Friday, 22 July 2011

Speccy Capers: The New Zealand Story (Ocean)

The New Zealand Story was unleashed upon arcade goers in 1987, and saw you play the role of a kiwi called Tiki. Living in a zoo in New Zealand, an evil walrus has decided to make his next snack Kiwi en-croute, and has kidnapped every kiwi in the zoo, all except Tiki. Now, it's up to our hero to rescue his friends and his loved ones, and put an end to the walrus' evil menu.

Taito seemed to be riding the crest of a wave in the late 80's, what with this, Operation Wolf, Chase HQ and Cameltry. Playing as a kiwi had never been done before, so was something new and fresh. Obviously, home conversions followed and the Spectrum version turned out to be rather sublime.

First off, the graphics are rather spiffing for a Spectrum conversion, and are near enough just as detailed as the arcade original. Obviously, they wont match up to the lushness of the arcade, but they are great. Gameplay-wise, it plays as good as its arcade parent, with all the levels and enemies present and correct.

The music is the highlight of the whole conversion, with it never getting on your nerves, and you'll find yourself tapping your feet along with it. Theres no sound, but the music does make up for it in spades, and is pleasing on the ears.

All in all, this is a jolly little conversion, which doesn't fall at any hurdle, and ranks alongside Operation Thunderbolt and Chase HQ as the more refined and polished of the Spectrum's arcade conversions, and is a rich gaming experience all round.