Fortune Street (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 28.06.2011 8

Review for Fortune Street on Wii

The Itadaki Street series is by no means a new one, with the video board game stretching back as far as the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, albeit being classed as a Business Simulation back then. Whilst it looked like the Nintendo DS edition from a few years back might make it abroad, sadly nothing ever occurred, yet now there has been confirmation that the Monopoly-esque title from Square Enix will hit both the US and Europe in Autumn 2011, with Nintendo on publishing duties in the West.

Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest & Mario is arriving in time for the series’ 20th anniversary celebrations in Japan, although a firm release date has yet to be confirmed, and in the same year as Dragon Quest’s 25th anniversary, the popular RPG from Yuji Horii. This particular entry into the board game marks not only the first time it will have appeared on Wii, but will also be the debut outing in Western territories under the altered name of Fortune Street. This surely has to be a working title, as even the Japanese name drives home the point that both Dragon Quest and Super Mario-related characters are to be featured, unless Nintendo wants to ensure it is kept as a separate entity to Mario Party 9 to avoid confusion. Fortune Street is not being developed by either Nintendo or Square Enix, though, which may surprise some, with AQ Interactive actually at the reins. This is the team that co-developed The Last Story on Wii with Mistwalker, as well as making Animal Resort for Marvelous Entertainment on Nintendo 3DS. Given the group’s experience with Wii, it is not shocking Square Enix has turned to an external team to handle Fortune Street.

The beauty of Fortune Street is that AQ Interactive is including a Beginner’s Mode to not only encourage newcomers from the Japanese market to sample the new offering, but to also ease in Western gamers that have never heard of Itadaki Street at all, or have and just presume it is exactly the same as Monopoly and overlook the complexities that make it a far more engrossing experience. Fortune Street is definitely inspired by the popular property-related board game, with players aiming to make the right property purchases on the game’s board, but they also need to buy stocks and take part in various mini-games in order to gain as much money as humanly possible. The stock market element only opens up in the advanced mode, with newcomers having to work through the beginners’ mode successfully to have a chance at earning even more money.

Players are to jump onto the various boards on offer, corner the market and make a fortune in what is similar to a gaming version of real estate and stock marketing business, albeit with a fun twist, rather than ruthless back-stabbing and high levels of stress. The aim is to race around a board, attempting to accumulate as much money as possible, whilst buying, selling and trading property with friends and family in the most efficient manner to win the overall game. Being on Wii there is the obligatory option to use the motion controls for shaking the die that leads to movement around each board, but there is also the positive inclusion of localised online play across the country using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. There has been no confirmation that this feature will be included abroad, but it would be quite surprising to exclude it, even if it is a region-specific mode.

There were a total of thirteen Dragon Quest and twelve Super Mario characters in Itadaki Street DS, and it has now been revealed that the following will initially be available to play with from the Mushroom Kingdom: Bowser, Lakitu, Yoshi, Daisy, Peach, Mario, Luigi, Toad, Wario, Waluigi, Donkey Kong, and Birdo. As for the Square Enix side of the table, the line-up so far is:
Bag o’ Laughs, Tails Brigade, Jessica, Angelo, Princess of Moonbrooke, Bianca, Slime, Alena, Kiryl, Heal Slime, Young Yangus, Carver, and one of the main scoundrels from the Dragon Quest universe. There is also the possibility of bringing a Mii into proceedings in the hope of out-smarting a Heal Slime, plus there are other characters and even game maps (there are more than fifteen so far) to be revealed in the run-up to launch.

Shops can be bought, symbols can be collected that are traded for cash in banks, specialist investments can be made, as well as making strategic land purchases to ensure anyone unfortunately landing on your area will have to foot the subsequent bill, especially if the stores on said land have been levelled up over time thanks to other retail sectors on adjacent land. Grab properties that are currently without owner, invest wisely and collect enough gold to deposit in the bank to win the game. You have to be in it to win it, and Fortune Street definitely looks like a potential goldmine for Nintendo and Square Enix.

Final Thoughts

The Nintendo DS Itadaki Street scored a stunning 36/40 in Famitsu and has sold around half a million copies in Japan so far, and this Wii update, Fortune Street, looks like more of the same addictive fun for all the family. Could this turn out to be the best in the long-running series? Thankfully Western gamers will be able to make that decision later this year.

Also known as

Fortune Street

Developer

Square Enix

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Party

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10 (5 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It's Mario Party + Dragon Quest universe... and it's going to be added to my collection.

There so should have been a Mario and Final Fantasy Itadaki Street by now.

Image for

Umm, what the hell happened to the post count for this preview? Smilie

We're investigating at the moment. Smilie

Roger (guest) 28.06.2011#5

They really should release the DS game as well - nobody would know it's 3 years old!

now see, a charming puzzle/party game is SO much better than say, Sonic and Mario doing sports events via wiggle waggle... THIS is how to do a cross over, this or marvel vs Capcom.

EdEN said:
It's Mario Party + Dragon Quest universe... and it's going to be added to my collection.

I'm with you there! I think I'll prefer playing this to Mario Party 9, to be honest.

Azuardo said:
There so should have been a Mario and Final Fantasy Itadaki Street by now.

Considering how both Mario Basket and Mario Sports Mix both have Nintendo and Final Fantasy characters included, I'm VERY surprised that FF has been left out of this. However, the official website has this listed as part of the Dragon Quest 25th Anniversary celebrations (clearly ignoring the 20th Anniversary of Itadaki Street, which means 'Top Street,' by the way).

Roger (guest) said:
They really should release the DS game as well - nobody would know it's 3 years old!

I totally agree. Could have been a great double-whammy and I have no idea why the DS game wasn't released in the first place since it WAS planned, but then canned.

welshwuff said:
now see, a charming puzzle/party game is SO much better than say, Sonic and Mario doing sports events via wiggle waggle... THIS is how to do a cross over, this or marvel vs Capcom.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games... *shudders* I don't like either of the DS games or the Wii ones. With any luck the third one for the 2012 Olympics will be better, though.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Jimmy D (guest) 07.07.2011#8

Think I'd prob play the DS one more. Should appeal to families, though.

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