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New Zealand Story (The)
New Zealand Story (The)
Programmer G Weatherup
Graphics Uncredited
SFX/Music Uncredited
© 1989 Taito America Corp
© 1989 Ocean Software
Reviewed by : Shaun Neary Reviewed on : 2001-11-05

Another Ocean arcade conversion made its way to the desk this weekend. And being honest, I hadn't seen this game on the CPC screen since I last reviewed it six years ago in 1995. Thrown into the coin-op scene in 1989, it became a big hit especially for the girls thanks to it's high fluffy-cuteness factor. One year later and the Manchester hard heads at Ocean swiped the rights for the licence. The coding to be done by Choice who were responsible for the multiple disasters the previous year but had done a fairly decent jobs around this time. Some people had their faith restored because of this while others were still sceptical. Time to reunite and see if a leopard can change its spots, or is my mind more narrow than I think?

New Zealand Story (The)
Arrows are the weapon of choice
New Zealand Story (The)

Tiki looking very confused!

Tiki the Kiwi is a bird on a mission. Himself and his mates were swallowed by a giant whale in an attempted kidnapping (birdnapping?). Fortunately, Tiki manages to fall out the back door. So like the modern day Robin Hood, he grabs his bow and arrow and heads for the mazes. Probably not exactly what he had in mind to spend the weekend. Anyway with no time to hesitate, he gets going and straight away into the first level. Knock off a few enemies in a row and you'll get the chance to upgrade your weaponary. Bombs, Lasers, etc are up for grabs, anything more interesting than that puny bow + arrow! As levels progress, you also get to travel in style in the form of a hot air balloon. Keep a close eye on these though as enemies can pop these and send you shooting into oblivion!

As for most of the games I originally reviewed, I'm stuck with the tape format of this. In the late 80's, Ocean Software and tape did not go hand in hand. After looking at the length of tape, I knew this was going to be no exception. Although I tend not to be too harsh on multiloads as games so big have no choice and with the arcade in comparison this is the case. The game has a lot of levels ahead of it and it had the perfect mix of adventure and arcade action. But first impressions last, and shit also sticks. The legendary AA had no bones about expressing how bad the graphics were for the CPC version and I'm not about to defend Choice for the terrible effort they put into their conversion. Although the AA screen grabs weren't exactly accurate either!

New Zealand Story (The)
Airborne, attempting to fight satan!

The look of the game is initially disappointing with our hero, Tiki the Kiwi looking the worst for wear, not to mention genetically mutated, and this is before he gets to fire his first arrow! The graphics are, no doubt inferior to its C64 and speccy counterparts and make an Amstrad user cringe with disappointment. The colour scheme tries to replicate the cutesy arcade but when put into effect here, it fails and makes you wish you had bought the green screen monitor. Sound is a little bit better but again, it leaves you wanting to turn the volume knob down as the tune tends to get to your head quicker than a neat glass of pernod. The only thing that saves Tiki and his pals is the fact that the game itself plays very similarly to its arcade parent.

At the end of the day, that's what it all boils down to. This frustrates me because it's what can't save a game alone. I mean, you could bake the sweetest, most addictive dessert but if it looks like a lump of cow dung, then you can be rest assured that nobody's going to pay a hell of a lot of interest in it. And this is exactly the case. Choice Software made a mess of the code on this one and Ocean made the mistake of releasing this at the time. It was just before Christmas so that could be the explanation. But definitely doesn't pass for an excuse.

Shaun

THE END RESULT:
Playable, like the arcade
. But thatís all it inherits from the arcade.
Tolerable sound, dire graphics.
Other 8 bit versions fared better.
OVERALL: 55%

NVG Downloads
Title Type Language Title Screen Cheatmode Problems Upld Date Comments Launch Command
NEW ZEALAND STORY (THE) Arcade game English Yes Yes No 17/04/2006 ?
Amstrad Action Reviews
ISSUE PUBLISHER MASTER/RAVE PRICE GRAPHICS SOUND GRAB
FACTOR
STAYING
POWER
OVERALL
50 Ocean 8.99/14.99 20 60 70 88 65
73 Hit Squad 3.99 n/r n/r n/r n/r 76
External Reviews
The New Zealand Story @ CPC Reviews

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