In my spare time when my son is preoccupied, I pull out my handy dandy Nintendo DS. That’s how I game. All Nintendo Ds games.. most of them are J-RPGs, all the time. I’m 35 years old.
Usually that’s not that big a deal, but in November I went to the Gamestop counter and plopped down Wizard of Oz Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. I got that look. I was waiting for that Phineas and Ferb question: Aren’t you a little bit old to be playing a game like this?
My response would be “Yes. Why yes I am.”
But that didn’t stop me from buying this little gem of a game. It’s by the guys at XSEED and they make awesome games. I knew it was a “beginner” RPG and it played like one, as you travel the yellow brick road and beyond through the four seasons, and at the end of each season you fight a boss battle (a witch). Little did I know that once I got past the first two seasons, the game would get progressively harder and curse progressively louder.
Son of a! Let me say that I honestly just finished The Wizard of Oz game today. Yes. Two and a half months later. I start most of my games in 15 minute increments during breaks at work. I play that way until the game clicks and sucks me in. This game didn’t do that right away. It’s simplistic in that you use a track ball system to run down paths like a maze to find the exit to the next land. Random monster battles occur. You fight, use magic, or an item or run.
So it wasn’t until a business trip to San Antonio that I spent a good deal on a plane ride getting into the battle system and honing my skills (learning magic spells). By the time I was nearing the end of the game, I was finally won over and charmed by the lovely graphics and wonderful music.
The Wizard of Oz Beyond the Yellow Brick Road has the best graphics I’ve ever seen on the Nintendo DS. Even better than Kingdom Hearts. There has never been a title with colors so lush and warm. The music is also amazing and features Kaori Asoh providing the theme song track. If you are a video game music collector, I highly recommend buying the soundtrack to this game at play-asia.com
But back to the point of this whole blog. I just played one of the HARDEST boss battles in an RPG in a long long time. I won’t get spoilery but if you’ve seen the movie, then you probably know who the last boss is.. I will say that I’ve never been so busy resurrecting Dorothy and trying to power up my Tin Man to slash the ever living hell out of a monster boss. And the satisfaction of having my boy The Lion getting the final blow made me smile.
This game caught me off guard. I played the final boss 4 times before I beat him. I think it took me a solid 30 minutes to fight the last guy (on a DS game).
If you love JRPG’s this game is worth a look and who knows you just might be charmed like me.