After enjoying runaway success in Japan, Yo-Kai Watch is finally coming to us here in America. In this game for the 3DS, you play as a young child in a world plagued by Yo-Kai. What are Yo-Kai, you ask? They're the physical embodiments of everyday problems. For instance, Hungramps is an old man Yo-Kai who makes people feel hungry, and Cheeksqueek is a butt-shaped Yo-Kai who makes people fart. Throughout the game, you find and befriend various Yo-Kai, and can then call on them to battle other Yo-Kai to solve the city's problems.
Abi: Despite its huge popularity in Japan, I had never heard of the Yo-Kai franchise, so it was a lot of fun to meet these characters. It's tempting to draw a lot of comparisons between Yo-Kai Watch and Pokémon, but in reality Yo-Kai Watch offers some new mechanics and other details that really set it apart. For one, I love the idea that you don't capture the Yo-Kai; you try to befriend them and, if you're lucky, they agree to help you defeat enemies. This certainly seems like a more ethically sound way to present the monster collecting mechanic (as opposed to the whole "fight this monster until it's too weak to fight back and then capture it and force it to fight for you" thing that the Pokémon titles do). Beyond that, I loved the sense of humor that seems to be prevalent throughout the game and I'm very much looking forward to getting the game and exploring the expansive world.
Alex: Like Abi, I had never befriended any Yo-Kai monsters before. But I was immediately smitten by the game's charming graphics, adorable humor and engaging storyline. The game lends itself well to the 3DS graphics, giving Springdale a sense of depth. Befriending creatures feels warm and perhaps even more rewarding than trapping them in tiny balls, though comparisons to Pokémon are pretty tough to make despite that similarity. I'm planning on picking this one up as soon as I can.