Have you ever wanted to see Cloud go head-to-head against Tidus in a no holds barred battle royale? Well now you can … at a board game.
Itadaki Street lets you pit classic heroes and villains from both Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy over their 30-plus life spans in 4-player competitive games of property management and chance. After choosing your favourite avatar, you engage in a battle of luck and strategy as you buy property, level up as you pass Go, and even trade on a mini stock market.
Let’s get the most anticipated question out of the way first: Do the characters have different special abilities? Wouldn’t it be awesome if Yuna could summon Yojimbo and just cut down your opponents’ upgraded buildings?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The characters do not have different gameplay mechanics so picking one over another will only be a cosmetic choice. However, they do chime in with character-specific taunts and laments at appropriate times, which are a treat for hardcore fans who will definitely get the in-game references.
Gameplay is fairly standard, with players rolling a dice to go around the board to snap up property or pay rent to rivals. You can also level up your character by collecting icons of each suit (spades, hearts, clubs, diamonds) scattered around the board. This becomes a strategic decision of choosing where to go next on the game board area, as the player has a choice of which direction to take at junctions (unlike real Monopoly).
Speaking of the game boards, the simpler ones are static and relatively small. But as you earn fortune points for playing the game, you can unlock more complex game boards with more creative elements. This may include switching up the tiles at preset intervals, adding teleporters, and many other themed surprises, which add variety and spice to an otherwise simple concept.
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There are also chance tiles on the board, and what happens when you land on them is up to fate. A good outcome might be to have one of your properties randomly upgraded to the next level, while a negative one would force you to rest for one round of turns which forfeits your rent collection. There are also exciting casino tiles, a great nostalgic sound track, and a stock market tied to property ownership that requires careful manipulation.
Itadaki Street: Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy will be more enjoyable for those gaming connoisseurs who have savoured each and every one of the previous RPG titles. But even for the uninitiated, there’s enough here for a slower-paced gamer’s night in.
The only caveat is that the HK$468 price tag for the PS4 version is on the high side, so you might want to grab the PS Vita version (HK$368) or wait for a price drop.
Disclaimer: This review was written with a review copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment Hong Kong Limited.