Yo-Kai Watch Begins To Head West Next Year


If there was ever a handheld gaming title that could attract young gaming fans in Japan as well as Pokemon ever could, Yo-Kai Watch would be the best bet for Level-5. It has the multimedia legs capable of spreading to a non-gaming audience, with a manga tailored for both young males and females each and an animated television show, with a worldwide toy release coming in 2016. Seeing as toys should become available everywhere, it only makes sense that the games will be released outside of Japan, as well, with Nintendo announcing via press release that Yo-Kai Watch will be coming to Nintendo 3DS in North America sometime during 2016.

Players will choose between a male (Nate) and female (Katie) main character in Yo-Kai Watch, then embark on a wondrous RPG journey. Either Nick or Katie will encounter a capsule one day while searching for bugs, opening up to reveal a ghost-like creature called Whisper. He will provide the player character with a Yo-Kai Watch, which allows them to uncover hidden Yo-Kai throughout his hometown. By teaming up with friendly Yo-Kai, together with PC and Whisper, they will take down the mischievous Yo-Kai that are plaguing the city.

It may seem a bit hard to grasp, but Yo-Kai can take the shape of almost anything, from everyday objects like dogs, cats and cinder blocks, to mythical creatures. The art style, to me, combines the silliness of Dragon Quest and the gameplay conceptual design of Pokemon, wherein a young playable character sets off on an adventure with summonable creatures that battle against similar Yo-Kai creatures.

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With a 2016 release in the US, Latin America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Korea, you can tell both Nintendo and Level-5 will be pushing Yo-Kai Watch in an effort to reach those Pokemon-like heights of popularity. With over 7 million units sold of Yo-Kai Watch games just in Japan, in the span of roughly 20 months, as well as $1 billion in retail sales of non-gaming/music/publishing merchandise of the series, perhaps it could be the next big thing for kids on an international scale.

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