The multi-million selling Japanese cultural phenomenon Yo-Kai Watch has landed on North American shores for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. Originally launched during 2013 in Japan, this top selling and highly popular monster-collecting role-playing game is developed by acclaimed Japanese studio Level-5.
As either a young boy named Nate Adams or a young girl named Katie Forester, you will encounter hundreds of mischievous yo-kai that can only be seen by a few special people. Based upon Japanese folklore, yo-kai are not ghosts nor are they monsters; however, they can be best explained as playful, mesmerizing and sometimes unkind creatures each with their own distinct personalities
Using your newly acquired Yo-Kai Watch, you will discover and recruit a large assortment of yo-kai that lurk across the vast landscape that ranges from mountain roads to the bustling streets of Springdale. A fun-filled epic adventure awaits!
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Modes: Single-player, Local wireless multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Up)
Adventure awaits in Springdale
Set during the carefree days of summer, you set out to collect insects for your summer science project. As you search for rare and beautiful insects around the tree-lined parks of Springdale, your journey leads you to the mystical forests of Mount Wildwood. Much to your surprise, you stumble upon Whisper a loud-mouthed, self-proclaimed yo-kai butler who has been trapped for the last 190 years inside a Crank-a-kai machine.
Determined to help you learn more about yo-kai, whether you want to or not, Whisper bestows upon you a magical device that lets you see the normally invisible yo-kai. Consequently, yo-kai have a knack for meddling with the lives of humans and you decide to investigate these mysterious and malicious happenings using your Yo-Kai Watch during your summer vacation.
As you can see, the story in which Yo-Kai Watch is based around, is geared towards a younger audience. Don’t let this deter you, as the game ultimately produces a fascinating and unique adventure that’s void of lavish storylines or complex conflicts. It is this simplicity, which draws you into Yo-Kai Watch’s fascinating world for hours at a time.
Straightforward and easy to play
Yo-Kai Watch takes a leisurely approach, emphasizing interaction with the world more so than focusing on a storyline. Level-5 has made a real commitment to portraying the perspective of a young child in the game; you’ll be looking under structures for items, climbing under obstacles while exploring, and spending your time with friends. It’s Level-5’s unsophisticated approach to gameplay that struck a chord with me, bringing back fond memories of my childhood that kept me entertained for hours.
In addition to the main objectives in the game, Yo-Kai Watch also offers secondary quests where I logged some serious hours. You can complete these side quests at your leisure and quite often, they’ll involve helping people recover an item or defeat a mischievous yo-kai. If you decide to help them out you’ll be rewarded with items and experience points that will help you complete the primary objectives much easier. One of my favourite side quests that kept me laughing involved tracking down a husband who wouldn’t come home because he’s scared of his wife’s wrath.
One of the unique aspects of Yo-Kai Watch is the hybrid real-time and turn-based battle system. Unlike other monster-collecting games, your yo-kai will fight on their own while you’re performing other tasks such as targeting, healing, and purifying. Soultimate is your yo-kai’s special attack and is the only order that you can give to your yo-kai while in battle. Once Soultimate is activated, you’ll have to play one of three different mini-games on the touch screen to perform the special attack. You’ll be tapping on floating coins, tracing shapes, or spinning the stylus in circles until your yo-kai’s gauge is full.
Yo-Kai Watch is even more fun with friends
Once you have mastered the basics in Yo-Kai Watch, there are several fun and exciting modes that unlock. By talking to the Landlord at Wayfarer Manor, you’ll activate the game’s StreetPass feature, this will allow you to meet yo-kai from around the globe who bare gifts. If you’re lucky, you may even get a chance to battle the visiting yo-kai and befriend them.
Despite the fact that Yo-Kai Watch does not feature online play, you can however battle your friends over local wireless to gain experience and improve your rank. Simply head to the Lambert Post office, select your Battle Stage, and challenge your friends to matches.
Another nifty mode that you can unlock is the Yo-kai Cam that can be accessed from the title screen. The Yo-Kai Cam will allow you to use the camera on the Nintendo 3DS and take a pictures of you and your friends to see which yo-kai are inspiriting you. This works out great for discovering new yo-kai that are not found in the early parts of the game.
Yo-Kai Watch offers a world that is dazzling, boasting some of the best visuals of any game on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. The graphics provide a colourful aesthetic that reminded me of Level-5’s massively popular Inazuma Eleven. Springdale is incredibly well populated, both by people and by yo-kai, and seems to grow bigger and more detailed the more you explore. The 3D visuals work really well and emphasize the deep and detailed environments.
The sound track in Yo-Kai Watch is light and catchy, the dialogue is humorous complete with top notch voice acting that sounds as if it was right out of the cartoon.
Yo-Kai Watch‘s real-time battle system really sets it apart from other monster-collecting games, and I absolutely loved it—it’s fast-paced, interactive, and incredibly engaging. If you’re worried about the combat being too easy, fear not; Yo-Kai Watch features boss fights that offer up a massively challenging and seriously satisfying fight.
At first, you may think that Yo-Kai Watch is a Pokémon clone. While it certainly shares a lot with Pokémon, its world plays with Japanese folklore in a charming, unique way that sets it apart. Yo-Kai Watch’s leisurely approach and emphasis on interaction with the world is both refreshing and enticing.
Are you looking to pick up Yo-Kai Watch for a younger child who does not yet have a Nintendo 3DS family handheld? Best Buy Canada carries a Nintendo 2DS Yo-Kai Watch Bundle at a value price; it comes with Yo-Kai Watch pre-installed.
Fans of monster-collecting role-playing games looking for something truly unique should pickup Yo-Kai Watch–its an experience that you’ll never forget.
+ Fast-paced, interactive, and incredibly engaging combat system
+ Epic boss battles
+ Characters are unique and likable
+ Large open world, with loads of content
– No online play
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5
Overall Rating 4.37/5 (87.4%)