One of the classics of Taito Corporation that we stood out among the best of 1988 was The NewZealand Story, that game in which we control a kiwi (the bird, not the fruit) to rescue his companions from a mother foca.
It is a game that a good part of those who lived through that time surely played, since it enjoyed a lot of popularity at the time, in part also due to the innumerable conversions that their arcade received.
A colorful and friendly platformer from the 80s
In his day, I was able to enjoy the sensational conversion to Amiga, for many the best. Not that it was a demanding game, far from it: it was actually extremely generous with check-points when dying and simpleton as far as the design of the phases is concerned, with only four unique worlds (all of them, set in New Zealand, of course) where the background of the scenarios hardly varied, except in their extension, representative theme and platforms , Clear.
The objective of The NewZealand Story was to rescue each kiwi from Tiki (the main bird) in each phase until he found the seal that kidnapped them, after 16 levels. Nowadays it is no longer such a complicated task, although it is a bit frustrating to see how it behaves in the jump, with almost no option to rectify the direction as soon as we push ourselves. Without being as accused as in the adventures of Sir Arthur from Capcom, when there are tiny platforms and many spikes in between, it becomes a hell that contrasts with its aesthetic.
It should be said that Tiki dies in one hit, but he can also eliminate enemies with a single hit, unless our arrow hits a specific type of balloons, which change color before exploding. And what balloons do we mean? To that so characteristic means of air transport of this classic.
As if it were a GTA, we can steal that vehicle from the rival without killing it, having to press and hold the jump button to take flight. This movement did not apply the same when we were underwater, where we moved directly with the stick, without worrying about any buttons. Now there was a power-up (with the logo of a stick arcade) which ostensibly facilitated the flight, preventing us from losing height and completely forgetting the jump button. And, of course, there was also one to gain speed.
The NewZealand Story, another Taito classic
Unlike other platforms of the time, every phase in The NewZealand Story was closed-ended by design, seeing its extension in the mini-map located at the bottom left. It was the clue that the game gave us to know where the kiwi to rescue was, and therefore the exit. And after four phases the boss played, in addition, the first world whale drawing a lot of attention, since it could engulf us to finish it off later from the inside, being more vulnerable there.
Apart from the initial arrows, we could also get bombs, a laser pistol or a fire staff, also varying the type of transport, which was not only a balloon, but it could be a swan or a spaceship. Also, underwater, if we got close to the surface, we could spit out a diagonal jet that was the sea of cash; the bad thing was controlling the breathing down.
This work by Taito was also characterized by the use of portals, since the vast majority of enemies appeared suddenly, through special doors. What not many people discovered, were another class of secret portals, with which to teleport to other phases, such as 2-1. And there was also the bonus of the letters EXTEND, so typical of Bubble Bobble
The NewZealand Story enjoyed a remake in 2007 for Nintendo DS called The New Zealand Story Revolution, improving all its sections, especially in relation to control, being able to run, do a double jump or fall down from a platform, seeing how the second screen was used in its entirety to show the map. The original was included in the Taito Legends of PS2, where we recently remembered another classic of the Japanese company, the colorful Rainbow Islands.
Has it stood the test of time well?
Yes, but with reservations. It is still a platforms adorable and very original, but The NewZealand Story It has a control for the jump that can be improved and, to top it all, the nice melody of the adventure ends up exhausting because it is repeated throughout the game. Although it does not prevent it from being one of the most unforgettable non-flying birds of the eighties, along with the Flicky of SEGA from 84.
The NewZealand Story
|Platforms||Arcade (analyzed version), Amiga, Atari ST, Mega Drive, NES, TurboGrafx-16 …|
- The aesthetics and peculiarity of his world
- Being able to steal the enemy’s transport
- Have arrows, bombs, lasers …
- The jump on certain small platforms
- The melody was repeated insistently
- That there is no current Taito collection