Nintendo Bringing Pokemon-Esque Hit Yo-Kai Watch to the US in November

Will Level-5's 3DS RPG reach the same heights in the west?


Japanese sensation Yo-Kai Watch arrives in the United States on November 6 for 3DS, Nintendo announced today.

Yo-Kai Watch is an RPG in which players assume the role of a boy capable of seeing and interacting with Yo-kai, which are ordinarily invisible. These are beings that take on the appearance of all sorts of things--everything from various creatures to inanimate objects.

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The natural comparison is Pokemon, though 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."

However you choose to classify them, Yo-Kai Watch includes more than 200 Yo-kai in all. You'll team up with them to fight hostile Yo-kai and use them to help other characters solve problems, which are often caused by mischievous Yo-kai.

Nintendo originally revealed plans to release Yo-Kai Watch, which was developed by Professor Layton and Ni No Kuni studio Level-5, earlier this year. It was launched in Japan back in 2013, where it's become tremendously popular, already receiving a sequel and a line of toys, manga, and an anime series.

The sequel, Yo-Kai Watch 2, was released in three different versions (again, not unlike the multiplayer versions of the Pokemon games), and according to Nintendo, these were three of the six best-selling console and handheld games in Japan last year.

Coinciding with the debut of Yo-Kai Watch in the West, Disney will launch an animated comedy Yo-Kai series. Nintendo's description of the show sounds a lot like the premise of the game: It "follows the hilarious misadventures of an average human boy and his involvement with the mischievous Yo-kai all around him. Our young hero obtains a special watch, empowering him to discover and summon Yo-kai, befriend them and then work together to solve everyday problems ... problems that are often caused by other troublemaking Yo-kai!"

Also coming soon are a bi-monthly Yo-Kai Watch manga (November 3) and new toys and children's games from Hasbro (January 2016).

For more, check out our previous feature explaining exactly what Yo-Kai Watch is all about.

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