OK folks, NOW it's official! Here's the press release in its entirety (so go pre-order the game already!):
Torrance, Calif., (July 20, 2009) – XSEED Games today announced that THE WIZARD OF OZ: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, for the Nintendo DS is currently in development and scheduled for release in North America in Fall 2009. Released as RIZ-ZOAWD by D3Publisher in Japan, THE WIZARD OF OZ: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road is an RPG inspired by the beloved tale of Dorothy and her magical journey through the Land of Oz, showing a unique new perspective on what happened after reaching the end of the Yellow Brick Road.THE WIZARD OF OZ: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road takes gamers through the endearing adventure of protagonist Dorothy and her lovely dog, Toto, turning these charming characters into classic RPG heroes. A tornado suddenly strikes a small farm in Kansas, savagely uprooting Dorothy and Toto with just one gust. After hours of dancing around in the bushel of wind, the pair eventually settles in an unfamiliar countryside. It is here Dorothy learns that the only way to return home is by following the ominous voice calling out to her to the end of the Yellow Brick Road. On her journey, Dorothy encounters some unlikely characters who eventually decide to join her on her quest.
Dorothy and Toto, together with their newfound companions – the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man— embark on an enchanting voyage filled with many obstacles. Upon reaching the castle at the end of the Yellow Brick Road, the group learns from a mysterious wizard that the magical land has been taken over by four evil witches that are running amuck. Dorothy and her friends are tasked with defeating the witches with a return trip to Kansas as the reward, but is this new mission beyond the Yellow Brick Road everything it appears to be?
"XSEED is extremely happy to be taking part in bringing this beloved tale to life in an interactive format,” said Jun Iwasaki, President of XSEED Games. “Everyone knows the story of how Dorothy arrived in Oz, but this is a unique interpretation on what happened afterwards."
THE WIZARD OF OZ: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road presents an unorthodox yet accessible method of gameplay in a beautifully realized 3-dimensional Land of Oz with an original soundtrack. Utilizing the touch screen capabilities of the DS, all actions are completely controlled by the stylus, including Dorothy’s movement and speed which respond to the rotation of a large trackball on the bottom screen that is spun using the stylus. THE WIZARD OF OZ: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road also features turn-based battles from a first-person viewpoint, with multiple customization options allowing the game to recommend the best actions per turn for expedited play, or manual entry for more involved gameplay.
XSEED Games partnered with D3Publisher to secure the North American rights to publish and distribute THE WIZARD OF OZ: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. This title is being developed by Media.Vision and will be available during Fall 2009 exclusively for the Nintendo DS.
I'll have my hands-on impressions of the game (which is really beautiful, by the way) posted later this week - stay tuned.