Underrated Video Game 8 - Space Station Silicon Valley [N64]
By the_grimace 02-24-2009 10:21 AM
With so many unique and interesting games from the past out there, I can not mention them all. While some of those games are complete trash, others are diamonds in the rough, often never being discovered. On of those games I will now review is:
Space Station: Silicon Valley
“There are thousands of titles of fair quality and general obscurity, but moving up the list of the most criminally overlooked games ever, one absolutely amazing title that has been regarded to as a piece of trash… I’m referring to the phenomenal title, Space Station Silicon Valley, whose excellence is simply unreal.
This game was developed in Scotland by DMA Design, and released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. Yes, DMA, the house that Grand Theft Auto built. Space Station Silicon Valley was the product of countless great ideas, all executed well and rarely seen since. The acclaim from those who experienced it was undeniable, and equally undeniable would be the shameful media neglect it received. To say that it rounded out the originality factor on the N64 would be doing it a horrible mistake; this title filled the void completely.
Space Station Silicon Valley followed Dangerous Dan and his rickety robot, Evo, as they searched for a missing space station and it’s crew members. With each ongoing minute, the game serves to impress the player with it’s unending array of uniqueness. It begins with the bumbling duo arguing their way into a rough landing on a strange planet. As they crash to the plant, their ship proceeds to kill an android dog in love with an android sheep in a hilarious cutscene. (yes). During the landing, Evo the robot is destroyed, his parts quite separated, and in order to survive, his microchip inhabits and reanimates the mutilated pooch. You then set off as Evo as the dog to restore his parts and solve the numerous other mysteries at hand. Thus begins one of the most amazing and mistreated games of any generation.
The gameplay focuses initially in controlling Evo through this dog, whom has a number of abilities (rocket power), but soon after you take control of the dead sheep, and later you can take control of a much wider selection of animals. Over 40. Each of the animals have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and are not the simple model swapping that alternate characters in many games exhibit. From snow throwing penguins, to juggling grizzly bears, to crapping rats, the game is packed with possibilities. To top it off, each NPC animal responds differently to the animal you are controlling, as well as to the abilities you may use to attack it.
The game ultimately spans over 35 levels, each with numerous quests and brilliant design which uses the multi-character game system to it’s full potential. Levels are truly massive and you will find yourself exploring a level multiple times just to see really what else is there, and also just because the levels are plain fun! It should also be noted that the animals are each very unique and well thought out, and their unique, well programmed abilities add to the game’s overall fun. This is no small feat for a game with so much content. Few titles before or since have ever contained as much playability, and ultimately, I would claim the gameplay in this title to be some of the best of it’s generation.
The graphics and sound in Space Station are equally as original as it’s gameplay, and executed with the same level of effort. The game’s look is decidedly humorous, one might even say light-hearted.. The animation is also quite exaggerated, and brings the originality of the characters and game world to a higher level than most developers could ever hope to achieve. The sound is very fitting as well, with Starfox-style voice overs that push the feel of the game farther, “elevator” type music to stress the controlled environment (it really works!), and a brilliant “speaker phone” system that plays the actual BGM in the game world itself. The closer you get to these spekers, the louder the music becomes, with the ability to destroy them entirely. The sound effects themselves are also quite priceless.
Space Station’s pacing and sense of progression is absolutely brilliant. By the game’s conclusion, you’ll certainly feel the experience as complete, and the triumph of the developers will become very apparent. This is all I will say so as not to spoil the ending for those who have yet to play this title.
There are hardly any other games than Space Station Silicon Valley, that have been so underrated, and barely even played… like ever. This is a game that did not give it’s creators the praise they deserved, a game that did not sell as it should have, a game that simply is not remembered or respected nearly as much as it should be, if even known of at all. To those who’ve not played Space Station Silicon Valley, I urge that you do. You won’t be able to make up for it’s poor sales, but you’ll appreciate the purchase nonetheless, rewarding yourself with one of the finest gaming experiences the world has never experienced.”
|Comments (Total Comments: 7)|
|pitfallharry219 - 02-24-2009, 10:33 AM|
|The Crotch - 02-24-2009, 01:00 PM|
|janlazer - 02-24-2009, 03:55 PM|
|KingHippp0 - 02-24-2009, 07:25 PM|
|the_grimace - 02-24-2009, 08:22 PM|
|Blackout - 02-25-2009, 01:18 AM|
|cheezisgoooood - 02-25-2009, 06:23 PM|
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