Kojima’s name is trending and not in a good way this time. I’ve gotten so used to people mindlessly worshipping this guy that I tend to ignore everything about him. This is different. Hideo Kojima has insulted American gamers in a recent interview he did. Here’s what I think.
Before I start writing this let it be known that I am not a Kojima fan. I think Metal Gear Solid is an average series at best and I’ve never been attracted to any of his work. I don’t hate the guy and I don’t adore him. He has no impact whatsoever in my life.
Alright, let’s get to the meat of this story, shall we? This is what Kojima had to say when asked about Death Stranding’s reception –
“I must say that the game received rave reviews, especially in Europe and Japan. Here in the United States, however, we have had stronger criticisms. Perhaps it is a difficult game to understand for a certain type of critic and audience. Americans are great fans of first-person shooters and Death Stranding isn’t one, it flies higher.
I always try to create new things and disputes and discussions are fine, but it must be said that the Italians or the French have a different artistic sensibility that allows them to appreciate this kind of very original product, not only in video games but also in cinema.”
Now some people are saying that Kojima meant this towards critics and not everyone in America. If he did then why did he add “audience” after critics? I mean when you say audience that doesn’t just go to critics right? That means everyone. I’m expected some form of damage control and for him to come out and say that it was “mistranslated” and that he didn’t really say that or mean it that way, but, honestly, I wouldn’t buy it. Kojima has always struck me as the kind of person that thinks his shit doesn’t stink.
He’s a legend in the industry and there’s no way one of his games can get anything less than a 9 right? Well… all of the positive reviews I read said the exact same thing the negative ones did. That the game is tedious, boring, and that the gameplay is mediocre. The only difference is that they gave it a 9+ while IGN gave it a 6+. I don’t think the mixed scores are sitting well with Kojima at all so he lashed out and he knows he won’t get criticized for his actions because of who he is.
How many of those positive reviews are from Kojima bias? There is such a thing. We’ve seen bias towards many developers before. Nintendo is another good example. If 80 – 90% of your review is about how average and mediocre something is and the only positive thing you have to say is how great Kojima while slapping a 9/10 on your review doesn’t that mean that you’re being unfair and bias? I’m not saying the game is bad because I haven’t played it. You know what… fuck it. I am saying it’s bad because I’ve watched over 10 hours of gameplay on it and it looks average at best to ME.
You can get a pretty good feel for a game just by watching it and that’s what my eyes tell me. Of course, I’ve been wrong before. I thought Trails of Cold Steel would be a bad experience. I didn’t think it was for me by watching some gameplay and when I played it I fell in love with it. I doubt that’ll ever happen with Death Stranding because I’m never going to buy it. The only reason why I played Metal Gear Solid V is that a friend bought it for me. I hated that game by the way.
What do I know though? I just like FPS games and no Japanese game will appeal to us Americans right? Then I guess the fact that there are no FPS games on my top 10 games of all time can’t be right? Or the fact that Japanese games have been selling very well over here for years. Monster Hunter World, Nier Automata, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest 11, etc. I can keep going, but you get my point by now.
The way his comments look to me is that we’re too uncultured to understand his work. That’s like someone saying, “only smart people like (insert example here)” so I don’t expect you to get it. Kojima sounds like an elitist prick and I’m not afraid to say that about him. Now, if this really was a mistranslation (I doubt it) then I’m sure I’ll be ridiculed and made fun of for weeks to come. I’ll stand by my opinion though. I don’t think it was a mistranslation or that we misunderstood what he meant (because we’re stupid remember?).
Death Stranding may be “art” to Kojima, but, in reality, it’s a game that some people may love and most will ignore or don’t like it. But what do I know? I’m just a stupid American.