Friday, May 14, 2010

The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

Developer: Media.Vision
Publisher: XSeed
Release Date: Sept. 30, 2009
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web site (Japanese)

In a nutshell: I'm not sure if it's more offensive to RPG fans or Wizard of Oz fans.

0:00 I've been putting off playing this one -- which XSeed sent me months ago -- because I'm relatively sure it will be awful and ruin my happy childhood memories of the movie. But I figure I have to try it out sometime, and stuck as I am away from home on a trip to Philadelphia, this seems as good a time as any.

0:01 The four main Wizard of Oz characters walk by on the bottom screen as an overproduced version of Over the Rainbow music transitions into some sort of generic Japanese anime theme song. Yes, really. Also, the tin man is incredibly fat, the scarecrow has a guitar for some reason, and Dorothy's skirt is incredibly short. I can already tell I'm not going to like what they've done with this.

0:04 The camera travels through dark cemetery with large jack-o-lanterns. "Our story begins... on a still night..." A witch with a ridiculous purple robe and a bright red hat stands with a book in her hands. "Every story needs a charming main character," she says. She needs a name for an adventurous girl. I pick Hortense, because Dorothy is too obvious. I name her puppy Bruno, because it strikes me as funny.

0:05 The book is raised to the sky in a beam of light, and then we're reading it. "In the peaceful countryside far from the city, where brooks babble gently in spring, bees waltz in summer, colorful leaves paint the world in autumn, and snow blankets the troubles of yesteryear in winter... lived a girl." Someone needs to teach this witch about the concept of a run on sentence, huh?

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