hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Fortune Street

Review: Fortune Street

6:00 PM on 01.11.2012 // Jonathan Holmes

At first glance, Fortune Street may look like another Mario-themed, board game-structured mini-game collection. It's not. Anyone who picks this game up expecting another light, mindless, motion-controlled mini-game romp like Mario Party 8 or Wii Party will be sorely disappointed.

It really shows that the Itadaki Street (Fortune Street's Japanese name) series was created by Dragon Quest series designer Yuji Horii, and not just by the fact that it's totally infested with adorable Dragon Quest monsters. Just like Dragon Quest, Fortune Street is a turn-based, menu-driven game of patience that will reward you kindly if you take the time to level up your characters and manage your resources, and punish you dearly if you try to rush through things and take the easiest path to victory. I'm sure that some of you out there would consider that a "party" or even have PhD's in business management and/or advanced statistics. 

Fortune Street has the cold, brutal soul of a old-school, turn-based RPG and the face of a steely-eyed accountant, all wrapped in a cute candy shell. Read on to see if this is a cold candy that's right for you!

Fortune Street (Wii)
Developer
Armor Street, Square Enix
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: December 23, 2011
MSRP: $49.99

The easiest game to compare Fortune Street to would be Monopoly, though Fortune Street is much, much more complicated. Most virtual board games seem sort of unnecessary to me, as all the game does for you is move your character around, roll the virtual dice for you, and keep track of whatever numbers are involved. Fortune Street is something else entirely. Between the buying and selling of stocks, fluctuating values of various properties, and 15 different boards, there is a lot to keep track of. 

It all comes together to create a game that almost has what it takes to win over hordes of people who would normally not enjoy this sort of "casual" game, as there is really nothing casual about the level of depth presented here. Sadly, Fortune Street still has enough cracks and quirks that it'll probably only appeal to hardcore financial strategists and board game enthusiasts. 

The game basically works like this: you start at the bank which lies at the center of the board. From there, you roll the dice and decide what direction you should head down (usually left or right, but some of the bigger boards may give you more options). Then you purchase property in the Monopoly style, roll more dice, choose the direction of your path again when you hit a fork in the road, and make your way around the board as you see fit. The four corners of the board contain special blocks that represent the four suits (Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, and Spades). Hit them all and head back to the bank and you level up, which scores you some dough and better stats.

While at the bank, you can also buy and sell stocks, which is where a lot of the advanced strategy comes in. Buy stock in someone else's property and you'll increase how much profit they make off of said property while skimming a bit off the top for yourself. You can also invest in your own property, bolstering its profit potential at a cost, buy and sell property with other players, and partake in a variety of other financial strategies. Factor in different strategies around where you buy property and which property is geographically more likely to turn a profit (for instance, properties near the bank have a higher chance of being hit by other players, etc.) and you have a lot to think about, definitely more than in your standard game of Monopoly.

If that's too much for you, you can turn on "easy rules" which disable the whole stock system and generally streamlines things. This version of the game is still more complicated than most board games but is a little more accessible; it's probably the best bet for new players not looking to be weighed down with too much too soon.

Also there to keep things light are the "fun" squares on the board that have all sorts of random purposes. There is one that sends you to a carnival where you play a Mario Party-style mini-game (Slime racing, darts, etc.) for some money. Don't worry, waggle haters -- none of the games I played were motion-controlled, and they always ended within a minute or so. There are also blocks that allow you to play a Super Mario Bros. 3-inspired "flip the card" game of chance, transportation squares, and other oddities. Again, all this might have been too much to keep track or just wouldn't make any sense in a "real" board game, which further justifies Fortune Street's existence as a videogame.

Then there is the global online play, which I've had zero issues with in terms of lag or other online difficulties. There are generally a lot of people around when I sign on (most of them from Japan), and our matches are as smooth and breezy as you've always dreamed an online board game simulator could be. There is no chat or other bells and whistles, but the basics are there, which is probably all someone planning to play this game online will need.

With Fortune Street, all the fundamentals are there, but the devils pop up in the details. For starters, it takes forever to play through your average game. The game itself moves along fairly quickly, without too many lengthy animations to sit through, but there is just so much to the game and it's so hard to win (or lose) that it just goes on and on and on. I've played a match online that lasted five hours (though my average match has been closer to two to three hours long). That would be okay if you could save and quit, but expecting anyone to spend half a work day playing a board game simulator is asking a lot.

There is also the fact that, in order to unlock all the game's boards, you have to play through the exceptionally long and repetitive campaign mode. This goes for a lot of the Mario-based content, too. Many of the boards and their accompanying musical themes available from the start of multiplayer mode are based on the Dragon Quest universe, and as such, lack the pep and punch necessary to keep you from falling asleep during one of those two to three hours games. I had a hard time keeping my friends playing past the third round on the first board we played on, which featured some slow baroque jams and a relatively lifeless castle in the background. 

Things don't get that much better on the Mario stages either. Songs tend to be a bit peppier, but generally speaking, there still isn't a lot going on there visually. Generally speaking, the game doesn't have a ton of personality, something that can really hurt a slow grind like this. For example, I have a close friend (who may appear in a future episode of TtWaV) who plays Monopoly Streets on the Wii several times a week because she thinks the Wheelbarrow character is hilarious. If it weren't for Wheelbarrow's snorts and swearing under her breath, she probably wouldn't play the game that often. From what I can tell, Fortune Street has no such comic relief character. Though the text-based dialog can sometimes be a hoot on premise alone (minor Dragon Quest enemies like Slimes and ducks talking about how badly they want to become financial tycoons or mafia bosses is pretty charming), the dry delivery and tendency towards repeating the same text causes things to get old fast.

The part of me that loves money-collecting competitive board games is totally ecstatic that the Itadaki Street series has finally made it out of Japan, while a much more dominant part of my personality is aware that I won't ever make time to play it. The game's average speed, measured in stimulating moments per minute, is way too low for it to ever become a priority in my life. I do plan to play it with friends every once and a while, but I'll have to pick those friends carefully.

Fortune Street is so dense, complicated, and time consuming that it's hard to imagine that your average mini-game fan will be able to get into it, especially if they were expecting a short and shallow series of 30-second competitions. Factor in how dry and personality-free the game can be, and you have a real tough sell for those looking for anything less than the most complex multiplayer finance-based board game on the market. That said, if you like the idea of an online-enabled Super Monopoly Streets Fighter II Turbo, then this game will more than do the job for you. 



THE VERDICT

7

Fortune Street - Reviewed by Jonathan Holmes
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Ju... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Script avatarScript
I would wait for a chance to play the game by myself, but I just have to know. Is David Hayter in MGS V in any way? Please no spoilers.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Guys, serious question... How can I make D-Horse to poop?
gajknight avatargajknight
Goddammit @ FullmetalJ, you have poisoned my mind with...whatever the hell this is.[youtube]https://youtu.be/wv0iUKb80C8[/youtube] It's so, so catchy. Go suck a baguette. And thanks :3. Yes I have listened to all of it.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
That time when Mr. Destructoid went to Vegas [img]http://i.imgur.com/hYEQG7z.jpg[/img]
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
As someone who hasn't played the MGS series at all, should I play it by release date or story order?
Vuster avatarVuster
Been watching a good friend play the Metal Gear game on twitch soon. I will say I can understand the appeal 100% and Kojima knows how to make a great piece of work. I think will hold off on a new pc and get this if this keeps up!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So I can plug any headphones I want into my PS4 controller. If said headphones have a mic, will it work in chat?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Gee whilikers, guys. I might just explain where I've been and what I've been up to while I've been gone. That'd be a good topic for a c-blog getting me whipped back into shape, right? I'ma try to write more, so expect more of me in the future!
bloma avatarbloma
Just bought Fez for xbox 360. Playing it on my 58 inch plasma. What a beautiful game.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
So there's a chance more MKX characters are being revealed today. Now, I'm not saying you *should* cross your fingers and say a prayer for me to get my waifu Sindel just, y'know, it would be monstrous of you to make me cry with your lack of love & support
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I feel terrible for not reading most of you beautiful people's blogs. Let's just say my passion is writing, not reading :s
techsupport avatartechsupport
People can debate GOTY all they want, but the real question is: D-Horse or Roach?
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I'm dragging myself away from my PS4 long enough to say that MGS V is pretty darn awesome so far.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
Down with that PAX Pox. Auhhhghghghhhh
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV: Sneaking into a heavily guarded Russian military base in Afghanistan at night, slashing throats while listening to this. [youtube]https://youtu.be/-hWZqllm3mQ[/youtube] Comes off like a perfectly planned scene in a Scorsese movie or something.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Tortilla chips: The only food I know and love to betray me by deciding to flip to a bad angle and stab me in the gums.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Fortune Street


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -