Yo-kai Watch 3
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Yo-kai Watch 3 is a role-playing video game developed and published by Level-5 for the Nintendo 3DS. As indicated by the name, it is the third game of the main series of Yo-kai Watch video games, initially released in two versions, branded Sushi and Tempura in Japan in July 2016. A third version of the game, branded Sukiyaki, was released in Japan in December 2016, adding minor enhancements upon the original versions of the game. An English version based on Sukiyaki was released in PAL regions in December 2018, and in North America two months later.
|Yo-kai Watch 3|
North American cover art
The game follows the interconnected stories of two protagonists who both possess watches allowing them to see, befriend, and summon creatures called yo-kai: Nathan Adams, a boy who recently moved to the fictitious Southern United States city of St. Peanutsburg, and Hailey Anne Thomas, a self-styled otaku "outcast" who deals with yo-kai in the upstate city of Springdale. Unlike the first two games, the player is not given a choice to select Katie Forester as the protagonist instead of Nathan Adams.
Nathan Adams (Amano Keita in the Japanese release) has moved from the upstate American city of Springdale to the southern town of 'BBQ' after his father was transferred (in the original Japanese release, the move is overseas from Japan to America). The yo-kai around BBQ have corresponding "American" looks and abilities. Unlike the first two games, the player is not given the choice to select between Adams and an equivalent female protagonist, Katie Forester.
Meanwhile, back in Springdale, which served as the setting for the first two games, Hailey Anne Thomas (Inaho Misora in the Japanese release) is now a playable character who has formed a yōkai detective team.
Level-5 announced details for Yo-kai Watch 3 at a press conference in April 2015. The developers promised at least three large-scale feature updates would follow the release of the game.
Details for the third version of the game, Sukiyaki, were announced in October 2016. Sukiyaki included a separate multiplayer mode based on the spinoff game Yo-kai Watch Blasters, the ability to unlock "God Yo-kai" by linking all three versions together, and would tie in to the story of the third Yo-kai Watch movie, Yo-kai Watch: Soratobu Kujira to Double no Sekai no Daibōken da Nyan!. The Yo-kai Watch Blasters Treasure mode was added to Sushi and Tempura as the first major update, after the release of Sukiyaki.
Version 3.0 of Yo-kai Watch 3 was launched in Spring 2017, adding new Enma, quests, locations, dungeons, and yo-kai. The next major feature update, version 4.0, was launched in Summer 2017, with similar added features.
The original Japanese release involves a culture shift from a Japanese setting to an American one; rather than a similar overseas move, the western release of Yo-kai Watch 3 frames the same shift from Springdale to BBQ as a move from a Japanese interpretation of an average American city to a representation of the Southern United States. The cultural contrasts the protagonist experiences are changed to highlight the cultural clash between what he is used to in upstate America, and the culture of a city in the American south. In order to make the localization feel more "realistic", the awkward nature of this cultural clash is often played for comedy purposes. For example, an early plot element in the original Japanese release of the game involved the protagonist not understanding the local residents because he didn't know English, with minimal straight comedy. In the localized release, the protagonist now fails to understand the thick southern drawl of the residents, and turned into a full-on comedic premise.
According to prerelease coverage and marketing materials, the localization turned America into the fictitious country of BBQ, with Nathan Adams moving to the city of St. Peanutsburg within BBQ. However, in-game dialogue makes it clear that this is not the case and that 'BBQ' is within the same state (as it makes frequent reference to Springdale being "upstate", and Nate and his family having moved across-state, rather than overseas).
The covers for the initial Sushi and Tempura versions were released alongside the announcement the game would be split into two versions in April 2016. The cover for Sushi features the American equivalents of Komasan and Komajiro, renamed the KK Brothers; the cover for Tempura has Tomnyan, the American version of Jibanyan. Sushi & Tempura sold 632,135 copies combined during its release week, less than half the combined first-week sales of Yo-kai Watch 2.
Sushi and Tempura were bundled together as the Sushi/Tempura Busters T [Treasure] Pack (スシ/テンプラ バスターズTパック), released on December 15, 2016 alongside Sukiyaki. Sukiyaki sold 337,979 copies during its release week; the Sushi/Tempura Busters bundle sold 17,709.
In the United States, GameSpot scored the game 6/10, calling it "a fun time" and "a cheerful, wacky playground where Pokemon-like creatures happen to live." Nintendo Life was significantly more enthusiastic, scoring the game at 9/10 and declaring it "a triumphant last hurrah for one of the [3DS] platform's most beloved series." Overall, the game was rated with 80% favorability on Metacritic.
The fourth game in the series, Yo-kai Watch 4, was released for the Nintendo Switch in Japan on June 20, 2019. Yo-kai Watch 4 was confirmed for a western release at a panel held during the Anime Expo in July 2019, but specific regions and release dates were not announced.
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