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The NewZealand Story: A Forgotten Classic

By : Luis Zena


This is a very interesting and insightful article by a freelance writer that all of you should read. It's based on the game New Zealand Story. Be sure to check it out even if you have never played it!

 By: Lily McCann

The NewZealand Story: A Forgotten Classic
One of the games that people always forget to mention when they talk about classic platform games from the early 1990s is Taito’s The NewZealand Story, which was available for the Amiga 500 and the NES. The plot was nonsensical yet brilliant; you played a small, sneaker-wearing kiwi called Tiki, whose friends had been kidnapped by a large, blue leopard seal called Wally. As the only non-kidnapped kiwi, it was your duty to find your way through scrolling, maze-like levels, rescue your little feathered buddies and secure the release of an attractive female kiwi called Phee Phee, capturing her heart in the process. The goal of every level was to get your character to a cage containing a kiwi, which would then be released and jump up and down flapping its wings with joy.
A Kiwi in a Hot Air Balloon
An entertaining feature of the game was the fact that you could knock the baddies out of the vehicles that they were flying and then commandeer them. This enabled Tiki to fly hot air balloons, ride about the place on a friendly goose and even operate a UFO. There was something particularly satisfying about knocking a large, blue-eared cat that was trying to attack you out of its silver hot air balloon and then using its vehicle to fly about and shoot its friends, especially after you had lost a couple of lives at their hands.
One of the more annoying vehicles to acquire was a flying platform with a spiked chain on the back. It was good for killing enemies but always seemed to end up doing more damage to Tiki than it did to the bad guys because it was very easy to fall off the platform and end up on the pointy end of the spikes. The variety of different vehicles on offer meant that each level could be completed using a range of different techniques and ensured that the game play remained fresh every time a level was attempted. The simplicity of these vehicles was their main strength. They didn’t need any skill to operate; you just got in them and pointed the joystick in the direction that you wanted to travel in. Indeed the simple nature of the NewZealand Story was what made it so endearing. It might not have had the powerful graphics of today’s titles or a multiplayer version that could be played using gaming broadband but still had replay value coming out of its ears.
Having a Whale of a Time
Perhaps the most impressive thing about The NewZealand Story was the inventiveness of the bosses. One of the earlier levels featured Tiki pitting his wits against a large, pink, frozen whale that emitted snowflakes out of its blowhole. In order to kill it, you had to allow it to swallow you, avoid the drips of stomach acid that rained down from the roof of its mouth and shoot at it from the inside until it shattered into pieces, allowing you to emerge from its belly. I don’t know what kind of mind-altering substances the makers of this game were taking but they definitely made for an interesting gaming experience. Another of the bosses was a giant blue octopus that fired bats at you. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.
Level Design
Each stage of the game was vaguely based on an area of NewZealand, with Tiki’s location being shown on a map after the completion of a level. This was another strange detail of the game considering that it was made in Japan but somehow added to its quirky nature. The levels were colourful, well thought out and distinctive, some requiring you to don scuba gear and swim and others seeing you fly about the place on a balloon. The best level was probably the last one, which was filled with posters warning that Wally was nearby, creating the perfect build up to the final boss.
Final Thoughts
The NewZealand Story was one of the most addictive games on the market at the time of its release, partly due to the music, which many gamers will no doubt find themselves still humming today. The level of difficulty was just right, as it was challenging but not impossible, and the surreal plot and zany cast of baddies added immensely to the enjoyment of the game. The fact that you could ride a goose was also totally awesome and tipped the balance between it being a good game and a classic.


Retro Gaming News 165: The Beginning of the Legend of the Peach Boy

By : Luis Zena



"Today I have released a translation for The Legend of Peach Boy for the NES. It is a comical RPG, and the debut of one of Hudson’s mascots (be careful to not confuse this game with the spin-off board game Momotarou’s Railroad).
I’d be interested in doing the sequels to this, but right now the most likely looks to be the spin-off Momotarou Densetsu Gaiden. This one tells us the individual tales of three supporting characters from the first game. First released on Game Boy, then ported to the PCE and last, Famicom. I’d probably again do the FC version, which I believe was also the last developed released RPG for the console. I’ve already begun work on dumping the script.
As for the others:

  • Shin Momotarou Densetsu (SFC exclusive): script dumped. Big hurdle is menu work.
  • Momotarou Densetsu II (PCE and PS1): PS1 probably the best, but I’d really have a learning experience on my hands.
  • Momotarou Densetsu Turbo (PCE) is a remake of this game I’m releasing. I’d need to learn how to make a Huffman compresser, and it diverges enough from the FC version, so it’d probably need a re-translation as well."

Ads from the past 243: Call Rambo!

By : Luis Zena
This game was sure something else. In a way it mimic the game Zelda 2 but in a mediocre way. It's not the worst game in the world but I can assure you that the Master System releases of Rambo are way better! 

 



Animonday 036: Captain Tsubasa Opening in Real Life

By : Luis Zena
This is a pretty funny introduction of the Captain Tsubasa series. You should definitely check it out for a good laugh as it mimics the intro into real life people. It's done quite well too! Benji should've been a different guy though...



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Pirate Game of the Week 055: Lion King, The (Chiki-Chiki Dog) (FC)

By : Luis Zena

The world of pirates sure gives you a lot of flashbacks. This one is yet another hack of a Wacky Racers game except they decided to put Simba in it. Welcome to the Lion King Wacky Racers Hack! I know it may sound bad and all but the game is not that bad although that's not due to the hacking done in it which is crappy but mainly because it's a fun platformer game. Lets take a look...

You won't hear any Disney tunes in this one but more like Hanna Barbera ones. I'm not even sure if there are any tunes from either as I'm not much a fan of the show. I do like the bite sound Muttley errr Simba does...

The graphics are fine. The hacked in graphics on the other hand are a little messed up. I mean look at Simba on the main pic of this post. He looks messed up! He looks high! He looks like he is ready to be put out of his misery! They definitely could've done a better job! What's up with the two Simbas on the title screen?? Even the title is messed up. Messed up graphics ftw!

The gameplay is fun. You won't even realize it's a bad hack! You can just go for it and play through the entire game while being confused with the story of Wacky Racers....heh you'll manage.

The game itself is a fun platformer but not one I would keep coming back. This is not Super Mario Bros 3 and like many other copy cats it's definitely worth a single run. It's your average fun platformer and that's that.

The game is good mostly for the platforming action but I guess you can make fun of good old drugaddict Simba for laughs. I wouldn't recommend a purchase of this but be sure to check out Youtube for videos of this "masterpiece"!


Retro Game of the Week 125: 10-Yard Football (NES)

By : Luis Zena

A game as simple as this one can be lots of fun. For this week, 10-Yard Fight has taken to top honors of the retro gaming world. Why is that? Well, it's simple yet fun which is something that a lot of games don't have nowadays. Lets check it out.

The the has no music at all except for the start of the game that is. That can mean that you can play any music in the background so pop in some metal rock and start bashing the competition! 

The graphics are primitive but what can you expect from an 8-bit game that came out during the birth of the console. There was so little one could do with such new technology. Give them a break! 
The gameplay is quite simple although you can make some crazy plays at the right moment. You control the entire team, that's right! The entire team moves the way your d-pad directs it. That means you can use the defense to take out part of the opponent who are trying to take down your middle guy. It's definitely something very interesting.

The game is good to sit down and play for a short period of time as it becomes repetitive. It has a lot of difficulty levels but it's practically the same thing over and over. Go ahead if you want to play the same thing over and over just with a little more difficulty.
The game is simple, the game is fun, but it's limited to short play. Check it out if you want to see a very simple football game. There are not NFL teams in here but there is 8-bit goodness! Enjoy!

Finds 461: Xmen Screen Saver!

By : Luis Zena

The only reason I got this Screen Saver program for Windows 3.1 was because of the graphics on the box! They are quite awesome! You agree right? Well even if you don't you gotta love how they make the box look like a comic book. I should post some pics of the back of the box because it's just as kewl as the front. I paid a dollar for this so it wasn't much of a waste. It's rad!! 

Xmen Screen Saver (PC)
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Street Fighter X Mega Man coming December 17

By : Luis Zena

The news of a new Mega Man game being released for the 25th anniversary were quite welcoming except for the fact that there won't be an actual physical copy of the game but rather a digital PC download-only copy for free. I do like the free factor of it but I dislike the lack of collective value for the game. Besides, this was actually a fan-made game which makes Capcom look even lazier than their already usual self. You cancel Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Legends 3 and now you come and give us this? What a shame really...

 The game itself looks to be a lot of fun. I'll give you that but don't thank Capcom for it, thank the fans for such a cross over game. It will be quite fun to battle it out against Street Fighter characters, that's for sure.
 The level design also looks like a lot of fun. If you haven't noticed, the background of this pic looks quite familiar if you have played Street Fighter Alpha 2. I'll just leave it at that :p
You will be fighting against Dhalsin as well! That dude can sure stretch! Coming this December 17th, don't forget! Head over to the Capcom site and download away! It's definitely going to be interesting and fun to play. I still think Capcom is lazy and has disappointed me once again....


Retro Gaming News 164: Super Mario Bros. 11th Root of 3

By : Luis Zena

"A very challenging hack with remixed levels of 9th root of 3. In addition, many levels are new ones never before seen in the cube root series. This hack contains modified levels, maps and colors only.
Compatible ROMs: Super Mario Bros. 3(PRG-1) US [!].nes and most others should work."

 
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Finds 460: It's Puyo Puyo Fever and Imports!

By : Luis Zena
Here are some new arrivals straight from Japan! I had to see what all the Puyo Puyo talk was about so I picked up both games for the SFC and MD. I can play them with the help of adapters so I'm good to go! Game Genie Should do the trick! Anyways, I also picked up boxed copies of Final Fantasy 2 and 3 which look great as usual. That's actually my second boxed copy of Final Fantasy 3 so I might sell the one that's in worse shape :p. Finally, I got Monster Maker for the Famicom complete as well. I've never heard of such a game so it's a nice addition to my collection. 


 Puyo Puyo Fever (MD)
Puyo Puyo Fever (SFC)
Monster Maker (FC)
Final Fantasy 2 (FC)
Final Fantasy 3 (FC)


Finds 459: Club Nintendo Platinum Playing Cards!

By : Luis Zena

I got these in the mail yesterday and I guess I'm a little impressed. The cards are pretty kewl and all but I think last year's gift was a lot better. Still though, I finally have some playing cards to play poker with! ^_^ Strip poker anyone?

Club Nintendo Platinum Cards

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