Yo-kai Watch 2 – Fleshy Souls & Bony Spirits

Mark Nintendo, Reviews 0 Comments

It seems like only yesterday that my dreams were haunted by the soundtrack to Yo-kai Watch. The auto-correct on my phone has never fully recovered from the boys incessant searching for the favourite foods of Cutta-nah-nah, Slacka-slash and the talking buttocks that is Cheeksqueek.

To be fair, my auto-correct never had a problem with Cheeksqueek although why is nobodies business beyond me, Google and possibly my doctor.

Such was their fascination with Yo-kai Watch, at one point it accounted for over half of my Sky+ recordings. It was the main topic of bedtime conversation for months. It cost me a small fortune importing the plush toy from Japan they’d selfishly added to their Christmas list before I’d had a chance to check its UK availability.

It seems like only yesterday because it was. Few games have captured the boys imagination quite like Yo-kai Watch. And just as their interest begins to wane, along comes the release of Yo-kai Watch 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. Oh the joys.

For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon that is Yo-kai Watch, there’s a full explanation on my review of the first 3DS game which you can find here. Yo-kai are based on Japanese folklore. Essentially they’re supernatural spirits that take the form of humans, animals and inanimate objects. Think Pokemon only wittier and with more interesting back stories.

Conveniently, the story this time begins with your character forgetting everything they previously knew about the spirit world, so newcomers to the series needn’t worry about what they may have missed.

As a casual over-the-shoulder observer it appears to be much the same as its first incarnation. You wander the town of Springdale discovering Yo-kai, completing missions, solving puzzles and battling bosses.

Sonny and Luca are however at pains to tell otherwise.

You know when you make a flippant comment you assumed was in your head but it turns out it wasn’t? Well, thanks to that I can now explain in great detail what makes Yo-Kai Watch 2 different…

For a start there are dozens of new Yo-kai to find, and alongside the usual fetch quests are new styles of missions such as quizzes and maze-like puzzles.

There’s huge swathes of the town to investigate that were previously inaccessible as well as additional towns further afield that can you reach via the new train system. The train can feel a little slow and laborious at times but go deeper into the game and you’ll soon discover teleport points to speed things along.

There’s also an all new time-travel element to the game which takes you on a journey to discover the history of the Yo-kai and the creation of the first Yo-kai watch.

Battling remains much the same as before in the form of an RPG style system. Choose six Yo-kai and send them into battle. It’s largely passive and often requires little in the way of real-time tweaks to win, although battling the bosses does require a far greater degree of strategy and forward planning, much to the boys frustration and my amusement.

But possibly the biggest and most welcome surprise is the addition of multiplayer battles and trading. In much the same was as the latest Pokemon game was available in two versions (Sun and Moon), so too is Yo-kai Watch 2; Fleshy Souls and Bony Spirits. So not only can you now test your battle skills online with other players but also trade and collect Yo-kai that are exclusive to their respective releases.

VERDICT

For the most part, Yo-kai Watch 2 treads a very similar path to its predecessor, but that’s no bad thing. The charming and witty story-lines are every bit as quirky and enjoyable as the first game and the expanded world, addition of multiplayer as well as the added depth to the Yo-kai folklore has kept the boys interested far beyond the limited hours of screen-time I’m trying (and failing miserably) to uphold.

If your kids loved the first Yo-kai Watch they’ll love this too. If they’ve yet to succumb to the Yo-kai charm then this is as good a place to start as any. Just be prepared to have your dreams haunted by the ridiculously catchy music.

 

Yo-kai Watch 2 is out now for the Nintendo 3DS. Pegi rating: 7+.

Nintendo have produced an excellent micro-site with more information, guides and answers to all your Yo-kai queries which you can visit by clicking here.

 

{Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Yo-kai Watch 2 for the purposes of this review. All words and opinions are honest and my own}

 

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