Nintendo 3DS Reviews

Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits Review

Yo-Kai Watch 2 is everything a sequel should be. Bony Spirits/Fleshy Souls improves upon the original Yo-Kai Watch in every way, giving players yet another refreshing catch-em-all game with a unique story, plenty of fun new Yo-Kai, and a ton of new quality content.

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Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits/Fleshy Souls
Developer: Level-5
Price: $49.99
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

It’s no secret that I’m fond of Yo-Kai Watch as a franchise. When I reviewed the first game last year, I described it as “a deeply charming and addictive RPG“. This quote applies twofold to the sequel, as Yo-Kai Watch 2 is one of the rare games that improves upon its sequel in every single way. Anyone who enjoys Pokémon or Dragon Quest owes it to themselves to check this sequel out.

The story of Bony Spirits/Fleshy Souls is more in-depth than that of its predecessor. While the previous game had a fun plot, the narrative of the sequel is more cohesive, spanning numerous cities, and two different time periods.  As you travel between times, you’ll do all sorts of diverse tasks, such as assisting your ancestor in making the first Yo-Kai Watch, or bringing an old man a photo from the past of his wife who recently passed away. There are a lot of interesting side-missions that are worth doing throughout the story, which adds to both the game’s length and its world.

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The new Yo-Kai introduced throughout the story are wonderfully weird. Like in the original Yo-Kai Watch, all of the creatures are based off of myths, or unusual events you experience in your daily life. One Yo-Kai, named Tublappa, is based on a myth about a creature that cleans the filth out of tubs with his tongue. He appears in the game as a little red monster with a big tongue and a tub around him. It’s these little backstories and visual references that make Yo-Kai stand out on the level of the monsters in their sister series, such as Pokémon, Digimon, and Dragon Quest. There are some recolored Yo-Kai here and there, but the majority of them are incredibly diverse and colorful.

Yo-Kai Watch 2‘s gameplay has improved majorly. The core combat system focuses on where your Yo-Kai battle independently while you control their ultimate moves, and the order in which they battle. The addition of an entirely different model of Yo-Kai Watch, the Model Zero, brings a new set of features to combat. Your Yo-Kai can now use Soultimate moves (super attacks) that are more powerful at the cost of adjacent Yo-Kais’ Soultimate gauges.  You can also “poke” enemy Yo-Kai to distract them and possibly inflict them with status ailments.

The best addition to Yo-Kai Watch 2 is how the “Befriending” mechanism has improved. To befriend a Yo-Kai, you have to throw a food it likes at it, and hope it joins you after the battle. These chances improve based on what food you throw the Yo-Kai. While the previous game had you guessing and trying to remember each Yo-Kai’s preference, Yo-Kai Watch 2 lets you see what their favourite food is by targeting them. This is a huge improvement, as it makes befriending Yo-Kai much easier, and more enjoyable.

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Outside of battle, moving between areas and quests is as easy as ever. Freely roaming is stress-free, as Yo-Kai are only encountered by searching for them in certain designated spots and areas. Fast-travelling is done through Mirapos, a mirror Yo-Kai who can send you from one Mirapo to another. Discovering and using them in different locations is convenient, especially with a newly introduced variant that lets you freely switch between time periods. Everything in Yo-Kai Watch 2‘s world is made more accessible, which benefits the game greatly.

The visuals are as solid as they were in the previous game. Characters and locations are smooth, battle effects and backgrounds are expressive and alive, and most importantly, the Yo-Kai models are fantastic. Each Yo-Kai, old and new, stands out thanks to their vibrant color schemes and eccentric designs. There are no frame rate issues, and the game actually runs even more smoothly than the original.

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Yo-Kai Watch 2 nails it out of the park in the sound department. Some songs from the first game are remixed wonderfully, while the new tracks are just as catchy. The whimsical spookiness that Yo-Kai Watch exudes is displayed more vividly through the game’s music than through anything else. Songs change instruments and speed depending on the time period as well, which is an especially nice detail.

The Final Word
Yo-Kai Watch 2 is the ideal sequel. It improves upon every aspect of the original game, while bringing new content to the table that is just as good, if not better, than the already present material. While the first Yo-Kai Watch was an amazing first shot at refreshing the “catch-em-all” formula, its sequel is an absolutely fantastic game, and hopefully, a fantastic step towards the rest of the series.

– MonsterVine Rating: 5 out of 5 – Excellent

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