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An Unusual Request

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An Unusual Request

Postby lalaith » Sun 04.15.2007 4:03 pm

I'll start this off by saying I am not into computer games. I came of age with video games, but was never really interested in them.

A couple of weeks ago in class (my class is divided between a language lesson & cultural info), we were watching a DVD about people in a big gaming district of Japan.

They showed some of a Japanese video game. There was animation with a Japanese voiceover and Japanese sub-titles. Now that caught my interest. I thought "that would be a great way to study Japanese." I'd get the context from the animation, I could replay the audio over and over while trying to follow along with the text. And I bet they make games with an option to turn on English sub-titles so I could get a translation. My teacher says the text we're using is far too formal, so this way I could here Japanese spoken more casually.

So can anyone recommend a PC game that has:

Maximum dialogue (plenty of conversation)
Japanese voiceover
Japanese AND English sub-titles
Easy to play (I don't want to get stuck on level one. I want to have all the dialogue accessible.)
Easily found here in the U.S.

If it meets those criteria, I don't care what the animation is like, I don't care what the game is about. It could be a gore fest or, on the other end of the spectrum, it could be hentai. Heck, it could be a hentai gore fest. I'm so far over 18 I could be the mother of many people on this forum, so you don't need to age restrict your recommendations. Or it could be rated "G".

I'm just looking for a tool for practicing listening to & reading Japanese and games look like an excellent way of doing this.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby paul_b » Sun 04.15.2007 4:17 pm

I think matching all those criteria is going to be a very difficult task.

If you drop "English subtitles" and "Easily available in the US." then there will be loads. Possibly the best you could do would be to get a Japanese game and then get the English import of that game as well.

Incidentally if anybody has any hentai suggestions NOT IN THE FORUM. I'm not going to complain about any PMs that may, or may not, be exchanged.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 04.16.2007 2:10 am

Phoenix Wright is bilingual (at least here in Japan), has a lot of dialouge and is easy to play. It however, has no voice overs.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby lalaith » Mon 04.16.2007 2:54 am

paul_b wrote:
I think matching all those criteria is going to be a very difficult task.

If you drop "English subtitles" and "Easily available in the US." then there will be loads. Possibly the best you could do would be to get a Japanese game and then get the English import of that game as well.


All right, as long as the Japanese version has the Japanese sub-titles, I could see getting the Japanese and English versions of the same game. Do you have any suggestions that meet the remaining criteria? Because I'm clueless when it comes to games. And how do I buy a Japanese game in Japanese here in the U.S.?
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby lalaith » Mon 04.16.2007 3:00 am

Harisenbon wrote:
Phoenix Wright is bilingual (at least here in Japan), has a lot of dialouge and is easy to play. It however, has no voice overs.


As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm clueless when it comes to games. How can it have dialogue, but no voiceover? Maybe I stated it in a confusing way. Because what I was thinking of when I said plenty of dialogue and Japanese voiceover is that the dialogue that happens during the animation be in Japanese, not in English. (That way I can listen to the Japanese while reading the Japanese sub-titles, then look at the English sub-titles for a translation.)

When you say it's bilingual, do you mean you can choose between English and Japanese sub-titles? Because if you can, then this could be exactly what I'm hoping for. If it is, maybe I can find "Phoenix Wright" here in the U.S.
Last edited by lalaith on Mon 04.16.2007 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby paul_b » Mon 04.16.2007 3:26 am

lalaith wrote:
And how do I buy a Japanese game in Japanese here in the U.S.?

That's the tricky bit.

To be honest it's a great deal easier to "obtain" Japanese game outside of Japan than it is to buy it. You can buy stuff from sites like amazon.co.jp but their terms don't allow the export of games.

The two sorts of games that have the most dialogue with subtitles are undoubtedly RPGs and 'Date Sims'. Dating simulations come in a whole range including "PG" (I think the Tokimeki Memorial series had nothing more than some bikini shots IIRC)

Make sure you get RPGs that originate in Japan not those that have been translated into Japanese as the later usually have _English_ voice with Japanese subtitles.

The biggest series that comes to mind would be Final Fantasy.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby Valatunda » Mon 04.16.2007 3:34 am

May I just note that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney or by its Japanese name Gyakuten Saiban is a Nintendo DS game. Also you would have to buy the Japanese version for both subtitles. I would think they would have taken the Japanese subtitles out of the American version, but that is not necessarily the case.

Here is a link to the game on Play-Asia.com.
Gyakuten Saiban: Mask Vision Murder Case.
Last edited by Valatunda on Mon 04.16.2007 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby flammable hippo » Mon 04.16.2007 7:38 am

How can it have dialogue, but no voiceover?


Voice bubbles. A lot of games have a lot of dialogue but display all the talking in bubbles on the screen. A notable example is the Zelda series, but those are console games, not PC.

Ex: Image
The man talking has his "voice" displayed in the text bubble, and it only continues when you press the button to allow it to. No actual speaking.

Picture from Ocarina of Time, Nintendo 64, 1998.
Last edited by flammable hippo on Mon 04.16.2007 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby paul_b » Mon 04.16.2007 7:44 am

flammable hippo wrote:
Picture from Ocarina of Time, Nintendo 64, 1998.

It is to be translated by the non-native. A not good result is found. :D
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby flammable hippo » Mon 04.16.2007 7:47 am

paul_b wrote:
flammable hippo wrote:
Picture from Ocarina of Time, Nintendo 64, 1998.

It is to be translated by the non-native. A not good result is found. :D


I don't get it :p
Two muffins were baking in an oven. One turns to the other and says "sure is hot in here." The other replies "AH TALKING MUFFIN!"

二つのマフィンがオーブンで焼かれていた。片方のマフィンがもう一方のマフィンに向かって、"暑いね”と言った。すると、話しかけられたほうのマフィンは"アッ!喋るマフィンだ!”と驚いた。 :)
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby hungryhotei » Mon 04.16.2007 12:07 pm

Valatunda wrote:
May I just note that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney or by its Japanese name Gyakuten Saiban is a Nintendo DS game. Also you would have to buy the Japanese version for both subtitles. I would think they would have taken the Japanese subtitles out of the American version, but that is not necessarily the case.

Here is a link to the game on Play-Asia.com.
Gyakuten Saiban: Mask Vision Murder Case.


The first three games have also seen release on the PC in Japan. While these won't have the English language version with them, a large amount of the text from the game can be found on online walkthroughs so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. However, yesasia and playasia don't stock it and nor will most import shops (amazon does but they don't ship games) so it's not going to be easy to get hold of it in the US.
Last edited by hungryhotei on Mon 04.16.2007 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby gconyers » Mon 04.16.2007 12:33 pm

You might have a problem playing anything from another country on American systems. Look into it before you buy anything.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby paul_b » Mon 04.16.2007 2:27 pm

gconyers wrote:
You might have a problem playing anything from another country on American systems. Look into it before you buy anything.

Over 95% of (Windows XP) Japanese games will work on American Windows XP computers, although you may have to change some system settings. Particularly the "code page for non-unicode programs" one. I doubt that you'll be able to find out which the less than 5% really are without buying the suckers first.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby lalaith » Tue 04.17.2007 12:27 am

Thanks to everyone for all the info.

From the checking I've done it looks like I can find pretty easily either:

1) Japanese voice but with English sub-titles (Available on PlayAsia.com)
2) Japanese voice with Japanese sub-titles (from eBay)

So, if I can find translations for the games on-line, I'll go with option number 2. However, I haven't looked at each individual Japanese game listing at PlayAsia.com so I'll do a little more checking first.
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RE: An Unusual Request

Postby TS » Sun 06.24.2007 5:44 am

Lalaith, it is probably not possible to replay the audio/video over and over if you need several attempts to understand it. I do not know how well off you are in your comprehension of spoken Japanese. I just want you to keep this in mind before spending your money on a game.

I got a Japanese penpal and I talk to him online. This is probably the best way to learn for someone living in the States. It is completely interactive, and he also gets to practice his English when I don't have a clue as to what he's saying! You might want to check the link to the Friends site. It's worth the $25 for one month to go out and search for penpals, in my opinion.

Good luck.
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