Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wall Street Kid: 80's As Fuck

I seem to frequently say that the game I'm writing about is weird, but in this case it is really weird. Wall Street Kid is a stock market simulator for the NES. As far as I know, this is the only stock market sim released on US consoles. In Japan, before this there was The Money Game, and then there was The Money Game II: Kabutochou no Kiseki, which this game was a localization of. I remember playing Wall Street Kid at a friends house when I was a kid, and at some point his copy of the game ended up in my collection with the rest of his NES games. I'm quite surprised the game was of Japanese origin, because the is so 80's business America that I'd expect the game to have a cocaine meter.

Props to the localization crew, because the cheesy writing fits really well. Seriously, just look at the “starring” credit roll on the title screen and the opening dialogue. It is surprisingly coherent for a 1990 game. Wall Street Kid was made by Sofel, a company that made a few games capitalizing on the NES craze and then went back to making whatever the hell software they make, which seems to have been a good idea considering they are still in business.

And you look absolutely devastated.
The point of the game is to use the $500,000 you get at the beginning of the game and use it to play the stock market and buy back your dead uncles castle, which will entitle you to getting his full billions as inheritance. I don't know why the he couldn't have just left you the billions so you could just buy the castle, but whatever. So, you take your money, invest, buy, and sell until you have the money by the end of some arbitrary amount of time.

But it's not quite so simple. You have to stay in shape, keep your girlfriend happy enough to get her to marry you, and buy other things to make you feel like a rich bigshot, like a yacht. If your girlfriend leaves you, or you get fat, which makes your girlfriend leave you, it is game over and your dreams of being an awesome coked up 80's guy will be dashed well before you are diagnosed with terminal bone-itis. Of course, all of this gets very expensive, so you have to be really good at playing the stock market (see: lucky) to finish the game.The game is actually a pretty well rounded stock market sim, and if it weren't for the questionable sociological lessons it would probably make a good educational tool.

Ralph is the only guy I know who can eye fuck you over the phone.

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