Yo-Kai Watch

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Yo-Kai Watch

Postby Rusty Claymore » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:58 am

I finally stacked up enough excuses and bought a 3DS XL, and since my friend kept asking me about it I bought Yo-Kai Watch as my first game.

Having started my rpg journey on a friends Pocket Gameboy playing pokemon Blue, making a brief stop in RPG Maker land, I'm now floored by this game. The detail and scale is... exciting(?). There's actually bathrooms! I don't know why I find that so impressive, but as long as I can remember bathrooms have mostly been No-way doors with nothing behind them besides a black screen and awkward dialogue boxes. I suppose I'll run into Hanako at some point, but it's there. The game developers went to great pains to include minute details, like seeing a little bit of what's stored in a shut closet, or under some stairs. Investigating points of interest isn't just a, "There's nothing here." box, but a 3D scene through which Yo-kai, bugs, and item sparkles lurk or scuttle.

The localization seemed over he top at first, but so far (I'm not too far in) it's figuratively blended into the game so well I'm not noticing it. I love the town, since it's so "Japanese Today". All the shops are set up as they were when I visited Japan, and everything from placement to design reminded me of places I visited. (Best house design ever: The bathroom in a house is where you take baths. The sink is just outside that room, and the toilet is all by itself in a mirror-less room on the other side of the house. That's the last time I'm bringing up bathrooms. Sorry.)

I suppose there are some... culture-awkward elements to the game, like the "Inspiriting" the Yo-Kai tend to use to cause havoc. Not too bad in-game, but you can take a picture of your friend IRL to find out what Yo-Kai is "Inspiriting" them, and how that is negatively affect them. (They call that part a "Tip", my sister was informed she wouldn't be able to save any money. Oddly, they don't try to give any advice to remedy your "Inspirited"-ness. Guess your on your own.) All negative things, like parents fighting and spontaneously confessing to your crush are blamed on Yo-Kai, and the dialogue describing this is very... Sesame Street esque, like, "Hey kids, Yo-Kai made you do it!" Anyways, just thought I'd mention these aspects on a purely informational basis, because...

Overall, playing this game has been, "Being a Kid Again: the Experience". You play as what I suppose must be a middle schooler, and you start off bug catching, which is something I've never really done before. The whole world is viewed from the eyes of a kid in such a way that it's very immersive. That makes it very free-feeling in-game, to the point I could easily discard my usual technical game-playing mentality and explore and enjoy. Ultimately, it feels like I'm re-visiting those Poke'mon Blue days. It's a good feeling.

My favorite gimmick: Crosswalks. I'm serious, there's crosswalks were you push a button and wait for the light to change before crossing. I've pretty much been staying on the sidewalks and only crossing at intersections the whole time. >_< Which is pretty funny, since there's no mechanism in place to make you do that: you're free to run out into the street whenever and wherever you'd like.

Anyways, enough tl;dr. Anybody else been playing Yo-Kai Watch?
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Re: Yo-Kai Watch

Postby Kaori » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:24 pm

So, several months ago there were some Japanese men visiting my workplace on a business trip, and I was helping out with their project, and one of them while conversing with me told me that 妖怪時計 (Youkai dokei) was/were popular. I had been so in the mode of standard, everyday conversational Japanese, and work-related Japanese, and was so not expecting a word like "youkai" that I learned from watching anime to come out of his mouth, that at first I seriously thought there must be some other meaning to the word ようかい besides the one that I knew. But actually, when I asked about it I found out that he really did mean the supernatural creatures youkai.

At the time I had no idea what he was talking about, but now I wonder whether he misremembered カタカナ英語 (Japanized English) ウォッチ (watch) for the Japanese Japanese 時計 (watch/clock). So maybe he was really talking about this game, since I don't know of any kind of youkai-theme wristwatch that is popular enough in Japan that a middle-aged Japanese engineer would comment to me and say "this thing is popular among young people in Japan right now." If he was actually talking about the video game, that would make a bit more sense.

Anyways, anecdote aside, the game sounds delightful (though I think I would not wish to point it at my friends and get the "tips"), and I know what you mean about the bath room and toilet being separate and the sink being in the hallway.

You mentioned localization, so you're playing in English, right, not Japanese? What kinds of things were changed in the localization?

Oh, and one more question: Have any idea if there is a specific reason why the word 妖怪 is romanized as Yo-Kai instead of youkai? That is pretty non-standard and there is no reason to hyphenate that word unless there's something else going on, like some sort of wordplay or something.
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Re: Yo-Kai Watch

Postby Rusty Claymore » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:46 pm

I believe he was talking about the game, since the friend who recommended it to me is a 50+ year old Japanese man who I introduced to "Natsume Yuujinchou", thus the youkai connection. Between the show and the game, it's been #1 popular in Japan, according to my friend. (I'm so envious your work occasionally involves Japanese people. >_<) I've seen and read a lot that points to "Older" people in Japan playing games a lot more regularly than Americans. My friend would play his DS baseball game on the bus commute frequently, even though he couldn't very easily be called a gamer.

I've found it's possibly to trick the 3ds into thinking objects or pictures are "faces", so you can still reap the rewards without the creepiness. Well, most of the creepiness. (It worked using my lil'sis' penguin mug.) You can also use photographs, which I cant decide if that's funny or even creepier. At any rate, it's not vital to the game.

Unfortunately, I am playing the English. Nintendo region locks its game devices, so I couldn't even purchase stuff from Japan unless I purchased another Japanese 3ds, which I will once my Japanese is closer to functional. As far as localization, there aren't any Japanese words, all have been changed to English equivalents: the player's last name is Adams, the city is Springdale. Few youkai have Japanese names (only one, so far) and the only place to barely make out Kanji is old signs, like at the shrine. They were pretty thorough, probably because the target audience are kids, so they're trying to keep it familiar. It's definitely a stretch from convention as it is, since all visual aspects are still very Japanese, as well as items (lots of Japanese snacks). Instead of Yen you have USD "$". The one major exception I've found is the Mascot Character of the series, "Jibanyan". Other than his name, he uses the "nyan" pattern of speech, very rarely if ever using "meow". Not just in text, but during his "live" cutscenes, he fits "nyan" into his English! It doesn't sound forced (well, the whole voice over job does sound like a kids show, but they did a good job, considering.)

I thought "Yo-kai" was weird as well. I'm used to the more traditional spelling. Here's my theories on it: Anybody with no exposure to Japanese would pronounce it "(U) Kigh" or "(U) Ka (E)". That hurts just to think about. Also, adding the hyphen lets you do the Poke'mon thing, like with Poke'dex, Poke'ball, etc. Whisper (the Navi of this game) uses lots of Yo-jokes. But I haven't discovered anything official yet.
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Re: Yo-Kai Watch

Postby Kaori » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:00 pm

Yeah, he must have been talking about the game. If it is that popular in Japan, then that would explain why he mentioned it to me and asked me whether I had heard of it, just as a random conversation topic.

Rusty Claymore wrote:Also, adding the hyphen lets you do the Poke'mon thing, like with Poke'dex, Poke'ball, etc. Whisper (the Navi of this game) uses lots of Yo-jokes. But I haven't discovered anything official yet.

Hmm. I wonder if maybe the same kinds of Yo- words are being used in the original Japanese, like 妖〇, 妖X, basically 妖-plus-some-other-kanji. That kind of thing is very common in Japanese, combining the respective first kanji characters of two words to make a portmanteau word. Like 就職活動 (shuushoku katsudou, job searching) becoming 就活 (shuukatsu) or 高等学校 (koukou gakkou, high school) becoming 高校 (koukou). In the case of the game, they are probably made-up in-game words, though.

Rusty Claymore wrote:(I'm so envious your work occasionally involves Japanese people. >_<)

I also am incredibly grateful for having this opportunity.

Tangent, but if you do even a quick search on Monster, you'll find that people bilingual in Japanese are in insanely high demand, and although they wouldn't be very easy to find in a search engine (recruiters like Mr. Japanese that specialize in Japan-related jobs would be more helpful) I think there are probably quite a few companies (that either are Japanese companies or do business with Japan) that appreciate having people who have some knowledge or exposure to Japan/Japanese, even if you aren't fluent. Overall, I think there are way more opportunities to use Japanese in the workplace in the US than most people realize. So I guess what I want to say is that I would like to encourage you to keep working on your Japanese, because maybe reaching a basic functional level will allow you to get a job that will have a bit of exposure to Japanese on the job, even if it isn't part of the job description, and then that can be a way to maintain and improve your Japanese skill and maybe open doors to other things.
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Re: Yo-Kai Watch

Postby Rusty Claymore » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:18 pm

Update: I've found some more Japanese names. Maybe spoke too soon. There's Oni now and a guy named Takeo. Haven't got to play too much though, as my lil sis is visiting from college and I made the mistake of showing it to her, and now she's playing it.

Kaori: I'm officially taking Japanese college courses, so I haven't given up! If I survive my first class...
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Re: Yo-Kai Watch

Postby Never thirsty! » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:14 pm

I bought the game the week after it released but I just started playing it I have a couple of questions about it one why do cars drive on the left is that how driving works in Japan I wouldn't know because I've never been there and two this is more of an opinion question who is your favorite Yo-Kai to use in battle my favorite is Jibanyan he's adorable but powerful
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Re: Yo-Kai Watch

Postby John_Smith » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:22 pm

Hey, Never Thirsty! You're back!

Never thirsty! wrote:I bought the game the week after it released but I just started playing it I have a couple of questions about it one why do cars drive on the left is that how driving works in Japan I wouldn't know because I've never been there


As far as I know, that’s the way it is for everyone besides us Americans.


Never thirsty! wrote:and two this is more of an opinion question who is your favorite Yo-Kai to use in battle my favorite is Jibanyan he's adorable but powerful


I won’t be playing this game any time soon, but a while ago I did go through all the yo-kai I could find online and decided that I like Lie-in Heart.
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Re: Yo-Kai Watch

Postby GeneD » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:43 am

John_Smith wrote:
Never thirsty! wrote:I bought the game the week after it released but I just started playing it I have a couple of questions about it one why do cars drive on the left is that how driving works in Japan I wouldn't know because I've never been there


As far as I know, that’s the way it is for everyone besides us Americans.

Actually more countries drive on the right than the left, Japan just happens to be in the latter minority.
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