Review: The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
The classic tale of Dorothy and her adventure through the Land of Oz is retold in The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road for the DS. The game features many of the same characters from the original as well as some new faces introduced along the way. Visually, the game features a new style that’s sure to impress. Check out the full review below to see how the rest of the game stacks up.
The story line for Beyond the Yellow Brick Road features many similarities with the original, but for the purpose of making a compelling game, some notable differences are included. The game starts out with Dorothy getting whisked into the Land of Oz in a cyclone with her dog Toto, and the Wizard of Oz appears to her and asks for her assistance. In return, he will send her back to her world. So you embark on your quest to the Emerald City to meet with the Wizard. Along the way, you meet up with the classic characters: the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Strawman. The difference in the game is you get to the Wizard very early in the story and he asks you to defeat the various witches that control each season. They are trying to usurp the throne from the Wizard of Oz, and so you set out on a quest to defeat each Queen, starting with the Queen of Spring. The story continues from there with some more twists and turns which are sure to appeal to anyone that has seen the original and/or newcomers alike.
Beyond the Yellow Brick Road features a very classic RPG gameplay. Your character, and the characters that join your party, level up based on battles and experience points gained in battles. Battles are encountered whenever you touch an enemy in the game and unfold in a semi turn based approach. In the battles, you’ll have to setup which moves you want to do in which order before the battle starts. In the beginning, you just control Dorothy with 4 available move ‘slots’. So you might have her attack in the first 2 slots, then Defend in the 3rd, and use a potion as her 4th move. It all depends on how many enemies and what type of enemy they are, so there’s definitely some strategy to it. As you recruit other characters such as the lion, strawman, and tin man, you’ll have to setup their moves before battles as well. Only this time, you’ll have to share the slots with each of them. After each series of moves (your moves plus the enemies’), you then select another series, so it’s not a set series for the entire battle. The battles aren’t as compelling as some other RPGs today, but they definitely require more thought than others.
Graphically, The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road looks very good for a DS game. The graphics are rendered in full 3D for cutscenes and for normal gameplay. The game also uses the touch screen/stylus for movement and really works well as a pseudo-analog stick. The graphics also feature rich environments that compliment the art style such as blossoming trees and bright colors. It’s definitely one of the better looking games for the DS.
The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road is a very good twist on a classic tale and the RPG gameplay is a great fit. While it’s not as compelling a title as a new Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda, it achieves a great deal with it’s art style, crisp 3D graphics, and original concept. If you’re in the market for a unique RPG game for your DS, you should definitely check it out.
The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: 7.5/10