Tag Archives: Hideo Kojima

Zone of the Enders, PlayStation 2

Zone of the Enders is a 3D combat game based on the concept of ‘Mecha’ (big, Japanese robots). It was published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 in 2001.

You play a kid called Leo who can pilot a battle Mecha called Jehuty, and whose job it is to protect a colony around Jupiter from attack by a rogue military force. You move from district to district looking for trouble, engaging enemy when you find them.

Combat takes place mostly (but not always) in the air and mostly comprises of a mix of hack-and-slash and shooting action. You can lock on to targets; find suit enhancements as you progress; get bonuses for protecting buildings and civilians – you can even grab and throw enemies if you can get close enough.

Every time you beat an enemy you get experience, and as your experience accrues you level-up – extending the suit’s abilities. So the game has RPG elements too.

Zone of the Enders was co-designed by Yoji Shinkawa, the character and mechanical designer for the Metal Gear series, so has some pedigree. It’s an excellent game – well worth a play – and certainly has its fans.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_of_the_Enders_(video_game)

Boktai 3: Sabata’s Counterattack, Game Boy Advance

Unfortunately this third instalment in the excellent Boktai series did not recieve a release outside of its native Japan.

Boktai 3: Sabata’s Counterattack is more of the same great isometric gameplay, this time with vampire hunter Django starting out in Lifeless Town, which is being attacked by Immortals. Regular Boktai players will immediately notice a new mode of transport in the game – the Vector Coffin; a coffin that acts both as a motorbike and also as a regular coffin (needed for purifying Immortals).

Again: the Boktai cartridge contains a photometric sensor and sunlight capture plays an integral part of the game. The Solar Glove is broken so no enchantments can be made in this game. There is, however, a new Trance Gauge, which slowly fills and – once full – can be used to supercharge Django’s attacks.

Looking around, there may be an English fan translation out there, although I’ve not yet managed to download one (I found a page, but no download). It’s not too difficult playing the game in Japanese if you’ve played the first two.

All three Boktai games were published by Konami between 2003 and 2005. The series later morphed into Lunar Knights, which takes place in the same game world.

Boktai on The King of Grabs:
Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand
Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
Boktai 3: Sabata’s Counterattack

More: https://boktai.wikia.com/wiki/Boktai_3:_Sabata%27s_Counterattack

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, Game Boy Advance

Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django is the 2004 follow-up to the excellent Boktai: The Sun Is Your Hand – a clever isometric adventure designed by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Koijima.

What is especially clever about this game is that it uses a photometric light sensor – on the cartridge – to measure sunlight falling onto it. This in turn affects how things work in the game, such as weapon charging, and suchlike, and – in this second game – also acts like a kind of currency. Charging sunlight creates units called SOL, which you can convert and also use to buy things in the game. A clever idea!

Again: you control Django, a vampire hunter with a solar gun, and later: a solar glove that allows solar enchantments on weapons and items. The solar philosophy runs far deeper – and more interesting – in this sequel.

If you’re a Koijima fan, or like adventures, or interesting, non-standard video game ideas, then Boktai 2 is a worthy play. For me: one of the best games on the Game Boy Advance.

Boktai on The King of Grabs:
Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand
Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
Boktai 3: Sabata’s Counterattack

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boktai_2:_Solar_Boy_Django

SD Snatcher, MSX

SD Snatcher is a great, futuristic, level-grinding RPG that was first released on the MSX2 (in Japan only) in 1990 by Konami.

The game was co-written by Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear fame) and features overhead exploration sections, and first-person combat sections. In combat you can target individual parts of your enemies, which allows the player to erode away their capabilities.

SD Snatcher came with a cartridge that enhanced the MSX’s sound capabilities, and was also one of the first games to utilise floppy disks on the system (the game came on three).

A Dutch fan team (called Oasis) made an English translation of SD Snatcher in 2014, although I’m not sure if the patch is freely available or not.

It is worth installing and playing though, because SD Snatcher is one of the best MSX games ever made, and a worthy RPG in its own right.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SD_Snatcher

Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand, Game Boy Advance

Produced by Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear fame) and released by Konami in 2003Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand is a clever little action game that uses actual sunlight (as detected by a sensor on the game cartridge) to charge up a solar weapon, to be used against undead and vampires in the game.

Boktai takes an overhead isometric view of the action, and the gameplay is a fairly simple mix of blasting and collecting, but it is all done so stylishly that The Sun Is in Your Hand is definitely a cut above most other action adventures like it.

This first game also spawned two sequels.

Boktai on The King of Grabs:
Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand
Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
Boktai 3: Sabata’s Counterattack

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boktai:_The_Sun_Is_in_Your_Hand