Yo-kai Watch Review Round-up

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Yo-kai Watch launches across North America this week, with New York’s Nintendo World store to host the official launch event on Saturday.

Ahead of that, critics have begun sharing their opinions about LEVEL-5’s Nintendo 3DS exclusive having had chance to pour hours into the Japanese cultural phenomenon. It’s been received positively, and is currently sat with a a 79 Metascore on Metacritic, aggregrated from nine reviews that have so far been published.

We’ve shared the concluding comments for quick reference below! Will you be picking up Yo-kai Watch this week?

Destructoid – 8.5
“Yo-Kai Watch isn’t the second coming of Pokémon, and that’s perfectly okay. If you love to sit by the fire and train your Pokémon for hours, perfecting their EV and IV levels so you can be the very best, you likely won’t find the same depth in Yo-Kai. Its world and philosophy is much simpler than that. But as a result, none of it feels frustrating or like work, and I’m constantly tempted to jump back into my adventures with Nate and Whisper.”

Game Informer – 8.5
“Comparing Yo-kai Watch to Pokémon is more than fair as the game borrows from the series that helped establish what has become its own genre, but there’s no reason to pick one over the other. Yo-kai Watch is a worthy competitor that stands comfortably next to Nintendo’s monster collector as a distinct peer.”

GameSpot – 7
“Yo-kai Watch is driven by the personalities of its Yo-kai, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in training your Yo-kai to your specific tastes and tackling tougher demons. The writing is delightful, combat is unique and entertaining, and even though the map leaves much to be desired it’s fun to follow along with the story looking for the paranormal. Although navigating the world can be tedious and frustrating, the allure of building a diverse team of exotic Yo-kai pushes your exploration forward. You’re constantly moving, searching for a specific Yo-kai, hunting down a mysterious item, or working your fingers muscles executing Soultimates. It’s a neat twist on the creature-collecting game with a lot of heart.”

IGN – 7.2
“As an RPG, Yo-Kai Watch mostly fumbles its battle system and creates a relatively passive experience. However, I adored exploring every corner of its compelling world. The low difficulty ultimately works in its favor — I was always eager to move on to the next charming character or compelling idea. Yo-Kai Watch is a “kids’ game” that doesn’t talk down to or sugarcoat darker themes for kids, and I appreciated not being talked down to either.”

Nintendo World Report – 9
“The game was so successful in Japan that its sequel knocked Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire off the top spot in 2014 and it’s easy to see why. While a lot of missions boil down to a lot of fetching and running around, the charm behind the story and strategy-driven battling system create a fun world to explore and master. It’s a fresh take on the genre that can pull in more than just Pokémon fans waiting on the next game. Yo-kai Watch is a surprising hit that builds on itself the more you play, demanding more thought and focus than its cheery exterior suggests.”

USGamer – 4/5
“Don’t let Yo-Kai Watch’s kiddie appeal fool you: It might not be as deep as your average, adult-style RPG, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Level-5’s gradual evolution of their “house style” has amounted to a true successor to Pokemon—one entirely free of its predecessor’s 8-bit baggage.”

VentureBeat – 65/100
“Yo-Kai Watch is a rather odd beast in many ways. Kids’ trends are always difficult to predict, and even with the massive marketing push behind the game, it’s hard to say if Yo-Kai Watch will achieve Pokémon-like levels of cross-cultural penetration. It certainly isn’t up to Pokémon’s level: while exploring is fun, combat is a passive, frustrating slog that keeps it from being as enjoyable as it should be. Perhaps younger players will find more appeal in the fighting, but in terms of being strong enough to carry a global brand, the core game of Yo-Kai Watch still needs improvement.”

Written by
After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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