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A glimpse into the chart-busting success of  Yo-kai Watch

A glimpse into the chart-busting success of Yo-kai Watch

September 3, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

"We wanted to express a world view that modern children can relate to with a role-playing video game."
- Level-5 president Akihiro Hino on the success of Yo-kai Watch

If you follow the Japanese video game market, you'll have already noticed that lately one game has been parked at the top of the charts: It's the second in the Yo-kai Watch franchise, created by Ni no Kuni and Professor Layton developer Level-5.

In a new interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, Level-5 president Akihiro Hino reflects on the success of the franchise, which the newspaper says has been hailed as the "Pokemon of the 21st century" in its home country.

"I also had grown tired of making stories in which the protagonist matures by battling enemies... It is a structure where a series of episodes come to life one after another in an ordinary circumstance rather than an approach where we impose an elaborately constructed fantasy," Hino told Asahi.

The goal, then, was to create a game that reflects kids' real lives -- despite the fantasy of the game, in which the player character can see spirits called "yo-kai" thanks to a special watch.

No plans have been announced to bring the franchise, which has two entries on the Nintendo 3DS, to the West as yet. For more on the franchise, read our earlier story on it. The original Asahi story, meanwhile, delves further into the popularity of the franchise.

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