The YO-KAI WATCH series is an absolute phenomenon in Japan and promises to make a big splash when it launches in the U.S. on Nov. 6. The game is part of a broad entertainment blitz of video games, toys and an animated comedy series.
Now that the series has been newly localised and adapted for the West, you’re finally going to see for yourselves what’s been driving Japanese kids to ritually torch bonfires of old Pokémon goods in favour of the new yokai. Of course, the success of any Japanese import into the Western market hinges on a heartfelt and thorough localisation process. It happened to Pokémon—Satoshi became Ash Ketchum, and many Pokémon were entirely renamed—and now it’s happening to Yo-kai Watch, too. Protagonist Keita Amano has become the very American-sounding Nate Adams, while yokai is remaining the de facto term of choice for the naughty but very cute critters, albeit with the vowel-lengthening “u” dropped, possibly to prevent people mispronouncing it as you (as in “you and I”) kai.
Although the series’ number-one yokai and Pikachu rival Jibanyan is retaining his Japanese name (which is actually derived from ‘resident ghost’ and ‘meow’), the other ghost characters are being renamed entirely, with many a Japanese pun getting steamrolled into something a little less clever all in the name of relatability.
There’s plenty to be excited about—the game is technically excellent and one of the best things developers Level 5 (known for the Professor Layton games, Ni no Kuni and Fantasy Life) have put out. If you’re a fan of bright, colourful RPGs with addictive gameplay, you really owe it to yourself to pick this up, whether or not Pokémon appealed to you. What do you think of this game? Do you think it has the same cute and fun factor that Pokemon still has?
Source News: Rocket News 24