Any video game you would suggest to practice reading?

I know pokemon games tend to come up frequently when you ask for suggestions, so please don’t suggest those :smiley:

Something simple enough for a lvl 32 with very little grammar, which is also not too boring to play.

Such a game probably does not exist (assuming any decent amount of text/dialogue).

At some point i considered some of the kantai collection games since they have a lot of “stats” panels & buttons that you can eventually learn rather than full on shakespearian dialogs but it was still fairly difficult.

And yeah I know it’s asking a lot >_<

My go-to suggestion is always daily life games where NPCs have a lots of repetitive phrases/greetings: Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Rune Factory. I played 3ds imports for those, but I believe there are some HM releases, a Rune Factory 4, and a Stardew Valley release on the switch that includes Japanese language.

Imported Purchases:
If you own a Japanese 3ds Yokai Watch #2 is great, lots of Japanese culture elements, get to visit a school, ride the train, a roller slide (real things in Japan!), and even visit your grandma in Japan (very traditional, like the house in Totoro) pretty easy dialogue, some furigana. YW has 2 versions (the same game, just different Yokai to catch) and even a 3rd add on game which is fun.

I’m playing Yokai Watch 4 on Switch (bought it with Japanese account on US switch) right now and it has the feel of visiting a Japanese neighborhood as well, the kanji are cleaner than 3ds. It’s as expansive a world as the Yokai Watch 1, so it’s decent but there are no train rides, no roller slides, no Grandma’s Totoro house… All kanji have furigana (which can be frustrating or useful, depending on your level).

Otome and dating sims can also be pretty good, I don’t like lovey-dovey stuff, but I have played Hakuoki (a little bit harder language, but lots of overdub). Also NyanLove is also a cheesy pretty easy to read game with simple dialogue where you’re a cat every night and play through a story with 6 bachelors.

Local purchases: I like games that have voice overs to read along with, so I’ve just gotten the new Fire Emblem but I haven’t gotten to it quite yet. I’m sure some things would be over my head and other conversations will be natural/easy. I also have Xenoblade 2…but I failed to observe that the US version only has a Japanese dub pack, no Japanese subs :frowning: :confused:


Ninokuni to the swith had a mode where you can tuch the kanji and get the reading. It has a fairly easy language and that mode makes it not do bothersome when the dialog gets hard

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Phantom Brave. Many of the items and weapons are common vocab as are the titles that come with those weapons.

For instance:
Common Rock
Gold Staff
Cozy Starfish
And on and on…

Edit: Dialogue is also pretty short and not overly complicated if you’re able to keep up.

There was a vn called “one night, hot springs” that’s free and I found pretty easy, so maybe that? Chances are you’ll have to learn a bunch of new stuff almost no matter what you try though :sweat_smile:

Other than that, if you happen to have a switch a decent amount of games can be played in Japanese by just changing the system language, so would be easy to just try stuff out then

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Skyrim. :smiley:

I played Sora no Kiseki first chapter and with my current level I understand around the 65% of the entire game and also around the 80% of the kanjis. Maybe it’s no the best game you can pick up how your first japanese game since it use a lot of military and politics dialogue.

Also visual novel are a good choice, you can use this link to see some recomendations according with your level.

Try Karakara on steam. It’s cute, the writing is pretty brain dead. It has a mode that lets you view English and Japanese at the same time. Seems like a good match for someone with little reading experience

I second on 動物の森 (Animal Crossing)! The kanji used is in romanji which is perfect for beginners and helps improve reading without getting caught up by the pronunciation.

Main problem is that the 3DS is region-locked unless you home-brew it (which I did).

A weird suggestion is Bloodborne.

The difficulty in kanji and sentence structure is a learning curve due to the complex menus, items, weapons, stats, etc. However, once you start piecing together what goes with what, it’s fun. Plus, it’s game play heavy with the in-game cutscences (very small) being dubbed in English originally so it’s easily accessibly (unless you’re turn off by punishing games).

Super Robot Wars (any, in full Japanese).

I learnt to play them when I was 16 about…19 years ago via trial and error and memorizing the symbols. I bet with your lvl 32 and some grammar you could make sense of the story and all the attacks, magics, etc.

Give it a try.

I’m having a bunch of fun playing Dragon Quest 1 (SNES version). The dialogues are 90% pretty straightforward stuff, and since I love JRPGs it’s a great way to pick up related vocab, going from basic stuff like 攻撃, 魔物 and directions (北西) to more complex stuff like material kanji (鋼の剣、鉄の斧).

I’m loving it. It also forces me to try understanding what NPCs say because the game can be a bit cryptic sometimes on where to go. I’m actually also following a japanese walkthrough (攻略) sometimes too, which is like adding extra sauce to the experience!

I’m halfway through the game right now. This is the guide I’m using:

VNs + text hooker is fantastic to use if you that is your cup of tea, but if you’re going for traditional video games then animal crossing is definitinely the way to go IMO. Full furigana, plentiful vocab that’s actually useful because animal crossing is essentially a life sim so you’ll get a bit of everything.

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I know this thread is old, but I found it helpful, so I just wanted to add my findings:
The Nintendo Switch has been pretty good with being able to play games in other languages. If you change the system language to Japanese, many games will default to being in good ol’ Nihongo. I’m pretty new, so it goes very slow for me, but it is a nice way to change up how I study a bit. I think it would be most efficient for someone with a deeper vocab + and grasp on grammar.
Pokemon: Sword/Shield has a lot of dialogue and relatively simple vocab.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses has full voice acting, AND an ability to scroll backwards through conversations, which allows you to drill specific dialogue boxes.
Dragon Quest XI - I think this game IS region locked with language for whatever reason (I could be wrong), but watch out there. You can get games on the Japanese eShop with some tomfoolery.
The new animal crossing is about to come out, and sounds like it is a good option according to the other posters. I’m guessing language support will be better on this version than the 3DS one as well.


Does anyone have recommendations for the DS? I have Ni No Kuni, which I love, but I left the book at my old house…

Haven’t read the whole thread, so sorry if it’s been said before, but I highly recommend Ni no Kuni - because it is a fabulous gaming experience. Don’t forget that getting the DS version works with the 3DS, or that it includes a frigging book to accompany the game. It’s simply magical. :blush:

For some harder exercise I’ve tried the Japanese version of Ookami for PS3 (buy Japanese-English Ookami, change system language to Japanese and voilá, you have Ookami in Japanese, no furigana though! tThis is pretty hard!).

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