Written for the Escapist Magazine, recreated in-part with permission.
Yo-Kai Watch begins with an opening cinematic complete with its own theme song. A bouncy pop tune that will feel like every school-age-child-suddenly-surrounded-by-monsters anime from the early 90s. Slightly less Pokemon, slightly more Monster Rancher, but it’s a very familiar journey, in which a child who should be free to run and play outside is instead presented with a revolving life that’s endlessly encumbered by the strange spirits around him.
Like many of the Saturday morning anime titles that Yo-Kai Watch resembles, there is an unbounded energy flowing from every scene transition, puzzle, spirited dialog chain, and interaction. The whole game is an unreserved bundle of jubilance and joy that bounces throughout the narrative, and that kind of energy is infectious for its players. Despite some of its flaws, Yo-Kai Watch is joyful, more than a little childish, but very endearing for it.