Saturday, April 05, 2008

New Zealand Story Revolution a.k.a Cute Overload - A Game Review

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I'll put it straight up that I'm pretty inept when it comes to platform games and I avoid buying them because I'll stop playing as soon as my first encounter with a level boss. That's why I have not gotten round buying any of the Castlevania games and my library is only limited to New Super Mario Bros, which has pretty easy boss fights.

When I first heard about New Zealand Story Revolution, I was wondering why the developers decided to name the game that way and was about to dismiss it as a TRAVEL GUIDE (the trouble with names). Little did I know that the game had a pedigreed past (well received arcade game with a lot of console ports) and is actually a really good and cute, but very tough 2D platform game.

It's pretty hard to put in 3 nice adjectives in a sentence to summarise a game (usually people will describe New Super Mario Bros. as just "awesome"), but that's how New Zealand Story Revolution is.

The game will have you play as a kiwi chick, out to rescue his fellow kiwis kidnapped by a walrus. The levels deserve a special mention here, as environmental obstacles such as spikes (and spike trips) combine with a factory line production of enemies to produce a really tough gaming experience!

Due to its nature as a platform game, gamers will be jumping around from platform to platform, some of which as miniscule as small block, miss them and you might end up hitting a strip of spikes lying underneath; or hitch a ride vehicles such as cars or balloons.

Fortunately, the game provides you with a host of weapon power-ups to deal with the never ending amount of enemies. These can be obtained from fallen enemies and will replace your default arrow shot with the ice shot or bomb shot or a sword and shield, amongst other things. You'll also get to collect letters, spelling out Extend, although I do not know what's this for.

The objective of each level is to rescue a kiwi chick at the end of the level. The touch screen is use sporadically, to turn door knobs, and to spot the difference between the top and bottom screens (in order to open up a jump/warp gate to progress).

If you are wondering where I stopped, well, it's at the first boss, the ice whale. Anyways, the graphics are really nice and is an upgrade from the NES version, which plays almost the same minus the touchscreen elements. And yes, the NES version plays fine on nesDS emulator for the Nintendo DS. Just bear in mind that the US NES release is known as Kiwi Kraze.... don't ask me why.

New Zealand Story Revolution is available at Play-Asia, click here for purchase details. Free international shipping is available for certain countries.