Is Kojima a genius or an egomaniac?

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Hideo Kojima: Love him or hate him?

  • He's a genius.

    Votes: 5 26.3%
  • I don't really care...

    Votes: 9 47.4%
  • He's overrated.

    Votes: 5 26.3%

  • Total voters
    19

Psychopulse

Parting is such sweet sorrow
Mar 3, 2009
1,004
0
36
35
Illinois
This has been on my mind recently. I came across this discussion:

http://z3.invisionfree.com/Malstroms_Comments/index.php?showtopic=1067

Excerpt:

Kojima is my pick for the industry's "Evil Miyamoto". He is, in effect, what Miyamoto would be if Miyamoto were a man lifted up and supported by the mainstream game industry.

Miyamoto, at his best, helps lift up the company he works for. He aids in expanding their horizons. He's a valuable asset.

Kojima however, is a vampire. His vision, his projects, and his ego, have sucked Konami dry of all other resources and driven away all other talent. Konami basically exists to fund Metal Gear games. All their other series and classic titles have been pushed into niches or put on the shelf permanently. Castlevania was relegated to portable systems until a farmed out project - Lords of Shadow - was given to /Kojima/ to help supervise. And that game isn't even really a Castlevania game. It started as an unrelated action title and has a pseudo-Castlevania protagonist shoe-horned into it.

I read recently that Konami has lost even more talent that isn't Metal Gear related; the guys who used to make up "Team Silent" have all gone to small developers like Grasshopper. (Probably explaining why the Silent Hill name is now farmed out to western developers. Nobody is left inside Konami who can make the games.)

Bear in mind though, that this trend started years before Konami put Kojima on a throne. They were always very industry oriented, and began driving their best talent away by forcing them to work on products designed to milk markets and use cheap licenses.
I never was a Metal Gear person anyway, and I can see why I never could get into the series. Oddly, I liked Snake's Revenge on the NES. It's upsetting what's happened to Konami over the years.
 

ensatsu-ken

"Come and get it!"
Jul 13, 2008
3,081
0
38
Bridgewater, New Jersey
He's both. So is Itagaki.
This.

That by no means is saying that I don't see some creative talent in him, and I definitely have lots of respect for his ambitious attitude, but I do still see him as being just as egotistical as Itagaki. Both of these developers still makes games that are fun enough to be enjoyed by fans of games in the diverse action genre, though, IMO.

Maybe once Kojima goes back to doing a a new big title that is not MGS related, then I might actually gain a higher opinion of his work (being that, aside from the VR missions in MGS2S, I've honestly never been that into MGS games).
 

TacoHunter

Master of None
Aug 30, 2003
2,974
0
36
35
Frozen wastelands of Colo
varcraft.net
I hate Kojima. I personally, don't think his games play very well, I feel there is way WAY too much talking, and not even interesting talking, most of the time its just the characters repeating themselves or stating the obvious. I feel a lot of anime has that problem as well. I think it lies with a problem with the way Japanese culture is shaped.

In Japan a lot of manga that becomes popular is aimed at a young audience, and is created by young artists to target that young audience. And when you're young, you think "Oh I'm a genius, let me precede to explain everything so everyone understands what genius I am."

Kojima probably has a similar mind set where he feels to make sure people can understand his message he has to explain it, and never stop explaining.
 

Shawn Hopkins

TZ Member of the Year 2013
Mar 13, 2002
28,964
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I hate Kojima. I personally, don't think his games play very well, I feel there is way WAY too much talking, and not even interesting talking, most of the time its just the characters repeating themselves or stating the obvious. I feel a lot of anime has that problem as well. I think it lies with a problem with the way Japanese culture is shaped.

In Japan a lot of manga that becomes popular is aimed at a young audience, and is created by young artists to target that young audience. And when you're young, you think "Oh I'm a genius, let me precede to explain everything so everyone understands what genius I am."

Kojima probably has a similar mind set where he feels to make sure people can understand his message he has to explain it, and never stop explaining.
He probably could have explained it a little better, for me. If you had asked me what happened at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2 after I played it, I would have mumbled something about historical documents gaining sentience, shrugged my shoulders and walked away. Japanese stuff often seems to do that for me, I can't tell if it doesn't make sense because something is lost in the translation or if it's because it's just trying to be all oblique as a shortcut to trying to be deep.
 

Magus

The Boss
Oct 24, 2008
3,755
0
38
Michigan
Being a MGS fan, of course I'm gonna say the guy is a genius, but I really don't care in the end. Even if it's another MGS I'd more than likely end up being satisfied since I like cinematics and the gameplay.
 

ensatsu-ken

"Come and get it!"
Jul 13, 2008
3,081
0
38
Bridgewater, New Jersey
I hate Kojima. I personally, don't think his games play very well, I feel there is way WAY too much talking, and not even interesting talking, most of the time its just the characters repeating themselves or stating the obvious. I feel a lot of anime has that problem as well. I think it lies with a problem with the way Japanese culture is shaped.

In Japan a lot of manga that becomes popular is aimed at a young audience, and is created by young artists to target that young audience. And when you're young, you think "Oh I'm a genius, let me precede to explain everything so everyone understands what genius I am."

Kojima probably has a similar mind set where he feels to make sure people can understand his message he has to explain it, and never stop explaining.
Its funny that you mentioned that, because for someone who tends to make his games "explain a lot of stuff," he sure as hell still makes his stories so convoluted that it leaves me absolutely clueless no matter how much he tries to explain what's going on (actually, all of the explanations only serve to make the stories in the MGS games feel even more confusing, IMO). I mean, after playing from start to finish of MGS2, I honestly feel like almost nothing was accomplished within the story after watching hours upon hours of those tedious cut-scenes.

That said, perhaps this just isn't my style of story-telling. However, I don't think that you can criticize Kojima's flawed stories on problems with Japanese culture as a whole, because that's just a huge generalization. Just so that you're aware, video games and anime do NOT represent a mass majority of Japan's culture at all. Its just that it happens to be the most exposure that Westerners ever get of Japanese culture. But, I do agree that I have a problem with the story-telling in a lot of Japanese video games and anime, but even those can't be fully generalized, since there are games and anime that have come from Japan with great and unique stories that aren't so insanely convoluted for their own good, IMO.
 

Shawn Hopkins

TZ Member of the Year 2013
Mar 13, 2002
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What isn't it about a lot Japanese stuff, that it can unsubtle and obvious and convoluted and confusing at the same time? You get long cutscenes with way too much exposition but you still don't understand what's going on.
 

Taekmkm

Ribbit
Apr 7, 2008
7,416
0
38
IL
You do realize MGS solid 2 was the least liked, and also was the most rushed (I.E. codecs when people are in the same room). The story is much easier with Snake in the lead, instead of the Xanatos WTF that was 2. ("What?! But you lied the lied the lie that was lied to the lier!")
 

ensatsu-ken

"Come and get it!"
Jul 13, 2008
3,081
0
38
Bridgewater, New Jersey
What isn't it about a lot Japanese stuff, that it can unsubtle and obvious and convoluted and confusing at the same time?
I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say, but could you explain how the faults of Japanese video games and anime are also the faults of a lot of "Japanese stuff" in general?

Personally, I find that to be an extremely biased generalization. Anime and video games from Japan have their own styles of story-telling that may be more appealing to people from that culture, and which have faults to us from our own perspective views (myself included). However, I was just pointing out that video games and anime don't exactly reflect all "Japanese stuff" in general. I don't know where people make that assumption from. I mean, could anyone draw an similarities between the story-telling found in classic Kurosawa films and the convoluted cut-scenes found in MGS games? Because if so, I'd like to know, seeing as how I sure as hell can't think of any, even though they're both, you know, from Japan and stuff.
 

Shawn Hopkins

TZ Member of the Year 2013
Mar 13, 2002
28,964
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I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say, but could you explain how the faults of Japanese video games and anime are also the faults of a lot of "Japanese stuff" in general?

Personally, I find that to be an extremely biased generalization. Anime and video games from Japan have their own styles of story-telling that may be more appealing to people from that culture, and which have faults to us from our own perspective views (myself included). However, I was just pointing out that video games and anime don't exactly reflect all "Japanese stuff" in general. I don't know where people make that assumption from. I mean, could anyone draw an similarities between the story-telling found in classic Kurosawa films and the convoluted cut-scenes found in MGS games? Because if so, I'd like to know, seeing as how I sure as hell can't think of any, even though they're both, you know, from Japan and stuff.
Sorry, I'm not trying to make the broad generalization of all Japanese culture based on anime and manga generalization that you think I'm making. I was just saying that Metal Gear Solid 2 shares something that I've noticed in many of the Japanese comic books, cartoons and movies that I've seen, and that's that it's highly expository or not particularly subtle while at the same time being difficult to be sure that I fully understand it. A lot of times I'm left thinking "Am I fully understanding it and there's just less there than there should be or is there really something I'm missing? Am I overthinking this or underthinking it?"
 

TacoHunter

Master of None
Aug 30, 2003
2,974
0
36
35
Frozen wastelands of Colo
varcraft.net
I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say, but could you explain how the faults of Japanese video games and anime are also the faults of a lot of "Japanese stuff" in general?

Personally, I find that to be an extremely biased generalization. Anime and video games from Japan have their own styles of story-telling that may be more appealing to people from that culture, and which have faults to us from our own perspective views (myself included). However, I was just pointing out that video games and anime don't exactly reflect all "Japanese stuff" in general. I don't know where people make that assumption from. I mean, could anyone draw an similarities between the story-telling found in classic Kurosawa films and the convoluted cut-scenes found in MGS games? Because if so, I'd like to know, seeing as how I sure as hell can't think of any, even though they're both, you know, from Japan and stuff.
Akira Kurosawa was trying to target a different audience then MGS. It really might be that my tastes have changed because I'm becoming a bitter old man, but I use to like all that crazy nonsense when I was younger. Now I find it to be just convoluted and silly.

Stuff like DBZ or Naruto or even Death Note. They go and put your expectations one way, like the hero (or villains do it too) is defeated by the bad guy, and then a moment later pull it in the other direction where it was the heroes great plan to make it look like he lost to gain a upper hand suddenly. Of course, that's a element of story telling, but they do it so constantly and in an over the top manner that when the hero really does lose, it feels really odd.

I'm not trying to say ALL things from Japan are like this. Because there are a lot of things I really love from Japan, which I think break this kind of mold. But when I find things I don't like, they all seem to share the same elements. I should analyze more the elements I find annoying, but I don't have the time right now saddly.
 

Desensitized

Old School!
May 1, 2006
17,915
0
38
Canada
MGS1 is still the best Metal Gear Solid game because it is the most straightforward and the least over the top. No stupid and unsuitable story twists, no dialogue as cringeworthy as what came later (even that remake has worse dialogue), and simple gameplay. Best of all, it was gameplay first and story second with the right balance of comedy and drama.

I like Kojima. I just don't like what he's done to this series. It seems after MGS, it could have gone two ways, and it went the way I didn't want it to.

I also hate that Konami is coasting off it's success and doing nothing of note with any other IP. But that's a different topic and not Kojima's fault.
 

Captain Highwind

Active Member
Feb 1, 2006
16,950
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36
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I read recently that Konami has lost even more talent that isn't Metal Gear related; the guys who used to make up "Team Silent" have all gone to small developers like Grasshopper. (Probably explaining why the Silent Hill name is now farmed out to western developers. Nobody is left inside Konami who can make the games.)
Whatever Kojima is, I certainly wouldn't blame him for Silent Hill's failings.
 

Taekmkm

Ribbit
Apr 7, 2008
7,416
0
38
IL
Best of all, it was gameplay first and story second with the right balance of comedy and drama.
MGS 3 is 10 times better. The synergy of Snake, Paramedic, and Signet is far funnier than Miss Stereotype and the colonel. The gameplay is far better, too. I mean, the box is GAMEBREAKING for the second-to-last boss.

Stuff like DBZ or Naruto or even Death Note.
I hope you know all 3 are targeted at the same demographic and age group I.E. young-teenage boys, as they are in the same magazine.
 

Desensitized

Old School!
May 1, 2006
17,915
0
38
Canada
MGS 3 is 10 times better. The synergy of Snake, Paramedic, and Signet is far funnier than Miss Stereotype and the colonel. The gameplay is far better, too. I mean, the box is GAMEBREAKING for the second-to-last boss.
MGS 3 I can forgive because it's really it's own thing entirely, but I really can't stand 2 at all, and after reading about 4 and watching videos... Umm yeeeeaaah, so when are ZOE 3 and Snatcher 2 coming out? :p
 

Taekmkm

Ribbit
Apr 7, 2008
7,416
0
38
IL
2 is universally considered the worst of the 4 Solid series, so...I dunno why anyone would keep fighting on it.

4 definitely has the most cutscene, but the gameplay hasn't suffered and you can skip them mercifully for once.
 

Taekmkm

Ribbit
Apr 7, 2008
7,416
0
38
IL
What point? That doesn't make any sense. You don't like things that aren't targeted at your age-group? You grew out of the targeted age group?
 

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