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Japanese interactive games suggestions - Video games/Websites/Board games/etc.

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Feb 27, 2010 8:06 PM

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 239
Well, this thread was suggested, and here it is!

I'm a big fan of video games and such, so this thread would be fun to have :D

Before starting to post individual games, I would like to remind you guys that no matter how beginner-friendly the game is, if it sucks... well it sucks. Therefore you should really tell yourself if you're at least interested in that game, or else it's not worth your time or worse your money :D

The second note is that you should try to play your favorite games in Japanese. This is especially fun when you can change it in-game, so you have the English and the Japanese version at the same time.

Ok! Let me start with some:


Super Mario Galaxy
Cost - 45$, or... :)
Level: total beginner
I've stumbled upon this game by chance, when my dad brought my wii and a few *cough* cracked *cough* games from east-asia. Not being much of a fan of mario, I started playing it. However, I was quite impressed that the language was aimed for little kids up to more mature kids. Lots of kana, a few simple kanjis, perfect for everyone. I enjoyed reading SMG more than playing it lol. Good thing you can buy japanese wii games on amazon or something and it'll work on american wiis. Oh! especially don't forget to go to the library in SMG, I loved the fairytale stories told there :D
Feb 27, 2010 9:45 PM

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 627
My turn!

Final Fantasy VIII for Playstation. Lots of dialog, cool plot, etc. I don't think I need to say much here. It's Final Fantasy after all. Level: uh, I dunno, it's not hard to understand if you know a little Japanese and if you know your basic 2000 kanji from Remembering the Kanji. I guess it also would help if you knew the dialog and plot.

Chrono Trigger for SNES/Playstation. Again, plenty of dialog, and I don't think I need to say much. These are just recommendations. I don't really believe in levels, so just play it and find out. Not like it's an online game, so no one's going to laugh at you if your stats suck. :)

Final Fantasy Tactics. Same as the above. Tons of dialog, cool game, etc.
Aug 30, 2012 3:42 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1920
I am very sorry to bring up an old thread. I was considering making a thread like this, but decided to do the research and found this in the second page. But I do have a very good recommendation for this thread.

Mine is Shenmue 1 and 2 for the Dreamcast. This game helped me a lot when I was a year and a half into studying Japanese. The game excellently simulates the Japanese city environment and the routines of daily life and where you are likely to meet people, etc. You can interact with everybody and there are real life places to go to such as restaurants, arcades, and convenient stores. It excellently uses reading and listening and you can choose options on how you interact.

Depending on how advanced your skills are, you can recognize how a store clerk will show their manners and how you should conduct yourself over the telephone, etc. In the game, you can ask for directions and ask about specific people and even ask how to get work. It is a very detailed world as Suzuki envisioned.

When I played the game the first time, all I know were greetings, how to ask for directions, what are my likes and dislikes and just how to order stuff. I was able to understand what direction of where the game was going, but couldn't fully put it into context at the time, but as I studied more Japanese and re-visited the game, I found myself understanding it more progressively and used it as a simulated practice.

With Shenmue 2, though it takes place in Hong Kong, you are in an unfamiliar world in the views of Ryo so communication is very important and to some limited extent,. Try to imagine yourself a tourist through a video game world and you want to see the sights but don't know where to go but you can ask the person approaching you and they can give you an answer.

Outside of that, the cultural feel is authentic, the music is wonderful, the fighting is intense, and the sto
Sep 2, 2012 6:33 AM

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 239
いやいや、 I'd rather revive old threads here than to make the same thread over and over again ^^'.

Dreamcast... Unfortunately I only know one person who owns it.
Sep 29, 2012 6:31 AM

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 357
Is ParaParaJMo's post intentionally cut off or am I reading it wrong, because it sounds interesting.

If you're an audial learner who learns by reciting hiragana and katakana (which I recommend in terms of native level acquisition and mentally healthy learning) rather than visually memorizing kanji, all the Pokemon series before Black and White, or perhaps Paper Mario (both 64 and GC) are recommendable. You get a lot of repeated vocabulary, which makes it easy for you to flow through the game without extensive research every minute. The use of repeated vocabulary also allows beginners to focus more on grammatical deviations of such words in context, rather than a large set of vocabulary as you would find in a textbook.

The first Japanese game I played was probably Ape Escape 2. I remember my grandfather being astounded by my tremendous increase in reading comprehension from simply beating an easy-read video game. The educational potential of video games is still left quite unexplored, and I wish Japan would start selling new and entertaining video games only available in English.
I'm Japanese, so if you have any questions regarding Japan, feel free to ask.
Sep 29, 2012 6:51 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 24905
id say if you wish to Leran the Language [ reading any way] id say the best games are are old adventure Games like the Chub soft Murder mystery games
but stay away from RPGs cause there have so many genre words that are not standerd Japanese

except Idea No Hi while not story heavy its got other things to lrrwn you things

Big ones
"If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine"

When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one
For the Union makes us strong
Oct 21, 2012 4:02 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1920
I also recommend the Ryu Ga Gotoku or Yakuza games. I heard that since 2, all the games in the American releases stayed in Japanese (I tried playing the first game in English and couldn't get past the bad acting and the dialog just didn't naturally fit with the Japanese environment). You do learn a lot of yakuza dialect from those games naturally lol. A lot of it is Kansai influenced. Majima does a lot of it. But Shenmue is still my number one recommendation for Japanese study or practice. But Ryu Ga Gotoku 2 had some really aweosme songs like December 17, one of my favorite game songs of all time.

But Shenmue offers everything. Such as learning about shop clerk manners, telephone manners, writing letters, gift exchanging, it's like a great interactive lesson on Japan in general while Ryu ga Gotoku is about the yakuza that I heard that some yakuza members love and endorsed the game for being authentic to the real thing. The game also does a great job of digitalizing kabukui-cho as well though it makes it as gray as Gotham City in Nolan's Batman movies.