3DS Review: Yo-Kai Watch

Does Pokemon have some new competition?

Yo-Kai Watch is the latest madness from the geniuses at Level-5 who for those living under a rock have brought us great games like the Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni series’ as well as Fantasy Life and plenty more. This time around they are tackling a RPG that sounds an awful lot like Pokemon, but there’s more to it than that…
You choose either a male or female character, name them yourself and go out to collect and battle creatures known as Yo-Kai. These creatures can only be seen by using a special lens as they are invisible to the rest of the world, some Yo-Kai are friendly and will happily join you while others are downright nasty or mean and will require you to fight using just 6 of your creatures.

Combat plays out by itself, but you can influence where your Yo-Kai should aim their attacks, as well as get them to use special moves called Soultimate by using the stylus to either trace a number of designs, pop bubbles or keep drawing a circle to unleash the attack. Some Yo-Kai are capable of rendering your own useless and they need to be purified, this works in more or less the same way as Soultimate. You can only have 3 Yo-Kai out at once, but you can rotate the wheel of your line-up to change who is on the battlefield.
The game came out in Japan all the way back in 2013, while North America got it last November. Since 2013, there has been a sequel, a spin-off and even 2 animated films…but only in Japan. I’m sure we will get the sequels eventually, but who knows when?

I haven’t played a game like this in a long time and while it’s clear where they got its influences from, the game can clearly stand on it’s own two feet. The Yo-Kai are all incredibly imaginative, affecting human behaviour around them and there’s a decent sense of humour to be found, one that I wasn’t expecting. Visually, it’s not too bad either…I mean it would have looked better if we got it 2-3 years ago, but it still looks pretty good.

The Verdict

Yo-Kai Watch will last you ages as you try and capture all available creatures, as well as just completing the story. It appears that Level-5 can do no wrong and I hope we don’t have to wait till 2018-2019 to get the sequel.

Score: 9.0