Space Station Silicon Valley (Nintendo 64)
How would you like to kill an animal and then take control of it? Yeah, that’s right. Space Station Silicon Valley has got to be one of the most unique video games ever released. In this weird 3D platformer, you play as a computer chip that can hop inside of dead animals to control them. Some of the animals include dogs, sheep, bears, and mice on wheels, all of which have abilities that may aid with completing the objectives in each stage. For example, the mice on wheels have a speed boost to allow them to go off ramps, the sheep can gently float down large elevations, and the bears can lift large objects. Environments include farms, energy rooms, snowy mountains, jungles, and deserts, and each have their own set of new animals with new abilities. This is a rather diverse game with plenty of surprises. Silicon Valley has a mission based style of gameplay that can include activating switches, killing off groups of animals, and obtaining items such as key cards. The objectives are generally clear, but it can be pretty easy to get stuck at certain points in a stage. For example, I’ve been stuck at a point where I had to get past a giant pit of lava, and I had absolutely no idea how to considering that I couldn’t go around it or jump across it on platforms. Finally, I checked an FAQ just to find out that I had to follow an invisible path to cross this lake of fire. How the heck was I supposed to know that!? The lack of checkpoints can also be a real bummer when the player gets killed off towards the end of a long and hard stage, especially when you consider how difficult some of the later stages can be. The graphics are generally good for an N64 game, the controls are precise, and the music is rather unique, although I don’t really know how to explain it. Silicon Valley is a hidden gem for the N64 that fans of platformers, or somebody looking for something original, should give a shot, even if they will have to look up an FAQ every now and then.
Final Grade: B+
Final Score: 8.5/10