To get Yo-Kai you have to mix one part Pokemon, equal parts Megaman Battle Network and finish off with a story that parodies upon real life with more than enough creativity to get away with it’s parallel.
For those unfamiliar with the Yo-Kai cross-media series, it is a game, television program and manga series in which humanity is affected by spirits known as Yo-Kai, who cause neighbouring humans to manifest sins like greed, envy and gluttony. With the use of a device called a Yo-Kai Watch, humans can detect, capture and summon Yo-Kai sprits. Just short of a year since it’s North American debut, the cross-media series developed by Japanese gaming legends, Level-5, is set to enter its second generation. The series elected to take a page from the two gaming franchises mentioned above by releasing two versions of the new game.
The playable demo for Yo-Kai Watch 2 was on display at a pre-release event in Toronto this weekend. It stars returning hero Nate, who travels to his grandma’s house located in a previously unseen locale called Harrisville. He brings along some fresh doughnuts for his grandma. Upon arriving at his grandma’s house, Nate learns that the sweet treats have gone stale so soon. Undoubtedly the work on a crafty Yo-Kai sprit!
After using his Yo-Kai Watch on the doughnuts, a giant floating doughnut appears leading to a humorous exchange between Whisper and Jibanyan (Nate’s most popular spirits,) with the later trying to eat the pastry. From here players could explore Harrisville, talk to locals, search for wild Yo-Kai, play the bug catcher mini-game that appeared in the game’s first generation and finally go looking for the giant doughnut and engage in the game’s first boss battle and end the demo.
Concerning mechanics, the game feels much the same as it did in Generation one. The revolutionary battle system that heavily utilised the 3DS system’s touch screen is back and graphically there is no real difference. It seems that the story is where the real change comes into play. “Imagine the original game as the base for this one. We’ve got 100 new Yo-Kai across two new editions: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. There are new locations to explore, Aside from Springdale; you can also visit Harrisville and San Frantastico. There are two new factions, who are facing off against each other. The biggest difference coming though is the arrival of two time zones; you can go back in time to meet Nathaniel, who is the inventor of the Yo-Kai Watch and also past version of Whisper and Jibanyan, ” says Andrew Collins, communications manager for Nintendo Canada.
There are also some significant changes coming to the cross-media branding. Corus will be airing the second season of the television program Saturdays at two p.m. starting October 1st. The first episode aired at the pre-release for fans who wanted to learn more about what will happen both in the game and the show. It opens up with Nate excited to hear that a corporation lead by an industrious shark Yo-Kai named Steve Jaws is releasing a brand new watch titled the Yo-Kai Watch Zero. It will help humans and spirits to continue to coexist with each other. Nate travels to the Yo-Kai dimension where he finds that every Yo-Kai in existence is lined up to get one of these new watches. There is something evil and mysterious to these new watches, though!
Speaking of new watches, Hasbro displayed a new Yo-Kai Watch Zero toy to go along with the game. The new watch, which retails at $39 in Canada, has working lights and sounds as well as the ability to summon Yo-Kai spirits from within medallions sold for $5 alongside the watch. The device has a built-in projector that will bring the Yo-Kai and their unique special move to life. The medallions can also be uploaded into a companion iPhone and Android app as well as into the game itself using QR Code technology.
“When we launched Yo-Kai Watch last year, each element was very much initiated independently. So what we wanted to do here is show off just how strong the brand is. In Japan this game is massive. When the Force Awakens opened up, it was the most popular movie here in North America and across most of the world, however in Japan, it was the second biggest film to open up that weekend after the Yo-Kai Watch movie. Which is opening up here October 15th,” Collins explains.
Both iterations of Yo-Kai Watch 2 are available on September 30th.
THIS WAS A GUEST POST BY LUKE WILLIAMS. Follow Luke online at @musicwithluke