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[Review] Yo-kai Watch 2

Posted on September 28, 2016 by (@LyonHart_) in 3DS, Reviews

System: 3DS
Release date: September 30, 2016
Developer: Level-5
Publisher Nintendo


One year ago, Nintendo and Level-5 graced us with the surprise hit Japan has enjoyed for a while by bringing Yo-kai Watch over to the west. This year, we’re getting Yo-kai Watch 2 in two separate versions: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. While Japan has enjoyed the second entry long before we got the first, it’s nice to see both titles finally making their way over in 2016 to give 3DS owners and fans of the original something to look forward to once again.

Before we go any further, let me start by saying that this review was made with a copy of Fleshy Souls. The difference between Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls mainly lies in their medals which come with the physical versions, as well as a few Yo-kai and quests that are specific to each game. Other than that, much like how Pokemon handles their varying versions, they are practically identical in every other way. If you plan on getting Bony Spirits, this review should still provide an accurate impression on what to expect from that version.

Jibanyan, Whisper, and the rest of the Yo-kai crew are back in Springdale to create mischief and embark on yet another goofy yet adorable and hilarious journey with Nate and Katie and their close friends. This time, we look at the origins of the Yo-kai Watch, all while ominously being followed and watched by a pair of evil Yo-kai sisters.

Right away what took me by surprise with Yo-kai Watch 2 is the fact that the first hour is mainly the original Yo-kai Watch all over again. Within the first few minutes, your memory is wiped by the aforementioned evil Yo-kai sisters Kin and Gin, and you literally have to repeat everything from the first entry, such as finding Whisper from the capsule machine, and Jibanyan from the intersection still trying to stop trucks – he’ll even tell you his story of why he’s doing it and how he became that way. This made me immediately feel as if – and this feeling is even more so amplified later on – Yo-kai Watch 2 is made to be the “definitive edition” of sorts of the first game, as not only does it catch you up within the first hour of everything that happened in Yo-kai Watch 1 since you’re literally playing through it, but you get acquainted quickly with the same cast and city. Everything is exactly how you remember it, and because of its polish and refinement compared to the original, it’s almost as if Level-5 wanted to make something that was not only accessible for everyone, but didn’t require people to play the first title at all.

3ds_yk2_septdirect_scrn_01

It’s odd to see something like this happen in a sequel when normally consumer interest in the newer product of a recently released or upcoming title will usually cause them to spend money on previous iterations to either catch up, enjoy more of the lore, or simply experience more of what they loved. While I’m quite alright with the prospect of this so fans both old and new can enjoy this at the same time on launch day (as well as with future titles), in some cases it almost feels a bit upsetting that everything from the previous title seemingly felt like it was all for nothing and that you’re doing everything over again. This is the vibe I got anyways, and while the charm and everything I love about Yo-kai Watch in general is still here, that thought lingered with me throughout my playthrough – constantly feeling a sense of déjà vu because I had done all of this before.

This is, however, a fantastic chance for new players to jump in since it just feels like a cleaned up and much better experience of the first title. The story, albeit similar, is certainly better. The game itself is a lot more engaging and makes you want to stick through it until the end, and the humor that made the first entry so great is still there, and even turned up a notch in some cases. You’re granted with a multitude of Yo-kai this time around, bumping up the count from 200 to well over 350 you can befriend in Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. The battle system feels a lot smoother and even adds a few extra perks later on that make battles even more exciting.

One of the best parts when it comes to battling in Yo-kai Watch 2 is its Blasters mode in which you and up to three other friends (you can play this by yourself if you want) get together to take on what’s essentially the Yo-kai Watch version of a raid. Here you can go around collecting orbs and try to survive until an escape portal opens up. It’s a crazy amount of fun and undoubtedly a highlight of Yo-kai Watch 2. If you have any friends that plan on picking up Yo-kai Watch 2, you’re bound to spend hours among hours in this mode alone. Of course, if raiding isn’t for you, there’s also online play and medal trading to help you hone your skills and beef up your Yo-kai Medallium further.

3ds_yk2_septdirect_scrn_03

Despite all the similarities and copies that players of the original Yo-kai Watch will encounter, the saying “there’s no place like home” still holds true. It’s easy to remember where everything is since nothing has changed, and it’s cool to see all the differences this time around, even if you sometimes have to go out of your way to look for them. It feels great to be back where it all started and meet up with your friends and play the game again in a more intuitive fashion.

Yo-kai Watch 2 is a fun and incredibly charming experience perfect for the whole family, and a game where, if you have kids of your own, you should definitely buy them all copies and play along. If anything, it makes the hype for Yo-kai Watch 3 through the roof since there will be a whole new setting and adventure to take on. Maybe this was intentional to make you feel as if you really live in Springdale before Yo-kai Watch 3 comes around to give more of an emotional attachment to the title. Who knows! Either way, Level-5 has created a wonderful world and something special with Yo-kai Watch in general that’s great for people of all ages. If Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls is your first time jumping into the series, don’t worry – you’ll have a great time and be caught up in a flash.


The Verdict
thumbs up review


While Yo-kai Watch 2 certainly gives off the déjà vu effect due to its large similarities with its predecessor, it’s certainly a more fun and engaging adventure this time around that fans both old and new can enjoy. Battling in general feels a lot more enjoyable and refined, as well as the inclusion of new apps and meeting new friends that overall bring the entire experience together in a well thought out way that makes the title feel whole. The charm and humor of Yo-kai Watch is as strong as ever, and with tons more to see and do, Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls serve as great follow-ups to the original, giving fans and newcomers countless hours of gameplay and plenty of smiles and laughs along the way.

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  • theFooFighter

    It doesn’t look bad it just doesn’t look particularly amazing either. I’ll probably end up skipping it, the 3ds isn’t exactly short on jrpgs at them moment especially when it comes to monster collecting games.

  • David Ruckman

    The Japanese 1950s aesthetics is really pulling me in with this one. I thought the first game was alright, and I see enough improvements here. Will definitely buy.

    • Blake Good

      If this came out in Japan in 2014, then it would be set in 1954, but since it came out in the US this year, wouldn’t it be changed to 1956?

      • David Ruckman

        Playing the game now, there’s no direct reference to the exact year outside of past and present. I guess they kept it ambiguous in case you pick up the game a few years after release.

  • Reggie

    Glad I didn’t get the first installment if this is meant to be the definitive version. There is no way that Yo-Kai Watch 3 is going to be localized with how late the 3DS is going into its lifespan. In that case, I’m thinking of picking this one up. Still not fond of the battle system though.

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      Don’t count it out yet…

    • Coonfoot

      They might try localizing 3 sooner than the previous games just so the US can catch up with Japan. I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes to the states around the same time next year.

      • Reggie

        The NX launches in March. By that time, assuming it is a hybrid, the 3DS would become obsolete and discontinued.

        • Kong Shim

          I doubt it. Nintendo didn’t kill off the GBA or DS when their successors were launched. They were still releasing games on the DS within the first and second year of the 3DS.

          • Rafael Bueno

            Case in point games like Pokémon Black/White 1 and 2, the 3rd Layton game on DS and etc

        • David Ruckman

          The recent Nintendo direct listed several 3DS games that are coming out in 2017, and there are a handful that will most certainly get localized (like Etrian Odyssey) that still don’t have western release dates.

          Also, they’re were first party GBA and DS games even after they become ‘obsolete’, given that the userbase for the 3DS is still large, they likely won’t skip a few translations if they think they’ll be profitable.

        • Jack Longman

          Nintendo are supporting both the Wii U and the 3DS through to 2018.

          • Reggie

            “The Wii U” “through to 2018”

            Sir, you win the reward for comedy gold.

      • Blake Good

        I’d love to get it in May/June 2017 but usually, games like the Zelda and Pokemon series aren’t released until the 4th quarter of the year.

  • dbizal

    Yo-Kai Watch 2 Late to even care about the franchise any more.

  • Zombielord1985

    Picking up both versions friday!

  • Dayph

    Can’t wait Europe version ☺

  • Blake Good

    Ugh, why the hell are the games I want to be good, never praised but those stupid awful M-rated games are? I hate today’s world, I really do!

    • Velen (Not WoW)

      Dude. What?

    • FowlOsborn

      Don’t take this seriously, just messing around!

    • ben

      In fairness, a lot of M rated games get bad reviews.
      Titanfall is hardly a great example of a game getting praised.. Unless you mean IGN>…… But IGN is a joke dude.. they just copy news stories off of Neogaf and Neogaf is a bunch of kids who used to read IGN. It is not like Neogaf is in anyway special. There are good people there.. but most of Neogaf and IGN are not the brightest sparks.

      • Blake Good

        Sorry I bashed Titanfall, I meant to bash CoD and BF! GTA and Fallout are good franchises. I also think BioShock is better than Gears of Wars, though. Not a fan of M-rated games but did enjoy some like Perfect Dark and Half-life 2.

    • nolive2020

      Just like what you like, nobody’s judging if you like certain games or not.

    • I think the general consensus around Titanfall is that it was trash. A $60 game at launch – which inevitably becomes more since you need to have/buy an XBL subscription to even play it since it’s online-multiplayer only – with barely any features and a mech concept we’ve seen plenty of before from games that have done it much better (and in the case of HAWKEN where that’s free-to-play, alongside Planetside and Mech-Warrior Online, and vastly superior in my opinion), basically made its death imminent from the get-go. I remember playing it when it came out and going, “this will last maybe the next two weeks before people are officially done with this – one month at maximum”, and that is precisely what happened.

      M-Rated games aren’t stupid, it’s the rehashed military shooters that are. Shooters in general, really.

      • Blake Good

        Yes, I agree. That’s why I hate most M-rated games, because they’re mostly recycled shooters!

    • Cinema Crap

      Why? Because people want a more developed anime than a kiddie cartoon? In fact, YOU have no taste in anime.

    • Addy

      “People who hate YW have no tastes in video games or anime.”

      So if I hate whatever series you like I have no taste in video games or anime. Best kind of logic I’ve ever heard, said no me. Or anyone in the world. Ever.

    • Clay Claymore

      Because you have an awful taste in games? Seriously, enough of your YK fanboyism…

  • Blake Good

    Leave it to IGN to give this game a 5.5 while giving some stupid @ss soccer game, a 9.5! I kid you not! That’s how low they’ve sank!

    • Clay Claymore

      Face it, when a soccer game gets a better score than your little Pokémon ripoff, you know a game is horrible.

    • Addy

      Getting upset of some who give your favorite game a low score, c’mon don’t be like that. Acting like an easily offended fanboy does not make you good.

      • Blake Good

        Well gaming journalists like IGN only like M-rated shooter garbage! That’s a fact!

        Anything that is rated E, E10+, or T is guaranteed to get between a 5-7. Everything else that is M-rated gets an 8 or higher.

        • Kong Shim

          Pokemon X/Y and several other non-rated M games got 9s from IGN, so your logic isn’t making much sense.

          Plus who cares what they rate it. You can still sit back and enjoy the games.

          • Blake Good

            Because whoever reviewed them wasn’t a moron, like that hack that reviewed YW2!

  • Blake Good

    Why does America have these stupid gaming journalists who praise garbage like CoD or anything that is a M-rated/shooter game, but hate good clean games like these? I wish I lived in Japan, at least they still have a soul and a sense of humor.

    • Addy

      Why lose sleep and get mad about things like that? People have different tastes in games, that’s all. Don’t like FPSers? That’s fine, but don’t go on a tangent and call them stupid because you don’t like them.

      • Blake Good

        Once again, everyone online has to act rude. This is why I hate the internet!

        • Addy

          Acting rude? Far from it, I was giving advice. Oh and news flash: the internet is not a hugbox. If you hate the internet, then you shouldn’t be on at all.

          • Blake Good

            Then maybe God shouldn’t have put me in the 21st century, then!

        • Cinema Crap

          OMFG, are you serious? Look, I’m gonna say this as “non-rude” as I can. People are rude to you, because they think YOU DON’T use common sense. You keep overhyping YKW as a masterpiece of an anime, and bashing others who don’t like it, when really, it’s just not meant for them! No, it’s not because they want “violence”, it’d because they want a more fleshed out anime that’s NOT JUST aimed at kids.

          Also, think twice before you say about when life was better. Do you really want to live in the 50’s or 60’s, where black racism, women having no rights and the Cuban Missle Crisis happened?!

    • Cinema Crap

      Again, VIOLENCE doesn’t mean crap about quality. If so, then why is Mario so popular? Why is Sonic still popular (sort of)?

      Also, are you serious? Japan likes normal stuff? Um, not to burst your bubble, but THEY COME UP WITH MOST OF THE VIOLENT GAMES AND ANIME!! It’s not just Hello Kitty crap!

    • Clay Claymore

      No, Yo-Kai Watch isn’t popular because it’s a lame Pokémon ripoff.

  • Blake Good

    To think the (IGN)orant gaming critics gave this 5s and 6s while giving Paper Mario: Color Trash, 7s and 8s, makes me lose faith in gaming journalism!

    Meanwhile this only has a 69 (Bony Spirits) and a 64 (Fleshy Souls) while Paper Mario: Color Trash has a friggin 79!

    • Addy

      Criminy Jones, you just don’t know when to stop complaining about that, do you? Get over it, and move on with your life.

      • Blake Good

        How about you leave me alone!

        • Addy

          Mind telling me what your problem is lately?

          • Hermione Granger

            dont bother asking that nutcase..

          • Blake Good

            You’re a nutcase? Correct! Stealing a Harry Potter’s character photo, sigh!

          • Hermione Granger

            me not at all, but looking at your profile picture, you looks like a 110% nutcase for sure.

          • Blake Good

            What’s yours, pal?

          • Clay Claymore

            What’s with your obsession with Yo-Kai Watch? It’s really not all that.

    • Clay Claymore

      It’s getting 5s and 6s because IT’S A RIP-OFF TRYING WAY TOO HARD TO BE POKEMON


Related Game Info


Platform: 3DS
Genre: RPG
Publisher: Level-5
Developer: Level-5
Release date: September 30, 2016
OWN IT: 0 [I own this game]
BEAT IT: 0 [I beat this game]
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