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REVIEW: Fortune Street (WII)
A Japanese favorite came to the United States for the holiday season. No, it wasn't a large city-stomping reptile, although it might may very well be the Godzilla of Monopoly-styled games.
The game features a cast of characters from both Nintendo's "Mario" and Square Enix's "Dragon Quest." I personally am unfamiliar with Dragon Quest but they are by no means an obscure bunch to all sides of the world.
Players will have their choice of Easy and Standard modes that can be played locally or online as part of country-wide battles. So, if you were hoping to get embarrassed by someone over in Japan who has been playing this game since 1991 when it first arrived to the public, your out of luck, but you can keep your pride.
Both Easy and Standard versions of the game run essentially the same. You roll the die and move across spaces that you can buy with your initial gold total. Any player landing on a space you purchased will result in them paying rent that can be increased by the owner throughout the game utilizing the shop upgrades and cards bonuses acquired by landing on "Suits".
These suited spaces when reached will allow you to draw a card that reveal both advantages and disadvantages toward your target goal. Each suit crossed will be stored in your inventory. Once all four have been acquired, head straight to the bank and cash them in for bonus bucks to add to your property empire. Mario and friends pass GO and invest on Fortune Street.
The player who reaches the target amount of net worth and makes it safely back to the bank will stand proudly atop an Olympic-like stand in all their glory as the winner.
The Easy version of the game is a fun introduction that won't slow you down too much. It will prepare you for the extended rules awaiting in the Standard mode, where you will be able to buy stocks and apply funding to districts in hopes of seeing investments add to growth of your income.
If you recall how long these types of games could take to pan out years ago during a family game night, the added investing may tack on even more time to complete a single game of "Fortune Street" with a group. Luckily, you can let the game continue when you can't with the "Out To Lunch" feature. Just hit that for anyone who has to make a detour from "Fortune Street" and the computer will take it from there.
This game is highly addictive, but it might be a little misleading for younger fans of the "Mario" franchise. There is a serious lack of mini-games that has set the Wii apart from other consoles. It was frustrating not to see more cards revealing a variety of them upon landing on a suited space. Plus, the toon you use to play the game has no impact, which is a bit disappointing,
That said, Fortune Street is an interactive board game for that you can enjoy alone or with friends. However be prepared to invest both your savings and your time.