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Space Station: Silicon Valley

Platform : Nintendo 64
Rated: Everyone
30 customer reviews
Metascore: 83 / 100
83

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Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Huge orbiting Space Stations were created to house the fabulously expensive new technology needed to produce Robots. The flagship station was named 'Silicon Valley'. It was built in 2001 and 7 minutes after being launched it vanished...

Review

Space Station Silicon Valley was one of those long-promised N64 titles that earned a nod of recognition, with an expression of "we'll see," and not much else throughout the early months of its development. But at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last May, the game reared its head seriously for the first time, and what we saw, we noted to keep an eye on. Now, months later, SSSV is out, and while it's unmistakably a late-blooming first-generation N64 game, its charm and straightforward, if simplistic, delivery make up for the graphics and relatively easy gameplay.

The SSSV story goes something like this: You're Danger Dan, a freelance adventurer from way off in the future - about 3000 AD. Danger Dan and his android sidekick Evo are on assignment to save Silicon Valley, a "technologically advanced amusement park," when Evo gets kidnapped. As Danger Dan, you must rescue him and safeguard Earth by keeping Silicon Valley from smashing into your home planet. How? Employ the animals you encounter in Silicon Valley. These creatures you "use" (I'll get to that later) collectively have more than 90 different skills to help you fight your battle and find your MIA android.

The game consists of four different environments with about seven levels in each, and each level represents an individual mission, such as raise the bridge, grow some carrots, and turn off the electric fence, to more technical tasks such as finding key cards and using computers to complete various objectives. The game is not entirely linear in that you don't have to complete an entire environment to move on to the next. Actually, if you make it about halfway through one, the next level becomes available to you, so you can move back and forth between them until you complete all the levels, and ultimately, the game.

Graphically, though, the game is really nothing special. It's truly first generation, with big, spacious environments and large, blocky, colorful objects. Fortunately, you have a close-up "look" feature (the Z trigger button) to help you navigate the trickier environments and spaces, and a camera that moves somewhat intelligently with you from your third-person behind-the-creature perspective, allowing you a limited degree of control with the C buttons. The camera is far from perfect, with the typical standing-under-a-ledge cutaways and close-quarters visual range problems, but it is manageable.

What really makes SSSV work as it does, however, are the animals. You don't physically play the game as Dan; you are a microchip, remotely controlled by Dan, to take on the functions of the animals in the game. You "plant" yourself in animal cadavers to reanimate them, using each respective character's unique skills to get through your missions. Sound gross? Sorry, but it's not. If you start as a fox, for example, and you attack and kill the racing dog with your tail, he'll fall to the ground like a boneless mutt in a trance. No blood; no guts (although if you manage to nail him under the bone-crushing barnyard smashing device, his eyes will bulge out each time it slams down on him, postmortem, until you turn it off). You move from animal to animal by attacking one creature with another and then hopping into the dead one's body using the shoulder button. And with the dozens of animals available, each has a survival rate, strengths, weaknesses, buoyancy, a special attack, a special move, and an alter ego, which is pretty fun. The key to getting through the game is to effectively use the animals' traits to your benefit. For example the sheep can inflate themselves to float across platforms and such, and they swim quite well, but they don't exactly move very quickly. Whereas the fox moves extremely quickly but can't jump to save his life. These characteristics are integrated into the gameplay and puzzle solving quite well.

For as many animals as the game includes, you don't have to be a genius to figure SSSV out, and the AI isn't brilliant, as the animals tend to become predictable. The missions and puzzles within each are extremely simple, or perhaps uncomplicated, with subtle clues sprinkled throughout each level to assist more novice gamers. Oftentimes, you'll see what you have to do very clearly and early on, so the real effort comes in actually executing your skills and maneuvering through the obstacles, such as timing your jump from platform to platform just right, and so on.

Ultimately, SSSV is a simple, moderately short game, with extremely engaging "personalities" that hit the game character target right on the mark. The sheep moves like a sheep. The elephant moves like an elephant. The kangaroo punches, and the scorpion stings just as you'd expect they would. So while SSSV isn't a Super Mario 64 by far, it actually does accomplish what it set out to do - entertain, amuse, and charm - even if it doesn't challenge you very much. --Lauren Fielder
--Copyright ©1999 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. GameSpot and the GameSpot logo are trademarks of GameSpot Inc. -- GameSpot Review


Product Details

  • ASIN: B00002STGT
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 10 inches ; 5 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: July 20, 1999
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,566 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 1999
You are spider like computer chip that must jump in and out of various electronic animals to retrieve all the parts of your busted up robot body. Each animal has specific skills that aid in retrieving parts and completing missions required to go to the next level. It challanges skill and logic and gives you an uncomparable feeling of elation when you figure out the secrets!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Corey on June 24, 2002
As soon as Spacestation: Silicon Valley was inserted in my Nintendo 64, I really had no idea what to expect. I had read some articles in the past on the game in my favorite magazine, N64, and it seem to be shaping up to be a good game. However, I never thought that SSV would be one of the best games I had ever played. Well, SSV is just that: one of the most original, twisted, challenging, and addictive games available on the market today. Some, if not all gamers, have never even heard of the game. Well, to start, let me give a brief background on how the game begins, and how it is played. The game starts off with an introduction scene, in which a news station reports that SSV, a huge floating space colony, is still missing in space (making it 1000 years since it vanished). They have sent out various crews to find Spacestation, but have come up empty handed. Here, is where Evo (you), a robot, and Dan, the companion, come into play. They are a bunch of space freaks, who happen to accidentally crash land in SSV after arguing about what music to listen to. The landing breaks Evo into pieces, which float off into space; except for one key piece: the piece that is used to posses other robotic animals. This is one of the most created aspects of SSV, and there are more than forty different animals you can take control of. As you may have guessed, each animal has its own abilities, ranging from the classic water spray the elephant has, to the exploding brown mines the rat releases (or are those mines...). Animals have advantages and disadvantages as well. For example, the turtle may in fact be slow, but it packs a powerful cannon that fires long range. The game is divided into four unique environments: Europe, Arctic, Jungle, and Desert.Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2000
Now this game is really wierd. It's a sort of cross between traditional platform jumping action and puzzle game (think Chip's Challenge). There are many very challenging levels. When I say challenging I mean it's really hard. I've been stuck for hours on a single level! Definately not a game for little kids.
The graphics, while simple, are very clean with little or now slowdown. Sound is quirky and fun...it's definately not annoying, and will appeal to everyone.
I haven't finished the game yet (due to it's difficulty, which I already mentioned), but it's fun in most cases. But sometimes you can examine a level very carefully and still not figure it out. It's fustrating, tedious, and a bit boring at times.
This isn't a game for everyone, so you should at least rent it first. I think it was way overrated by others, but it's still an above average game from a 3rd party company.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1999
This game is great! It is one of a kind. Even know it isn't that popular it is still a good game. I have just beaten it. It is very hard, but fantastic. The graphics are awesome too. It has a very good story to it. Imagine, you are a robot that has just been blasted into 4 pieces. Now, as a computer chip (named Evo) and you have to go through 4 different worlds (land, snow, desert, and jungle) to get all your body parts back together again. It very similar to the game Rocket: Robot on Wheels. So, if you want a game with great graphics, adventure, and originality you should definately get this game...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1999
This game is excellent. The mixture of above average graphics with some cheesy yet suitable music makes this game a winner. If you like action, puzzle solving, "old-school" gameplay, this is a must have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2000
I consider myself a hardcore gamer and have played many types of games on all the current systems, from Legend of Zelda (N64) to Half-Life (PC) to Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2) to Halo (Xbox) to Shenmue (DC). Space Station Silicon Valley prominantly stands out in my mind as one of the most original and creative games I have ever played. Granted the graphics do not stand out; however, most hardcore gamers would agree that gameplay is by far the most important element of creating a superb game. Space Station Silicon Valley is that game.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 20, 2000
The Hippo is my favorite character. I love his attacks and I think he's fun to be. I like that you can turn into all the animals you beat.Some of your favorite animals are in it. And who is this mysterious juggling bear on wheels? I am always trying to catch him in the engine room. He seems to explode whenever I catch up with him. And if you press A at the start of the game where the D guy gets destroyed by dogs, the mysterious bear rides over him. I love Kangaroo too. It's a fabulous game.
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Once in a great while a game will come along that separates itself from everything else on the market. It has a quirky setting and characters, some odd humor. It doesn't mimic other games, but no others mimic it either. Games of its type are big risks. They risk not attracting a strong following. They risk being bad because they're treading new, untested waters. Such a game, however, can be a gem. The little known Space Station Silicon Valley for the Nintendo 64 is such a game. It was very difficult to find in stores, and none of my friends had ever heard of it. Very little was known about it. Strange, I thought, because this is actually a good game - a very original and clever platform game.

You control a robot named Evo who has broken into many pieces and is now only a computer chip. Fortunately, Evo has broken apart on Silicon Valley, which is a planet filled with robotic animals. When a robotic animal dies, he can enter it and take control of it. Every animal you control has two abilities, and none of the animals has two of the same abilities, making each one handy in its own way. Given so many different animals to take control of, the game is open ended in many different ways. Puzzles have multiple ways they can be solved, using whatever animal you want. There are occasions when you are required to use certain animals for certain tasks, but how you get those animals is up to you.

You start most levels inside an animal and have to complete a number of mission objectives. Each level also has side quests: collecting fifteen purple energy balls and a gold medal. To get some of these medals you have to pay very close attention to everything, since there are some very clever things you have to do to obtain it. Sometimes, though, it's just killing all of one type of animal.
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