We've got fond memories of playing the original New Zealand Story game when we were growing up but we can't quite remember why. Was it the name? Did it sound better than North West Story? Was it the presentation? Err... no, not on a C64. We're at a loss as to why we seem to remember the original being any good.
Story-wise it's the same as the original, with nothing being altered for the remake. You play a little yellow Kiwi bird called Tiki, which - trivia fans - is a sacred Maori carving that looks like a green frog - no offence intended, well, none more than giving the name of a sacred god to a little yellow bird anyway.
Tiki has to rescue his other yellow friends scattered around the North and South islands who have been captured and caged by a leopard seal. And that's as deep as it goes really.
New Zealand Story Revolution is basically the same as the original but since many of you won't know what that's is, think of a platform game where you die too many times to count, care or continue. Hold on, it's all starting to come back now. Just a few levels in to the DS remake and we remembered why we remembered New Zealand Story. It was bastard hard and annoyingly frustrating. All the revamped DS version tells us is that New Zealand Story was, and still is, an annoying test of your gaming patience.
The A button is used for jump and double jump, while B fires projectiles. You can even hold it down for a powered up burst, R-Type style. Oddly, touching the enemies doesn't hurt you, it's only what they fire in your direction that causes the damage. The whole game is played at a very fast pace. And while this isn't usually a bad thing, it means that numerous enemies can be on top of you at any given moment firing projectiles at you from all directions. Sometimes it's a little much to deal with. There's absolutely no learning curve at all. It's a challenge right from the very first level.
Touch Screen additions failed to raise our eyebrows either. It's almost like the developer for got about the stylus and suddenly remembered just before the game went into duplication. It's used in minor ways only, with some being more of a hindrance than a help. One example is when you have to open a path to the next level. You have to spot, and then touch, the difference between the top and bottom screens. But to do this you have to rest the DS on your lap, press jump with your left hand and tap the difference with your right.
Visually the title looks great; solid and colourful right from the off. But our gripe with its style is that more often than not you can't see the hazardous obstacles in the environment until you've lost a heart by jumping or walking into them. That's not our fault, it's the game's and we find that very annoying.
New Zealand Story Revolution is a hard unforgiving platform game dressed up like a child's game. Think very carefully before splashing out. We used to love it but playing it again only brings back all the frustrations we thought we'd forgot about.
- Great presentation
- Faithful to the original
- No innovation in the DS department
- Too hard to be any fun