I love Pokemon. I love urban fantasy with ghosts and and spirits. I love cute and definitely annoying anime characters. Finally, I love puns. This means that I love Yo-Kai Watch. My husband and I caught an episode of the TV show and I kind of lost my shit there. Then, in researching it I found the game. The big draw for me, in addition to all the little things I love, the game is made by Level 5. Most of their games have been home runs for me.
So let’s look at the game. I’ve got it on my adorable Isabelle New 3DS and it’s fantastic. It’s adorable, and fun. I’m not very far, I’ll go ahead and say it, so I don’t know much about the overall plot but I have some thoughts. I don’t trust Whisper, and I love it. He’s not telling us as the players why we’re doing what we’re doing. He’s also not telling us how or really who he is. I can’t wait to find out more about that smug looking, white floating turd. Besides the suspicious behavior of that ghostly asshole the plot seems pretty straight forward. Stop the waves of bad Yo-Kai from busting into the human world. For some reason I really like it in this setting though. Yo-Kai are spirits that most humans can’t see but affect those people. Causing them to be depressed, or hungry, or even just itchy. If the human realm is over run it’s going to really suck. So that, though pretty cookie cutter, is actually pretty clever.
The game play is something that did surprise me. The battle system is not your usual team control based system. You can have at any time six Yo-Kai medallions on you. These are the six Yo-Kai that go out into battle with you and you can change them out at your house or any of the ‘save’ points scattered through town. Only three will show by default on the screen, and you control them with the wheel on the touch screen (see the picture). When you turn the wheel your Yo-Kai will switch, so you can rotate them around one at a time. During battle they’ll attack by default, almost an auto attack. What you do is keep them up and control the ‘Soultimate’ attacks. You can use Items (for healing, befriending, etc), you can Target an enemy Yo-Kai to focus attacks. You can also Purify, which I found interesting. Yo-Kai can be affected by status ailments. Using the touch screen you rotate your despirited friend to the purple Purify then tap it. You’ll do one of a few activities on the screen like rub smoke away, or break the shell around them to free your Yo-Kai from those affects. Soultimate is the same idea, but in reverse. You tap it, then the charged Yo-Kai and interact by popping bubbles, drawing symbols, or spinning your Yo-Kai to charge them. It’s clever and definitely fun.
So the characters are fairly standard. The big draw of this type of game is collecting. You can play a boy or girl (who is adorable). That main character is surprisingly smart! Little things have tickled me about the dialogue in this game. The first encounter you have with Whisper especially gets me (‘I’ll just back away slowly and keep eye contact, maybe he won’t notice’), it’s surprisingly smart and self aware.
I’ve mentioned my distrust of Whisper but the rest of the Yo-Kai crack me up. Some have legit names and stories, like Jibanyan but others… oh man. Manjimutt in particular comes to mind here. He is truly weird and creepy. I wouldn’t say there are particularly pretty Yo-Kai but there are some cute ones. It’s a healthy mix of looks and characters.
All together I’d say it’s a super fun little game. It does have it’s cons though, I’m not driven to pick it up every day and play it for hours at a time. It’s not something that I’m addicted to (yet?). It has it’s appeals and with enough mini-game style interactions (like bug catching and fishing) it’ll be something I’ll come back to on and off for sometime. I’d definitely recommend this one if you like these little games, but I would wait a few months and let the price drop. At the very least pick up the demo in the Nintendo Store to help you decide.
Till next time! (OMG next time should be Fire Emblem Fates – iamsoexcitedicouldshit)