- System: Nintendo 3DS
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: LEVEL-5
- Release Date: February 8, 2019
- Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10+
- Genre: RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://yo-kai.nintendo.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Originally releasing in 2013—not to long after the manga series started up—Yo-kai Watch delivered what would be a rather cute and intriguing take on RPG games like Pokémon or even Digimon. Players would assume the role of a young man named Nate as they ended up earning themselves a strange watch that allowed them to see Yo-kai—demons and or creatures unseen by most—and equally befriend them to use in battle. Rather than control each Yo-kai individually, players would only be able to assist their partners as they fought on their own against other Yo-kai. With Yo-kai Watch 3 not much has changed in this format but some new elements have been added which help this latest addition in the series immensely.
The brunt of Yo-kai Watch 3 is combat and not much has changed from the original games. Yo-kai Watch 3 still has players not directly controlling the creatures—as mentioned above—but only helping them via several action. Players can unleash special moves called Soultimate—which is where you’ll perform various mini games to unleash attacks on enemies—purify their Yo-kai when they are hit with status effects, use items or target specific enemies. It’s a very simplified RPG system that works well enough to give Yo-kai Watch 3 a challenge but not be too hard for the younger gamers. Though there are some new elements to Yo-kai Watch 3 and these are some rather important new concepts.
Yo-kai Watch 3 allows for a bit more control than previous entries by giving players a new grid like structure to move their Yo-kai around and perform new actions depending on their placement. Having a Yo-kai take the center while others are behind him/her allows the ones behind to be shielded from harm. Equally, having one or more Yo-kai on the same plane gives them special link attacks that they will use if they belong to one of the several Yo-kai categories. It might sound complex and overly complicated but Yo-kai Watch 3 was made with kids in mind so it does a very good job explaining new elements not seen from past games as well as explain gameplay concepts for newcomers to the series.
Another new addition in Yo-kai Watch 3 is the second playable character, Hailey. Nate and Hailey will now go on separate adventures across two different areas allowing for dual stories to be enjoyed together! This is easily one of the best elements to Yo-kai Watch 3 as we loved Hailey and her rather quirky persona but equally were happy to see a female being given a main role in the Yo-kai Watch series.
Outside of combat, the brunt of Yo-kai Watch 3 comes in the form of exploring new areas like BBQ—yes that is the name of the new town—and finding/fighting Yo-kai. Each character—Nate and Hailey—have their own stories to engage in and also their own Yo-kai to find. This dual character system was an ingenious idea as we loved to explore not one but two rather large locals. Plus, each story is truly fun and comedic, with Hailey’s tale winning slightly over Nate’s story. Hailey is an anime fan—which is apparent with the Sailor Moon themed anime she loves—and her randomness occasionally makes us chuckle. Nate is still the primary character of Yo-kai Watch 3 but we wouldn’t mind seeing Hailey return in future installments.
If we had any issues with Yo-kai Watch 3, it would be the sometimes-random difficulty spikes we encountered while playing. There were several occasions where we would go from an easy fight to a battle with Yo-kai that obliterated us as if we were under leveled. There’s a quick checkpoint system when you fail but it was a bit shocking to see such tough fights in a game geared for kids. Graphically too, Yo-kai Watch 3 doesn’t look that much more impressive than either 1 or 2 and we hope that means Yo-kai Watch 4 might be on the Nintendo Switch sooner rather than later. Yo-kai Watch 3 still looks quite solid and we loved the anime charm it presents but we know it could look better if it was on the Switch rather than the 3DS.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Playing as not one but two characters now adds a bit of diversity to Yo-kai Watch 3
- Fun story with some clever dialogue
- New grid system during fights makes for some new strategic approaches in combat
- Hailey is a fun new character
- Tons of new Yo-kai to collect
- Feels very similar to past games
- Graphically showing some age
- Odd difficulty spikes