A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Yo-Kai Watch 2 is a role-playing adventure game. The sequel comes in two versions, Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls, each with minor story differences and a select group of Yo-Kai exclusive to one version or another. Battles between Yo-Kai are a major part of the game, but the violence tends to be very cartoonish in nature, without blood or gore of any kind. It's also important to note that the Yo-Kai Watch franchise has grown beyond the video games, branching off to include cartoons, movies, toys, comic books, and other merchandise, some of which interact with the games to unlock bonus content.
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What's it about?
YO-KAI WATCH 2 is the sequel to 2015's Yo-Kai Watch 3DS game, part of the popular ghost-catching franchise. This time, the adventure is too big for only one game, leaving players to choose their side with either Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits or Yo-Kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls. In the world of Yo-Kai Watch, mischievous spirits cause all sorts of hijinks by "inspiriting" people and things in the human world to influence their behavior. Armed with a special device, the Yo-Kai Watch, the player is able to see and communicate with these spirits. By earning their trust, players are able to befriend the various Yo-Kai and call on them for help at a moment's notice. Yo-kai Watch 2 continues this story, taking players and their ghostly companions on a new adventure that will take them beyond the town of Springdale's present but into its past as well, where they will finally discover the secret origin of the Yo-Kai Watch.
Is it any good?
With so many features, new areas, and an engaging story, this role-playing sequel manages to capture the perfect mix of fun. Making a sequel is never easy, especially when it's a sequel to a big hit. The biggest hurdle is finding the balance between adding something new to the original but not forgetting what fans loved in the first place. Yo-Kai Watch 2 manages to walk that balance like an acrobat. In fact, nearly everything about the sequel is an improvement on the original game. The entire city of Springdale from the first game is included in the sequel, giving instant familiarity to fans, while there's more than twice that still waiting to be discovered. Yo-Kai Watch 2 also lets players battle each other and trade Yo-Kai between each other via local or online play, the latter being a feature sorely lacking in the original. Then there's Yo-kai Blasters, a new feature that lets one to four players take on the roles of their favorite Yo-Kai as they team up to face unique threats in local co-op action. Blasters is a frantically fun and addictive experience and well worth getting a few friends together to try out.
Yo-Kai Watch 2 comes in two distinct flavors: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. The differences are minor, with about a dozen or so Yo-Kai specific to one version or the other, as well as a couple of minor story differences. There's also a special dungeon available to those who pick up both games or link up with a friend who has the other version. Regardless of whether you choose to go "Team Spirits" or "Team Souls," there's so much to do in the game that you won't feel like you're missing out on anything. And thanks to the new online trading feature, even the version-specific Yo-Kai are still easily within reach. Yo-Kai Watch's 2015 debut on the 3DS was one of the best all-ages games to hit the 3DS in some time, and Yo-Kai Watch 2 not only manages to live up to the original but it also raises the bar for future releases in the franchise. It's a weirdly warped adventure with one of the strangest cast of characters you've ever seen, but it never fails to entertain.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about friendship. What are some good ways to develop new and build lasting friendships? What is it that makes friendship such an important part of a person's life?
Talk about consumerism in gaming. How do things such as cartoons, toys, comics, and other merchandise keep players interested in certain games or characters? Does interactivity between games and toys make it harder to enjoy a game on its own, or is it something that can be ignored?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: September 30, 2016
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: March 16, 2020
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