A mysterious force lingers above Springdale, causing two factions of Yo-Kai, the Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls, to feud against each other. There has to be a good reason for their fighting, which has allegedly lasted for thousands of years!
Nate, Jibinyan, and Whisper are back in the long awaited sequel to Yo-Kai Watch. Originally released in Japan in 2014, and in America in 2016, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls is now finally inspiriting stores across Europe.
Does Yo-Kai Watch 2 have a lot of soul to it’s core, or is it just skinny as bones? Find out in our review, after the break!
Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls
Nintendo 3DS Family Systems
Developed by Level-5
Published by Nintendo
Released: 10th July 2014 (JP) 30th September 2015 (NA) 7th April 2017 (Europe)
Review copy provided by Nintendo
Screenshots/Art Courtesy of Nintendo
Those who played the original game may easily confuse Yo-Kai Watch 2 for being the same, that’s because the first few hours are pretty much retreading the events of the original, though slightly modified. This means that you do not need to play the original to understand the story, however it can be very annoying for those who have, especially since it’s Deja-vu for roughly five hours.
The story starts with two mischievous Yo-Kai, Kin and Gin, causing Nate’s Yo-Kai Watch to completely disappear from existence, causing him to completely forget about the events from the previous games. Luckily, fate decides that you somehow are able to retrieve your Yo-kai watch back from a quaint little shop.
After quickly recovering your memories of the Yo-Kai, You meet Hovernyan while visiting your Grandmother. He states how there is something terribly wrong in the past, and that you must help your late grandfather as a child. As the story progresses, you find that there are mysterious forces which are causing ‘Wicked Yo-Kai’ to inspirit other Yo-Kai, as well as humans, to ultimately take over the world. It is up to you to stop them!
The in-game mechanics haven’t changed a lot from the original. It’s a safe move, but it really hinders the evolution of the franchise. The battle mechanism is still essentially the same. You can choose a team of up to six Yo-Kai, three of which will fight automatically, and you can rotate who is fighting at any time.
You can unleash a powerful Soutimate Move once a Yo-Kai’s Spirit Meter is full by completing a very short mini game on the bottom screen. If a Yo-Kai is inspirited with a negative effect, you have to purify them by rotating them out of battle and completing a short mini game. You can pin an enemy to target attack on them, or a specific body part in boss battles. Finally, you can give one of your party an item to recover health, spirit level, or to increase an attribute temporarily. You can also feed most foes food to increase your chances with befriending them at the end of the battle.
Later in the game, you unlock the Yo-Kai Watch Model Zero, the original Yo-Kai Watch. Not only can it detect Wicked Yo-Kai, but it also unlocks some new functions within battles. Tapping the centre will enable the Zero Mode, allowing your Yo-Kai to perform and even more powerful Soultimate move, thanks to the power of Moxie. However, doing so will also deplete the Spirit Levels of adjacent Yo-Kai, not to mention that they will attack far less when charging up the attack. You can also poke loafing or inspirited enemies, doing so will reward you with money, refill your soul meters, increase the chance of befriending a Yo-Kai, or just deal some damage. Though it’s only a small addition to the already great battle mechanism, it still adds a bit more strategy to gain the upper hand.
What’s great about the game, is that, even though there is a lot of rehashing, a lot of the lore is opened up and introduced. For one, there are now several new places to explore, including new towns, as well as Springdale 60 years in the past. Not only that, but the origins of the Yo-Kai watch are revealed. The Yo-Kai Medallium (the Yo-Kai version of the Pokedex) also receives a hefty expansion. The original has around 250 Yo-Kai to encounter, but Yo-Kai Watch 2 now has around 400.
Though most of the quests are fetch quests, there are a few new types which help make the game feel a tiny bit more varied. There’s a large sub-quest which requires you to uncover special areas called Gates of Whimsy. When you enter these gates, you have to complete a mini challenge, such as defeating a certain amount of Yo-Kai, or reach the exit within the time limit. Completing a certain amount will get you a mysterious reward.
There are also Baffle Boards hidden around town to test your Yo-Kai trivia. You’re given three hints, and if you guess the Yo-Kai name correctly, a Hot Spot will appear, allowing you to summon that Yo-Kai. When summoned, a special action will take place, such as being able to raise and lower the water levels in a cave.
One new feature, which should’ve definitely been in the original, is the ability to battle other people. You are now able to battle other people’s teams of Yo-Kai, both locally and online. These battles differ from the regular battles throughout the game. Both sides have their own team of six Yo-Kai. You can only have a couple of high ranked Yo-Kai on your team however, this tries to ensure that battles are fair as possible. Trading is also possible, which can come in handy if you want to get Yo-Kai that are exclusive to the version of the game you do not have.
Another new mode is Yo-Kai Blasters. This mode allows you to enter Terror Time at any time, but as a Yo-Kai that you have befriended. For those who do not know, Terror Time is a phase where you are placed in a Nightmare version of the area you are in, where you have to reach the exit before the One Yo-Kai is able to catch you. In Yo-Kai Blasters, you can now fight back, but doing so can be very difficult. Luckily, you can team up with three other friends, only locally, to help you out.
There are four classes of Yo-Kai. Fighters are good at, well, fighting, and deal a decent amount of damage. Tanks are good on the defensive, and can be used to strategically protect the other players. Healers, once again, a self explanatory class which are able to heal those who are low on health. Finally, there are Rangers, which thrive with their technical attacks, which can either defeat enemies in alternative ways, or support your allies. Collecting One Orbs will increase your chances of getting a rare item if you are able to escape without getting caught. This mode is a great distraction from the main game.
One element that is still thankfully present, is the charm with all the characters, Yo-Kai, and writing. The game is still as charming as ever, Whether it’s Jibinyan’s love for giant doughnuts, or how the first boss, Gutsy Bones, has his own Crank-a-Kai.
Yo-Kai Watch 2 doesn’t really add a lot to its main mechanics and does force players to relive the first game for the first few hours, though that doesn’t mean that it is a bad game. It does well to introduce new lore into the franchise, and some of the new types of quests do help to diversify the gameplay. There are also a few extra new sideagames which help distract you from the main game, such as Yo-Kai Blasters. Finally, it is great to finally see a way to battle and swap Yo-Kai with friends and strangers from around the world. One thing I did not mention earlier is that both versions are essentially identical, other than a few exclusive Yo-Kai. If you do purchase the game, I would only purchase one version, then just swap Yo-Kai with someone who has the other to get the exclusive Yo-Kai
If you have played the original and thought it was just okay, then it may be worth giving this one a miss, but if you missed out on the original, or if you did play it and absolutely adored it, then I would definitely recommend purchasing Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits or Fleshy Souls.
Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls is out now for Nintendo 3DS Family Systems.