Meta-Review: Snatcher – Sega CD

 I’m always fascinated by cult clasic games. I can’t help but be drawn in by titles that the majority of gamers have only heard in passing, but genuinely derseve to be played to their fullest extent.

Snatcher is the classic example of a low-profile game that comes out during the final days of a short-lived console (actually an add-on in this instance) and is only discovered by hardcore gamers. Developed by Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame) and his Konami teammates, Snatcher showcased and entertaining experience and creative cyberpunk story built upon strong sci-fi influences.

Instead of being a typical FMV game that was quite common on the Sega CD, Snatcher is similar to the graphical adventures of old on the PC (some gamers refer to it as a “digital comic”). Actually, it was originally released in Japan for the NEC PC-8801 and MSX2 computers in 1988. It later went on to be ported to other consoles, but the Sega CD version remains as the only English release.

Review Tidbits:
“The story of Snatcher is rather complex and it is chock full of interesting plot twists and unexpected scenarios… The dialogue and writing in Snatcher is simply put remarkable. Many of the characters have very deep and specific personalities and the flavor of the writing really fits the mood of the game. The dialogue is quite simply spectacular, and the overall effect of the writing when mixed with the dynamic characters and immersive story makes this game a totally engulfing experience. Snatcher easily has one of the best-done localizations in the history of gaming, especially when considering the astronomical amount of dialogue that needed to be written.”

“This game has no problem with is proudly displaying its influences right up front. As the storyline of Snatcher progresses, it becomes very clear that the authors lifted concepts right out of The Terminator, Blade Runner, and even The Manchurian Candidate, if you can imagine. But the story and world are so well reasoned, with everything from the biology of these biomechanoids to the reasoning for their existance being so well defined, that it manages to stand on its own…
In addition to the adventure-style gameplay, Snatcher also contains action sequences, in which you shoot down incoming SNATCHER robots or other enemies. These are fun, but a little rough around the edges. They were originally designed to be used with Konami’s light gun, so if you don’t have one you’re forced to make due with the regular Sega gamepad. The game compensates for this by creating an on-screen grid that your targeting reticle locks on to, and this restricts its movement to the eight directions possible with the Genesis game pad. After playing through the game, I’m convinced that using a real light gun would have been significantly harder for these sequences, and probably more than a little frustrating.”

 “Because of the CD medium, the game boasts some pretty good sprite FMV’s and lot’s of good voice acting, as well as some excellent music, both in composition and quality. The game is also of perfect length for this type of game, you can finish it in about 12 hours. Because of the CD medium, the game boasts some pretty good sprite FMV’s and lot’s of good voice acting, as well as some excellent music, both in composition and quality. The game is also of perfect length for this type of game, you can finish it in about 12 hours.”

“here’s very, VERY little wrong with Snatcher. The only problem may be its length and lack of difficulty. I was able to beat the game is just over six hours, with very minimal help. But four of those six hours were when I was locked up in my room, playing the game, having one of the best damn video game playing experiences of my life. This is what an interactive anime should be. Now I only wish that Konami would translate Snatcher’s spiritual sequel, Policenauts, for the English audience to enjoy..”
Hardcore Gaming 101

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grittykitty says:

it’s also notable that a sega cd version was not released in japan, and is almost equally in demand on those shores

Jakanden says:

I LOVE Snatcher and still play it every couple of years. There are so many little hidden touches and one-liners I am always finding something new.

Whenever people knock the Sega CD this is one of the games I use to defend the system along with a few others (Lunar, Vay, Popful Mail, Lords of Thunder, Dark Wizard).

walrus12 says:

Snatcher is in the argument for best 16-bit experience on any system. It’s the first game that truly frightened me, most people got that chill first from playing a game like Resident Evil, but I’d already had those chills from Snatcher.
The Sega CD is so underated. Think back to the early and mid 90’s. Games cost between $50-$80 back then and rarely went on sale unless they were bad games. Most people only had around 10 games a system, it was only later that most of us developed our massive collections, or in the 32-bit generatioin when it was easy to pick up a five star game for $10-20. I’d put the Sega CD’s top 10 up against any other system’s. Snatcher, Lunar, Lunar II, Vay, Popful Mail, Dark Wizard, Sonic CD, Silpheed, Shining Force CD and Lords of Thuner (my top ten)

Jakanden says:

Walrus is someone I think I can get along with well =)

NKJ says:

Snatcher is without a doubt my favorite game of all time. And for all you people who always wanted to play Policenauts in english, I suggest you buy yourselves a PS1 copy because the amazingly awesome people at are putting out the english patch in a few months.

chris hadden says:

does any one know of a way to play snatcher and dark wizard without the systems(like an emulator and rom)?

chris hadden says:

i have the emulator and i have the rom but i cant get it to work.any suggestions?

racketboy says:

Are you using Kega or Gens?
Do you have the Sega CD BIOS files set up with the emulator?
Can you give me the steps you are following?

chris hadden says:

i setu up kega,and then downloaded the rom.all i get is a static screen.and it keeps telling me to set up the us not sure where to put the rom or where to extract it or put it .i appreciate the help because i have been trying to play snatcher for years.

Jay Decay says:

This is way late, but you have to download the bios somewhere and put it in your bios directory (I prefer GENS over Kega) The bios file is named: “us_scd1_9210” Try searching for it on google.

So I’m trying to play this emulated but regardless of the emulator used it keeps locking up when I leave the HQ for my first mission in some factory. It just keeps displaying the main character driving the car. Anyone know what to do?

racketboy says:

Are you using an ISO/MP3 image or a BIN/CUE.
I’ve heard the ISO/MP3 versions freeze.

nincensor says:

I’ve had both iso and bin versions freeze at the same exact point.

Hello from across the sea! This is just what I was looking for

Enrico_Marini82 says:

This site rules!

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