After following this topic, I was pleased to finally get to ride N:ST on Tuesday, and that I would be riding the improved version as my first experience of it. Here's what I thought:
Firstly, the noises coming from the scare maze, which you can hear as you approach Forbidden Valley work wonders. The rumbles and blasts sound intimidating; and if I hadn't already known what was inside I would have assumed it was a ride far crazier than a frog hopperExtremis. This coupled with people running out of the exit screaming certainly conjures an exciting atmosphere to the new ride area. Still, I spent the 30 minute queue trying to quash my excitement level down, which is easily done when looking at those uninspired shipping containers. Couldn't help thinking that a few bits of broken eggs shells dotted around, or red tentacles snaking around the building, would have been a nice visual touch for the outside.
The actor dispatching riders before the video acted very authoritative and shouted a lot, setting a slightly edgy tone in the room before the video played. From here on N:ST was predominantly a pleasant surprise, simply because I wasn't expecting to feel so immersed within its' narrative. As soon as I stepped into that first claustrophobic lift, the sunshine and grabber machines outside felt a million miles away.
The ride chamber itself was a bit hectic. It jumps from 'pleasant research brief' to 'everything's going horribly wrong' very quickly; perhaps it would have been scarier if the suspense and fear was built up more gradually. Like little noises or lighting flashes interrupting the egg information display out of the blue, but then things return to normal a few times, just to make things feel a bit more unpredictable.
Anyway, I found the anticipation for the drop was better than the drop itself because it was heightened by the darkness, the rumbling and the spray of water. But the glimpse at the broken eggs below didn't last long enough to deliver much impact in the narrative, maybe instead maintaining the pitch black darkness and just having a really loud 'ROOAAR!!', then several Nemmy eyes glowing in the darkness, would work better. The back prodders and leg ticklers had me laughing and screaming at the same time though, they're a great use of in-seat effects and got a huge reaction from the riders in the chamber.
However, it was the panicked evacuation where I felt the ride really came into it's stride. The malfunctioning second lift, the darkness, strobe lights and loud frantic sounds were genuinely quite stressful. There was a desperate atmosphere and midst the group when those lift doors opened and everyone scrambled to get out.
The beginning of the 'exit 10' style maze was brilliantly ominous, with actors making me jump left, right and center. It was disorientating and confusing; and made very effective use of space; as, considering it is a short maze, I still felt very relieved to find the exit!
As an engrossing experience, N:ST gets a 7/10 from me. A unique new attraction which is an atmospheric and worthwhile addition to the park, but still has room for improvement. It will be interesting to see what they do with it for ScareFest. That said, it still just didn't have that mesmerizing hammer-horror-style *feeling* that Nemesis had in the 90s... (sorry for writing an essay!)
Last edited by BananaRoll
on Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.