I’ve read about a lot of people using various multimedia forms or entertainment to learn Japanese, or practice using it in a real situation. By using games it makes it more of a fun task and helps integrate it into an every day solution. I read the article about the top 5 DS games that the folks over at Tofugu recommended - and thought I would check some out.
The games that have furigana are exactly what I need, and I’m really pleased to see some games include that - instead of just kanji. It will depend on the age group the games are aimed at. I have had a go with some Monster Hunter in Japanese on PSP and struggled a bit, but I discovered Ni No Kuni back in early 2010 after hearing about a new Level 5 and Studio Ghibli game. A Studio Ghibli game?! That caught my attention.
Back then I wasn’t learning Japanese so I knew I’d never be able to get the game - but now I’m further into my learning, and it contains furigana, I’m definitely excited! So I’ve got myself a copy of that game on DS, and it comes with a huge magic book which needs to be utilized within the game at certain points - again all in Japanese. It is used to draw spells and look information up etc. I’m pretty excited to get started on it soon since it is friendly to my current Japanese learning level, as well as absolutely beautiful and looks like a very fun story-driven RPG.
It is aimed at a younger audience in Japan, so the story is charming. It follows the magical journey of a small boy. I’ll update here again once I have started it. Really looking forward to it and seeing what I can gain from it, as well as just playing a fantastic game. As a Studio Ghibli fan I am really excited, and the book that it comes with looks really amazing; a very beautiful collector’s item as well as useful (the bookworm in me is very excited about that). So definitely worth checking out if you’re studying Japanese and looking for games - the trailer is above. Have you already got it? Do you use other games?
The game is also available on PS3 in Japanese - and will be localized for North America early 2012 on PS3 - but no mention of DS.