I've been waiting to play an iteration of 'Itadaki Street' (as this series is known in Japan) for several years. A version came out for the Playstation 2 and PSP which starred Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest characters. Then, a version was released for the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, none of them were localized for the North American audience. Not until now! 'Itadaki Street' has finally made its North American appearance as Fortune Street, a unique game that combines aspects of Monopoly, the stock market, and the Mario and Dragon Quest universes.
Graphics - 4.0 The graphics in this game are on par with most recent Wii releases. They look pretty rough when compared to the HD capabilities of the PS3 and 360 but the Wii is no graphical powerhouse. Ultimately, they remind me of the other Mario-themed games that have been released on Wii (Mario Party 8, Mario Kart, etc). They do the job but they aren't going to make anyone's jaw drop. The Dragon Quest characters look good enough and if you've played those games, you'll probably get a kick out of seeing them done up in 3D.
Sound - 4.5 The music and sound effects are all pulled directly from Mario and Dragon Quest games. Depending on whether you're using a Mario or DQ character, you'll hear different sounds (ie. When a DQ character levels up in the game, the fanfare from the series plays). For anyone who is a fan of either series, the sound will definitely bring back some good memories. In fact, there were several Mario songs that I hadn't heard since the NES days. Also, the background music corresponds to whatever level you're playing on. These may seem like small things but they add a great deal to the overall feel of the game.
Gameplay - 4.5 Many of the negative reviews that I've seen have brought up the idea that this game is confusing. It's not. Sure, it takes a little bit of time to let all of the rules sink in but it's only slightly more complicated than Monopoly. In addition to this, there is both an easy (this mode leaves off building districts and buying/selling stock) and standard mode. Everyone starts off on a 'Bank' space. You roll the dice by hitting '2' or shaking the Wiimote. Then, you can pick which direction you want to move and make your way down a path. If you land on a property space, you can buy the property (just like Monopoly). Now, every time someone lands on your property, you get some money. You can increase the value of each property by investing money in it or by buying other properties in the same district (districts are very similar to the different colored spaces on a Monopoly board). The goal of the game is to be the first to collect a predetermined amount of money and return to the bank. As you go around the board, there are chance spaces and short single-player minigames that you can take part in. You can also buy and sell stock in the various districts. Once you own stock, you'll receive an extra dividend every time someone lands on a property there, even if you don't own it. All of this is done through menus that are fairly simple. Over all, the game is easy to control and if you invest some time in learning how it all works, you won't be disappointed. There are two slight problems with this game. It starts out kind of slow but if you can get through the first 10 or so minutes, it gets much better. Finally, if you play the single player mode, you might get annoyed with the constant talking between the CPU players.
Multiplayer - 5.0 This game's multiplayer mode is a ton of fun. It is a real blast to play if you can get three friends together and you can even play over Wi-Fi. Nintendo did this one right.
Replay - 5.0 This game has a ton of replay value. There are a number of unlockable levels, characters, and clothing/accessories for your Mii. If you unlock everything, it will take hours and hours and hours.
Overall, this game is a fantastic investment! I'd highly recommend spending more than 10-15 minutes with it though. Take the time to learn the standard rules and you won't be sorry.