Yo-Kai Watch has and continues to be a huge craze for Japanese children. Its U.S. reception hasn’t reached anywhere near the levels of popularity and success that it has in Japan. That may be a reason why over a year later, we have yet to see a North American release of the latest Yo-Kai Watch installment, Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi/Tempura.
For those unfamiliar with Yo-Kai Watch, it’s a game for Nintendo consoles that plays very similarly to the Pokémon games, except the monsters are now spirits, or yokai, that you befriend. Befriended spirits give you their yokai medal, which is used to call them into battle through a device known as the yokai watch. The variety and unique abilities of the different yokai available is comparable to Pokémon.
However, it isn’t all like Pokémon. The battles play out very differently. Each battle consists of three of your yokai friends in battle at a time. A wheel on the bottom screen of the 3DS displays the current yokai in your party; you use the wheel to swap out the yokai currently fighting. Attacks are done automatically, but it’s the yokai’s soultimate – a special power move that does extra damage or has a special effect on the enemy – that gets you more involved. Once the yokai’s soultimate meter fills up, you can activate it through a variety of minigames. Each one is unique to the yokai. My personal favorite is “Paws of Fury.”
Besides the Sushi/Tempura versions of Yo-Kai Watch 3, there is the lesser known Sukiyaki version as well. Sukiyaki is an improved and updated version of Sushi/Tempura with new yokai and multiplayer game modes. However, none of the third installment Yo-Kai games have been confirmed for localization.
So, will we ever see any of the Yo-Kai Watch 3 versions here in the West?
Probably. The games are slow to come here. Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters only arrived in late 2017; the game was released in 2014 in Japan. This long wait can be expected to apply to the Yo-Kai Watch 3‘s western release as well. The CEO of Level-5 has made his faith in the game’s North American potential for success known in a 2016 interview via Nikkei Trendy (English highlights here). He had hinted that North America, within a year or two, may be receiving some content even before Japan. He hasn’t abandoned North America yet!
The first two games got me hooked, but now Level-5 is withholding the third one. Guess us Yo-Kai Watch fans just have to keep waiting.