The best game to practice Japanese reading: Dodgeball Academia

Playing games in Japanese is said to be a great way to practice Japanese. However, it usually doesn’t work with me for a few reasons: not being sure I’m understanding the plot, feeling more like work than fun, getting tired after a few minutes and not willing to keep playing.

However, Dodgeball Academia, which was just released, has the best implementation of multiple languages I’ve ever seen.

It has a “learner mode”, in which you can set subtitles in another language for speech bubbles. Not only that, but the other parts of the game (menu, HUD…) can also be swapped by a single button.

This way, I can read speech in both japanese and in my native language to check if I understood the japanese part correctly, and I can focus on my own language when I get tired of practing japanese and just want to relax. And the japanese option has furigana.

The game itself is very fun, on top of all that.

I wish other games use this same “learner mode” idea. I’m playing it through Game Pass, but I’m thinking on also buying it on Steam, to support the developers.


Sounds cool! Do you know if there are other games like this or is this an unique feature?

Adding it to my wishlist anyway so I can come back to it once I’ve learned some more grammar… :memo:


It seems to be a unique feature. That’s why I wrote it’s the best game to practice Japanese reading, because I never found any other games that do this.
I hope it gets the attention it deserves so it inspires more developers to apply a language system like this one.


So it’s basically a parallel reading, but implemented in a game? That actually sounds quite useful. :smiley:

Just curious, in your experience, have the translation been quite literal or more liberal?

(Also, you might want to add a link to the game. I know, ‘you can look it up’ etc. but just for convenience’s sake maybe :wink:).

Not exactly the same per se, but Tales of Vesperia on steam can have Japanese text while having English audio.

Also there are games out there with textfile fan translations. I’ve been playing a few of those games lately windowed with the translation on the side and checking translations when necessary.


Yes, it’s useful, and you can even cycle through all different languages if you are learning more than one.

In my experience, I’ve been playing it in portuguese and japanese. The developers are brazilians, so the portuguese text does use a lot of slangs and “street talk”. The japanese text, therefore, is more “correct”, although it’s still very informal.

And I added a link in the initial post :wink:


Olha mais um br aqui
Nem sabia desse jogo, vou comprar mais pra frente

Sí, soy muy brasileño. :stuck_out_tongue:

Pois é, quando um estúdio brasileiro produz um jogo de qualidade desses, merece ser apoiado!

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Without a translator, I’ll try to see if I can understand what you said (my native language is Spanish)

Hola, un brasileño más por aquí!
No sabía de ese juego. Lo voy a comprar más adelante.

Did I get it right? Lol

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I’ll try to see if I can understand what you said as well without a translator (my native language is Spanish)

Pues, cuando un estudiante produce un juego con esas cualidades, merece ser apoyado!


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Yes, that’s it exactly :grin:
No wait, ‘olha’ is ‘mira’ but otherwise, all correct

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Haha almost.

Sí, cuando un estudio brasileño produce un juego de calidad como éste, merece ser apoyado. (at least that’s what is telling me :stuck_out_tongue: )

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That alone is a good enough reason to throw money at the dev. Even if I don’t like the game.

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Actually, the Nintendo DS release of Chrono Trigger also allows you to switch between Japanese and English at the click of a button. So you might wanna try that if you feel like you need to switch between languages to check on your understanding of the plot. :slight_smile:

I’m currently playing 二の国 and having loads of fun. That’s single language and you defo need to read a LOT in that game, but since it utilizes furigana it’s not too difficult. it’s a kid’s game after all. ^^


Thanks for the tip. I do love me some Chrono Trigger, and I’ll check if the japanese version also has dual language (since I’m in Japan, it’s easier to get the jp version).

I played 二の国 on PS3, and I thought it was a little too… childish. I loved the art style made by Ghibli, but it got to a point that the silly things of the plot piled on too much and I got tired. Eg: (spoilers) having spent a good while finding comedians to make the fairy queen laugh, and right after that the fairy companion telling me we could’ve just used the side entrance; or the “prince” companion almost rubbing in our face he is the prince but nobody in the party noticing that; or wondering why the villain would waste time stealing the “hearts” of random and insignificant people around, etc. There’s a fine line between “for all ages” and “for children”, and unfortunately 二の国 (and the Ghibli movies, which I don’t really like) fall too much into the “for children” category for me.
Although maybe for japanese practice purposes, I may try it again if I see it in a big sale on Steam.

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It’s the JP version that you need to buy, and has a English translation. You don’t have to log out of the game, but you just go into the ingame menu and change language. So, very easy to do. :slight_smile:

I had the exact same problem. I don’t remember exactly why, but the story of 二の国 got on my nerves, and I didn’t connect with it at all, unfortunately.

Someone gave me his imported disc of 二の国2 in Japanese, and I wanted to try it just for the practice. I was worried I’d be slogging through the story, but I really enjoyed it! Sure, you can tell it’s for a younger audience, but I happily sank a 100 hours into it.

It didn’t have any furigana, but I also never felt the need to look for it, so that toggle may be somewhere in the settings. At level 60, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem, though.

I can’t assure you you’d also like it, but as someone that didn’t like 1, my recommendation would be to not necessarily write off 2. ^^


I think I will start with boku no natsuyasumi on PSP

it has great atmosphere and slow pace, what I am looking for at the moment.

Yeah, this language feature is really cool~
Can’t say I’m a fan of such artstyle but the game seems nice and fun. Gonna play it at some point.
Btw, did you know this game was made by Lorenzi - the great guy behind Lorenzi’s Jisho (which is a version of already great Jisho but with pitch-accent and option to make you own lists which can later be easily imported to anki)? :3

Not exactly a “game” but certain visual novels (like Higurashi series) on Steam have an option to instantly switch Jp-Eng languages with L button, which is nice too.)


Oh wow I didn’t realise this game included a learner mode as well. I recently saw this was added to Xbox Games Pass and added it to my ‘to-play’ list. Now though, I am downloading it as we speak to check out this feature! :grin:

Thanks for sharing @leandroeidi