The brilliant team behind Grasshopper Manufacture is known for creating bizarre amalgamations of popular culture as filtered through the mind of Suda 51. Even when their games have technical setbacks, Grasshopper still manages to create games that have yet to be seen from the public eye. They’re often not alone, as Suda 51 and his team have teamed up with various companies in the gaming industry—the most recent being with Kadokawa Games for Killer Is Dead. We can enjoy a Suda 51 game, whether it’s solely developed by Grasshopper Manufacture or with, say, Shinji Mikami. Still, we thought it would be interesting to create a list of potential collaborations for Suda 51 and Grasshopper Manufacture.
Suda 51 and Hideo Kojima have actually teamed up a long time ago. Both directors are known for having absolutely crazy ideas that remain endearing long after the first play-through. Knowing the two’s creative reputation, fans were left to wonder whether they would be creating something new, or if they would work together on an old game like Snatcher. Turns out they announced a sequel to Snatcher, but not in the way we all hoped. They ended up creating a radio drama, much like War of The Worlds, and called it Sdatcher, stupidly enough. Whether or not it was good is not the point; the time has come for the two to create an actual game, and it doesn’t have to be a sequel to Snatcher. Kojima’s team has a solid idea of creating fun games with plenty of options, and Grasshopper Manufacture could provide art direction, sound and writing. I would prefer they create something new; however, while they’re working under Konami, they could maybe take on the Silent Hill franchise—although Akira Yamaoka, sound director for Grasshopper Manufacture, might be rightfully pissed off.
I know you’re probably scratching your heads, but I have my reasons for including this wild card. This wouldn’t be first time Suda 51 would be working with another writer; he handed the outline of Lollipop Chainsaw for James Gunn to flesh out. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if Suda 51 collaborated with other members of the film or book industries. I got this idea from two sources: Neil Gaiman announced that he was working on his own video game, which I’m personally looking forward to; the Alice and Wonderland level from Killer Is Dead had a dark, whimsical atmosphere that seemed prevalent in some of Neil Gaiman’s work such as American Gods or Neverwhere. After briefly rereading American Gods, I thought that Gaiman’s dark humor and humanizing take on mythical creatures could work well if Suda 51 were to create a game that blends whimsy with dark humor.
I’ve always thought that Platinum Games and Grasshopper Manufacture have similar souls. This is evident during the first few years of the Wii’s successful reign, when Grasshopper and Platinum released No More Heroes and Mad World respectively. Neither were immediately successful, and they both managed to gain cult status. But the two were similar in its blood soaked dark comedy and visual flair. I think some of Grasshopper Manufacture’s games, like Killer Is Dead, could greatly benefit from Platinum Game’s addicting combat systems.
It seems like I’ve chosen companies and people based on who I believe share kindred souls. Suda 51 and Swery 65 seem to be the closest. Deadly Premonition shares many of the same characteristics as most Suda 51 games; it’s got an off kilter sense of humor with a story that’s delightfully bonkers, and they both become grim in their darker moments. I almost didn’t put Swery 65, because I’m really not sure how the collaboration would work. Both creators have made games that make sense with a certain niche of gamers, although Swery 65 had a bit more success than Suda 51. But they both share the same technical difficulties that keep them from reaching wider audience—some of which were deliberate design choices, mind you. I would personally vote that the two collaborate on the script and art direction, and maybe bring in another game studio into the mix.
There will be no shortages of collaboration between Grasshopper Manufacture and other members of the gaming industry, if not entertainment media. Suda 51 has even teamed up on various anime such as Samurai Champloo and Short Peace, so who knows who else he’ll collaborate with. But leave your own suggestions in the comment section below!