Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fortune Street - The Game That Goes "LOL You're Alone!"




This game is not meant to be played solo. And likely simillar to Monopoly you might end up frustrated and hate your friends and/or family when the game ends. Fortune Street is a famous Japanese board game that shares elements from Monopoly but far more convoluted and complicated. And now those in the US can play it too.

About the Game

This game is a Japanese long running favorite called Itadaki Street. Originally started out as a minigame in Dragon Quest III that eventually just got turned into it's own game. So basically this is a case of a game having a popular minigame that ends up becoming a stand alone series.

Now you can call this game Monopoly but I bet the diehard fans of these games will flame you with corrections saying that it's not Monopoly. Despite sharing a lot of elements. To be more accurate you could describe it as Japanese Monopoly or Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep's Command Board. Or miniature stock market.

This game ended up rather famous and caught my eye ages ago back in 2004/2005. When a game called Dragon Quest/Final Fantasy Itadaki Street was shown in an issue of GameInformer. Showing everyone favorite iconic FF characters on a monopoly board. Unforntunately this game did not make it to the US. Years later Fortune Street is released. Showing the same gameplay. I never thought of buying it cause I was concerned with other games.

Well now that I rented the game. I think I'll pass on this.


How to Play

So if you're familiar with Monopoly or KH:BBS's Command Board. You can easily get the hang of this game. You move around the game board buying and selling properties. Charging others who happen to land on your properties. You can buy, sell, trade, or auction properties. To make money.

The similarites start to end here however. You're able to raise the property value of what you own by putting more money into it. Like buying a house/hotel in Monopoly. However there's a cap as to how much can go into it and you're not limited by how many plastic houses you have.

The goal of the game is reach the target net worth value and make it back to the bank first. Should a player go bankrupt depending on the rules the game can end prematurely. To raise your net worth aside from hoping that your opponents land on your properties. You collect the 4 suited cards placed around the board and travel back to the bank. Every time you do this you're given money based on how much you own and how much money was made during the time of you traveling around the board back to the bank. It's complicated.

Now I haven't tried this but according to the advance rules you can invest in the stock market as well. I don't know much about it but if it's anything like the real stock market (or Wall Street Kid for the NES). I'm avoiding this like the plague. And like always there's random BS that can either screw you over or help you out. But there's no jail.

Experience

Now my adventures solo. My 3 times playing this game so far range from normal ,to frustrating, to "Please, END IT ALREADY!!".

The tutorial was simple and to be honest the AI was stupid. Probably on purpose. Although they weren't that stupid as to automatically let me win. I did have issues with this tutorial as in the tutorial should have ended instead of dragging it on until I win.

Now my first experience against the AI. Face Dragon Quest characters I don't know anything about really. I know a small bit of the monsters (cause I played Dragon Quest Monsters before) but outside of that I know nothing of these guys. They sure talk a lot. And let's be honest they're really stingy.  Trying to buy properties from them pretty much was the AI telling me to "Go **** myself!"

But that's not where the problem came about. My problem came about with the AI's dice rolls. I started noticing that the AI was getting very convenient rolls or really I should say they pulled a Joey Wheeler of Yu-Gi-Oh with those stupid dice. The dice rolls always seemed to be in there favor. I could barely get a chance to actually buy a property cause they easily bought up the majority of them. It got even worse when it came to late game and the AI would just roll the dice and get the perfect number to avoid what's essentially the Boardwalk and Park Place on the board.

*those that don't know about Monopoly. Boardwalk and Park Place are the 2 most expensive properties in the game and owning them pretty much insured your victory over others as when they landed on it the unlucky player is usually bankrupt.

This kept happening. As the match went on for an hour. Where I somehow ended up taking 2nd.

Well these Dragon Quest characters annoy me. So screw them. Let's go to the more friendly Mario characters. Mario is a completely different plumber when it comes to the stock market. Bowser Jr. used his underhanded tactics and Yoshi was the unlucky newbie that got taken advantage of. So a repeat of the same as the previous game. Only difference this took 2 HOURS! And I won somehow.

So aside from the AI cheating the game with there convenient dice rolls. What annoyed me to death was how long everything took. While the game did recognize this slightly it still dragged things out too long. Every turn the AI characters had something to say when there turn came up. Then the AI had more things to say when there turn finished or when I did something. A lot of times I think they were plotting my death cause there responses was rather borderline pissed off.

Gameplay Complaints

I wish there was a fast-forward button or just an option to speed the game up. Cause things were taking a really long time. There is an option to let the AI play the game for you and suspend your game but it's not enough. As for letting the AI play for you. You have to choose from a list of preset AI patterns. And you gotta unlock the others. So I clearly don't trust the AI with my financial future.

Music

The music is great. I honestly would like these songs to be on other games. I actually read a bunch of youtube comments when looking up the music of this game complaining that the good music is on this game and no where else. You would think Smash Bros would get some of this.

Overall

Like I said this game can get insanely boring especially when playing alone. Aside from the cheating AI you would just get bored watching as things repeat waiting for an oppurtunity to make a big play. With no way to speed things up I got really bored to where I was sleepy.  This game is definitely not meant to be played solo. At least Mario Party you got to do something other than move across the board.

I do however like the music and if you can find the music whether on Youtube or some OST I recommend giving it a listen.

I wouldn't reccommend this game unless A. Your a fan of these games. or B. you have reliable number of family or friends to play with you. Otherwise prepare to be frustrated and bored with this game.