Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable is a lot like a Square Enix themed game of Monopoly. The goal is to buy properties on certain colored streets and make a lot of money. If you happen to own all, or most, of the properties on say, the yellow street, you'll be able to upgrade the shops on each property and make more money. Isn't capitalism great?
Players who land on your properties have to pay you money based on what kind of shops are there. An interesting twist is that opposing players can purchase one of your properties if they have enough money and ruin your monopoly.
Each board has a monetary goal. If you reach it, you must then dash to the bank to be crowned the winner. If you don't, well, don't worry. As long as you're in first or second place, you'll clear the stage.
Starting and playing through a game is beyond easy, especially with the assistance of a handy pull-out pamphlet which accompanies the Ultimate Hits version of the game. The pamphlet is in Japanese on one side, and English on the other, and covers the game's controls, offers menu translations and covers multiplayer setup.
Remember – in Japanese PSP games the O button is always used to confirm and X is used to cancel. North American games tend to flip that control scheme.
When the game first starts, a menu pops up with a chocobo and slime. The menu roughly translates to this: New Game, Continue, Shop, Tutorial, Records, Multiplayer and Options. So the first thing you'll want to do is make a new game. There are eight different player profile options then available. Go head and save in one. The game then asks for a five character name. The entry options are hirigana, katakana and the alphabet.
The game then begins. You're asked to choose a character from 16 different characters, eight from Dragon Quest (Alena, Manya, Minea, Bianca, Jessica, Yangus, Angelo and Slime) and eight from Final Fantasy (Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Zidane, Vaan, Ashe, Balthier and Penelo). Only two courses are initially available, each with two boards to play. Pick whichever you like, and set off. Playing order is determined and the game begins.
Each board has a set monetary goal, as I mentioned before. I chose the first course option, and the first stage of it had had a 10,000 goal and a fairly simple layout of only five streets (yellow, dark blue, teal, green and orange). After this point, its as simple as rolling the dice and buying properties if you're interested. Opposing characters will occasionally offer commentary and do the same.
Some highlight tiles are the chance, casino, day off, stock market and bank spots. Chance allows you to collect the card symbol on it when you pass, and if you stop on it you get the opportunity to collect a chance card. The casino tile lets you play a quick casino game to win (or lose!) extra money. The day off square closes all of your shops for a turn. The stock market lets you buy stock in a certain street, so if a player lands on a street where you own stock, you'll earn money. The bank square allows you to buy stock, and is also home. If you have all four of the card suits, passing the bank lets you level up and gives you money.
It's fairly simple once you begin playing. The pamplet insert explains all of the different items that appear on screen during a normal game. Just proceed through the game, buying properties and collecting card suit symbols. I'd recommend focusing on one or two streets, and then buying stock in your own streets and improving shops there.
Once you've reached the monetary goal, head straight for the bank. After you pass it, the game is over and you're declared the winner. Then you get to move onto the next stage.
After you've completed a stage, you should have earned some coins. Use these in the Shop to unlock additional characters (like Sephiroth or Marcello) or additional maps.
Images courtesy of Square Enix.