacy.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Snatcher (US, 11/30/94)
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