Haven't you heard about Yo-Kai Watch? You know, the game that has spawned over eight Nintendo 3DS titles in Japan? The original game which game out in Japan in 2014, has sold over 1.29 million units alone. Yo-Kai Watch is a Japanese phenomenon similar to the likes of Pokemon. However, the premise in my opinion is much cooler. One day while walking through the forest, Nate stumbles upon an old vending machine. You know the kind with the plastic bubbles? Anyways, he ends up waking a ghost named Whisper (Above with the blue lips) and he gives him a magic wristwatch that allows him to see ghosts called "Yo-Kai". Unfortunately for Nate, there is also a huge population of evil ghosts that instigate negative traits in humans. (Gluttony, laziness, anger, etc.)
Nate can use his watch to locate friendly Yo-Kai and recruit them as resources to battle evil Yo-Kai. Like Pokemon, each Yo-Kai has their own specialties and move sets. Combining Yo-kai in battle can also yield bonuses for your team. The game utilizes the 3DS touch screen, making you interact with your Yo-Kai to perform special moves with the Soultimate command or using the Purify command to revive your Yo-Kai. There are mini-games that are associated with these commands, where you may have to trace a pattern, pop bubbles, etc. The faster you complete these tasks, the better off in battle you will fare.
I also received the special sneak peek of the new manga that is being published by Perfect Square this month (below.) This introduces the main two characters and gives a brief introduction to the watch and what the Yo-Kai are all about. It's very well done, the art matches the game almost perfectly, and the storyline seems very easy to read. I think both children and adults will enjoy the Manga to go along with the game. There is also an anime that has been released in Japan chronicling the adventures of Nate and his Yo-Kai pals, which I am sure will becoming to the United States soon.
I played through the demo, which is currently available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, and it's quite good. The environments are colorful, and the gameplay is fresh. It's a great Pokemon alternative, and it doesn't feel like a rip off at all. I had fun searching for ghosts with my stylus, and forming Yo-Kai combinations to maximize my attack. I feel that it may take awhile for this to catch on in the United States, but I think Yo-Kai Watch has a enough charm to stick around for awhile. Yo-Kai Watch releases on November 6th exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS. Expect a review shortly following the release of this title.