It was sheer excitement in the Treasure household when I announced that we were to be Nintendo ambassadors. We were sent a lovely bundle to get us started and a brand new Nintendo 3DS to play on. Cue extra giddiness from Holly when I told her our first role as ambassadors would be to review the latest Nintendo sensation: Yo-kai Watch.
Yo-kai Watch is the multi-million selling Japanese phenomenon produced and written by level 5 developer Akihiro Hino. The game launched a couple of weeks ago in Europe to serious excitement and an already captivated audience. Holly already knew all about the game because she follows Nintendo on Facebook, she told me that this game has been highly anticipated and she couldn’t wait to get going with it.
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What’s YO-KAI WATCH about?
There are hundreds of sometimes cute, sometimes spooky, and usually mischievous Yo-kai that inhabit our world. Yo-kai are not ghosts, monsters or creatures. Yo-kai are, quite simply, Yo-kai. They cannot be seen by the human eye, but they are everywhere. Whether born from the soul of a deceased human, or an everyday object discovering its higher purpose, their personalities are distinctly humanlike. As you explore the world, use your Yo-kai Watch to find them, befriend them, and turn them into a team to battle other Yo-kai. Befriending new Yo-kai may not be so easy, though – in many cases, you will need to battle with them and impress them during your battle. Each Yo-kai has its own unique skills and strengths and you’ll use them to challenge the evil Yo-kai and help people in need of solving daily problems – like an argument with a friend or forgetting something important – which may be caused by mischievous Yo-kai hidden everywhere.
The characters are really cute and quite mischievous, Holly loves anything Japanese (she spends hours watching anime and has even tried learning a bit of Japanese!) so these types of Nintendo games have instant appeal for her.
YO-KAI WATCH gameplay
Yo-kai are invisible and can only be seen by people that have a Yo-kai watch. The aim of the game is to befriend Yo-kai, although this is not as easy as it sounds and is only initiated by the Yo-kai themselves. Once you have become friends with a Yo-kai they give you a medal which you can use later on when you need their help. You get to win a medal by impressing the Yo-kai, either in real-time battle or by giving them a treat. You can hold 6 medals at a time and any others can be stored in your medallium. The Yo-kai watch and medals that you see in the game can even be bought in real life!
Yo-kai actually represent everyday feelings and emotions such as Yo-kai ‘Hungramps’ who makes people hungry. The characters are steeped in Japanese folklore and have a wide range of temperaments and personalities. Lots are friendly, some are very mischievious and others are baddies that you defeat by finding their weak spot.
Legends are the most powerful of all the Yo-kai and the hardest to defeat, if you do manage to collect all medals for a legend page in the Medallium then one will befriend you! Holly hasn’t managed this yet but she’s working on it!
Here’s a short video we made of some gamplay:
You need to plan and have strategy with this game, teaming up the most suitable Yo-kai with each other and unleashing even more Yo-kai power, you will have to plan where on the watch to place the Yo-kai from the same tribe which makes them stronger. You can help the Yo-kai in four ways:
Unleash the ultimate Yo-kai moves.
Help your Yo-kai focus on a certain foe, or a weak spot on a boss.
If your Yo-kai gets Inspirited in battle, heal it and gain extra experience points.
Use items you’ve collected to help your team or to get an opponent to like you.
There is a mammoth 50 hours of gameplay with loads of side quests and extra adventure even once the main story of the game has ended. Players can explore the town of Springdale with its shops, parks and forests. The world is absolutely filled with secrets which adds to the fun, turning it into an Aladdin’s cave of Yo-kai hiding everywhere just waiting to be discovered.
You can also collect Crank-a-kai coins that can be found around town in treasure chests. You can use up to 3 Crank-a-kai coins a day, and head to the Sacred Tree to spend them. You can level up by combining the Yo-kai and the more you battle them the cleverer they become, there will be hours of fun had trying to discover and defeat some of the rarer Yo-kai (there are over 200 in total!)
This game has been compared to Pokemon but we don’t think it is that similar, with real-time battles being the main difference and depth that goes into assembling a team of Yo-kai.
Holly really loved playing Yo-kai Watch and I had a lot of fun joining in too! It’s been nice for Holly to have some light relief from all the GCSE studying she’s been doing and this game will be a firm favourite of ours.
Release Date: 29th April 2016
Age Rating: 7
*We were sent gifted with a welcome pack from Nintendo as well as this game in order to carry out the review. All thoughts our own.