One of the most popular game in Japan - Nintendo 3DS Yo-Kai Watch has finally landed in the UK and we were given a chance to try it out. It's a RPG (Role playing game) game where you can collect over 200 types of Yo-Kai (Japanese for any supernatural beings in general, including ghosts and demons) and use them to battle against the bad ones. But unlike other trading card games, Yo-Kai Watch provides something fairly unique, and on top of the adorable and sometimes mischievous Yo-Kai and funny dialog, we aren't surprised that it has already sold over 10 million copies!
Here you can find more information about the game and what me and Abby think about it.
Please note that, because the game uses the camera buttons, I couldn't take in game pictures, and had to resort to using my camera to taking the pictures of the screens instead. The graphics aren't fuzzy like this of course!
In Nintendo 3DS Yo-Kai Watch (pegi 7, RRP £39.99 and currently comes with 2 different type of gift packs on the official Nintendo online store), players can play as the original character Nate or his friend Katie (you can change the name of your character), and explore their hometown Springdale, which seems to be the target of bad Yo-Kai.
Apart from playing the story-line and collecting Yo-Kai, players can also play against another player through local wireless play.
At the beginning of the story, the character who was an ordinary school kid who's collecting bugs for a science project, found a busy-body Yo-Kai named Whisper, who has taken up the job as the character's companion without his/ her consent. Whisper gave the character a Yo-Kai watch, which allows him/ her to detect nearby Yo-Kai. From there on he will be the one to guide players throughout the game, providing useful hint and tips, and keeping the story-line going.
A watch that can tell time, and allows players to detect Yo-Kai nearby. The radar of the watch will flash on the top right corner of the top screen, with an eye opening wider and wider when the player comes close enough to a Yo-Kai. The player can then use the Yo-Kai Watch lens to see where the Yo-Kai is exactly.
As the story goes on, players will be given opportunities to upgrade their Yo-Kai Watch rank, so that they can detect more powerful Yo-Kai (the more powerful the Yo-Kai are, the harder to detect them). By collecting more powerful Yo-Kai, player will have a stronger Yo-Kai team to battle against stronger enemies.
There are over 200 types of Yo-Kai to collect.
Once the player has spotted a Yo-Kai, the Yo-Kai will see you as well. They will sometimes ask for a favour, but most of the time they will attack (see battle information below). Players will have to defeat the Yo-Kai (and his team) to befriend them (sometimes they will just run off), who will then give the player a token that can be added to the Medallium (ie the Yo-Kai collection book).
Players will be given an opportunity to change the name for the Yo-Kai as well.
Players can collect as many Yo-Kai as they want, but can only store 6 Yo-Kai in their Yo-Kai Watch, which the player will use for battles. Players can swap Yo-Kai position inside the watch as well as with those that's collected in the Medallium (read more about the team for battle below).
Access Medallium and Swap Yo-Kai:
Players can do this either by looking at the Medallium, which is located inside the character's bedroom, or visit one of many Eyepo in the village. The Eyepo will also restore the health and spirit meters (HP and SP) fully for all Yo-Kai that are stored inside the Yo-Kai watch, so it's worth visiting them after a battle or two.
Items in the game:
Players can also use food and drinks to restore Yo-Kai's HP and SP, which can be collected from exploring the village, opening Yo-Kai treasure boxes and from buying at the shops or vending machines. It's only applicable to one Yo-Kai, and can only be used when you are in battle.
There are also items that players can use to sell and make money with, items to equip on a Yo-Kai to make them stronger and the odd items to help you in battle (for example, the getaway plush to distract the enemy while you run away from the battle).
- Crank-a-Kai Coins
Something I haven't checked out yet are these special coins you can find around town in treasure chests and by exchanging passwords (you can collect the letters and find the password through the help from the community) at the post office for a coin.
You can use these coins at the Crank-a-Kai machine (like a surprise toy coin machine in real life) where your character first found Whisper, and find other goodies inside the machine. You can also use Nintendo Play Coins (collected by walking around with the Nintendo 3DS family handheld console) with the machine.
|Purify a Yo-Kai|
Right: solve the puzzle to purify your Yo-Kai
Battle:Yo-Kai Watch battle is fairly interesting. Like trading card games, your Yo-Kai will be doing the fighting for you, but instead of just waiting for the outcome, there are many things you can do to get involved and increase the chance of success, turning this into a strategy game for the players:
- Heal your Yo-Kai
You can feed a Yo-Kai food or drink during battle to recover little to all of their HP and SP. However, use wisely as there is a countdown before you can use another item to save them
- Set Target
There are 3 opponents to fight most of the time, and it's better if you focus your attack on one target to bring it down first. You can throw a pin at the target to tell your Yo-Kai to focus on that target by clicking on the Target option and select the enemy you want to attack.
- Collect extra boost
During battle, a whisp (blue orb like) might appear. If you throw a pin at it (see Set Target) you can collect a boost or item that will help you in battle
This is your Yo-Kai's special attack that uses their SP. SP increases gradually, but you can boost it by attacking an enemy that has been Inspirited (the word used in the game). Instead of just clicking on Soultimate to make a selected Yo-Kai use its special attack though, you will have to complete a simple puzzle on the touchscreen (crack the glass or rub away the mist on the screen, for example) to charge the Yo-Kai up (see the above image for purifying)!
If your Yo-Kai is Inspirited (they won't be able to fight), you will need to purify them by taking them off the battlefield (see below), click on Purify and complete the little puzzle on the touch screen (see above picture). This will give them extra experience points too.
Yo-Kai Team Strategy:
Although you have 6 Yo-Kai in your team, only 3 can go out and join the battle at any time. The other 3 will be on standby, but you can rotate your Yo-Kai watch to move them in and out of the battlefield.
For example, you have (from left to right):
A, B and C in the front, and
F, E and D at the back.
When you rotate your Yo-Kai watch anti-clockwise, bringing A to the back, you will have
B, C and D in the front, and
A, F and E at the back.
So it's worth considering who will be in the front, who will stand next to them, how to get the most powerful combination, and who will be a great back up. Or just have fun and select all your favourite Yo-Kai for it. It's easier if you have a strategy of course, but there is no harm trying it out. You can always do it again.
The things worth noting is:
- Yo-Kai from the same tribe (there are 8) standing next to each other will give them a power boost
- There are healers, fast attackers, multi-attacker, powerful attackers, attackers that will cause damage per turn, etc.
- You can combine 2 Yo-Kai to make a more powerful one
- Favourism (use a Yo-Kai purely because they are cute, but not necessary useful?)
- Buy plenty of food and drinks
Winning and Losing:
Winning a battle will reward all 6 of your Yo-kai experience points (some with skill level up), money and sometimes item(s).
Losing a battle will send your character back to their bedroom, and you'll have to run back to where you needed to be.
The game isn't just about collecting Yo-Kai and battling though. The main story-line is what interests me most and kept the game going for both me and Abby. And there are also other things you can do in the game:
- Bug Hunting
I have only been doing this before I met Whisper, but the net, bugs collected and bug lure are still in the Inventory so I assume you can still do this.
- Requests and Favours
These are side quests you can do when you need a break from whatever you are doing. Requests is a one off quest, and Favours can be repeated.
- Treasure hunting
There are always items to collect around the village, so it's worth searching under cars, in the bins, or opening Yo-Kai boxes.
The village map is fairly big and there are a lot of hidden alleys as well. Although there are a lot of Yo-Kai patrolling these areas, there are also a good amount of treasures to be found
A little bit further in the game, players will be able to go out at night, and this is when Terror Time happens. A powerful Yo-Kai Oni (demon, ogre or troll in Japanese) will appear and the scene will turn into a nightmare, where you will have to run as fast as you can towards the exit without being spotted by his minions. There isn't a point in fighting him because your Yo-Kai will "die" as soon as they get hit.
You can save the game as and when you want to (through Diary), but there will be an auto save as well especially after a completed chapter of the story.
You can also access your Inventory here to check what you have and equip items on your Yo-Kai, and check your quest list to see where you are up to.
Music and Graphics:
The music is mainly cheerful, especially when you are out and about in the village, but can be quite creepy when it comes to Terror Time! I love it!
The animation is cute, with well thought out map. Some of the Yo-Kai are adorable, and there are over 200 types, it's amazing how many drawings of Yo-Kai they came up with!
The game is quite funny and it makes you smile along the way, chuckling occasionally. Whisper is especially funny!
As soon as she took over the game, she couldn't stop playing for the whole bank holiday, so she got much further into the game than me. She's doing much better than I expected without help, but she can do with a little bit of guidance on how to make battling a bit easier.
She absolutely loves the game and I can see her wanting to complete the storyline, but perhaps with some help on battles.
Initially I couldn't really get into the game because it felt like I'm just repeatedly collecting Yo-Kai. That's until the story-line has kicked off and the battles become much more interesting. I'm even interested in just exploring the areas that are locked behind Watch Locks (you can only get through when your Yo-Kai watch reached the rank printed on the door) so I can collect more treasures.
I think that, like many other Nintendo games, there are a lot of different things to do to keep players interested. You can collect Yo-Kai, or follow the story-line, or simply hunt for treasures and do quests and/ or favours. You can even battle it out with a friend.
The combination of the above, with a funny dialog and great drawings has kept us going, and the fact that the way they designed the battle, where kids aren't really involved in the fighting, but acting as a coach and supporter, made me like the game even more.
It's definitely a game way better than I thought it would, and I can see why they sell so well. For kids and adults who are into collecting cute monsters, and like a good versatile game, Nintendo 3DS Yo-Kai Watch is definitely worth investing on (and you get quite a bit of goodies that comes with the game as well if you buy it through their online store!)