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Yo-Kai Watch 3

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 13 - 2018

Things are getting strange, I’m starting to worry. This could be a case for Blunder and Folly.

Despite being obviously influenced by the massively popular Pokémon games, Level 5’s Yo-Kai Watch series has never quite had the success over here in the west that it enjoys back in Japan. The massive success in Japan has ensured that the developer has continued to push out Yo-Kai Watch games, it just means that Yo-Kai fans in the west have had to wait that little bit longer for the games to get localised. For the latest title, Yo-Kai Watch 3, and what is likely the last Yo-Kai Watch title to be coming to 3DS, it may well have been worth the wait, because Yo-Kai Watch 3 includes a huge amount of content, including two stories that take place in two different destinations, and plenty of refinements that make this the best Yo-Kai Watch game so far. Let’s go catch a spirit or two.

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For those who have never heard of the Yo-Kai Watch games, well, you are forgiven. The long and short of it is that they simply get far less promotion in the UK. The basic premise is something tat may seem very familiar though. The player wanders around their given area, finding, battling and collecting mischievous little spirit creatures. They are not pocket monsters, no matter how similar they seem. As the player progresses, they open up new areas, strengthen their team of Yo-Kai and go on to battle yet more of these creatures. The core appeal is something that many players will recognise and enjoy.

But there is so much more to the Yo-Kai games than just collecting spirits and battling. Yo-Kai Watch 3 treats the player to not one, but two stories involving two different characters, in two places. Nate moves away from the usual Yo-Kai Watch series setting of Springdale to the city of St. Peanutsburg in BBQ. Silliness aside, this means that he has moved from Japan to America, which gives the game an excuse to introduce loads of new American themed Yo-Kai. However, this doesn’t mean that Springdale is lost and forgotten, as players are introduced to a new character, Hailey Anne, who remains in Springdale and runs through her own story parallel to that of Nate. As the player progresses, they will be able to continually swap back and forth between the two characters and their stories, building up two very different teams of Yo-Kai should they wish.

Springdale will still be pretty much the same location it was in the previous games, with a few changes to keep it fresh, while St. Peanutsburg offers an exciting new destination for the player to explore. Both settings are great and, while it does take a little while for the player to find their way around, they flow nicely and hold more than a few surprises for the player.

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No matter which character they play, the moment to moment gameplay will be pretty much the same. It will mostly involve taking on missions from the various characters that inhabit the locations, and searching for new Yo-Kai to do battle with and maybe add to their team. The game is jam-packed with other little distractions and things to do, but more on that in a moment. Keeping the player moving through the game is a pair of nicely crafted stories that are packed with humour and quirkiness, from the strange Yo-Kai, of which there are some 600 to collect, to the vastly different locations that offer all sorts of fun pokes at the different cultures. There are some genuinely grin-inducing moments in the game that will stay with the player.

The battle system has been changed slightly, which will be good news for any of the returning players. Traditionally, the battles have been somewhat hands off, with the Yo-Kai performing their attacks automatically with only minimal input from the player. This is different now, with the introduction of a grid system on which the Yo-Kai are placed and the player is able to move them around to provide support for each other, give protection to the weaker Yo-Kai, and even link up for more powerful attacks. It makes for a much more tactical battle system that returning players will appreciate, while newcomers will be able to enjoy the slight increase in the difficulty. The game does a very good job of explaining how things work, so new players will not have to worry about getting lost with the more involved mechanics.

While the exploration, capturing Yo-Kai and battling will take up much of a players time, the game is packed full of mini-games to keep that sense of repetition at bay. These little challenges and added extras break up the gameplay and are so plentiful that the player will always be able to find something to do. However, not all of these are simply throw away distractions, as things like surviving Zombie Night will quickly become a highlight, and the Yo-Kai Blasters mode in which players explore dungeons is almost an entire new game in itself. Throw in local and online play for Yo-Kai battles and Blasters, and Yo-Kai Watch 3 will keep the player entertained for hours and hours.

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Yo-Kai Watch 3 is a great evolution of an already enjoyable formula. The small changes that have been made only enhance the game, and the game is very generous with its additional content. Returning players will find the best version of a game that they already know, while newcomers will find an alternative collect and battle game that is very well polished and loads of fun. While Switch owners can get excited about the next Yo-Kai Watch game, Yo-Kai Watch 3 is a great final entry for 3DS players to enjoy.




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