Yes or No - is Kojima a good writer?

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Posted by SolidGame_basic (16005 posts) 1 month, 4 days ago

Poll: Yes or No - is Kojima a good writer? (101 votes)

yes 49%
no 51%

I'd say he is a very entertaining writer and that's all that matters to me as a gamer. Eccentric is probably the better word. Sure some say the MGS storyline is convoluted and messy, but there's nothing really like it and I enjoy reading about Snake & Big Boss's tale. What say you, SW?

#1 Posted by CrownKingArthur (3678 posts) -

les enfants terribles

yeah i dunno. i've fallen out of favour with the dude. 2 3 4 didn't draw me into the story as much as 1. (regarding MGS)

#2 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (12759 posts) -

Yup, I love his brand of humor as well.

The retconning has to stop with mgs 4 tho, seriously that shits fucked.

The MGS timeline still makes infinitely more sense than the Zelda Timeline however, even with the drop off in quality at the end.

Most of the problems some find with him is that he's in need of an editor.

#3 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8514 posts) -

Doesn't matter because his writing depends on cutscenes. Lets see him write interactive for once.

#4 Edited by verbalfilth (4565 posts) -

Not really.

mgs and mgs3 were the only ones that I found remotely interesting.

He kind of wrote himself into a corner by mgs4 and decided to cop out with the nano machines nonsense.

cutscenes are beautiful to look and gameplay is still decent though, so I still remain a fan.

#5 Edited by turtlethetaffer (16372 posts) -

He knows how to make complex and convoluted plots that's for sure. Still haven't decided whether he's actually good or not.

#6 Edited by ButDuuude (382 posts) -

I don't think he takes the writing very seriously, but has fun creating his games.

#7 Posted by mbrockway (3345 posts) -

MGS 1 and 3 are the only ones with good stories. 2 has its moments when viewed as a giant troll of the gaming community. 4 I liked playing but the story is just redonkulous fanservice. He's a B movie quality writer. Complicated /= good or deep.

#8 Edited by Peanutbutterz (174 posts) -

He is a good writer when he's not trying to outdo himself.

#9 Edited by Gue1 (9087 posts) -

kojima's the best there is at what he does.

#10 Edited by uninspiredcup (6768 posts) -

The Metal Gear Solid series is self pity and self important run a muck. And typically appeals to people who enjoy self pity. i.e. listen to evanescence

In that regard, he is a master. In general writing terms, he is terrible.

#11 Posted by dommeus (9097 posts) -

He has some awesome ideas, but he should leave the actual writing to someone else.

The stories in MGS 2 and 3 really engaged me, but the way they are written is so bad. Constant repetition, driving points home ad nauseum, cluttered, bloated exposition etc.

He should stick to writing the story and concept, but leave someone else to write the actual game.

#12 Posted by Scipio8 (608 posts) -

MGS lost interest after the first one. Found the writing silly and laughable.

#13 Edited by SolidTy (41430 posts) -

Compared to the vast majority of games I'd say yes...but like any writer, he still has hits or misses of course. I'm comparing him to the gaming medium, if I compared him to my fave authors or film, I'd say no. However, I play a lot of games (A LOT) and I can appreciate his work on the medium.

I wouldn't discount the man on his misses, but his hits still tower over many other narratives, like say MGS1 for example. I would cite more, but I don't want to incite arguing.

#14 Posted by Vaasman (11123 posts) -

I think he's a good writer, but I also think that he's in desperate need of a good editor.

Someone who would keep the most offensively stupid of his ideas in check before releasing the games.

#15 Posted by clr84651 (5274 posts) -

He's good yes, great no.

#16 Edited by GreySeal9 (23921 posts) -

Not a great writer by any means, but he tends to put more effort in his stories than many other game makers.

MGS4's story was very lackluster tho.

#17 Posted by Underdog123x (266 posts) -

He's the M Night Shaymalan of video games, interesting idea, bad execution

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a loon

#18 Posted by cainetao11 (15782 posts) -

I say yes. I couldn't write a story that gets me work and fans that long for more. Regardless of whether I like it, a lot of people do, and I haven't written a damn thing of note.

#19 Posted by PsychoLemons (1902 posts) -

No. He is really bad at narrative and a huge offender of retcons.

#20 Posted by darkspineslayer (19345 posts) -

Nanomachines son!

He's not David Cage terrible. But close.

#21 Posted by Seabas989 (9939 posts) -

He's awful.

#22 Posted by SambaLele (4841 posts) -

I think he's a 'good' writer, not a great one, and surely not an excelent one.

His prime was with the first MGS.

#23 Posted by foxhound_fox (86815 posts) -

MGS 1, 2 and 3 are brilliant games for all different reasons.

4 is a complete cluster fuck of awful.

#24 Posted by The_Stand_In (362 posts) -

He's the M Night Shaymalan of video games, interesting idea, bad execution

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a loon

Agreed. He tries to make complex and involving stories while trying to keep it not so serious by being intentionally campy at the same time. This kind of writing can be done, but Kojima kind of goes overboard with the campy to the point of ridiculousness. Thus his stories lie in limbo between serious/complex and just stupid. If he had a decent editor to reign him in (more game, less cutscenes) and trim down his over inflated characters, maybe then his games would be bearable instead of convoluted messes.

#25 Posted by platinumking320 (639 posts) -

Some authors tell serious stories, others go completely campy and self indulgent. He blatantly uses camp to tell a serious story.

Not that we'vent seen it done before, but not on Kojima levels.

He's not perfect but he's demonstrated how to weave a techno-thriller together. He's in the club far as I'm concerned.

#26 Posted by foxhound_fox (86815 posts) -

@underdog123x said:

He's the M Night Shaymalan of video games, interesting idea, bad execution

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a loon

Agreed. He tries to make complex and involving stories while trying to keep it not so serious by being intentionally campy at the same time. This kind of writing can be done, but Kojima kind of goes overboard with the campy to the point of ridiculousness. Thus his stories lie in limbo between serious/complex and just stupid. If he had a decent editor to reign him in (more game, less cutscenes) and trim down his over inflated characters, maybe then his games would be bearable instead of convoluted messes.

Everyone who turns their nose up at MGS2 needs to read this.

#27 Edited by Blabadon (25179 posts) -

The dude has fluff surrounding some fantastic ideas that can only be executed through gaming. MGS 1, 2, and 3 all have messages and themes surrounded by copious amounts of nonsense that cheapens their value in many cases.

MGS4 is just awful as a story. Period. Peace Walker has a story that's tells various parts of it well at different points in it.

#28 Posted by Opus_Rea-333 (892 posts) -

MGS1 he was younger and more dedicated when MGS1/2/3 got released.

#29 Posted by Bigboi500 (28804 posts) -

If you think Jersey Shore is a great TV series and you think Transformers is an award-winning movie and you think Justin Beiber is a great singer and you think McDonalds is gourmet food.

#30 Posted by lamprey263 (22415 posts) -

yes and no, yes he brings to the table a lot of interesting science fiction ideas that are really cool, but no in that his narrative delivery is third rate

#31 Posted by jg4xchamp (46604 posts) -

Fuck no.

he is highly entertaining and rebellious, but he's a completely shit writer. No one in the games industry writes more atrocious dialogue, and gets praised for straight fluff bullshit. He's admirable in how bat shit insane his games are, and how forward thinking some of his game design is in spite of how backwards his story telling technique can be. And yes every now and then he has moments of brilliance in his plots (Snake Eater), but otherwise FUCK NO. No. I say this as someone who thinks MGS5 is going to be the best game of next year, FUCK NO!

If you honestly think he is, it's because you aren't well versed in vastly superior story telling mediums.

#32 Edited by Roler42 (461 posts) -

One of my all time favourites

@jg4xchamp: Good thing MGS draws me in mainly for the gameplay and the bat-shit-insane story compliments it greatly :)

If you are playing games for the story, then i'm afraid your priorities are... not well balanced (or you're playing the wrong genre)

#33 Posted by The_Stand_In (362 posts) -

@The_Stand_In said:

@underdog123x said:

He's the M Night Shaymalan of video games, interesting idea, bad execution

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a loon

Agreed. He tries to make complex and involving stories while trying to keep it not so serious by being intentionally campy at the same time. This kind of writing can be done, but Kojima kind of goes overboard with the campy to the point of ridiculousness. Thus his stories lie in limbo between serious/complex and just stupid. If he had a decent editor to reign him in (more game, less cutscenes) and trim down his over inflated characters, maybe then his games would be bearable instead of convoluted messes.

Everyone who turns their nose up at MGS2 needs to read this.

I've seen that before. The writer is pretentious, to say the least. I especially liked his forced in war on terror commentary. Sounds like he ripped it from a poisci essay and pasted it in to sound deep.

Anyway, my opinion remains unchanged. Kojima is his own worst enemy in writing. Like I said, his urge to wedge in overly goofy characters into serious narratives and overusing cutscenes with a lot of awkward dialog (lost in translation probably) and piss-poor voice acting (overly-campy) make his games a mess.

#34 Posted by santoron (7409 posts) -

He's not writing literature by any means, but videogames provide a lower bar for quality. Among his peers he's above average.

#35 Posted by ConanTheStoner (4462 posts) -

Not really, but I love his bullshit anyways. Outside of MGS4 it's always been entertaining. It's a very unique brand of cheesy, convoluted and bad ass.

He may not be some great writer, but at least he tries and damn it he's a great game designer when he wants to be so that's good enough for me.

#36 Posted by Suppaman100 (3565 posts) -

The story is complicated for newcomers.

He is a good writer, yes he made a lot of mistakes (nanomachines) but overall the story is good ( but only if you know what happened in the previous games though)

#37 Posted by AdrianWerner (27838 posts) -

Objectively? No.

By low standards of gaming indsutry? Propably also no. He would count as decent though. He's better writer than he's a director definitely. Plus we can't be sure how much is getting lost in translation from japanese.

#38 Posted by musalala (2095 posts) -

Horrible Horrible writer, Remember MG4 wedding proposal scene...... oh dear God

#39 Posted by Salt_The_Fries (8131 posts) -

No, he isn't. Walt Williams of Spec Ops fame completely obliterates his whole oeuvre with that one game alone.

#40 Posted by JangoWuzHere (15917 posts) -

No, he isn't. Walt Williams of Spec Ops fame completely obliterates his whole oeuvre with that one game alone.

Who?

Also Spec Ops serves better as a commentary for modern shooters. The actual writing isn't super great. The story in that game also completely falls apart once you reach the ending. Some parts of the game make no sense with the absurd twist at the end.

On topic: the only badly written story in the Metal Gear Solid series is MGS4. Even MGS2 with its crazy bullshit is brilliant as a video game story.

#41 Edited by Salt_The_Fries (8131 posts) -

If anything - it's not Williams fault, it's its implementation in the game. The same could've been said about Fight Club but Spec Ops deliberately made Walker an unreliable narrator and there are multiple events that confirm this. You seemed to miss this and took the game at face value instead, that's why you think this so-called twist is full of shit.

#42 Posted by Wiimotefan (4062 posts) -

I'm glad to see that System Wars finally quit putting MGS4 up on a pedestal.

On topic: Nah. He has these drops of brilliance scattered in an ocean of wtf. Even so, he arguably has one of the best story driven series in gaming under his belt. These games are ridiculous but that's part of the charm. Nothing else like em. I'll never forget MGS2 and MGS3, two of my favorite stories in gaming easily.

I have a hunch that MGSV will be his best work all around, but I'm still expecting some major drop-the-ball moments. Really hoping that Kojima doesn't get too stupid with the "I'm a demon" stuff, the horn and tail combo are already making me worry.

#43 Posted by Jeager_Titan (911 posts) -

NO.

#44 Edited by JangoWuzHere (15917 posts) -

@Salt_The_Fries said:

It's not Williams fault, it's its implementation in the game. The same could've been said about Fight Club but Spec Ops deliberately made Walker an unreliable narrator and there are multiple events that confirm this.

The fact that hes an unreliable narrator makes it hard to take a lot of things seriously. You have to assume too much in the game, and that makes it less mysterious and just dumb. Like the fact that the squad mates wouldn't restrain or talk to Walker when he is obviously acting like a loony. He talks to a broken radio and makes a "choice" with the theif or killer. Its moments like these which makes it difficult to keep a suspension of disbelief once you get to the end.

Also, stuff like the DJ was tonally out of wack and just dumb for the story. The story should be getting darker and more insane as it gets closer to the end, it shouldn't be getting ridiculous.

#45 Posted by KillzoneSnake (1623 posts) -

Looking at MGS2 and 4.. hes not very good.

#46 Posted by MirkoS77 (6835 posts) -

Oh Christ no. Kojima even admitted he makes shit up as he goes along to fill in for things he failed to plan for.

Great writer, for sure. His writing is nothing but overly self-indulgent, pretentious, preachy, laughably emotionally absent, pseudo-intellectual garbage. It all comes off like a 12 year old's vision and execution of Gone With The Wind.

Kojima is the perfect example of someone in way over his head. Kojima doesn't understand pacing, editing, characterization, dialogue, and not having to use insane levels of exposition everywhere to convey the merest of subtleties and themes. His "skill" as a writer is so blatantly lacking it's insane to me how anyone can even come close to answering yes to this clown's writing acumen. Even if you LIKE the what he writes, he's still an awful writer in every way imaginable.

He wanted to write and direct films before he got into game development. Who here can honestly believe he'd be able to hold down a career doing such (hell, even In a place as crazy and forgiving as Manga) if he weren't an incredibly talented game designer? The only reason people put up with his nonsense is because he makes incredible game engines with great gameplay and immaculate attention to detail. If he weren't able to do that, I doubt barely anyone would give him the time of day.

#47 Edited by JangoWuzHere (15917 posts) -

A lot of people here seem to treat video game stories as trailer trash in the narrative world. However, I find video game stories the most impressive, because they are the most difficult to work with. It's like books compared to movies, the best books will always be far deeper and more engaging on a writing and story level. However, we are still impressed by movies because of there use of camera work, acting, limited time frame, etc. Video games have to work with all of that plus the difficulty of being an interactive medium. While the Metal Gear games are maybe not the best use of the medium, they still grab our interest and keep a lot of us invested emotionally.

#48 Posted by Wiimotefan (4062 posts) -

MGSV 30 minute gameplay streaming now.

http://www.twitch.tv/konami573ch

#49 Edited by Gue1 (9087 posts) -

@Wiimotefan said:

MGSV 30 minute gameplay streaming now.

http://www.twitch.tv/konami573ch

excellent my brotha. good job.

Oh crap, I only caught like the last 10 minutes of the stream. But I just can't get hyped for this game since I have no idea what's going on because I haven't played Peace Walker.

I have the HD version of PW but I simply cannot bring myself to play that gimped game. Story told like a comic, stiff gameplay, very tiny and segmented areas with a ton shit of loadings... Why Kojima does this? This is why I don't give fucks about kingdom hearts either. These 2 franchises are a fucking mess.

#50 Posted by Wiimotefan (4062 posts) -

@Gue1 said:

@Wiimotefan said:

MGSV 30 minute gameplay streaming now.

http://www.twitch.tv/konami573ch

excellent my brotha. good job.

Man that was cool! Wasn't even a major mission either. I'm going to lose a year of my life to this game lol.