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Japanese-language gaming for learners

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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby Hyperworm » Tue 06.21.2011 4:37 pm

micahcowan wrote:I'm not really into "visual novel" types of games myself (even just for language learning), but I imagine the classic Japanese dating sim probably qualifies?
I guess that (or 18+ games) is what play_on_my_words was referring to, especially when considering the comment "the only person you really have to worry about is the main character".

Most visual novels that are not in those genres get their value from the plot and story (they're novels!), and I can't see how focusing on the main character would help at all if you're not understanding those elements. I can't imagine they'd be much fun for beginners. ._.

In general if you're not confident that you can handle the majority of text in a game, I guess you should be looking for something that doesn't require comprehension to be enjoyable. :)
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby play_on_my_words » Tue 06.21.2011 5:03 pm

Hyperworm wrote:
micahcowan wrote:I'm not really into "visual novel" types of games myself (even just for language learning), but I imagine the classic Japanese dating sim probably qualifies?
I guess that (or 18+ games) is what play_on_my_words was referring to, especially when considering the comment "the only person you really have to worry about is the main character".

Most visual novels that are not in those genres get their value from the plot and story (they're novels!), and I can't see how focusing on the main character would help at all if you're not understanding those elements. I can't imagine they'd be much fun for beginners. ._.

In general if you're not confident that you can handle the majority of text in a game, I guess you should be looking for something that doesn't require comprehension to be enjoyable. :)


Well, I mean a visual novel of any sort whether it be 18+ or not. I believe any of them are good. Sure you have to worry about what your main character is saying, but it's not too hard to follow once you know what others are saying. Plot and story are important, they're important in just about every game that isn't a side-scroller or platformer, etc, (I'm not saying that some of those in that genre might not have a story). So you'll pretty much have to worry about plot and story in any Japanese game you want to play because you're trying to understand what they're saying (unless you just like said Japanese game because it never came out in your home country). In most visual novels I've seen everyone but the main character has a voice actor, it's like that in other games as well not just visual novels.
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby play_on_my_words » Tue 06.21.2011 5:09 pm

phreadom wrote:Can you recommend some? I wouldn't even really know where to begin without blindly shooting in the dark so to speak.

"google japanese visual novel game" or something... :P


Hyperworm mentioned that some visual novels are 18+, but it depends on the game really and the kind of story you want. To me visual novels are kind of like a manga and a novel combined, and they're probably more helpful than both combined. I would say try out Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. They're kind of mind screwy plots. A little complicated but not too much, according to their ratings they're 15+, although I doubt most have to worry about that. Try finding a visual novel to a manga or anime you like. You would be surprised at that amount of mangas/animes that have novels and/or visual novels.


micahcowan: I believe dating sims do fall under that category.
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Sat 06.25.2011 12:47 am

It's really hard for me to find Japanese PSX games. Sadly I don't have the money to import, and I foolishly bought a 360 instead of a PS3. Then again, my 360 only cost $90 at Gamestop, so not bad. しかし、DSがあります。

I'd love to play a Japanese visual novel game, but it'd have to have some kind of interactivity and challenge to it. Those kinds of games just aren't seen in America. What are some of the best games/novels of that genre?

Sorry, I see now that someone suggested a few novels. But any more suggestions is always welcome!
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby micahcowan » Sat 06.25.2011 2:53 am

Cyborg Ninja wrote:t's really hard for me to find Japanese PSX games. Sadly I don't have the money to import, and I foolishly bought a 360 instead of a PS3.


I have to say, I really recommend getting a PSP, if for no other reason than you can play PSX games on it (play PSX anywhere on the go! IMO the PSX games were way better than anything you'll find for the PSP anyway). You can set up a Japanese PSN account, and download Japanese PSX games on it (but it will require you to specify a Japanese address for the account, and buy Japanese PSN store cash cards to load your account with, as I mentioned in my earlier post to this thread).
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby Cyborg Ninja » Sat 06.25.2011 2:56 am

Thanks for the info. Glad to know I can just make up an address. How many points does a typical Japanese PSX game cost?
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby micahcowan » Sat 06.25.2011 3:42 am

Cyborg Ninja wrote:Thanks for the info. Glad to know I can just make up an address. How many points does a typical Japanese PSX game cost?


Many are 500 points; a lot of the Square Enix classics are 1000.

However, I just tried signing in on my PS3 (the Japanese PSN account was down for much longer than the US one), and was dismayed to find that it no longer allows me to sign onto the PlayStation Store, giving a message that I can't use this service from my country or region. That's very upsetting, as they must now be using even stricter region enforcement (previously, they only disabled the videos when they detected I'm not coming from Japan, but allowed me to purchase and download games). This is going to be a big problem for me, as, assuming I'll get the same issue on the PSP, this means I can no longer even play the Japanese games I already bought for my PSP (it's currently set to the US account), as I have to actually begin downloading a Japanese PSX game in order to convert the system back over to using the Japanese PSX emulation.

I'm sure it's possible to fake this detection out, but it would probably require some fancy router work (and a collaborating host in Japan), that I don't want to spend time on right now.

So, for the moment, forget everything I said about how great it is to be able to use the PSP to play Japanese PSX games, as this doesn't seem to be practical for now. :cry:
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby micahcowan » Sat 06.25.2011 4:24 am

Hm, maybe it's not as bad as I feared. According to this forum, the message is meant only to indicate that the Japanese store, itself, cannot be accessed at this time. (The phrase "あなたの国" is apparently just the generic message meant to mean "the country you have claimed in this PSN account to be yours", rather than some IP-detected thing (like the video-blocking mechanism).

Still, even if the PSN store does come back up, I have a similar problem with the new Japanese TV content feature they've released for the 3DS... none of the videos are allowed to be sent to my 3DS, because I'm outside Japan. Still, if I can at least get the Japan PSN store back up for my PSP, I'll be very happy. Looks like they're still suffering over there. Sony's handling of this whole hacking matter is really pissing me off. No one else ever took this long to recover, to my recollection.
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby micahcowan » Mon 06.27.2011 2:00 pm

Just wanted to point out, as I just got my hands on 「ゼルダの伝説: 時のオカリナ」 (Zelda: Ocarina of Time) for 3DS that, (a) it's a fairly awesome-looking game on the 3DS, and (b) it seems to be a great game for learning Japanese. I haven't played very far in (and had never played it on the N64), but dialog tends to wait for button presses, and all kanji are (a) legible (unlike, say, FF7), and (b) accompanied by furigana.

At the very very start of the game there is some introductory monologue describing the forest clan and the poor young boy (Link) who doesn't have a fairy of his very own. This monologue does not wait for button presses (so there may be other cutscenes like that, too); however, since this is a 3DS you can just be sure to hit the "Home" button before the text moves on, and then select an empty game slot on the home screen, so that the overlaid display doesn't get in the way of reading the text from the game you just sort-of paused.
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby Hyperworm » Mon 06.27.2011 2:17 pm

micahcowan wrote:At the very very start of the game there is some introductory monologue describing the forest clan and the poor young boy (Link) who doesn't have a fairy of his very own. This monologue does not wait for button presses (so there may be other cutscenes like that, too)
It's annoying when otherwise lenient games do this :sweatdrop: It's usually invoked right during the ending or a climactic scene, which is exactly when you don't want to miss the dialogue...
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Thu 06.30.2011 5:30 am

micahcowan wrote:*snip* all kanji are (a) legible (unlike, say, FF7) *snip*

Example? o_o

I've played FFVII many times and the font is exactly the same as those found on computers, very easily readable in my opinion :P

Okay, back on topic. I also think Ocarina of Time is a great game to play if you want to test your Japanese and to learn new vocabulary and expressions. I've been playing it a bit lately for the second time around in Japanese.
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 06.30.2011 9:56 am

very easily readable in my opinion


I was going to make this statement earlier, but then admittedly some of the more complex kanji are pretty darn hard to make out, especially if you haven't seen them before. For the most part, it's not much of a big deal, even on my small blurry TV.

I'm so excited about Ocarina of Time... I've played the beginning before but I can't wait to play it through for the first time! From what I remember though there weren't any kanji (or was it just few kanji?) which could be annoying
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby phreadom » Thu 06.30.2011 12:12 pm

LordOfTheFlies wrote:
micahcowan wrote:*snip* all kanji are (a) legible (unlike, say, FF7) *snip*

Example? o_o

I've played FFVII many times and the font is exactly the same as those found on computers, very easily readable in my opinion :P


I don't know about "exactly the same", but it is quite legible to me, for using such a low display resolution and aliased characters. :P

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Final Fantasy VII displayed natively at 320x240, which isn't much bigger than a Nintendo DS screen today (256x192). Much smaller than the original first generation iPod Touches and iPhones (320×480).

So I think given those facts, the writing actually looks pretty darned good. ;)
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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Thu 06.30.2011 12:29 pm

Ongakuka wrote:I'm so excited about Ocarina of Time... I've played the beginning before but I can't wait to play it through for the first time! From what I remember though there weren't any kanji (or was it just few kanji?) which could be annoying

It has a lot of kanji but they're pretty easily readable in my opinion and there are several text dumps online that you can use if you find a kanji you can't read :)

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Re: Japanese-language gaming for learners

Postby Ongakuka » Thu 06.30.2011 12:36 pm

Oh man I'm so excited! It will probably take weeks for the wii to arrive though ><

That's odd that I didn't remember there were lots of kanji. Maybe I'm confusing it in my mind for something else.
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