Sadly, the rumours regarding the split between Hideo Kojima and Konami seem to be holding water. If true, it’ll end a very long relationship between the 2 parties which has over the years bore some incredible games. Originally I was going to put together a list of Top 5 Hideo Kojima’s games but then the list would be mostly populated by Kojima’s greatest and most famous legacy – Metal Gear. As I ran through his nearly 3 decade strong career though, I realised there are some absolute gems that aren’t Metal Gear, so I chose to focus on them instead, the perhaps less known (if possible) Hideo Kojima games.
Zone of Enders: 2nd Runner
Kojima has always had a fascination with big, bad robots. In Zone of Enders, players actually get to control one called an Orbital Frame. The game saw these highly manoeuvrable and powerful robots having massive dogfights in the sky and space and of course in true Kojima style, told a story that questioned the relationship between man and machine. I chose the second instalment simply because it bettered the first in every way. It was much more playable, more interesting, fun and beautiful to look at.
Castelvania: Lord of Shadow
Castelvania is one of Konami’s most treasured and oldest series but it did go a little stale in later releases so they asked Golden Boy, Kojima, to serve as executive producer to breath new life into the game. What we got was Lord of Shadow and it held all the usual Kojima trademarks – gorgeous graphics, fleshed out characters and damn fun to play. Somehow Kojima was able to modernise Castlevania but still held on to its roots. Kojima was not involved in the following sequels and it showed. Though still enjoyable games, they were but a shadow to Lord of Shadow.
Policenauts was the game Kojima made before he hit us with Metal Gear Solid and catapulted him into rockstar status but many of the quirky aspects of MGS were originally conceived in Policenauts such as the summary screens when you load a game and it also read your memory card to unlock Easter Eggs if a save file of dating sim Tokimeki Memorial is present. Unfortunately Policenauts never saw release outside it’s homeland of Japan but if you can read Japanese, it’s well worth a play.
Ok, I’ll admit I never played Penguin Adventure but this was Hideo Kojima’s first ever game so I thought it was worth a mention. It was also the beginning of a beautiful, long and prosperous relationship between Kojima and Konami. The itself is an action platformer with RPG elements and follows a penguin as it faces many dangers to find the Golden Apple, a cure for the penguin princess who is also the love of his life. Penguin Adventure is a little easier to find as it has been ported to PlayStation, Saturn, Nintendo’s Virtual Console and PC.
I am an absolute Silent Hill nut, a massive Guillermo del Toro fan and of course I love anything Kojima touches so you can imagine how I felt when P.T. was unleashed. Much like Lisa, we never even saw it coming either, Kojima and co just sprung it on us at E3 2014. If you manage to finish the mind-bending, insanity-inducing Playable Teaser then you’ll be treated to some juicy details such as Kojima’s and del Toro’s involvement and The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus starring as the main character. Unfortunately, Silent Hills’ development has been thrown into doubt now that Kojima and Konami have fallen out. Hopefully Kojima can see this one through.
I hope you enjoyed reading my little list, if you have any suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear it.