Review: Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits/Fleshy souls
This is the second instalment on the Yo-kai Watch series, a double hitter on the 3DS. Released as both Bony Spirits and Fleshy souls, this pair of games are, much like their predecessor amazing open world role playing games on the Nintendo 3DS.
Created by Level-5, the Yo-kai Watch series is immensely popular worldwide and has spawned a long line of toys and animations. In Japan, they already got the sequels in the summer of last year, called Sushi and Tempura, as well as a limited edition 3DS LL, their version of the XL, with Jibanyan on the top.
Much like the previous game, Yo-kai Watch builds on the premise that you own a Yo-Kai Watch that will allow you to see Yo-kai, after which our main protagonist sets out on his adventure. You end up befriending Yo-Kai in many ways, more than 100 can be found!
It is the interesting battle system that makes the Yo-Kai series a very unique RPG. You fight with 6 Yo-Kai at a time (3 active and 3 passive) and they all attack spontaneous. The player is more like a coach of the Yo-Kai who constantly rotate the Yo-kai and decides which target to focus on. Every Yo-Kai has a soultimate, a special attack that can be used ones you filled up your soulmeter. Up on casting, you have to complete a very short mini-game as soon as possible to activate the soultimate. This seems pretty complicated but is pretty straight forward while actually playing.
This unique battle system encourage players to think about their team building and try out different set ups. There are a lot of Yo-Kai so there are a lot of strategies to try out. To use a Yo-Kai in your team, you first must befriend the Yo-Kai and get his Yo-Kai coin. To get this you have to give a Yo-Kai you fight some food, if he likes it there is a chance he will like you and is willing to befriend you. During your adventure there will be Yo-Kai that want to be your friend without giving them food or fighting them, they just like you as a person and those are generally very useful Yo-Kai.
In the Yo-Kai , you start off as Nate wo doesn’t seem to have any memories about his past and encounters with any Yo-Kai until he obtains the Yo-Kai Watch again. His memories of Whisper, the Yo-Kai butler come back to him and shortly after you encounter your beloved Jibanyan again.
In the beginning of the game most of the story takes place in the city of Springdale. Like the predecessor, this game builds the story in the same city, but the flow is completely different, it often feels like a breath of fresh air through out the story and felt more story focused then the original Yo-Kai Watch. After some hours in the game, the story takes a huge twist that results in a very big change to the area which really surprised me and made the world a lot bigger.
I really like the first Yo-Kai Watch game but I really love Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls because they kept the hilarious style that made this game so much fun but made it a bit more mature while still remaining its charming child friendly style of gameplay. The first hours of the game feel very similar to the first game but the more you play the more new features are introduced. Many fan favorite Yo-Kai are still in the game accompanied with a lot new characters who are just so cool looking. Throughout the game, you are getting more and more features added to the game, from 4 player battles to Trophies, a Yo-kai cam, medal swap, hunting criminals as a Yo-kai detective. This is definitely an upgrade to the new original game and gives me high hopes for the future of the series.
When buying this game you have to make a very important decision : Do you take Bony Spirits or do you take Fleshy Souls? The story on both versions is very similar but they all have some very specific exclusive content you get with each version:
Each version has their own pre-order exclusive as well. This is also different depending on whether you get a physical or digital copy.
The physical copies come with a medal you can scan in the game to get a new soultimate move for Jibanyan.
Below are the Yokai you get if you pre-order a digital copy of each.
- Robonyan F
The Yokai you can get by playing through the game are mostly the same, but there are certain ones you can only get in each version.
- Toadal Dude
- Count Zapaway
- SV Snaggerjag (Boss)
- Komasan S
- Pride Shrimp
- Jibanyan S
- Slimamander (Boss)
- Niku-kui Otoko
One thing to keep in mind if you are still having trouble deciding, is that Slimamander, a Bony Spirits exclusive, is a great Yo-Kai to use in player battles. You can trade in this game, but certain Yo-Kai like Slimamander are hard to get.
In conclusion, I loved Yo-kai Watch 1 and I really enjoyed the second game so far! While many compare this game to the Pokemon games, I can see some similarities, I do think Yo-kai watch is a worthwhile series on its own. What I loved most, the fact that everything is still familiar, still the same city and the same faces. There is such a vast world out there in this game, a completely new and refreshing new story!