ByDustin Murphy, writer at
Pizza, Games, and an unhealthy amount of Twitter. Feel free to tweet me: @GamingAnomaly or shoot an email to [email protected]
Dustin Murphy

For just at twenty years I have sat on many couches diligently paying close attention to my Pokémon. For all those years I grew up tending to my little creatures, training them as much as I could to ensure my teams were the very best. I've probably played several hundred hours of each game and each new Pokédex.

As a long-time Pokémon fan, I didn't think much of Yo-Kai Watch when the series began. I brushed it off as another pretender to the PokéThrone. But this series really snuck up on me. After months upon months of growing to enjoy Yo-Kai Watch and trying out Yo-Kai Watch 2, I think I can safely say that this franchise is worth your time.

Plot or Adventure? Does Pokémon Remain Strong Against Yo-Kai Watch?

Courtesy of IGN
Courtesy of IGN

We've all been there for quite a few times with Pokémon. It's a series that doesn't just focus on defending the world around us, it's a series that struggles to deliver a major drive to get players to go straight from Point A to Point B.

It's a series that has struggled for years to do so. Unfortunately Pokémon also is a series that consistently uses the idea of an evil organization who wants to use Pokémon in order to carry out their evil plans. Pokémon games have a repetitive story formula, it's nice to take a break. In the midst of it players take on their trainer role as their randomly named trainer whom just happens to foil the evildoers plans.

In a similar turn, Yo-Kai Watch places players in a similar plot. However, its stories are wrapped in side a much bigger story that unfolds at a later time. Luckily these little mini-stories are quite enjoyable as they offer a change of pace and keep players constantly busy. Each mini story functions as an episode of sorts that tells a unique portion to the larger story as players must to solve problems and cases presented to them by the Yo-Kai.

Much as Pokémon has its strong moments, Yo-Kai Watch and even Yo-Kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls/Bony Spirits delivers a rather strong narrative in order to keep fans entertained. Pokémon lacks a fresh narrative that Yo-Kai does have. The quests aren't just minor discussions, each quest and mission is filled with strong dialogue, unique causes, and unique effects. Rather than offering what feels like generic sidequest NPCs, Yo-Kai Watch NPC's each feel like a unique part of a living world. Event he smallest doing that Nate (the main protagonist) has a true impact on those NPCs as if they were real people.

The Yo-Kai Themselves Are Often Cooler and More Alive Than Pokémon

Much like Pokémon, Yo-Kai are living entities that players will explore, befriend, and wander around with. Much like Pokémon, there are also hundreds of them to befriend and know. Each of them have personalities and even converse with the protagonist. Each Yo-Kai has unique dialogue and personal motivations.

The most unique thing about Yo-Kai Watch isn't the fact you get to just meet interesting Yo-Kai, it's the fact you get to help your classmates, your friends, and even your family in order to stop a Yo-Kai problem. Players will get to talk to them, interact with them, see what makes them tick.

Regardless of them potentially slowing down either Nate or Kate (the respective boy or girl protagonist), each Yo-Kai affects the world in unique ways. While some are drab and depressing, there are others that are rather fun, lively, and hilarious. This is something that works well in Yo-Kai Watch, which is something Pokémon doesn't offer up much of.

Does Yo-Kai Watch Rule Out Pokémon All Together?

Short answer: They're both amazing, and you should give Yo-Kai a real chance.

Don't get me wrong, I love Pokémon, I really do. The game will always have a place in my heart and in my 3DS.

I have been going nuts with Pokémon's 20th anniversary events. I've been obtaining as many Pokémon as I can.

And I find myself doing the same in Yo-Kai Watch 2. I befriend as many of the Yo-Kai I can and even take them into combat to ensure that they get the stats they need. I go out of my way to enjoy my Yo-Kai. The Yo-Kai give me a similar sense of familiarity and companionship that I share with my Pokémon. And that's why I love both of these franchises.

What are your thoughts on Yo-Kai Watch?


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