Wall Street Kid (NES) review
"Wall Street Kid is an intriguing little NES game that puts you in the shoes of one Mr. Benedict, a blonde haired, 20 something, hot-shot with a dazzling smile. It turns out that this Mr. Benedict had some kind of male relative, who also had the name Mr. Benedict, and an obscenely large collection of money. This relative has unfortunately passed away as the lawyer tells our hero (whos dazzling smile doesn't even flinch at the upsetting news) and he stands to collect $600 Billion dollars, of cours..."
Wall Street Kid is an intriguing little NES game that puts you in the shoes of one Mr. Benedict, a blonde haired, 20 something, hot-shot with a dazzling smile. It turns out that this Mr. Benedict had some kind of male relative, who also had the name Mr. Benedict, and an obscenely large collection of money. This relative has unfortunately passed away as the lawyer tells our hero (whos dazzling smile doesn't even flinch at the upsetting news) and he stands to collect $600 Billion dollars, of course it could never be too simple, so our Mr. Benedict must prove himself worthy. He must dive straight into the stock market, make a lot of money, and buy all sorts of extravagent things for himself and his spoilt little fiance. Can he do it and bring even more glory to the Benedict name? Eventually....but he's going to have to practice a LOT.
The gameplay should prove to be fairly interesting for a few, but might not be the proverbial cup of tea for a lot of other people. It is a Stock Market simulator at heart, but there's a little bit more to the game than the name of it suggests. It has a couple of nice features that look a bit like some stuff out of those Maxis sim games just to go along with the money making areas. Your first goal is to earn 1 million in a month, and it all looks so easy....why can't it be like that in real life? He needs this million to buy a house for himself and his fiancee, the next purchase will be a yacht and the third one is an obscenely expensive castle.
A lot of the work is done in the computer sitting on your desk where you can choose to buy stocks, sell stocks, view your portfolio or see some information on each stock type. Of course your job is to buy some stocks that are going to increase dramatically in price and sell them for wicked profits. There are four different types of stocks, and the local newspaper ever so handily tells you which ones are in vogue. You can either buy the reccomended stocks, play it safe and make some respectable profits, or you can be a little bit riskier and make some brash predictions, hopefully resulting in some huge cash windfalls. You're going to have to get pretty good at this if you hope to come away a winner.
Now it turns out that if this Wall Street Kid doesn't go swimming, go to the gym or hike across a mountain for good parts of his day, he's going to come close to death. You'll have to continually send Mr. Benedict out for some physical activity if you want a happy and healthy Wall Street Kid under your control. It's actually quite easy to fit into your day, but basically a huge pain in the rear end. The other person you have to pamper is your cute little fiancee, you can take her on a picnic, on a shopping spree or to the carnival. She's easily entertained by these three things and won't bother you too much.....unless of course she wants something! She'll come to you with requests for new dogs, expensive paintings, cars and all sorts of appliances to make her life more pointless, the strange thing is that if you don't actually buy her something like a new car she doesn't complain one bit! Anyway, these two things make the game a bit more well-rounded.
Sometimes your goals can appear a little bit out of reach, luckily hiding inside a dollar symbol at the bottom of your screen is a cleverly concealed bank. Go there and get a loan if you like, of course you'll probably just end up in a deep debt, but at least you'll get to prolong the game for a little bit longer! Right? Those interest rates are always fluctuating, make sure you earn a heckuva lot of money just so you can look the bank manager right in the eye and say ''You're a pathetic loser, here's $7,000,000''.
Overall, because the gameplay is like it is it might not appeal to everyone, but that doesn't stop it from being a little bit of fun! There are only 20 stocks for you to fiddle around with, so it never gets too complicated. It has a nice, easy to understand interface, so pretty much anyone can pick up the controller and play it instantly.
There's not a lot about the graphics that can be boasted about, they're passable, but you certainly won't see anything flashy at all. There's not much to see in the way of characters in the game, you'll mainly just get a picture of a persons face when you talk to them on the phone, and on the occasion or two when you meet them in person you'll get to see a little bit more. They're well drawn, albeit a little bit basic, and the movements of their mouths are a little bit strange when you see them talking, but you shouldn't bother yourselves with trivial things like that! They all look a little bit generic, and the bald-spot on the head of the lawyer is a little bit mean, but generally the characters should be okay to view.
There isn't too much in the way of background, you'll spend most of the time cooped up in your little office. There are objects sitting on your desk such as a computer, newspaper or flower vase and for what it's worth they look okay. Occasionally you'll get to venture out on the town to visit a couple of places, a nice little bit of variety there (you actually get to see the sky!). The colours that have been used are okay, a little bit dull in some places but a bit brighter in others. You'll be seeing a lot of text on a black background during the game, so if you're allergic to text on a black background it's reccomended you avoid this game. The backgrounds are midrange, nothing more, and probably nothing less.
Overall, the graphics of Wall Street Kid get the message across, and that's good enough. For you see, the people that are going around buying stock market simulations are not the people who are going to be impressed by flashy graphics, the graphics of Wall Street Kid do their job nicely!
The sound has standards that are a little bit lower than those of the visuals, it actually sounds quite disappointing and a little bit aggravating. The main chunk of background music will be during the weeks and months where you're earning money non-stop, unfortunately there's only a 5 - 10 second sample of music that was looped repetitively. It's a collection of reasonably high-pitched notes that do not show the true potential of the NES, and it won't be long before you're screaming all kinds of nasty words at the place on your TV where the sound comes out. There's some other tunes in different sections of the game, but you won't hear them due to the build up of blood in your eardrums. Yes, that's right, the soundtrack to Wall Street Kid sucks quite heavily.
There's a small collection of sound effects to be heard in the game, mostly to signify you moving around the menus of the game. Just your basic BLEEP and your basic BLOOP, nothing special, but still streets ahead of the background tune. Overall, the sound is decidedly ordinary, thank heavens that the sound is the one thing in a game that you can always go without. You might think yourself to be brave and leave it turned up, but it will wear you down, you won't last more than ten minutes! BEWARE!
The lifespan of Wall Street Kid would be about midrange, it's not really the longest game you'll ever play (unless you spend needless time fiddling with your portfolio) but it is rather tricky to get through. There's absolutely no way you'll pass the game your first time through, and you probably won't finish it your tenth through, but at least they've given you a password system to help you along on your merry way. Most people will probably stick it out until the end, you just don't want to be beaten by a game like this, YOU SHOW IT WHO'S THE BOSS!
To be honest the fun factor isn't overly high, it will be more fun for a select group of people than others, but it's simplicity should make the game quite a bit more bearable. Not many people can get their kicks from buying and selling shares, but this game is about as close as you can get to a decent Stock Market thrill. Making the fiancee happy and seeing how shally he is can be quite humorous, and it does have some other semi-comical areas, so it's not THAT bad.
The challenge would be somewhere between medium and hard, it takes a little bit of luck, some nice strategies, and a lot of practice to finish the game. Completing the first goal or two should be pretty easy for most, but pretty soon the deadlines will become unreachable and that smug lawyer will come up to you and inform you that you're a hack and don't get jack. Eventually you might finish it, but it takes a lot of moving money around and getting loans and scraping through and all that stuff that we should only have to put up with in real life to do it!
THE FINAL PARAGRAPH
Wall Street Kid is definitely a quirky kind of game, and since it's a ''boring old Stock Market thingy'' people tend to get the wrong idea about it. The game does have its moments, quite a few of them actually, and they weigh up nicely against the shortcomings. It's a good title to search out if you want something a little bit different, or whether you just want a tougher challenge than you're used to. It can't go up against all those heavyweight NES games that fanatics like to discuss in many capital letters (Eg. NINJA GAIDEN OWNZ J00!!!!11111!!!) but it can hold its own as a game fairly well, and certainly has the potential to entertain a person. Highly underrated!
- It's a stock market game!
- You get to be engaged to a voluptuous blonde
- Nice, simple interface
NOT SO GOOD POINTS
- It's a stock market game?
- Horrible sound
- ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLY TERRIBLE SOUND!!!!
GRAPHICS - 8/10
SOUND - 1/10
GAMEPLAY - 7/10
LIFESPAN - 7/10
FUN FACTOR - 6/10
CHALLENGE - 6/10
OVERALL - 7/10
Community review by kingbroccoli (April 25, 2004)
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