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Adam Ghiggino
22 Jan, 2012

Boom Street Review

Wii Review | Going out with a boom.
Right, so Boom Street is the Australian and European title for Fortune Street which is itself the American title for the Wii incarnation of the previously-Japanese exclusive board game series Itadaki Street. It's the first English translated incarnation of the series, which apparently means it deserves three names. Boom Street combines characters from both Nintendo's Mario stable and Square-Enix's Dragon Quest in a battle of property buying and share prices. This may sound like a strange idea to our Western sensibilities, and to be honest, it is.

Well, alright. It's actually not too far removed from probably the most classic board game out there - Monopoly. Four players have to move around the board collecting four suits (spade, club, diamond and heart) before being allowed to return to the bank (the start) and collect a paycheck. On the way, players land on properties (stores) which they can buy and use to collect money off any other unfortunate players who happen to land on them (somehow becoming compelled to spend their hard earned cash in the store). As the game progresses, more and more squares are taken, stores are improved to raise money harvested off other players, and the game's pace increases until finally someone reaches the required amount of money to win the game.

But Edgeworth never comes second.

But Edgeworth never comes second.
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Actually getting to that point is the trick, and mark our words this is a game that will test your patience. For the first couple hours of a normal game, the pace is very slow indeed, as players creep across the board and superfluous dialogue and text prompts keep popping up. When playing in local multiplayer with three friends, this is understandable as everyone has to have a go and see what's going on, but when playing through the game's single player mode the lack of a fast forward or skip function can get annoying really quickly. As you're the only real player among four, it means you're watching the computer play with itself 3/4 of the time, which doesn't exactly make for tense or exciting gameplay. While online play is an option, we found it difficult to find anyone to play with, and when we did matches tended to be cut short by players leaving early.

With that said, the Boom Street board game itself is well made. The 'Easy Mode' feels a lot like Monopoly and is indeed quite easy to get into, while playing with the normal rules adds 'districts' and a stock exchange. Districts are groups of properties on the board whose value is determined by the price of stores within them. You can buy shares in these districts and then improve the properties within them to drive their price up. It's actually a fun way to gain a basic understanding of the stock market, and there are plenty of strategic ways to play it in the game.

Being a video game board game as opposed to a board game board game, there are some gimmicks thrown in to take advantage of the digital format. An arcade can be landed on that launches a range of mini-games, although most of them rely on pure luck. One features a 'Slime racing' game that sees players choose a Slime from a starting line-up, then watch as they run an obstacle course completely controlled by the computer, and we got flattened by a boulder within the first ten seconds every single time. Luck is always a factor in board games, but we still wish players had more control during these mini-games, perhaps in a Mario Party-like fashion.

Marvel at the thrill of Bowser owing Mario money.

Marvel at the thrill of Bowser owing Mario money.
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There are several boards to play on, each based on locations from the Dragon Quest and Mario series, with bright colourful graphics and decent representations of characters from both worlds. While some boards feel similar, others have their own quirks that make them stand out, such as one with a rotating island of squares that can become a death-trap for anyone who gets stuck there among high-value properties. There are plenty of items to unlock - all of which are used to dress up your in-game Mii with various costumes. It's not the greatest incentive to spend hours in the main 'Tour' mode of the game, but it's something at least.

If we haven't made it clear, Boom Street can be an incredibly slow experience that many will simply not have the patience for. However, the fundamentals of the Itadaki Street board game are actually pretty solid, and if you stick with it for a few games you'll likely start enjoying yourself more and more. It's a shame that all the digital window dressing doesn't help the game's pacing or add more interactivity, but we still think that there's a niche audience out there who'll be able to put that aside and enjoy the game with a few friends. Boom Street may not be for everyone, but it's certainly not bad either.
The Score
Boom Street is a pleasant and surprisingly enjoyable board game for those who have the time and patience to actually be able to sit through a few games. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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9 Comments
2 years ago
Got any non Nintendo reviews coming up soon?? Im not hating on Nintendo but would like to hear from some other platforms too. icon_smile.gif
2 years ago
ahh nintendo... the company that never grew up...

@banefire, theres lots of downloadable games coming out for the (real) consoles, hopefully they get reviewed aswell considering they're probably on par with a wii game.

zzzing...
2 years ago
sometimes I've gotta wonder how a game like this exists?

Like at what point were the heads of Nintendo, and the heads of capcom sitting around together all thinking "Shit there need to be more video games like monopoly!"

It just seems really weird.
2 years ago
Actually, I'd like to see more board games get adapted into video games, or even just see more original board games created for game console. I really like the idea and format, which is why Boom Street is a real gem imo. It's a little slow paced at times, but it's also a lot of fun, especially in multiplayer.
2 years ago
don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against the idea, (although personally not a fan but whatever) it's just a really fucking weird combination of things.

I mean lets take
Famous platforming franchise, famouse JRPG franchise, monopoly and throw them all together?

that's just... so incredibly odd.
2 years ago
Benza wrote
don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against the idea, (although personally not a fan but whatever) it's just a really **** weird combination of things.

I mean lets take
Famous platforming franchise, famouse JRPG franchise, monopoly and throw them all together?

that's just... so incredibly odd.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Itadaki_Street

Take a long running series by the creator of Dragon Quest, and, a few games later, add Dragon Quest characters. A few games after that, add characters from the highest selling franchise ever.

Its not really that odd.
2 years ago
I prefer my idea of how it happened.
2 years ago
Benza wrote
I prefer my idea of how it happened.
shotdownbybenza.jpg?
2 years ago
that's gonna be a thing isn't it?
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