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 is a quirky tale with deeply strategic combat, but the way you collect its creatures leaves too much up to random chance.
Yo-kai Watch's charm overcomes its repetitive nature
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.
While it does not usurp the Pokémon franchise in any way, shape, or form, Yo-Kai Watch is a viable alternative for those who can get past some of the inconsistent design choices. It's easy to understand why kids in Japan have been drawn to the franchise and while the game feels like it's on autopilot a lot of the time, there is enough complexity here to keep you from getting bored. Younger gamers in particular are likely to find the most enjoyment in Yo-Kai Watch.
Yo-Kai Watch is a game with a great personality and a highly approachable combat system, but not free from major flaws: the random Yo-Kai capture system can be kinda frustrating, and it's a shame that it doesn't have an online multiplayer feature.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Yo-Kai Watch is a charming and sprawling RPG, one that appeals to a younger audience with its adorable characters and moral-heavy story, but also to mature players with its intense and complex battle system.
While the battle system could use some work, the charming world of Yo-Kai Watch features a solid blueprint for the future of this already ongoing franchise
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.
Yo-Kai Watch's vast array of collectible monsters aren't very cute or cuddly, but they are weirdly memorable
Yo-Kai Watch is an endearing, charming title with some minor missteps, but it overcomes those with the pure joy of discovery and intrigue that can only come from a well-crafted collection-RPG, reminiscent of my youth spent behind a dim GameBoy light.
Yo-Kai Watch is filled with charm, monsters to befriend, unique battle mechanics, and gameplay that keeps players engaged. Still, the title is filled with redundancies.
Its appeal lies in its delightful story and colourful cast, a compelling bunch that would indeed give the Pokédex a run for its money. If only it could find the mechanics to match.
The cute monster battling fun is extremely familiar, but Yo-Kai watch has plenty of its own charm