Tech News on G4
Yo-Kai more than a Pokemon clone
October 3, 2016
By John Powell - G4 Canada
To call 'Yo-Kai Watch 2' a Pokemon clone isn't really accurate. The series developed by ‘Professor Layton’ creators Level-5, has its own identity and its own charm despite borrowing from the Pokemon when it comes to its core gameplay mechanic.
Although this sequel doesn’t address the lacklustre and passive battle system which so desperately needs to be upgraded, the second instalment does expand the overall experience and the Yo-Kai Watch mythology.
As either Nathan Adams, or Katie Forester, you explore an extended surface world, your neighbourhood, in search of various Yo-Kai, spiritual creatures whom you capture, battle with and befriend. The creatures are all around us but invisible to the naked eye unless you have a Yo-Kai Watch. Why a watch as opposed to a phone or a ring or a bracelet, we will never know.
By capturing a Yo-Kai you are given a medal which allows you to summon them any time you wish using your Yo-Kai Watch. All of this is going on while a civil war of sorts is going on between the Yo-Kai.
Like Pokemon, Yo-Kai evolve into more powerful incarnations. The Yo-Kai are also similarly divided into various classes providing them with bonuses or weaknesses depending who they are pitted against in battle. There are approximately 450 creatures to capture and collect this time around.
Although the quests themselves are not very complex and are often of the fetch variety, one must remember who Level-5’s target audience is.
More than anything else, Level-5’s sense of humour is what differentiates Yo-Kai from its Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh! relatives. At times, the happenings are downright hilarious and the dialogue is often very clever. Some of this humour may float right over the heads of some ankle-biters but Level-5’s delight and joy in developing the title really shines through.
Since gamers in North America are behind their Japanese counterparts when it comes to the Yo-Kai series, it is hard to know whether some of the failings have been addressed and if the franchise has progressed in any shape or form. While it may not be perfect, there is a lot of fun to be had in Yo-Kai Watch 2 and a few hearty chuckles as well for gamers of all ages.
Yo-Kai Watch 2
Rating: 7 / 10
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.