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  1. #1

    Youkai watch 3DS (JPN) review

    Video of the e-shop demo

    Been solidly playing this for the past few weeks, currently 17 hours in & it's turned out to be rather good. Probably the only person on here to even have it so I doubt anyone else will join in this thread but i hope they do, I thought i'd post my impressions so far. Once again Level 5 show that they are masters at making games for Nintendo.

    Imagine pokemon & boku no natsuyasumi were combined & filled with traditional ghosts from Japanese folklore & that's pretty much what youkai watch is, it's not a direct rip off of either series yet it borrows elements from both making it's own unique feel.

    The game starts on the first day of your school summer holidays, one of your friends is showing off his insect collection & it sets the rest of you off on a insect hunt to try & outdo him. On your search of the town you eventually end up at the old shrine in the hills behind the school, for years there is a tori gate that has always been sealed but on this day the passage mysteriously opens it leads you through the bamboo forest to a clearing with a giant tree. In front of the tree is a strange looking gashapon machine made of stone. As you approach it a voice from nowhere starts singing for you to put a coin in, when you do a capsule comes out & inside the capsule is a youkai called Whisper he tells you that he has been sealed away for nearly 200 years, he gives you a watch that has a strange ability it can detect the presence of youkai & also allow you to see them. And so starts the story as you learn that youkai have always lived alongside humans, they have the ability to influence them both in good & bad ways, Whisper ends up been your guide to the mysterious world of the youkai. You can play the game as either Keita or Fumie but you can choose any name you like for your character, the cool thing is depending on weither you chose a boy or a girl the responses people give to you will subtly change too.

    The town that the game is set in is called Sakura newtown and has a look of a very tupical Japanese neighbourhood to it, the town is quite big & has several distinct areas. To the north of the town is the hills full of trees & countryside, to the west is the old part of town that has a older feel than the rest with more winding streets. There is even a traditional dagashiya there, sadly the medal games out front are not playable boooo. To the east is the museum & park, to the south is the business area that even has an old style shopping arcade. The detail put into this town is crazy lots if back streets to explore, waterways to walk down, vending machines dotted about everywhere to buy from. If you stop and look you will see that every tree & plant sways in the wind, people walk about going on with their business. The town just begs to be explored & it's good if you do as there are chests containing items hidden everywhere luckily you can rotate the camera to see around corners for things you might have missed. Anywhere that pulls up a magnifying glass icon can be searched, plants/trees/bins/under cars/rivers/under vending machines and many more places besides, when searching you will goto a different screen that's a lot more detailed. For example if you search the streetlamps in the evening you will see little insects flying around the lights & the clouds slowly passing by in the background, the game is full of little details like that.

    If you search the trees & plants you will find insects you can catch, to catch them the game uses a roulette wheel if you stop the arrow in a lit up segment then you will capture it. Sometimes rarer insects will have less wheel segments to land on you can increase those by using items you find. Sometimes a red wheel segment will appear if you can stop it on the red one you will catch a rare version of the insect you aimed for. The exact same system is used for doing fishing there are many places you can fish from like up in the hills or on the waterways all around town. Along with the waterways you can also get into the sewers under the streets where there is a giant maze of passages to explore which will bring you out at various parts. Where in boku no natsuyasumi you used the insects just for display in this game you can trade in the insects and fish at one of the shops in town for items to equip onto your youkai.

    Speaking of which, when your watch goes off it will act like a radar letting you know there is a youkai hidden nearby, if near a searchable area like a tree/bins ect then you will have to use the lens to try & find it if you can keep it in sight for long enough for the segments on the lens to fill then you will reveal it & will be pulled into a battle. The battle system is rather unusual in this game you have a wheel with 6 slots. You equip youkai medals in the slots to make a battle party, you get medals by becoming friends with one. Outside of battles there are quests you can complete if you do the youkai will brofist you (lol no really, they do) and they will give you their medal which allows you to call them out in times of need. When battling if one likes you enough after kicking its ass then you can agree to let it join you. Anyway back to battling you have 6 you can attach to the wheel & you can rotate to change who fights who at any point, the battle will pause until you let go of the wheel youkai have elemental attributes just like in pokemon, the battles are automatic you have no control over when to attack however you can attach a pin to one of the youkai you're battling & the members of your team will concentrate on that one. You do have control over your special attacks which are initiated from the bottom menu you then have to complete a tiny minigame to activate it, your soul gauge empties after an attack but can be refilled with them stealing it from other youkai. When you get attacked with a status effect you have to rotate the wheel to put them into reserve then you can use the heal button to remove the effect from them just like you do with activating a special attack, if you bother to do so then you get an exp bonus upon clearing the battle. You can also use healing items & other status changing items while in battle but you have to be careful as the item menu locks for a time after using it so you have to wait for it to come back again. Placing certain types of youkai together in your wheel creates a bridge between the medals giving special stat boosts when they are in play.

    Youkai just like pokemon can evolve if you level them up & their attacks can be levelled with certain items you can also equip 1 item for them to hold to increase their stats further. A certain person in the game will allow you to create a new youkai by fusing 2 medals together to create a new evolution but you lose the 2nd medal in the process you can also create items the same way by combining parts. Around the world there are areas sealed away with something called watch locks they are glowing doors with a letter on from S to E these doors can only be unsealed if your watch ranking is of a high enough level, you have to complete certain quests to rank up your watch, most areas behind a watch lock hold rare items in their chests the higher the rank of door the more valuable the item. Usually you find watch locks down the hidden alleys in the streets are areas full of wandering youkai, battles are not random in this game you have chance to run from the youkai wandering about.

    Unsuspecting Emma at work was unaware there was a ghost sat on her shoulder during lunch break LOL

    When you get to a certain part of the game the mystery lens function unlocks. This is a feature used outside of the main game where you can take pics of people using the 3DS camera a youkai will appear in the picture with them. Each day there is a different criteria for what to take. When a youkai appears in a pic it has a little song that plays, it's rather fun & reminds me of the medal activations in kamen rider OOO. Anyway if you save them to a sd card then you can visit a certain shop in the game & they will give you items from the pics you took which is a nice feature plus any youkai you spot in pictures will be added to your encyclopedia, like pokemon you have a list of all the youkai you have seen or caught. There are also other lists like the youkai spot you get clues in a list of youkai hidden & you have to try & find that spot in the town. When your watch radar goes purple & a ? appears for the youkai ranking & there is a ghost hidden nearby either invisible or concealed as a regular item. When these ones are found they give you items.

    There are other bonus features in the koyagi & kobuta buildings, if you have any of the special campaign QR codes you can redeem them using the 3DS camera for special coins. The codes are on merchandise for example the first code is on the preorder bonus Jibanyan strap that you get with the game. More will certainly come on merchandise. You can also connect online to get download content free of charge, last few times i connected i got special coins, There is also the password system. During certain time periods of the month special different coloured youkai will appear in your town, if you can find it 3 times it will give you a password to enter at the shop to unlock something rare.

    There are 8 kinds of special coloured coins are all redeemed at the mysterious gashapon machine that you released Wisper from, you can only use it 3 times every 6 hours. It uses the special coloured coins you find & they give you either rare items or rare youkai if you use them. You can also use game coins from your 3DS too.

    There is also a quest system there are 3 kinds of quest, the main story questline. Then there are the red & blue side quests, when you accept a quest it appears in your list & it keeps track on how far you have gotten with it which is really good when you have a lot going. Some quests involve getting certain items for people others involve removing the affects of a youkai that's affecting them nearby. For the main story there is always a marker pointing where you need to be next it's not totally hand holding but enough to help out. The rewards for a quest usually are items & exp for your youkai, when you complete a quest you also get a bonus chance where an animated clip will play with either a win or lose animation if you get a win you will get a bonus item if you get a great win you will get a bonus rare item. So far seen about 12 animated clips so far & there seems to be a few more that i haven't seen, a nice little extra touch. As are the hidden comic books in some of the shops

    Well that's pretty much it for now but there is a lot more in the game that i haven't covered, best 3DS game i have played this year so far.
    Last edited by importaku; 31-07-2013 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Re added review after site lost it.

  2. #2
    Well today finally saw the end credits, in total I was 27 hours on the clock but I did take my time in exploring so it was a lot longer. Thankfully after the main game is complete more content unlocks & the game continues, new quests are added and you get the chance of upgrading your watch to S rank meaning you can get into those last few S rank locked off doors scattered about the game.

    Discovered lots of fun things while playing like the feature called oni time, wearing the watch comes with a risk because at any random time the watch can go into oni time where you are shifted to an alternate dimension version of your town. You then have to find the portal to escape back out however while you are in that dimension it's full of lots of little demons & one huge ass demon if any of the little ones spot you they will give you away & the big one will come running REALLY fast you then have to try & escape before it gets you as it will go into battle & it's very tough to kill. I have yet to manage it as it is strong enough to one hit kill all my team so far but it can be defeated if your youkai are strong enough. While in the oni dimension there are also special red oni chests that hold rarer items the risk is do you dare go for them while the area is swarming with demons.

    Another fun surprise was the pedestrian crossings, if you cross without pushing the button & waiting for the light to go green then you get a warning. If you continue to keep crossing dangerously then you get a nasty surprise as you are pulled into a secret battle against a strong youkai who teaches you a painful lesson of road safety

    After completing the game the bug hunter shop has more of a use as the list of rare items gets upgraded, a lot more items appear in there & you have to use insects to pay for the goods both regular ones & the rare ones too. Makes hunting a bit more fun when theres a use. Also while exploring I discovered an apartment block with several floors, all the apartments are explorable & in one of them there was a ghost hidden who has a very special shop where you can buy coins for the yokai gashapon machine you have to use rare fish & insects to pay so catching them becomes pretty vital if you want to unlock some of the rarer youkai as some can only be gotten from the gashapon machine.

    Still loads to explore I have found a mysterious lever in the sewers which has triggered 1 light on the sluice gate but I still have to find the other 2 & see what happens. Lots of locked areas in the sewer which means I have to find the manholes in the town to get down, have a feeling i'll be ploughing loads more hours into it

  3. #3
    Still playing away on the post game content it's absolutely packed with side quests & other content can see myself easily hitting 100+ hours, mopping up the unfinished quests & exploring every nook & cranny for hidden items. Started to recruit a lot more youkai now too now that i know which foods are their favourites. Unlike pokemon where you capture them by brute force. In youkai watch they will only agree to join you if you get on their good side by impressing them in battle, certain ones are really hard to recruit so it feels satisfying when after the battle they reappear to ask if they can join you.

    Tonight after many failed attempts & tree searching around town, i finally managed to persuade a hono boono to join me finally unlocking one of the 6 secret pages in the back of the youkai encyclopedia, if you manage to complete all the gaps in a page then it releases one of the 6 legendary youkai. This one was Jibanyan's samurai form called Bushinyan, made a video in celebration of it, thats one down just the others to unseal.

    Now back to looking for more secrets
    Last edited by importaku; 25-02-2014 at 01:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Would you say the language barrier is large for this one? I have the demo, and there doesn't seem to be anything to bad there...

  5. #5
    Well there is a lot of text but it all has furigana above the kanji making it easy to translate if you can read kana. With the quests both the main story & the sub quests have check marks so you can keep track of where you are with each one & the main story tells you what bit you need to be doing next, not directly walks you through it but tells you what area to be ect. Also you get markers on the map guiding you as well for a RPG it's pretty import accessable.

    If you can manage to figure out the demno then you should be fine with the full game.

  6. #6
    Sounds very manageable – my Kana is a work in progress, but I managed with the demo ok. Thanks for the low down

  7. #7
    Well if you do take the plunge im happy to help if you get stuck, finished it ages ago. Also have guidebook so can help with specific stuff too.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Finally decided to tackle the extra bonus dungeon aptly name infinite hell, i thought with my youkai team at a healthy level 70 that i might stand a chance seems i was mistaken lol, managed to get down to the second level then first dungeon boss totally destroyed me. A good place to level up though as the regular wandering youkai are quite strong so you get lots of exp. Good place to recuit too, managed to get a few medals off some missing in my encyclopedia.

    Still a few mysteries left to solve like the rock inside the woods that comes up with a ! mark when you get near.

  10. #10
    Importaku, do you know of a list of all the quests in the game? Some of them are straightforward, but others I'm getting stuck on...


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