It's a game you may or may have not heard about coming out this holiday season this year in the US. I got to tell you, I'm kinda interested in it.
It's taking over the youth of Japan as "the next Pokemon," and is comparable as such. Like Pokemon, it's an RPG where a kid befriends monsters. Also like Pokemon, it's a game with a lot of corresponding merchandise, especially an anime. But that's where the similarities pretty much end.
The story is different. Basically, the main character goes off looking for rare bugs to show off to his friends and he stumbles upon a machine that gives him a Yo-Kai butler called Whisper who gives him a watch with the ability to see and summon Yo-Kai. Yo-Kai have the ability to posess people (called "inspirited" in English) to do or feel different things and they're causing trouble in the neighborhood. So the MC uses the watch to help people and prevent trouble with these Yo-kai while befriending them. Basically it's like Ghostbusters with some Shin Megami Tensei flavor thrown in.
The actual designs of the Yo-kai, for the most part, are pretty strange, but varied. Words do no justice for some of them. You just got to see:cdni.wired.co.uk/620x413/w_z/Y…media-mercury.cursecdn.com/att…image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2…
Yo-Kai Watch's battle mechanics are a huge difference. To start an encounter in most circumstances, you have to search for them by scanning them. You'll know one is nearby with a radar. In dungeons, encounters starts when a Yo-Kai touches you. The battles are "semi-automatic" where the Yo-Kai fight automatically, where they can attack or use spells on their own (elemental weaknesses exist), and you just "give them suggestions" of what to do, lend them items (including equipping them) and make them use their specials via a minigame. The max you can have in your party is six on a "wheel" in the bottom screen, with three fight at one time. You can rotate the wheel change who is in or out of battle at any time. When your Yo-kai are under status effects, you can rotate them out and play a little minigame to cure them (which also earns you XP if sucessful.) You can also lock on to a specific enemy (or a specific part pf certain enemies) to make your allies exclusively target that. To befriend most Yo-kai requires simply defeating them. Giving them their favorite food increases these odds. Overall, it's a bit more directly involved than Pokemon in terms of actually doing stuff. But it lacks the complexity and most of the customization Pokemon offers.
Outside of the Yo-Kai related stuff, there are also a ton of quests you can do, you can actually collect various fish and bugs. There is also a lot of post-game content to explore as well.
It's not really that comparable to Pokemon, but it seems interesting and I am willing to give it a whirl. What about you? What do you think? and yes, I already have a favorite and he's called Manjimutt aka Jinmenken.