12 Feb, 2007

New Zealand Story Revolution Review

DS Review | Revolutionary?
It’s quite common for me (and likely other gamers) for games to remind me of certain feelings or events in my life. When I think of Project Gotham Racing 2 I remember those late night Xbox live evenings or when I think of the original Ridge Racer I have fond memories of my first days with the PSOne. For about ten years I had memories of a game giving me an earache and it wasn’t until playing New Zealand Story on Taito Legends that I recognized which title it was that gave me the earache. It's a bizarre lead in but this brings us to New Zealand Story Revolution from Rising Star Games.

New Zealand Story Revolution is an upgrade from the original New Zealand Story which debuted in 1988. In New Zealand Story you take control of Tiki (a kiwi). Tiki the kiwi's friends have been kidnapped by a leopard seal and you’ll need to navigate through each of the levels looking for a key and finding one of Tiki’s friends. There are several worlds each divided up into four levels and after beating the four levels you’ll face off against a boss.


In making the transition to the DS Rising Star Games have made a few changes to the original formula and one of the best enhancements is the fact that you’re now able to get hit more than once. In the original New Zealand Story if you were hit once then you were dead, in Revolution your Tiki is a little stronger and can take a few more hits, you’ll even find hearts scattered around the levels to improve your health. In Revolution your Tiki can also double jump, which makes it a little easier to reach those challenging areas. You’re given a little more control over your arrow shots so you can aim where you’re shooting with the shoulder buttons on the DS. After defeating enemies there are plenty of items to collect as well, including power ups which will have an effect on your enemies.

Unfortunately the “enhancements” don’t stop there. Rising Star Games have added in magic stone challenges. At certain points in a level to progress you’ll need to complete a challenge using the DS touch screen. For example, one of the challenges requires you to turn a door handle by drawing in a circle and another requires you to touch and move a balancing pole to ensure the Tiki doesn’t fall off a tightrope.

By far the most annoying challenge is "touch the difference". In touch the difference, an image of the level is shown on the top screen and the bottom screen, there is one minor difference in the bottom screen and you’ll need to find it. Unfortunately the gameplay continues whilst you’re trying to find this difference, so you’ll need to look at both screens, find the difference and defend yourself from enemies, it’s extremely frustrating. There isn’t just one screen to look for differences on but a few and if you don’t find the difference you simply won’t be able to progress any further. It’s the DS “enhancements” that really bring the enjoyability of New Zealand Story down.


New Zealand Story Revolution also includes a Vs mode for up to four players. In the Vs mode you can play through any of the Magic Stone games from the story mode. Generally the games play the same as they do in the story mode but there are a few variations. Despite the fact none of the games appear to be pushing the DS too hard all players will require a copy of the game to play multiplayer.

Whilst the double jump, arrow control and addition of a life meter are all very good inclusions for New Zealand Story Revolution the touch screen mechanics just seem tacked on. They add nothing to the gameplay and when you see a touch the difference screen come up it is hard not to cringe. Had Rising Star Games put these touch screen mini games in a separate mini game area rather than put them in the single player game the single player campaign would have been more enjoyable overall.

Gaphically the game has been improved, New Zealand Story Revolution features upgraded backgrounds, very colourful levels and improved animation, aside from this the game looks very similar to the game that was released nearly two decades ago. The original theme song has also been included in the game, which should please those nostalgic fans. It also appears that all of the original music from the original game has made it over, but my memory is a little hazy with that.


If you stick with the game and don’t become extremely frustrated when a magic stone mini game comes up then there is quite a challenge to look forward too in the game, even with the hearts this game isn’t a cakewalk; in fact it’s still a very, very difficult game.

The main drawcard for New Zealand Story Revolution really is the nostalgia, but the original New Zealand Story can be found on Taito Legends, so you really have to want the game in portable form to see New Zealand Story Revolution as a worthwhile purchase. Rising Star Games have improved the formula by adding in some decent additions such as the double jump and the extra hearts, but the touch screen additions are poor. If you’re after a platformer then there are plenty of decent platformers on the Nintendo DS, so the game only really comes recommended if you were a fan of the original New Zealand Story. With New Zealand Story Revolution if you never experience it you’ll hardly miss it, much like an earache really.
The Score
New Zealand Story Revolution is still an enjoyable game, but the touch screen controls drag the quality down severely, if you just want to play the original game then it may be worth hunting down Taito Legends. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related New Zealand Story Revolution Content

New Zealand Story confirmed for DS
20 Jul, 2006 Tiki the kiwi to take flight later this year.
David McLean Interview
18 Dec, 2006 We speak to David McLean about region-coding, price drops and console delays.
RUMOUR: New Zealand Story DS in the pipeline?
06 Jul, 2006 Tiki to return?
7 years ago
It's a pity - It all sounded so good up until the touch screen 'additions' came into the equation. I suppose I won't be rushing out to buy this any time soon. Hell, I'll probably have to have a good hard think if I happen to see it going cheap.

Good review, helped me dodge a bullet by the sounds of it icon_smile.gif
7 years ago
It's hard but i enjoy it! I always wanted to play the original but for now this will do me fine.
7 years ago
Bugger. Im a massive fan of the old NES version (along with Shadow Warriors - Ninja Gaiden, it was the first title I purchased with my own money), so to see it return like this is very sad.

Thank god I have Taito Legends though icon_biggrin.gif
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