Yo-Kai Watch is an RPG game developed and distributed by Level-5. It's the first game of the franchise of the same name. The game first released in Japan on July 11, 2011 and was followed by North American, Australian and European releases on November 6th and December 5th in 2015, and April 29th in 2016 respectively.
In the city of Springdale, a kid (Nate Adams if the male protagonist is chosen or Katie Foster if the female protagonist is chosen) breaks free a Yōkai named Whisper. After his introduction, Whisper gives the protagonist a watch that allows them to see the Yōkai, so that they can befriend them and defeat the bigger and more evil Yōkai.
Why It Rocks
- The concept of a kid that befriends Yōkai (japanese ghosts, demons and spirits) in a modern world is great and original.
- Yo-kai like Jibanyan, Komasan, Tengu and the Onis are based on Japanese folklore.
- The story is simple to follow up and is not the main focus, principally because it wants to give you freedom to do stuff like side quests, collecting more Yo-kai and discovering secrets.
- Tons of likable characters:
- Nathan/Katie is a kid with a heart of gold who wants to help Springdale and the Yo-kai.
- Whisper is your Yo-kai assistant, helping the protagonist whenever they need him.
- His fourth wall breaks are hilarious.
- Jibanyan is an impulsive cat Yo-kai who tries to beat trucks to avenge his death.
- Komasan is an adorable little lion dog Yo-kai who is shy and curious.
- Big part of the Yo-kai have fantastic character design, from cute ones (like Shmoopie and Noko) to epic (like Kyubi and Venoct)
- There is more than 200 Yo-kai that you can get.
- If you get eight specific Yo-kai, you will get a legendary Yo-kai, which are stronger than normal rank S Yo-kai.
- There are five of those legendary Yo-kai, and four of them are relatively easy to get, with the exception of Gilgaros (see BQ #2.1 to have more information)
- You can fuse different objects and Yo-kai to get new and more powerful defense objects, attack objects and Yo-kai.
- All the bosses in the main story have their own weak point, so you must be focused on battle.
- Nice graphics, art style and background design.
- The voice acting for the Yo-kai battles and the scenes is pretty good.
- Fantastic soundtrack that combines well with the game's atmosphere.
- Unique gameplay that hits different to the genre, where the Yo-kai are the ones who decide what they do in combat, while the player has to de-spirited them, choose the target, heal them and help them in their Soultimates.
- The soultimates are amazing to look at.
- In addition to that, giving food to an enemy Yo-kai will increase your chances of getting it, but it’s not a 100% probability of getting them. While this is refreshing from the genre, this can make the game more challenging.
- Tons of missions and side quests to complete. And when you finish them, you get a bonus scene, which is greatly animated.
- After you finish the main games, you have a side story that is great.
- And you can defeat the other 2 optional bosses.
- The game has online battle, with their own ranking system.
- Some Yo-kai (like Hungorge, Chatalie and Cheeksqueek) look ugly.
- Other Yo-kai are reskins of others, just with a different color palette, atribute and Soultimate.
- As mentioned in WIR#11.2, some Yo-kai are hard to find and befriend, specially ones with rank A or S.
- Gilgaros is the hardest to get. Because he is a legendary Yo-kai, the only way to obtain him is to get 8 specific Yo-kai. While that doesn’t sounds difficult, the only way to get them all is to use Crank-a-Kai (meaning that getting him is pure luck and no skill whatsoever).
- Some moments can be scary or dark for younger audiences, like Jibanyan's backstory, the first Terror Time and Dr. Maddiman's dialogue before battle.
- As mentioned in WIR #7, because bosses have different weak points, that can be confusing, especially if it's your first playthrough.
- The Oni bosses (Gargaros, Ogralus and Orcanos) are the hardest bosses in the entire game, to the point they can defeat level 99, Rank S Yo-kai in one hit. Fortunately, they are not impossible and can be beaten.
- All bosses in Infinite Inferno are just stronger versions of main story bosses with darker color palettes(with the exception that Tarantutor and Phase 1 McKraken don't have one, and Wobblewok being original).
- No online trades and just one mini game. Fortunately, the next games will add them.
Yo-kai Watch was positively reviewed by critics and gamers alike. In Metacritic the game has a 76/100 by 69 critics, meaning “Generally favorable reviews , while the users gave the game an 8.0/10.0 by 185 users, meaning “Generally positive reviews” . In GameFAQs the game has 4/5 stars by 1005 users . In Nintendo Life, the game has a 7/10 by the site and 84/100 by the users. . In OpenCritic, the game has a 76/100 by 58 critics 
The game sold over 2.78 million copies until September of 2020, becoming the 25 best selling game in the Nintendo 3DS worldwide and the 23 best selling game in the Nintendo 3DS in Japan.
- In Japan, the franchise is more popular than Pokemón.
- Similar to other games, the game has a meme speedrun called "die to Snartle". The World record for the moment is 6:44.817, by mr. dew.
- The english version of the game has an exclusive opening sung by Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, the creator of Phineas and Ferb.
- Because the game is similar to Pokémon and other monster collecting games, and Timidevil and Beezelbold designs (and the fact you can befriend them), the game caused controversies from religious people and gamers.
- The game has a Nintendo Switch remake, that upgrades the graphics, adds voice acting in normal dialogue, the game cinematic will run at 1080p and the game battle at 60 fps, changes the control set and quits mechanics like the Yo-kai Cam and the QR code reading. It's unknown if the remake will be exclusive for Japan or will be released worldwide.