Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls Review – A Review by Jose Vega
Special thanks to Nintendo for providing me these games.
Pokémon… it’s a franchise that revolutionized the world since the 1990s. There have been many that tried to capitalize on the franchise success but none would ever come close. In 2013, a game called Yo-kai Watch would be released in Japan, ending up becoming a huge success. From its success, many things would spawn from it such as an ongoing animated series as well as a manga series, two animated films and it would eventually be brought overseas in 2015. The rest is history. Now a year later, we in America now get to enjoy the sequel to Yo-kai Watch. This is Yo-kai Watch 2 and it seems the game is following the Pokémon route, splitting this experience into two games. Does this divide the overall experience or is Level-5 believing that this is the best way to go?
Before I continue with this review, I do want to say that I never played any of the Yo-kai Watch games. This is my first time and my review reflects on this. Let’s begin with the plot. It starts with an unknown force wiping away the memories of the main protagonist Nathan “Nate” Adams. What follows are events that have been relived in the previous game but with an unexpected twist. After reuniting with some Yo-kai that Nate encountered before, Nate along with his new friends set off on another adventure.
I don’t want to spoil anything relating to the plot but I feel that the story can get a bit crazy. There are twists and turns that will send you all over the place. And for anyone that has never played a Yo-kai Watch game, they may get lost. You don’t have to worry. Everything will feel spot on as you play. Take it from me. I got hooked into the game a few hours in. If a game like that has something that can get you hooked, it’s a win in my book.
Now I know what you’re going to say, “This game is a rip off of Pokémon” right? Guess what. Wrong. It’s not. It may have a similar way to Pokémon but this is Yo-kai Watch and it has stuff that sets itself apart. The game is split into two sections: Exploration and battle. You’ll be spending an equal amount of time doing both, trekking all over town, finding and battling Yo-kai, obtaining items and completing quests. Your Yo-kai Watch is a very important item to have. You need it in order to find the many Yo-kai that are located. They come in a variety of ranks, attributes and tribes. No, I’m actually serious. That’s how things work but you’re more concerned about how battling works. I’m getting to that so hang on a bit.
The game follows a chapter-based system and in order to move on to the next chapter, you need to complete quests. Quests come in three different categories: Important, Requests and Favors. Important Quests are ones that when completed will allow you to continue the main story of the game. Requests are one-time jobs provided by anyone that has a blue “!”. Favors are like Requests but they have an orange “!” and can be done as many times as you like. Completing any of these nets you rewards ranging from money, experience, items or to even raise your Yo-kai Watch Rank. It’s needed if you want to continue on with the game but it never hurts to complete them.
Battles happen in real time the instant the battle begins. Your party can have up to a maximum of 6 Yo-Kai and how you go about it depends on how you play. But you can only have 3 on the field. See it as like a Triple Battle but you don’t give them orders. They do their thing. Your job is a bit more on the micro managing side, courtesy of the Yo-Kai Watch. You can do many things such as healing Yo-kai with food, rotating Yo-kai out for other ones and activate Soultimates. Whenever a Soultimate is activate, you need to do a mini game on the bottom screen to fill up the gauge. When it’s charged, the Yo-Kai can unleash a special attack with various properties. In this sequel, it gets taken up a notch with the addition of Moxie. Once you receive an upgrade to your Yo-Kai Watch, you’ll have the option to get access to these powered-up Soultimates. The only difference is that you need 3 Soul Gauges to pull it off. It’s a high risk/high reward move and it can turn the tide of battle. My advice is to use it only when necessary. Boss battles are aplenty in this game and unlike regular battles; these have some strategy involved so you’ll need a good combination of Yo-kai to help take down these threats. Sometimes they’ll have something that you need to target and other times they can inflict some nasty problems at you. You need to use the Yo-kai Watch to either target said thing or to use Purify to rid the curse away from the Yo-kai. It rewards you for doing it, making this a required thing to do and sometimes you need to poke enemy Yo-kai at specific areas to get rewards.
Another difference between this game and Pokémon is that in order to get more Yo-kai, you need to befriend them aka earning their trust. You do that by giving them food. In addition to Yo-kai having various characteristics, they also have varying tastes. Depending on the Yo-kai you’re up against, you’ll need the right food to earn their trust. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. It’s all trial and error. It’s also time consuming too because even if you give them something that they may like you a ton for, they won’t always befriend you. As I said, it’s luck based and if you plan on befriending Yo-kai, you’ll need the right food for the right one. Some instances, you may need to evolve Yo-kai in order for them to be stronger and other times, you need to use Fusion by combining Yo-kai with specific medals or items. There are many combinations and it can take a lot of work. I did mention that this game is split into two right? Yes. There are two versions of the game: Fleshy Souls and Bony Spirits. There isn’t much in terms of differences between the two. The story is the same but depending on which version you play will have you meeting Yo-Kai that are exclusive to it. Combined, there are over 300 Yo-kai you will encounter, befriend and battle with. A game like this that has so many Yo-kai to find will take you hours, even after beating the game. The post game that follows is just as long. It’s something that is worth spending a lot of time on.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, there’s more. Like Pokémon, you can battle or trade with your friends locally or online. It adds more to the game’s content along with many other modes. Exclusive to both versions is Yo-kai Watch Busters where four players can choose a Yo-kai to battle against dangerous Oni Yo-kai. There is so much to do here that it’s incredible. The story can take roughly around 15-20 hours if that’s your focus but if you plan on covering everything, finding all the yo-kai, completing quests, mini games, etc. then let’s just say that the overall length explodes into hundreds of hours. I am not kidding. It is nuts. Only the most dedicative of players will be pouring a lot of time and skill into finding every Yo-Kai that’s in both versions.
Presentation wise, the game looks amazing on the 3DS. Truly awesome! Character models are well done. The environments are vibrant, full of life and they provide something different depending on location. Music is well done with my favorites being during battle as they provide a sense of intensity to the fight. There are cut scenes in some parts of the game and they capture the feel of the franchise real well. It’s like you’re watching the anime and I’m going to give it credit. The dub for it is good especially since they did bring some good talent like Johnny Yong Bosch of Power Rangers fame.
I’m going to be 100% fair. I did find some faults in the game. The difficulty curve is fair but there’ll be times where the game can throw a curve ball at you and put like a real tough threat in your face and wipe your whole party out in minutes. Training is a good thing but it’ll get to a point where it can be a grind, just to take down something that drives you nuts for hours on end. Also the battle system is similar to the first game. That’s not to say its bad but I wish they added something unique to make it stand out. Nothing wrong with it but the least the game can do is to give the player a bit of leverage. Another nitpick I got is like I said, trial and error when it comes to befriending Yo-kai. It can happen especially when you don’t have the required food to use to befriend them and you end up using something you have one of that would work but doesn’t. It can be disappointing but it also convinces you that you need to prepare more. It isn’t pretty.
Issues aside, Yo-kai Watch 2 provides an awesome experience with both Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. It’s weird that they decided to split the game into two versions but with so much to do, it’s hard not to deny that having it all in one game won’t cut it. It won’t at all. New players will get on this game quick while veterans will spend all their time finding every Yo-kai that’s there. I could go on and on about how good the game is but I’ll say it here. This guy is worth the full price and it’s something I recommend. If you feel that Pokémon isn’t giving you enough of an experience, try these games. You’ll find it to be something that has it stands out over others. Now if only Level-5, the same guys that give us the Layton series of games can give us the third version of Yo-Kai Watch 2 or maybe the third game. Who knows? Nothing’s for sure.
I give Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls a 9 out of 10. These two games are a MUST BUY and they deserve my Seal of Approval.
If you want to see more info in relation to Yo-kai Watch including detailed walkthroughs, guides on obtaining specific Yo-kai or anything else in general, please be sure to check out the Yo-kai King himself, AbdallahSmash026’s YouTube Channel: http//www.youtube.com/user/AbdallahSmash026