Game Reviews

We Review: Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres

Earlier this year, Level 5 released Yo-Kai Watch 2 for the Nintendo 3DS, and it came in two flavours: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. Now there’s a third flavour that combines the best of both prior versions, and adds a bunch more stuff to the game to boot: Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres. But how does it compare? Is my 3DS possessed? Must be the work of a Yo-Kai…let’s investigate!

Before I continue, I’d like to point out that this is essentially the same game as Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls, with Yo-Kai from both titles available to you now, as well as several other Yo-Kai that I’ll get to in a moment. I’ll discuss later whether the upgrade is worth your hard-earned cash. There is also some extra content, and I’ll be discussing that as well, but first, a relook at the basic idea and story around Yo-Kai Watch 2.

Yo-Kai Watch 2 starts with two evil spirits, Kin and Gin, removing the Yo-Kai watch from existence while Nate (or Katie, if that’s who you’ve chosen, but I’m going to assume you chose Nate here, because it’s easier to write the review on this basis) is sleeping. The following day, Nate is happily going out with his parents, having forgotten the watch. It’s school vacation time, and the day after that, he finds himself in front of a strange antique store which sells him the Yo-Kai Watch and gives him a coin for the capsule machine outside, where Nate becomes reacquainted with Whisper, his Yo-Kai butler. Their quest to figure out who would want the watch gone takes them further afield than they’ve been before, and even takes them into the past to confront the maker of the original Yo-Kai Watch. All of this is wrapped in a metafiction battle between two factions of Yo-Kai, Fleshies and Bonies.

If you’ve played the first Yo-Kai Watch, you’ll be in very familiar territory, because the game plays almost exactly the same as the first. You go around the area fighting and befriending Yo-Kai (various spirits and creatures of Japanese lore), using them to help you catch other Yo-Kai, or using them to help fulfill requests from the residents of Springdale.

You can also experience a slightly updated Terror Time, where you’re presented with a new Oni Crank-A-Kai capsule machine at the end for collecting a Oni tokens. The feed-food-to-Yo-Kai-to-befriend-them mechanic returns to this game again, but this time it’s a little easier to know what they want because the target pin actually shows you what works on them. To complicate things, though, there’s a couple of new food types that can be difficult to obtain, such as Udon noodles which is only sold by one itinerant vendor somewhere in Springdale. The Springdale you know and love is the same town with the same shops, but with a number of expanded locations and some new shops to visit.

Yo-Kai Watch 2 expands on the geography of the place by adding some new areas for you to explore, including Nate’s grandparents’ place in Harrisville and the seaside resort town of San Fantastico. In addition to the new regions introduced in Fleshy Souls and Bony Spirits, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres introduces the mystical Hexpress train to a new region called the Gera Gera resort, which contains bunches of new quests and minigames for you to enjoy.

I mentioned earlier that there were some other new features, and one of them is the ability to capture and befriend Yo-Kai from a special tribe called Wicked. This may be a bigger draw for some than others, depending on how big a completionist you are. There are also game-exclusive bosses to fight, so in some places you’ll be getting a different experience.

Beyond this, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres features expanded battle mode with more bosses and abilities, more story missions and even some backstories to some of your favourite Yo-Kai. It also has another great feature: the ability to port your save game from either Fleshy Souls or Bony Spirits. This means that you can continue your saved game from before (provided you haven’t deleted it, of course).

On the downside, it’s almost precisely the same game and story as before. My personal feeling is that this should have probably been released as a DLC title add-on to Bony and Fleshy, instead of a full game again, but you might have a different opinion on this one.

Is it worth buying again? Once again, it depends on how much of a completionist and a fan you are. If you want to catch as many Yo-Kai as possible, you’ll want to grab this game in addition to the one you already have. If you haven’t already purchased Yo-Kai Watch 2, however, you’ll be in for a whimsical treat with Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Spectres, especially if you follow the Yo-Kai Watch TV show (which, I believe, is currently available on Netflix). It’s a lot of fun and can be genuinely funny in places. It may not have the same popularity and backing as Pokémon, but I’ll say this much…it’s definitely trying to get there!

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