So, I’m sure this is a big ask, but one of my eventual goals is to be able to play Idolm@ster games without too much difficulty. Does anyone have a guesstimate of what WK level I’ll need before even thinking about attempting it?
I see… I know games like Persona are difficult to play in japanese but well, maybe in a future with more wk level and more japanese class could help me.
Oh that question is very good! I would like to know also about Idolmaster, specially platinum stars.
Atelier in 20s level? Are you sure because some people say that Atelier is very hard for all traits, items, and combination you can do in-game.
If you’re aiming for 100% understanding and a complete exploration of absolutely everything, then no, that’s not possible in the 20s, but it’s also not possible in the 40s, either.
If you’re okay with holding arbitrary kana and relatively distinct kanji in your head while seaching for matching things in the overworld item lists or letting the Plus version’s QoL enhancements find suitable choices for you, as you gradually become more comfortable with the names of items and meanings of traits over the course of a few dozen hours, and accept, in advance, that your goal is to learn through trial-and-error, rather than min/max to get every ending in one playthrough, then the alchemy component really isn’t too much of a barrier.
From your avatar, I think it’s reasonable to assume you’ve played at least some of them in another language already and it shouldn’t be too difficult to draw upon that knowledge to reach a fuzzy understanding of what effects map to which kana or what you’re looking at on any given screen, as long as you’re willing to start at around 50% recognition on that front and build up comprehension through repeated exposure.
I’d be amazed if most of the games’ younger native playerbase already recognises every foreign or made-up word found in the item-list. Even in the localised versions, there are many names that clearly aren’t English (eiche, for example), but after the third or fourth time they come up, it becomes a simple task to figure out what’s being referenced.
-edit to add clarification-
The alchemy component of the games is separate from the VN-like portions, which will make up the vast majority of time on a first playthrough, and it’s in there that most of the dialogue will be accessible in the 20s, provided the player has strong pre-existing anime vocab knowledge.
I started trying the PS4 ones around level 35 (~= N3 kanji) and haven’t had much trouble with comprehension, but all dialogue is set to auto-advance, with no manual option.
So while the content is relatively easy by that point (at least if you’re able to read manga at a reasonable pace without complete dependence on furi), it might still be overwhelming if you can’t follow speech at near-native speed while just glancing at text to resolve ambiguity or pick out key kanji.
I’d suggest building up speed with VNs and subtitled things that can be found on Netflix (Samurai Gourmet is pretty great, as a starting point).
For that reason I ask you because I know that Atelier actually can be a challenge. I played every single Atelier with english subtitle and the 100% of each game need a lot of preparation, create equipement and keep an eye in every single ending. For that reason maybe Arland trilogy could be the harder (in japanese) on PS3/Vita and soon on PS4. Of course I’m with you with the idea of the 20s level to understand and figure out while you play but no with the platinum on mind. Do you play any old Atelier game? (Marie, Elie, Judie etc) I also looking for play old Atelier games just for matter of practice and improve my japanese reading in a future with more kanjis and vocab.
I just finished playing through Rorona and Totori on Switch (having last started Rorona on Vita when I hit WK 16) and since my goal wasn’t to 100% everything (though I did platinum everything on PS3, including Rorona’s first release with its four-playthrough minimum or whatever it was), but rather just to do a single best-efforts run to enjoy the character interactions and push myself to read faster, I still feel comfortable saying that level 20 is about right for someone who wants to use them for learning. But if I were to have been trying not to waste any days or complete all optional content within a single playthrough, rather than NG+, I don’t think I’d have even picked them up: front-loading the study of all vocab needed to ensure mistakes weren’t made would be a massive drain on time and just wouldn’t be personally satisfying – the language in the games isn’t too hard to figure out, even the advanced stuff, but all of the guides and wikis that would need to be consulted are written by, and for, native speakers used to gaming jargon and I can barely stumble through gaming-related Twitter at this time.
I’ve got the PSP releases of Judie and Vio, but haven’t yet tried playing them; I’m slowly crawling through Valkyria Chronicles 3 on that system.
Oh great election with Valkyria Chronicles 3. Currently I have few only japanese game on mind to play/improve my japanese reading in a future. Of course visual novel also can be a nice choice especially all vn you can find availables on vita nowadays.
Thank you! This is super helpful, actually. Great to know.
I had the same problem! People complain about kanji but man does it help once you’ve made the effort.