The Fortune Street series, or Itadaki Street is a long-running series in Japan, and has seen very limited release otherwise. But here’s the question: did you already know that? Is this a series you have heard of? Does it matter to you? Well, if you enjoy playing great party games with friends, then perhaps you’ll want to pay attention.
What Is Fortune Street/Itadaki Street?
A brief rundown of the series….don’t worry, we’ll keep it brief. Itadaki Street is a series created by Enix, many years before its merger with Squaresoft. The game premise is simple, but deep. You play a board game with the goal to have a higher Net Worth than your opponents, done by accumulating ready cash and stocks, and buying properties. Yeah, I know, sounds awfully similar to Monopoly, right? But aside from stocks, there is much more to it: Mini-games, different boards with vastly different layouts, and of course, the main thing that separates it: the guest characters.
Starting with an entry for the PS2, many of the games have featured characters from the Dragon Quest series alongside other video game characters. What other characters, you ask? In the Nintendo DS and Wii entries of the series (the latter of which was one of the few to be localized), the Dragon Quest characters play alongside characters from the Mario series! As for the PS2, PSP, and the most recent entry for PS4 and Vita, the Dragon Quest characters will play with characters from the Final Fantasy series!
Why No/Little Localization?
So, being a series that has existed since the days of the Famicom and recently having such well-known characters, why is it that so few games have made it overseas? Moreover, why hasn’t the latest game in the series been localized, or even been hinted to be localized? Well, we can make a few educated guesses. First, Dragon Quest is a series that is wildly popular in Japan, but rarely makes waves in the west. Perhaps this is why the first game localized featured Mario and company….and that’s to say nothing of the fact that the the game was released for Wii, the prime destination for party games. Secondly, the game can be pretty complex and long, which can repel certain players.
Why Should You Care?
So, why should you concern yourself with this niche series? Well, there’s plenty of fan homages, if you enjoy any of the series contained within Fortune Street. The game is a tough sell if you don’t have friends to play with, but if you do? I can honestly say, there hasn’t been many other party games I’ve gone back to so consistently to play with friends. The gameplay sessions are always long, but never have they been a drag. This is truly a party game for the ages.
Here’s a gameplay video to give you an idea of what you are in for.
The video shows gameplay of the Wii iteration, and unless you understand Japanese, this is the entry I highly recommend starting from. As a Wii game, it’s a relatively cheap purchase on Amazon or your local Gamestop should they have a copy. Regardless of which version you decide to get, it will only take one game with a friend or a group of friends to understand why this series is great. It is my hope that more people discover this hidden gem of a party game. And who knows, maybe one day the recent release for PS4 will get localized, opening the door for more people! I must say, the fact that I imported this game without understanding Japanese speaks volumes to its quality!
What are your thoughts on the series? Has this heightened your interest? Were you already a fan? We want to know either way! You can reach us at WTFGamersOnly on all social media, and I am always good for a chat on Fortune Street on twitter!