Nintendo Bringing Japanese Hit Yo-Kai Watch to 3DS in the US

Pokemon-like RPG from Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven developer Level-5 is being released outside of Japan.

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Nintendo has announced plans to release Level-5's hit RPG, Yo-Kai Watch, outside of Japan, including in the United States and Europe.

Originally launched for 3DS in Japan back in 2013, Yo-Kai Watch has become a huge sensation, drawing comparisons to Pokemon. In addition to the two games that have been released so far (Yo-Kai Watch 2 debuted last summer), manga, toys, and an ongoing anime series have helped to capitalize on the franchise's popularity.

Yo-Kai Watch is an RPG centered around a boy who receives a watch that allows him to interact with invisible Yo-kai, which look like everything from mythical creatures to inanimate objects. In a press release, Nintendo insists these "are not ghosts, monsters, or creatures. Yo-kai are, quite simply, Yo-kai. They cannot be seen by the human eye, but they are everywhere. Whether born from the soul of a deceased human, or an everyday object discovering its higher purpose, their personalities are distinctly human-like."

In other words, they're essentially phantom monster things that you can befriend and summon to fight hostile Yo-kai, not entirely unlike Pokemon.

Nintendo didn't announce an international release date for Yo-Kai Watch, only saying that it's coming to the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, and Korea.

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