Summary: Yo-Kai Watch has a lot of charm: in its story, characters and its titular monsters. However many critics are saying that the gameplay and mechanics themselves are not as up to scratch as Yo-Kai Watch's competition
Top Critic Average
Repetitive but charming, Yo-Kai Watch is a kid's game through and through.
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.
A charming and well-made role-playing adventure, but despite how much it might resemble Pokémon it has nothing like the depth of Nintendo's games.
While it's not Pokemon-killer, Yo-kai Watch delivers a delightfully simple and engaging experience that'll keep you coming back time and again.
Yo-Kai Watch has a great sense of humor, unique combat, and collection hooks that sink in quickly
Yo-kai Watch's charm overcomes its repetitive nature
Yo-Kai Watch is a quirky tale with deeply strategic combat, but the way you collect its creatures leaves too much up to random chance.
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.
By and large these are all minor gripes. The battle system is a lot of frenetic fun, the writing is sharp, and visually the game is that Level-5 cel-shaded colorful anime that looks fantastic. The 3D is unnecessary, but they appear to have learned from what was irritating in a game like LBX (recent as it was) and really worked to smooth out the rough and awkward edges. Aside from a few clumsy design choices, mostly regarding side mission requirements and scrounging around awkwardly for the few required missions, Yo-Kai Watch is a charming gem that's only helping bolster the claim that fun and full RPG experiences are only getting better on portable hardware. And it's a great and action-ish way to invite newer RPG players into the party without entirely scaring away the more hardcore fans. Just because it's cute and funny doesn't mean it doesn't get tense, like seeing a g-g-g-GHOOOOOOST!
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.