Hideo Kojima is one of my favorite video game designers. He is responsible for the Metal Gear Solid series, which is one of the best and most enjoyable franchises out there. The level of cinematic entertainment in those games is incredible. Much of that is because of Kojima’s incredible vision and creativity.
Of course, while he is known for Metal Gear, Kojima has worked on plenty of other games throughout his illustrious career. Although the quantity of games is no where near some of the other greats, the quality is there. As you might expect, these games come with his own special style, and that’s a good thing. If you are a fan of his more popular games, you should definitely check out each of these. They are really well made, and they cover a range of games, far beyond the stealth action he is known for in Metal Gear.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
I am willing to bet that you are probably familiar with the Castlevania series. It’s been around since the NES days, with quality release after quality release. Of course, every so often a bad one hits the scene, but thankfully, Kojima’s lone entry is not one of those. Lords of Shadow was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and it’s one of the few releases in the series on modern consoles that was actually good, which is no surprise since it had Kojima’s hand involved.
The reason for the slow transition to modern consoles is because Castlevania is meant to be a 2D franchise. However, Kojima, with his experience making 3D games, found a way make the franchise work, and while it’s certainly not the best game in the series, it is still fantastic, and well worth your time, especially if you like Kojima’s style.
This is a very interesting series that uses some awesome hardware to enhance the gameplay. The full name is “Bokura no Taiyo“ which translates to Our Sun. With this in mind, the portable games on Game Boy Advanced actually use the clock and solar sensor to enhance the gameplay. The DS version, which features a different name, does away with the solar sensor, which changes the gameplay substantially. With the GBA versions, players actually have to go outside to play parts of the game, which is quite innovative.
The game is actually an action RPG, which is quite a change from the action genre for which Kojima is most known. However, the gameplay is still stealthy, so fans of Kojima’s work will still feel at home. During the action, the player has an advantage during the day, as the enemies are vampires. The game is fantastic, and it’s worth playing just to experience the interesting mechanics that come with the day/night cycle.
Zone Of Enders Series
At first glance, a game about giant fighting mechs might seem a little outside of Kojima’s comfort zone, but when you consider that the Metal Gears themselves are actually mechs, it all comes together. The other place this game (and its sequel) should feel right at home for Metal Gear fans is the convoluted story. While not as extreme, you will still have to pay attention to understand the story of Leo Stenbuck and his role in the Jupitor colony of Antilia. That being said, it’s a great story, which is something for which Kojima is known.
I will admit, these games are not as good as Metal Gear, but the PlayStation 2 release was still good enough to get an HD remake, which allowed a whole new generation of gamers to try it out. Mech games are a dime a dozen, but a mech game from Hideo Kojima is not, and it’s something you should really experience if you fancy yourself a serious gamer.
If you think Kojima is a one trick pony, you need to think again. While none of these compare to the Metal Gear series in terms of the number of releases (well Castlevania does, but Kojima only worked on one), they all have a certain charm, and they are all definitely top quality games. If you want to see a little more into the mind of the man, you should definitely check out these others games his impressive catalog.
What is your favorite Kojima-produced or directed game? It’s okay to say Metal Gear! Hit the comments section below and let your voice be heard!
Image Credit: Nikita