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Fortune Street favors the board game fan


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Of all the surprises Nintendo tossed out during E3, none was as random as Fortune Street. And it's weird whether you know the history or not; if you don't pay attention to old imports, it's just a Mario/Dragon Quest board game for Wii, which is unquestionably bizarre. But for those of us in the know about relatively obscure crossover games, Fortune Street is the left-field localization of a series that has been a fixture in Japan since 1991: Itadaki Street.

Itadaki Street, created by Dragon Quest's Yuji Horii, is a video board game series about buying shops on spaces on the board, charging other players for occupying those shops Monopoly-style, and increasing your wealth by clever placement of yourself and your holdings (passing by the "bank" increases the value of stuff you own, as does owning contiguous blocks) and through manipulation of a "stock market."

I didn't happen to see the stock market in my quick demo, but I did buy a clothing shop and other assorted businesses on the board ... as a slime, which is pretty wonderful to think about. The corners of the Bowser-themed board had playing card suits (spade, club, etc.) which would deliver a cash bonus if all four were collected and then the Bank was crossed. I didn't hit that milestone, but I did land on one of those suits, which gave me a chance to draw a card for a random effect like more pay for my businesses, or (what I got) the opportunity to buy any one space on the board.

Some previous Itadaki Streets have featured crossovers between Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest; the 2007 DS iteration was the first to mix Mario and the RPG mainstay. This first-ever North American release will be out on Wii this holiday season. Check out a trailer after the break.

Gallery: Fortune Street (Wii) | 23 Photos

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