Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Brandon Howard 17.10.2016

Review for Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls on Nintendo 3DS

The second games in Level-5's mass media franchise Yo-kai Watch, Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls, have been out for over two years in Japan. Following the immense success overseas (and modest success in the West) of the first game, they've been anticipated titles in their respective markets. With a whole host of new sprits and souls to befriend, it's definitely appropriate for the spooky season of the year.

Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Spirits is a game content to move at the player's pace. There's never a need to rush through everything, and it's actually harder to overcome the more difficult challenges if the time isn't taken to explore the world. There's something compelling about that, but it's an experience that some would probably find more frustrating than appealing.

Yo-kai Watch, in its short time on the market, has had more of a focus on exploration and befriending the various Yo-kai in the world, as opposed to the more direct approach of say, Pokémon. Battling them, giving them their favourite foods, and interacting with them, with their unique personalities, is more of the highlight than raising the most powerful team possible, and with the huge amount of new Yo-kai, that's easier than ever.

The battle system is more or less the same as the first game, but there are some new features that allow additional opportunities to interact with enemy Yo-kai that open up midway through the adventure. It's mostly still very random, as Yo-kai all act on their own, but the new watch functions that get added definitely help ease the pain in befriending some of the fickler Yo-kai, and there are new strategies, as well, for the combat enthusiasts out there.

There's also a much clearer story arc this time around, as opposed to the original game's rather sparse and loose story. Nathan and Katie, the series protagonists, get a lot more in the way of character development, and the story gives them more time to shine. It is actually kind of surprising how enjoyable the story is. There are a lot of turns that are a bit unexpected, and it is genuinely well done.

Screenshot for Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls on Nintendo 3DS

One of the more noticeable irritations with this sequel is the amount of backtracking required. A lot of side-quests, even early on, require moving through three full maps, and with the stamina system limiting how much Nathan and Katie can run, it becomes extremely tedious trying to move quests along. The quick travel system does open up pretty early on, but not before walking has long since become tiresome, not to mention the completely unnecessary train rides towards the beginning of the game that can literally stretch on for well over a half an hour.

There are a lot of little quirks that slow the experience down, especially early on. Some of the new puzzles that require the names of specific Yo-kai probably aren't welcoming to new players, either. Along with the slow pace, it's probably not as great of a starting point to the series as the first game or the cartoon series, despite the numerous improvements and added features.

Yo-kai Watch 2 still hugely charming, and absolutely adorable. The amount of personality that the Yo-kai have is something no other series with creature befriending mechanics has managed to pull off. Even the NPCs feel unique and individual, which is unusual for an RPG. The character writing is something that's truly exceptional, especially for a series this young.

For fans of the series, there is absolutely no reason not to pick this one up. It's everything the first game was, only magnified. The world is so much bigger, and it feels larger just with the addition of so many new Yo-kai. The story is great and ties really well into the currently airing anime series and recently released movie. For those new to the series, it might not be the best starting point, but it's still a great game in its own right.

Screenshot for Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Yo-kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls isn't a game that's going to change any pre-existing opinions on the series. At its core, Yo-kai Watch as a series is more about the adventure than any specific goals, and that's evident in every part of the game. There are lots of good reasons to take time to thoroughly explore every inch of the game, but it's not really built for those looking for a more straightforward RPG experience. That said, for fans of the charming world of Yo-kai Watch, there's only more to love this time around.

Developer

Level-5

Publisher

Level-5

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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