TGS 2018: Yo-kai Watch 4 Hands-on Impressions (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, September 21, 2018

TGS 2018: Yo-kai Watch 4 Hands-on Impressions (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

All those goofy yokai, now in HD on Switch!
After a long and successful ride on the Nintendo 3DS, the Yo-kai Watch series is finally making the jump to HD home consoles. More importantly for Nintendo fans, Yo-kai Watch 4 is scheduled to come to Switch this winter in Japan. Lucky for us, Level 5 decided to bring a demo of the game to TGS 2018 and we had an opportunity to sit down with it.

The presentation and visuals in Yo-kai Watch 4 are sublime. Sure, the 3DS games did look pretty decent considering the hardware they were on, but Level 5 clearly wanted to do more with the series which is apparent with the graphical upgrade here. The world looks exactly how you would expect a more full fledged game in the series to look - more or less like the anime. Even with this said, while the character models and environments look pretty good, there are issues with some slow-down throughout the demo, namely with the battles, but it's also apparent when exploring the town too.
Throughout the demo, players take control of a girl named Natsume and a boy named Tōma. Outside of battling, the controls are simple enough as players are tasked with maneuvering the characters around the a Japanese town. The game does a great job at pointing you in the right direction as there are both a map and distance meter showing you where the next objective is. It should be noted that in the demo, the environments seem to be a bit truncated, blocking you off from really exploring the surrounding areas. This is kind of a bummer but expected with a show-floor demo.

There are two battles in the TGS Yo-kai Watch 4 demo. The first battle has players fighting a yo-kai named Jinta (who is half naked/half outward innards boy) who has been creeping out a little girl named Manami. In an effort to prevent Jinta from creeping on this girl, Tōma decides to take out Jinta with his yo-kai. The battle system has players in control of Tōma who is accompanied by three yo-kai. The partner yo-kai are controlled by AI while Tōma is controlled by the player. During the battles, there are numerous things that you can do including physical attacks on enemy yo-kai, long distance energy attacks and even the ability to transform into a yo-kai. While transformed, Tōma deals a lot more damage than he would as a human. Overall, it actually felt pretty good and quite different from what I remember with my short time with the original game years ago.
The second battle is more of the same, however, this time players are fighting a bigger, stronger adult version of Jinta called Jingeki. While he is quite powerful, it’s still relatively simple to take him down. I did encounter some massive frame rate issues during this battle. It never really hindered the gameplay, but it was absolutely clear that this is something that needs to be worked on before the game hits store shelves.

Yo-kai Watch 4 is shaping up pretty well but things aren’t perfect. Some of the slowdown issues are definitely annoying and can hopefully be ironed out before the final release. It really is an awesome experience that brings the world of Yo-kai Watch even closer to how it was originally intended to be - right on par with the anime. Per usual with the series, there is no word as to when the game will hit the Switch in the West. Keep your fingers crossed! Be sure to take a look at our off-screen capture if you want to see the game in action.

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