Review cover Yo-Kai Watch (Nintendo 3DS)
Official GBAtemp Review

Product Information:

  • Release Date (NA): November 6, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): July 11, 2013
  • Publisher: Level-5, Nintendo
  • Developer: Level-5
  • Genres: Role-playing

Game Features:

Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative
Released over 2 years ago in Japan and dubbed as the next big thing since Pokémon; will Yo-Kai Watch have the same impact on Western audiences?
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Nintendo made a weird decision in localizing Yo-Kai Watch so late. The game clearly is stylized towards a Japanese audience, and would probably be most enjoyable to Japanese children. They didn't localize it when it came out 2 years ago, but all of a sudden they pulled a 180; they not only localized it but put tons of money into its marketing and promotion. And while the graphics look surprisingly great for a 2 year old game, and while there is actually some witty humor, the gameplay ultimately fails to create any kind of engaging experience.

A 2 year old beauty

Since we're going to be comparing this game to Pokémon throughout the review, as the two games have mostly the same premise, let's compare the graphics to a game like Pokemon X. This may seem unfair as the former came out 2 years before the latter, but remember that in Japan they were released very close to each other.

I was actually fairly blown away by the graphics from start to finish. The intro showed off some beautifully rendered CGI cutscenes with a pumped-up soundtrack running behind them. The 3D effect is used wonderfully and increases immersion in most parts of the game, except during combat (more on that later). I feel this game achieves what the 3DS set out to do in terms of the impact of the stereoscopic 3D; it is used in nearly every part of the game, and gives the handheld experience a little more of a home console feel to it. In Pokemon X, the 3D was barely ever used in the overworld, it slowed down battles, and was turned off by nearly every player because it failed to achieve this goal.

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The overworld graphics are simple but pleasing to the eyes. The battle graphics could run a little smoother but compared to its contemporary Pokémon game they are top-notch. Of course, this is a Nintendo game, and you can't have one of those without ridiculous over-the-top creatures with awkwardly unique designs and bad puns for names. These are the Yo-Kai. Their designs fit in well with the beautifully-rendered environments, and look great in the occasional voice-acted FMV's. The voice acting is typical for a Japanese dub, so there's not much to say about it.

The music isn't anything special, but I feel that most of the tunes work as background music for their respective environments. It's not something I would buy the soundtrack to, but it's at least worth keeping the speakers on to listen to. There are certainly a few standout tracks however, including the Boss Battle theme and the title theme. These tracks have a mischievous, ghost-like vibe to them which fits in well with the overtones of the game's story. Take a listen for yourself.


Spiritual practical jokers

You play as Nathan, a kid who, while wandering the forest searching for bugs to catch, meets Whisper, a Yo-Kai. Yo-Kai are spiritual beings who like to play pranks and generally screw things up. They're vaguely poltergeist-like in the way that they can only have minor effects on the physical world, like misplacing objects, or causing people to have nightmares. Some of them are ghosts of dead animals or people. Normally, they are invisible to humans, but through his Yo-Kai Watch Nathan is able to see them.

You can find Yo-Kai using your Yo-Kai Radar. It's like a hot-cold system which tells you when you are close to a Yo-Kai when exploring the overworld. They're often hiding under cars or in trees. When you look under a car or wherever, you can use your Yo-Kai Lens to search for Yo-Kai within the area. Holding the lens over them for a certain period of time will initiate a battle. It's a clever little system and fits in well with the Yo-Kai lore.

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There's really no central plotline to the story-- the game honestly feels like a bunch of side-quests piled up on each other with some of them having vaguely related characters. It's a shame to say that in playing through this game you will be experiencing too many mandatory fetch quests to count. However, the previously mentioned related quests have actually interesting plot developments, and carry a heavy sense of mystery about them, leaving you stumbling in the dark to find any grasp of contingency to the story. This is a good and bad thing, good because it leaves you guessing very often, bad because it shoves 5 fetch quests up your butt between any major story advancement. The story is actually pretty long, but only because of all the side quests. Getting through this game was a slog for sure.

Some of the dialogue is, as mentioned earlier, surprisingly witty. Normal video game jokes are intended for 8 year olds, and I'd say this game pushes it to about 13 or 14. For a game published by Nintendo, this is significant. Are the jokes ever funny? No, not really, but every once in a while you'll chuckle at a ridiculously horrible pun. I'm a fan of horrible puns myself so it worked for me. One thing I found funny was that you befriend a cat who was killed by a truck, so it became a Yo-Kai and in its free time punches trucks with its paws at intersections so that one day it will grow strong enough to get revenge. This kind of outlandish stuff is the type of humor that's in the game. Compared to Pokémon, the story is a masterpiece, and this game is universally revered for its contributions to the modern definition of comedy. Of course, pretty much every other game in the world beats Pokémon in the story department.


The centre of the game is the worst thing about it

You know, I appreciate it when companies come up with unique systems for battling. I really do. It's worked well for them in the past; games like Mario RPG, Pokémon, and Mario & Luigi have an amazing combat system. But this game just falls flat on its face. And this is where I relentlessly bash the game.

So your Yo-Kai use all their basic attacks on their own, without any input from the player, except for their Soultimate move, which does a lot of damage and which you "use" yourself. I say "use" because although they might have cool animations, they are accomplished by playing one of three touchscreen minigames. These same minigames are used for every single Yo-Kai's Soultimate move. So when the only control you have over your attacks is three touchscreen minigames, the combat can get really boring. This Soultimate move has a gauge which must be filled up by performing basic attacks, which means there are long waiting periods of staring at the screen with nothing for the player to do.

The other aspect of combat is the targeting system. If you hit the target button, you can throw a pin on a specific spot of a Yo-Kai to have your Yo-Kai attack that spot primarily. This is obviously just used against the gimmicky bosses who have a big pink glowing weak spot that you have to target. Whoop de doo, this system has absolutely no depth to it. You can use various food items to heal your Yo-Kai during battle. There is no uniqueness to this as it acts exactly like Pokémon and any other RPG in the world. You select a food, select a monster, and use it on it. Yay.

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Perhaps the most ambitious system of combat in this game is the Yo-Kai Wheel. This wheel is basically your party, and the three Yo-Kai in the top half of the wheel always battle at the same time. You can spin the wheel to switch out various Yo-Kai during battle. This system is actually rather innovative and shows great potential, but like the rest of the combat system, this potential is squandered by pure monotony. You can't change the arrangement of the Yo-Kai wheel during battle. In fact, you can't even change it outside of battle unless you go to a specific station of which there are few of on the map. To find them you must navigate the clumsy minimap. It's just such a pain in the ass and it ruins immersion. There are certain synergies which can be achieved by placing Yo-Kai of the same type next to each other in the wheel, but there are so many different types and the Yo-Kai have such huge power gaps that this is often impractical.

Some Yo-Kai have an "Inspirit" move, which basically makes a Yo-Kai worthless and unable to attack until the condition ends. This condition can be cured by, you guessed it, minigames! You have to spin the wheel so that the affected monster is in the bottom half, then play a minigame to restore their status. This is extremely annoying when you are fighting multiple Yo-Kai with an Inspirit move, as you are constantly playing this dumb minigame and switching out monsters. It's more frustrating than fun, as is the entire wheel mechanic. This is the bulk of this game's "difficulty" which just feels forced and has no curve to it. The rest of the game is really a cinch, honestly, as you barely even have to do anything in the battles.

Compared to Pokémon, this system is so much more gimmicky and is based less on the player's actions. It's boring, it keeps your eyes on the touchscreen at all times (which ruins the nice graphics), it's based heavily on dumb minigames, and kind of ruins the rest of the experience as the central component of the game is boring and a slog to get through. The system for getting more Yo-Kai to fight with is so much more dumbed down than Pokémon. You just have a flat chance at the end of a battle that a Yo-Kai you defeated will come up and ask you to be friends with him. Feeding him food during battle can increase this chance. That's basically it.

There's no online multiplayer, only local, but that's probably a good thing since I see no way that the combat could be played competitively.

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Beautiful graphics, especially for its age
  • A good soundtrack
  • Witty dialogue
  • Wonderful use of stereoscopic 3D
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Loose to non-existent plot line
  • Ambitious but ultimately monotonous battle system
  • Largely automated battle system that is more of a passive than engaging experience
  • Very easy, except for the occasional frustrating boss fight
  • Entirely luck-based recruiting system
3
Gameplay
Argh. All the potential this game has is wasted by the mind-numbingly boring combat. It's an embarrassment to RPGs. It requires so little player action that you could probably just set your 3DS down on the table for the majority of the game and you'd get through mostly just fine.
8
Presentation
The visuals are perhaps the strongest aspect of the game, and the music is pretty good too. The dialogue is clever but the story is only loosely tied together and is often shoved to the side by hundreds of side quests.
6
Lasting Appeal
The game is fairly long, lasting about 15 hours. There are also over 200 Yo-Kai to befriend. The problem is, the game is so boring that no one in their right mind would suffer through doing that.
5
out of 10

Overall

I'm interested to see if Nintendo will continue this series in America. There's definitely a lot of groundwork made in this game, but it's so unrefined that I really can't recommend buying this game. But keep an eye out for a sequel, because if the combat system was fixed, this game could have been a home run.
Such a shame. I was excited to hear about this game, since I love monster/demon/whatever collecting games, but after it came out I heard a lot of negative things about it, specifically what you brought up. I'll probably still give it a try, but it's going towards the bottom of my seemingly-bottomless backlog.
 
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I miss the times when companies enhanced their games a little for the western audiences, like with Dragon quest for example.
Sounds like this game would have needed it desperately.
 
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V
Oh, boy; this is gonna be awkward... :unsure:
My actual name is also Nathan, so I hope to god that none of the characters in the game call me an idiot for whatever reason! :P
 
I had a lot of curiosity invested in this game, ultimately it looks like I played it safe by not picking it up. Us saved me some money for other games my friend :lol:
 
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Heh, too bad the game is just... Average? I do like to try alternatives to Pokemon, once in a while, but most of the time they have some stupid gimmick to try be different/better/whatever than Pokemon, and just fail or become boring like you said.

Still, I'm gonna try the game anyway, 'cause I do have a bit of knowledge in Youkais, and I'm curious about which spooky creatures Level 5 came up with.
 
you say battle is boring, but did you mention the depth of strategy? how did you set up your party? maybe you should play it more, then come back later and make that 3 a 5. did you even get robonyan?
 
you say battle is boring, but did you mention the depth of strategy? how did you set up your party?
Everything is so ridculously easy that any strategy set up you could use is just extraneous and a waste of time. And I'm really not inclined to spend any more time on the battle system than I have to.
 
K
sorry but I strongly disagree with your review, the plot does have an overarching storyline since the first chapter, and the middle chapters follow a structure similar to megaman battle network, having slice of life chapters for the player to get better acquainted with the characters. perhaps some of the dialogue and manneirism of the characters don't translate as well to english, but there is a reason pokemon X and Y tried to awkwardly blend this into the pokemon formula ( going as far as stealing the characters )
and Yo-kai watch knew how to add something fresh to the plot before it got stale, so often it had me guessing for what would happen.

the battle system is very deep. by themselves the yokais don't do much, they attack and sometimes use their inspiriting skills, basic RPG tactics it's your input that greatly affects the battle outcome
the battles are far more intense than pokemon because they require constant attention and forethought. the fact that you're not fully in control during battles adds a wild card to it, you can't calculate the outcome like in pokemon, it's meant to be taken differently, in a different mindset. my yo-kai were OP for a part of the game and even so some lower yokai sometimes gave me trouble
even the team you assemble has to be carefully chosen because you have to balance out types and tribes not to be in disvantage during battles.

the boss fights probably were frustrating because either you didn't know how to fully/properly use the battle system or you were overconfident on the automatized parts of it.


the recruiting system is based on the system of the original Dragon Quest Monsters, while it is frustrating, it is not luck based
you have to figure out what is the yo-kai's favorite food and feed it to the yokai, and if it likes you enough it will join you.

I played this right after playing Dragon Quest Monsters 2 3D and LBX
LBX is the actual massive trainwreck from Level-5, it's mindnumblingly boring and tedious and the battles are very often repetitive due to the really stupid AI and painfully tedious storyline. I seriously can't stress enough how boring that game is, the game's plot twist is predictable and the game ends on "this is not the end, this is just the beginning" sequel bait, like Gunvolt.
dragon quest monsters 2 had me pressing A all the time on the battles and it, typical stuff like pokemon random battles, but it made me more thankful that yo-kai watch has an action based version of the usual rpg battle system
it did the A presses for me and i can focus better on the strategy without the turn by turn separation. it helps the player to focus on what's going on.
my Yo-kai are currently nearing level 100, and i'm in the post game dungeon having battles more intense than any trainer or wild in pokemon has provided me since in over a decade. the game doesn't hold your hand as much as pokemon and that's great.

while the pokemon series standed still over so many years refusing to change more than a few things here and there, Yo-kai watch is the true evolution to those GBC monster games we loved and grew up with, it doesn't detach itself too much from reality but goes far enough into fantasy to make the world rich and immersive.
even the world itself excells in small details that makes it feel alive, while it is not as extensive going from town to town and stuff, it picked one town and expanded it into awesomeness, there's lots of places to discover I'm 62 hours in and still end up finding an alley or another place in the map that I missed.
something that caught my attention is that houses even have bedrooms and bathrooms while Pokemon houses refuse to evolve and expand beyond what they had in previous games.
I will say tho that sometimes subquests were a bit frustrating because it referred to a place in town by name and I wasn't familiar with the town at all so I had no idea where it was ( but I appreciate having to figure out myself instead of having the game pointing out to me where I have to go )

and the game has 3 save slots too, something pokemon couldn't have at first and later refused to have. and choosing a boy or a girl makes a significant different unlike in pokemon where everything was the same regardless of your gender.

but what you listed as a positive for me ended up being a negative aspect of the game, the "witty dialogue" often consisted of breaking character/scenes to start making ghost related puns.
following NoA's current trend of Meme-fying dialogue. it was very annoying.
they lowered the impact of some scenes thanks to that, and some scenes had their meaning changed like that dumb line when Orochi first saves you "I'm not from the government so don't expect another bail out"

you were too harsh on your review and expected this brand new franchise to be on par with a stablished franchise from 1996
I'm sorry but the impression I get is that you played it superficially expecting it to become or become comparable to pokemon at one point. you had the wrong mindset from the start.

I played this not knowing what to expect and not expecting anything and, to me, it felt amazing it was just like my first time playing Pokemon in 1996.
 
sorry but I strongly disagree with your review, the plot does have an overarching storyline since the first chapter, and the middle chapters follow a structure similar to megaman battle network, having slice of life chapters for the player to get better acquainted with the characters. perhaps some of the dialogue and manneirism of the characters don't translate as well to english, but there is a reason pokemon X and Y tried to awkwardly blend this into the pokemon formula ( going as far as stealing the characters )
and Yo-kai watch knew how to add something fresh to the plot before it got stale, so often it had me guessing for what would happen.

the battle system is very deep. by themselves the yokais don't do much, they attack and sometimes use their inspiriting skills, basic RPG tactics it's your input that greatly affects the battle outcome
the battles are far more intense than pokemon because they require constant attention and forethought. the fact that you're not fully in control during battles adds a wild card to it, you can't calculate the outcome like in pokemon, it's meant to be taken differently, in a different mindset. my yo-kai were OP for a part of the game and even so some lower yokai sometimes gave me trouble
even the team you assemble has to be carefully chosen because you have to balance out types and tribes not to be in disvantage during battles.

the boss fights probably were frustrating because either you didn't know how to fully/properly use the battle system or you were overconfident on the automatized parts of it.


the recruiting system is based on the system of the original Dragon Quest Monsters, while it is frustrating, it is not luck based
you have to figure out what is the yo-kai's favorite food and feed it to the yokai, and if it likes you enough it will join you.

I played this right after playing Dragon Quest Monsters 2 3D and LBX
LBX is the actual massive trainwreck from Level-5, it's mindnumblingly boring and tedious and the battles are very often repetitive due to the really stupid AI and painfully tedious storyline. I seriously can't stress enough how boring that game is, the game's plot twist is predictable and the game ends on "this is not the end, this is just the beginning" sequel bait, like Gunvolt.
dragon quest monsters 2 had me pressing A all the time on the battles and it, typical stuff like pokemon random battles, but it made me more thankful that yo-kai watch has an action based version of the usual rpg battle system
it did the A presses for me and i can focus better on the strategy without the turn by turn separation. it helps the player to focus on what's going on.
my Yo-kai are currently nearing level 100, and i'm in the post game dungeon having battles more intense than any trainer or wild in pokemon has provided me since in over a decade. the game doesn't hold your hand as much as pokemon and that's great.

while the pokemon series standed still over so many years refusing to change more than a few things here and there, Yo-kai watch is the true evolution to those GBC monster games we loved and grew up with, it doesn't detach itself too much from reality but goes far enough into fantasy to make the world rich and immersive.
even the world itself excells in small details that makes it feel alive, while it is not as extensive going from town to town and stuff, it picked one town and expanded it into awesomeness, there's lots of places to discover I'm 62 hours in and still end up finding an alley or another place in the map that I missed.
something that caught my attention is that houses even have bedrooms and bathrooms while Pokemon houses refuse to evolve and expand beyond what they had in previous games.
I will say tho that sometimes subquests were a bit frustrating because it referred to a place in town by name and I wasn't familiar with the town at all so I had no idea where it was ( but I appreciate having to figure out myself instead of having the game pointing out to me where I have to go )

and the game has 3 save slots too, something pokemon couldn't have at first and later refused to have. and choosing a boy or a girl makes a significant different unlike in pokemon where everything was the same regardless of your gender.

but what you listed as a positive for me ended up being a negative aspect of the game, the "witty dialogue" often consisted of breaking character/scenes to start making ghost related puns.
following NoA's current trend of Meme-fying dialogue. it was very annoying.
they lowered the impact of some scenes thanks to that, and some scenes had their meaning changed like that dumb line when Orochi first saves you "I'm not from the government so don't expect another bail out"

you were too harsh on your review and expected this brand new franchise to be on par with a stablished franchise from 1996
I'm sorry but the impression I get is that you played it superficially expecting it to become or become comparable to pokemon at one point. you had the wrong mindset from the start.

I played this not knowing what to expect and not expecting anything and, to me, it felt amazing it was just like my first time playing Pokemon in 1996.

^ This
 
"You know, I appreciate it when Ninty comes up with unique systems for battling. I really do. It's worked well for them in the past; games like Mario RPG, Pokémon, and Mario & Luigi."

Why the hell do people don't mention who actually made the game? It's by Level-5, not Nintendo. It's publishing it but it's not theirs.

"I say "use" because although they might have cool animations, they are accomplished by playing one of three touchscreen minigames."

The other option for this would have been spamming A, like you do in Pokémon? So yes, you USE them. You activate them by charging your Soultimate. It's so you go against the time, to keep you on your feet as your team is getting hit and the yo-kai you are charging can't guard even if they wanted.

"So when the only control you have over your attacks is three touchscreen minigames, the combat can get really boring. This Soultimate move has a gauge which must be filled up by performing basic attacks, which means there are long waiting periods of staring at the screen with nothing for the player to do."

If you ACTUALLY knew what you were doing, this is where all the training using the attitudes come into play. As well as knowing which yo-kai is the weakest against your team so you can focus on them to finish the battles faster. But I have a hunch you really just didn't know what you were doing...

"This is obviously just used against the gimmicky bosses who have a big pink glowing weak spot that you have to target. Whoop de doo, this system has absolutely no depth to it."

No depth? Or you just don't know it? Did you know if you break the Samurai Boss Yo-kai's swords, he won't be able to use his Soultimate? Maybe you didn't know that you can target the hearts on the background of the Doctor Boss Yo-kai's battle and if you do it when he is trying to heal himself, he will get stunned?

"There are certain synergies which can be achieved by placing Yo-Kai of the same type next to each other in the wheel, but there are so many different types and the Yo-Kai have such huge power gaps that this is often impractical."

Too many types. Huge power gaps.
Yeah, you just didn't bother because whatever fucking reason and this sums up a lot of your review. You really had no idea what you were doing. You didn't train them so they get equally powerful and didn't use the unity bonuses. Good job. Maybe that's why it was all boring for you.

"This is extremely annoying when you are fighting multiple Yo-Kai with an Inspirit move, as you are constantly playing this dumb minigame and switching out monsters. It's more frustrating than fun, as is the entire wheel mechanic. "

Jesus Christ, the boss stuns you and you have to be fast to try and get them out in the field again! WOW, what a tragedy! Seriously, that's literally the point of the boss battles. You go against the time as your yo-kai are getting hit.

"There's no online multiplayer, only local, but that's probably a good thing since I see no way that the combat could be played competitively."

Yes, you see no way because you really have no idea what the HELL you were doing. Say that to the huge competitive Japanese scene. Say that to Yo-kai Watch 2 that has multiplayer battles.

Ugh, this review should be deleted and you fired for incompetency.
 
Ugh, this review should be deleted and you fired for incompetency.
1) Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn't mean their opinion is invalid.
2) @endoverend is not a mod, so there's nothing to be fired from, unless you mean banned from the site?
3) Anyone can write a review. If you love this game so much, why not make your own review?
4) Calm down. If you have to resort to expletives and name-calling in order to get your point across, you're doing something wrong.
 
1) Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn't mean their opinion is invalid.
2) @endoverend is not a mod, so there's nothing to be fired from, unless you mean banned from the site?
3) Anyone can write a review. If you love this game so much, why not make your own review?
4) Calm down. If you have to resort to expletives and name-calling in order to get your point across, you're doing something wrong.

1) Just because it's their opinions doesn't mean they aren't shitty. In this case, they are.
2) Don't know. Don't give a fuck. Either way, if his reviews are this biased then he shouldn't be doing them.
3) Because I already like the game and doing reviews on it would result on a biased review, just like this one. Except mine wouldn't shit on it for not being Pokémon.
4) Do not tell me what to do. I can resort to whatever the fuck I want to get my point across.
 
K
1) Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn't mean their opinion is invalid.
2) @endoverend is not a mod, so there's nothing to be fired from, unless you mean banned from the site?
3) Anyone can write a review. If you love this game so much, why not make your own review?
4) Calm down. If you have to resort to expletives and name-calling in order to get your point across, you're doing something wrong.

I'm sorry but I can get his frustration, this is a terrible review that does nothing but say "ugh, this is not pokemon, what's the point. i don't get these touch screen commands so it sucks. but hey the dialogue has some wicked puns."
it might not invalidate their opinion but it's still a terrible opinion to have

in the review he described the town visuals as "simple but appealing to the eye" it is anything but simple, the houses are very accurate to irl houses both inside and outside. they're incredibly detailed especially for a game that came out in the 3DS's first year ( a much higher level of detail than any pokemon game so far I should add. )
and he described the soundtrack as average and used the boss battle, one of the worst in the soundtrack, to support his opinion; however the springdale uptown theme is anything but average, even the song that plays in the player house is remarkably good.

edit:
I just realized that the review missed even the pokemon X and Y release date saying: " remember they were released close to each other in japan" and implying that they didn't have the 2 year difference between their releases
while Pokemon XY were the first ones in the series to get a worldwide release, which means the entire world got it at the same time, merely hours away due to timezone differences
I'm kind of amazed at how the reviewer missed this point since it was one of the main features of the game's release and Nintendo went out of their way to highlight that whenever possible.
 
I can tell you put a lot of time and effort into this and for that I personally thank you! The review has given me your opinion on the game and has given your point of view on it, obviously if other reviews were available I would read such and make an educated decision whether the game is for me or not. Clearly people have differing opinions which is grand yet doesn't give one the right to simply say is terrible. If you are so strongly opinionated to say that the review isn't to your standard, I would love to read yours! Again, thanks for the review and I will heavily consider everything put forward.
 
in the review he described the town visuals as "simple but appealing to the eye" it is anything but simple, the houses are very accurate to irl houses both inside and outside. they're incredibly detailed especially for a game that came out in the 3DS's first year

and he described the soundtrack as average and used the boss battle, one of the worst in the soundtrack, to support his opinion; however the springdale uptown theme is anything but average, even the song that plays in the player house is remarkably good.

I just realized that the review missed even the pokemon X and Y release date saying: " remember they were released close to each other in japan" and implying that they didn't have the 2 year difference between their releases

3DS's...first...year? The 3DS launched in 2011. And just because one track is good, it doesn't mean the soundtrack in its entirety is fantastic. Also, opinions on music are subjective, the reviewer thought the music wasn't good, that's his opinion. They missed what about the release date? Both games DID come out in 2013, it's just the localization had a 2 year difference.

I think this review is great, feels like it hinges a bit too much on comparisons to Pokemon, but it's otherwise solid.
 
K
3DS's...first...year? The 3DS launched in 2011. And just because one track is good, it doesn't mean the soundtrack in its entirety is fantastic. Also, opinions on music are subjective, the reviewer thought the music wasn't good, that's his opinion. They missed what about the release date? Both games DID come out in 2013, it's just the localization had a 2 year difference.
yes the 3DS launched in 2011 and so did Yo-kai Watch in japan.
I used a few examples, but most of the soundtrack is really good and does a great job setting the tone, but I get your point, music taste is subjective.
however the reviewer said, and I quote:

"let's compare the graphics to a game like Pokemon X. This may seem unfair as the former came out 2 years before the latter, but remember that in Japan they were released very close to each other."

the games had a 2 year difference in japan as they did in the west, the reviewer missed a detail as simple as checking a release date before mentioning it.
 
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3) Because I already like the game and doing reviews on it would result on a biased review, just like this one. Except mine wouldn't shit on it for not being Pokémon.
Exactly. There's no point in debating a review because it's simply the reviewer's opinion. Neither of you are right or wrong. It's purely subjective. Cursing people out won't change that.
 
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the games had a 2 year difference in japan as they did in the west, the reviewer missed a detail as simple as checking a release date before mentioning it.

Um, according to Wikipedia and just about every other source I checked, the game was released on July 11, 2013 in Japan.

Also, if you really have a strong opinion on the game, i encourage you to write your own review of it! That way, instead of your thoughts being buried under arguments in comments, people will actually see them.
 
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Exactly. There's no point in debating a review because it's simply the reviewer's opinion. Neither of you are right or wrong. It's purely subjective. Cursing people out won't change that.

No, that's not what I said. The reviewer started this review stating that he was going to compare it to Pokémon as they have the same premise except the two games are worlds apart and shouldn't be compared. At all.

A review shouldn't be this biased and rely too much on their personal preferences for the gameplay, which comes from comparing it to other games. In the case, Pokémon games.

If I were to review a game, I would make sure I'm experiencing the game for what it is so my review is as unbiased as possible exactly because people have different tastes and my personal preferences might not be the same as everyone else's. With a review like this one, I would scare people away from something they might like because I explained all of the features of the game in a bad light because they are not as I wanted them to be.
 
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Pokemon series have all the same cons as this game (poor story, repetetive gameplay), but it's popular as shit. So the thing is in something else.
 
Such a shame. I was excited to hear about this game, since I love monster/demon/whatever collecting games, but after it came out I heard a lot of negative things about it, specifically what you brought up. I'll probably still give it a try, but it's going towards the bottom of my seemingly-bottomless backlog.
you should try it. it's a great game, endoverend just seems very very biased. and comparing it to pokemon is very silly. the only similarity is that they're both monster catching games.
 
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Sorry this review didn't satisfy your confirmation bias.
People have different opinions, like it or not.
that's fair enough. but a review should at least try to be unbiased. but he clearly didn't spend more than 5 minutes on this game. if he played it at all and didn't just watch some youtube videos of it.
 
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What bias?
well first off he started off comparing it to pokemon. but then he whines about the combat system being " Ambitious but ultimately monotonous battle system". but pokemon's battle system way more monotonous and boring. (doesn't stop me playing every pokemon game though)

also from the cons "- Largely automated battle system that is more of a passive than engaging experience" which is complete nonsense. in fights you're constantly doing things. if you didn't you'd be dead in a second (unless of course you're fighting lowered leveled opponents). hardly passive.

he just seems to really hate the combat system and would prefer pokemon's combat system. which is fair enough. but it's hardly all there is to the game. yet he's marked it down so much based mostly on his hate of the combat system.

he also complains about the bosses sometimes being frustratingly difficult. but they're not. my 11 year old brother has beaten every boss (except for the postgame ones which are far more challenging of course) in the game. at most it took two attempts. he just doesn't seem to get how to play properly. how to raise your yokai properly.

this game is definitely not for everyone, but this cons vs pros list is ridiculous. 3 of the cons are basically the same one. he doesn't get how to play.

my cons and pros would be this.

PROS - graphics, soundtracks, witty dialogue, beautiful 3D (same as his), wonderful atmosphere in the game, lots and lots of sidequests, really big world with a lot of things to discover (hidden locations, hidden rewards), wonderful character (yokai) design.

CONS - battle system takes a while to get used too, story is weak/short, the game has too much of a focus on random elements (fishing, bug catching, yokai befriending),

i'm not saying endoverend's review is bad. the review itself is more or less OK, except for the bits where he's just completely factually wrong (e.g. nintendo making this game, errors about gameplay). but the verdict is just silly.
 
Such vitriol. I should review games like this as I would love to sample some.

Anyway I have not played this so I can not say much there. That said some of the criticisms of this review seem based in not all that much. On comparing it to pokemon I can not see how it can not be, or at least how such a thing could be held to be poor form. Back on the GBA there were quite a few and for my money many of them did better than pokemon, however from what I can see here this went the mario kart competitor route and rather heavily based it off that rather than trying to make something better but with similar themes.

On being several years old... one typically compares to the state of the art/present market.
 
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Everything is so ridculously easy that any strategy set up you could use is just extraneous and a waste of time. And I'm really not inclined to spend any more time on the battle system than I have to.
you didnt play it long enough to get robonyan, did you? do you have playcoin setter on your 3ds?
 
Heh, too bad the game is just... Average? I do like to try alternatives to Pokemon, once in a while, but most of the time they have some stupid gimmick to try be different/better/whatever than Pokemon, and just fail or become boring like you said.

Still, I'm gonna try the game anyway, 'cause I do have a bit of knowledge in Youkais, and I'm curious about which spooky creatures Level 5 came up with.

Just try Dragon Quest Monster Joker, it's great and much better than Pokémon in my opinion.
 
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1) Just because it's their opinions doesn't mean they aren't shitty. In this case, they are.
2) Don't know. Don't give a fuck. Either way, if his reviews are this biased then he shouldn't be doing them.
3) Because I already like the game and doing reviews on it would result on a biased review, just like this one. Except mine wouldn't shit on it for not being Pokémon.
4) Do not tell me what to do. I can resort to whatever the fuck I want to get my point across.
Dude did you literally just make an account to just whine that somebody in the entire world didn't write a good review on "THE BEST GAME"
It seems like the only bias here is you towards liking the game..
you go write a review on the game, go ahead i'm waiting make a fair unbiased review
 
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If you read that bad review you could think you can only play as Nathan...... Did you really play the game or did you just watch a let's play and did your review based on that?...
 
If you read that bad review you could think you can only play as Nathan...... Did you really play the game or did you just watch a let's play and did your review based on that?...
did you even read the review or did you just look the other people's comments and the score and base your comment on that?
 
did you even read the review or did you just look the other people's comments and the score and base your comment on that?
i did read it and its full of error as this its bad in my opinion.
Wrong developer, missing gameplay stuff like for example that the gender actually changes a bit of the gameplay and also the fact that he is comparing it to pokemon....

A Game should be reviewed based on itself or prequels but never ever on other games.
 
i did read it and its full of error as this its bad in my opinion.
Wrong developer, missing gameplay stuff like for example that the gender actually changes a bit of the gameplay and also the fact that he is comparing it to pokemon....

A Game should be reviewed based on itself or prequels but never ever on other games.
true but instead of saying it like:
If you read that bad review you could think you can only play as Nathan...... Did you really play the game or did you just watch a let's play and did your review based on that?...
maybe say it like THAT
 
I agree with the review completely. The game is super unrefined, that's it. It needs help in the areas you point out. They already have sequels in japan which probably fixed a lot of the monotony and battle system issues. The battle system is my biggest pet peeve because yes, unfortunately the battle system gets old and requires no strategy at all to progress. even with the "tough" bosses.

This game was over-hyped for sure. I'm hoping for the sequels to come that add stuff and have the systems refined. Those are more promising in my opinion. Of course we got this one 2 years later who knows if/when we'll get the sequel.
 
A Game should be reviewed based on itself or prequels but never ever on other games.

Well there goes my entire method of reviewing... basically everything, or at least everything when I do not have physics/a spec sheet to fall back on, which is not most forms of media entertainment.
I am seriously almost lost for words at this point.
 
Well there goes my entire method of reviewing... basically everything, or at least everything when I do not have physics/a spec sheet to fall back on, which is not most forms of media entertainment.
I am seriously almost lost for words at this point.
You should be used to the amount of aphasia-inducing idiocy at this point.
 
Well there goes my entire method of reviewing... basically everything, or at least everything when I do not have physics/a spec sheet to fall back on, which is not most forms of media entertainment.
I am seriously almost lost for words at this point.
it okay to compare to an point but not outright stating this: Since we're going to be comparing this game to Pokémon throughout the review

So the next time you could compare tomb rider to resident evil. hey it are both action adventures.

 
If I am sitting there playing/reviewing a game and I am thinking "why am I not playing ? instead" then it can be a valid review strategy. Whether it makes for the more universally applicable review is up for debate, in the end probably not but at the same time it is still a valid way to review things and as a site we are standing with endoverend on this one -- enough of the readers will have played a mainline pokemon game and many more would be considerably more familiar than that.
Normally I would be doing this sort of thing for a game's prequel (or sequel if I am looking back at a game or there are translation delays of sufficient time to see other things appear) as that is when things tend to crop up the most prominently but it is still quite valid to do it for a somewhat related game, or game someone might use to scratch a particular itch.
 
has anyone gotten tunatic? what does he evolve to? should i stop his evolution? he kind of kills everything...
 
I've been interested in this title since it was announced in Japan. I don't care about the review score here, but read the actual text instead to get a feel for it. Boring automatic fighting? That's amazing to me, because I tend to think regular RPG battles are boring. I just go around mashing the A-button and level up, and don't care too much about strategy because it's the rest of the game I'm interested in, not the fights :P
The only times I'll enjoy strategies are in boss battles.

So the reviewer didn't like the battle system, and gave the game a low score. I think it sounds like it's a battle system made for me, so I'll disregard the score and imagine that I'll like the game.

Cheers!
 
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I dont agree with the score. I would give it 9/10.

But for some reason, many western people dont seem to like Level5s masterpieces. It was the same thing when Fantasy Life got criticized way too much. Fantasy Life IS a 10/10 after all ^^
 
I dont agree with the score. I would give it 9/10.

But for some reason, many western people dont seem to like Level5s masterpieces. It was the same thing when Fantasy Life got criticized way too much. Fantasy Life IS a 10/10 after all ^^
Fantasy life got repetetive after 5 hours, and that's coming from someone with 700+ hours in Fire Emblem Awakening
 
I dont agree with the score. I would give it 9/10.

But for some reason, many western people dont seem to like Level5s masterpieces. It was the same thing when Fantasy Life got criticized way too much. Fantasy Life IS a 10/10 after all ^^
opinions are still opinions though. I myself couldn't even get into that game because of many questionable design choices.
 
Reading this review broke my heart.
My GF just finished the game, it was her first RPG, I watched her play most of the story part, and got a good understanding of the inner working of the game too (combat, yôkai-moods etc), neither of us (I've played most of the big NA-released JRPG on snes/psx/ps2(so yeah I'm 32, I also think I was just a bit too old when pokemon came out in japan, but still gave yellow a couple of hours then.)) ever played Pokemon more than a couple hours, not saying it sucks, I don't find it compelling enough story-wise or combat-wise for me, but to each its own.

Yôkai watch is a charming little jRPG, blowing a fresh wind on the monster RPG-genre and catering to why I'm not interested in pokemon.

sorry but I strongly disagree with your review, the plot does have an overarching storyline since the first chapter, and the middle chapters follow a structure similar to megaman battle network, having slice of life chapters for the player to get better acquainted with the characters. perhaps some of the dialogue and manneirism of the characters don't translate as well to english, but there is a reason pokemon X and Y tried to awkwardly blend this into the pokemon formula ( going as far as stealing the characters )
and Yo-kai watch knew how to add something fresh to the plot before it got stale, so often it had me guessing for what would happen.

the battle system is very deep. by themselves the yokais don't do much, they attack and sometimes use their inspiriting skills, basic RPG tactics it's your input that greatly affects the battle outcome
the battles are far more intense than pokemon because they require constant attention and forethought. the fact that you're not fully in control during battles adds a wild card to it, you can't calculate the outcome like in pokemon, it's meant to be taken differently, in a different mindset. my yo-kai were OP for a part of the game and even so some lower yokai sometimes gave me trouble
even the team you assemble has to be carefully chosen because you have to balance out types and tribes not to be in disvantage during battles.

the boss fights probably were frustrating because either you didn't know how to fully/properly use the battle system or you were overconfident on the automatized parts of it.


the recruiting system is based on the system of the original Dragon Quest Monsters, while it is frustrating, it is not luck based
you have to figure out what is the yo-kai's favorite food and feed it to the yokai, and if it likes you enough it will join you.

I played this right after playing Dragon Quest Monsters 2 3D and LBX
LBX is the actual massive trainwreck from Level-5, it's mindnumblingly boring and tedious and the battles are very often repetitive due to the really stupid AI and painfully tedious storyline. I seriously can't stress enough how boring that game is, the game's plot twist is predictable and the game ends on "this is not the end, this is just the beginning" sequel bait, like Gunvolt.
dragon quest monsters 2 had me pressing A all the time on the battles and it, typical stuff like pokemon random battles, but it made me more thankful that yo-kai watch has an action based version of the usual rpg battle system
it did the A presses for me and i can focus better on the strategy without the turn by turn separation. it helps the player to focus on what's going on.
my Yo-kai are currently nearing level 100, and i'm in the post game dungeon having battles more intense than any trainer or wild in pokemon has provided me since in over a decade. the game doesn't hold your hand as much as pokemon and that's great.

while the pokemon series standed still over so many years refusing to change more than a few things here and there, Yo-kai watch is the true evolution to those GBC monster games we loved and grew up with, it doesn't detach itself too much from reality but goes far enough into fantasy to make the world rich and immersive.
even the world itself excells in small details that makes it feel alive, while it is not as extensive going from town to town and stuff, it picked one town and expanded it into awesomeness, there's lots of places to discover I'm 62 hours in and still end up finding an alley or another place in the map that I missed.
something that caught my attention is that houses even have bedrooms and bathrooms while Pokemon houses refuse to evolve and expand beyond what they had in previous games.
I will say tho that sometimes subquests were a bit frustrating because it referred to a place in town by name and I wasn't familiar with the town at all so I had no idea where it was ( but I appreciate having to figure out myself instead of having the game pointing out to me where I have to go )

and the game has 3 save slots too, something pokemon couldn't have at first and later refused to have. and choosing a boy or a girl makes a significant different unlike in pokemon where everything was the same regardless of your gender.

you though the game was clunky ? go play DS Ni no kuni, which kinda feels like a yokai watch beta to me, from the couple hours I played it. lol

but what you listed as a positive for me ended up being a negative aspect of the game, the "witty dialogue" often consisted of breaking character/scenes to start making ghost related puns.
following NoA's current trend of Meme-fying dialogue. it was very annoying.
they lowered the impact of some scenes thanks to that, and some scenes had their meaning changed like that dumb line when Orochi first saves you "I'm not from the government so don't expect another bail out"

you were too harsh on your review and expected this brand new franchise to be on par with a stablished franchise from 1996
I'm sorry but the impression I get is that you played it superficially expecting it to become or become comparable to pokemon at one point. you had the wrong mindset from the start.

I played this not knowing what to expect and not expecting anything and, to me, it felt amazing it was just like my first time playing Pokemon in 1996.
Honestly, saying that not everybody has to agree with the review and the reviewer is just an excuse to me, having followed the game, it's not a question of being biased or not, loving the game or hating the game, anybody can tell from reading the review and the post I quoted that YOU know what you're talking about. (and to me, the review, not so much, like the reviewer had expectation going (pokemon-related ?) that never were met.

I would hate for ppl on the fence to dismiss and not give this charming game a chance.

Would you please consider write an objective and educated review of the game ? either way, thanks a lot for your post, it's already a lot :)
 
Would you please consider write an objective and educated review of the game ? either way, thanks a lot for your post, it's already a lot :)
I'm afraid I don't see your point. You're clearly looking for me to give the game a better score, but also want it to be objective? I gave my opinion on the game, and I don't know why you want me to write a different review, but with a different opinion? Also, what do you mean educated? I beat the game, what more "education" do I need to give you my opinion of the game? If I were to write another review, it would not be objective, since you're clearly asking me to change my opinion which unfortunately I can't do.
 
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Sorry, I was talking to KooPako, wondering if he would submit a second review for such a polarizing game.

I get what you're saying though, sorry if I pissed you off, but your review pretty much read to me like a non-stop comparison to all things pokemon and nintendo, and that it's different, and therefore it sucks.

As KooPako also said, I felt your review didn't make justice to the game (I don't think this has to be related YOUR opinion but more to being objective and education yourself to the games system (instead of giving up and letting the fights play on their own (I would guess the auto-fight thing was in place to streamline fighting, help kinds, and help you concentrate on strategy, like in FFXIII (or were you also of thos ppl being like : FFXIII is shit, I ran through the game by spamming A btn ? of course you can, doesn't make it interesting or rewarding, and will make you spend 3xtimes the time you'd have spent on said fight if you had strategize. Same thing with fighting game, shmups or any arcade game, they suck and there not deep, because you can spam a button a credit feed with the coin button ? well your loss but a review is suppose to give an input of the game with insight about what the game is and what it's suppose to be played, and try to relate to diferent players, at least I think. BUT it doesn't bar you from saying, that you disliked the fact you had to dig for info on how to play, that the game wasn't grabbing you hand enough etc.
(I can relate to some extant to that, started Xenoblade X a couple of days ago, played XS, XGI-II-III but not the 1st Xenoblade, and I did not understand a single things I was doing (and the skill art, upgrade, loot system) for like and hour, and that's a way more action oriented game than Yôkai Watch.
same with Wonderful 101, if I had to do a review for that game, since it to me like 3/4 of my 1st playthough to REALLY play as the game is meant to be played (and I'm a capcom/platinum games veteran), I would feel the need to disclaim that anybody not willing to lookup youtube tutorial or experimenting by themselves for a damn long time with WASTE 50$, it's review is 0/10, I could not be more helpful than that, but if you go the extra mile, this is probably the best and most original game on wii u. (but if you feel like playing smash bros or pikmin, you're probably going to dislike a couple of games and especially this one, and should really just stick to SB and P3 and get more out of those.)

(auto pilot combat ? really ? we did not see the same game then, I do agree the mini games can make the combat feel like a chore, but switching yokai in real time, moods, inspiriting etc makes it a lot deeper and interesting than what you make combat sound like.)

well, I'd say nintendo is great and successful but so is Level-5 (and their trying to keep things fresher than nintendo, I think(don't get me wrong, I love nintendo too), and I feel they deserved a "is it good at what it does" and not "is it doing well what nintendo already did" type of review, honestly, you can't say in good conscience your review sounds like a fresh look at a fresh game..

My point is that your review should be more clear about what it really sounded like to some other posters here "if you expect Pokemon, you will hate it, but if you're open to something different, you might actually have a good time with it, even if I didn't because I didn't want "that"."

Just to be clear, I DO think you're have every right not to like the game and tell so in a review, but there's a way to be fairer to.
I'm sure you already played games or went in some kind of entertainement (books/movie/tv series/music/etc) with expectation, and disliked them but realized that the game did some (unimportant for you) things right, and was in turn good, but maybe not exactly for you.

Edit:
Just to be fair, like Pokemon, the Anime came after the game in japan, and interest for the game skyrocketed after the anime and toys came out.
(as for me I only saw the 1st movie, which I found to be quite enjoyable)
 
I am about 2 hours into YoKai Watch. The world is extremely captivating, fun, and begs you to explore the whole thing. Nothing about it makes me regret the 30 bucks I spent to buy this from Endoverend.

However, after playing for a bit, I do have some issues.
1. The combat system is poorly explained. I can see where there might be some sort of strategy involved, but everything that demands my attention clouds any sort of tactics I might have had lined up. Sure, the auto fighting reminds me of FF12, LoL, or Xenoblade where its up to you to really turn the tide of battle with your arts or "soulmate" moves. The combat reminds me of The World Ends With You, because of how much your attention is split between the screens. I am not sure how to get the most out of my yokai, seeing as I'm always either rotating yokai or casting soulmate moves. I would not liken this game to Pokemon, unless it was to say the main character might be about the same age. Having 3 yokai out at once is much more similar to Dragon Quest Monster. Also, the monster recruitment resembles the old method from the Dragon Warrior Monsters for GBC.

My real issue I am running into is the seemingly arbitrary capture system. For a game that is primarily about collecting and fighting with monsters, it should not be this hard to catch a yokai. over half the yokai I have under my watch have been given to me by either story events or simply progressing the game. From what I have gathered, you feed a enemy yokai food from your inventory. Each yokai has certain affinity to certain foods. Whats the problem? I have not found a reliable way to figure out what yokai like what food. Secondly, and here is the real rub, you can only feed once per battle. Why, why would you limit my attempts to one? Every single battle I have one chance to get one yokai. The only one that I have figured out so far is Hungramps who likes riceballs. I fed him one, he went crazy over it, and guess what? Didn't join me afterwards. Other yokai who joined me were never fed anything, but joined me anyways.

On an aside, the lack of a plot might start to annoy me at some point, but for now, I am enjoying the game as a series of episodes from a cartoon or adjusting to the mindset of a 10-12 year old kid on summer break.

For those of you asking for Endo to review the game again, or more fairly? That isnt going to happen. This review reflects what s/he thought about the game, after playing, experiencing, and coming to conclusions all on his/her own. While this game has a lot of high points, the combat and recruitment seem to be the most convoluted elements to this game. Now I WILL disagree with the score. Personally, I would have been less harsh on the battle system giving it at least a 5, because it works, but just barely. I would bump the overall score up a point and a half to 6.5 on my 2 hour experience alone. But I still have (according to the review) another 13 hours to go. These little things could really grate on my nerves or maybe never bother me.

TL;LD: The core gameplay of Yokai Watch (the fighing and recruitment) are what sucks the most which leads to a 5 being a fair review assessment.
 
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Review cover
Product Information:
  • Release Date (NA): November 6, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): July 11, 2013
  • Publisher: Level-5, Nintendo
  • Developer: Level-5
  • Genres: Role-playing
Game Features:
Single player
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Co-operative

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