Is Hideo Kojima Overrated?
For thousands of fans around the world, there are two names you couldn`t miss even if you wanted: George Lucas and Hideo Kojima.
“Lucas and Kojima, both seems well guarded”
Both share the achievement of being creators of beloved franchises (Star Wars and Metal Gear), both are well-respected directors and both maybe have some undeserved fame as artistic geniuses.
The Chance of a Lifetime
It can't be denied Kojima loves what he does best and that is game design. His masterpiece, Metal Gear: Solid, was a success and launched him into fame. And this is also where the controversy may begin.
“The NES version of Metal Gear was rated the 104th best game made on a Nintendo System and ranked the sixth best NES game ever made, and the staff felt that it popularized its genre”
Kojima took the Metal Gear Solid project from an associate after his own project was rejected by Konami. Of course, history told us, the original Metal Gear Solid game was much different back then and it really was Kojima’s own ideas that turned it into a legendary game.
Did He Live Up to Expectations?
Metal Gear Solid was released in 1987, almost 30 years ago, and has been a solid franchise, with ups and downs, but well accepted among fans, with 31 titles released. However, how much of this success is owed to Hideo Kojima? Of 31 titles, Kojima was involved only with 12.
Then Hideo Kojima involved himself into other projects and games; like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, The Snatcher/ Polinaut series, Boktai series, Zone of the Enders and the sadly infamous Silent Hills / P. T.
If we review the rankings and success of the many games Kojima design, we find something very interesting:
The original Metal Gear Solid was ranked 95.61%, really good for a new game from a new designer. And Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, a game where Kojima had total creative control, was ranked 100%. Very impressive and an achievement that consolidated Kojima’s fame. But then came Boktai. The Sun is in Your Hand, another game where Kojima had total creative control over it and it was only ranked 79,72%
United We Stand
It will be unfair to assume that because one game achieves total success and recognition, and another doesn`t the game creator can be considered a failure. But like the George Lucas comparison above, it is not the whole history. Another of Kojima’s creations, Snatcher, ranked 70%, while a spirit successor called Policenauts, ranked 98%. The difference? Kojima only wrote and directed this one, leaving design and production to someone else.
The pattern here is obvious; Hideo Kojima is a really creative mind, who may designs amazing characters and stories, but it is also someone who depends on the work of others to transform his ideas into memorable games which millions will love; like a George Lucas who depends on an Irving Kershner, a Ralph McQuarrie, a Lawrence Kasdan or a Stephen Spielberg.
“Norman Reedus returns again as the star of this new game”
After the infamous cancellation of Silent Hills, Hideo Kojima left Konami and began his own independent studio, Kojima Productions. At E3 2016 in Los Angeles, Kojima announce his newest game, which was revealed as Death Stranding in a trailer. It is an ambitious project that may or may not mark the final legacy of this amazing and creative game designer.