How I Play Video Games in Japanese

With Pokemon Sun and Moon already out in Japan and the US (at the time of writing this post, my fellow Europeans still have to wait a few days, unfortunately) I’m sure some of you will want to make use of one of the game’s best features – the ability to play it in multiple languages – to brush up on your Japanese skills.

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Or one of the other languages for that matter, but this is a blog dedicated to Japanese games, after all…

Anyway, if you’re not proficient with the language yet chances are you’re gonna run into quite a few new words during your Pokemon adventure. I know, I had to look up so much stuff back when I tried playing Pokemon Y in Japanese two years ago. Pokemon games, despite being quite beginner-friendly, are still written with native speakers in mind, after all.

Of course, stopping to look up unknown words can get quite annoying, especially in Japanese, where just inputting the word into an electronic dictionary can be tricky, if it’s written in kanji you haven’t learned yet. Over time, I’ve developed a way to make this as unobtrusive as possible for myself.

Of course it also gets easier as you understand more and have to look up less and less, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Naturally, all of the stuff here is applicable not only to Pokemon, but any game, or reading just about anything that doesn’t come in a form you can copy-and-paste.

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Playing Japanese games on EU/US 3DS – a guide

Unfortunately for everyone involved, Nintendo’s latest handheld system is region-locked. Say you’re learning Japanese and you want to play some 3DS games to practice the language – unfortunately, importing a 3DS from Japan isn’t exactly cheap and chances are you already have an EU or USA-region console that you don’t want to part with.

Fortunately, not all hope is lost! There are still ways to play some games in Japanese on your system.

(I mean legitimately – if you want to learn more about hacking your device, you’ll have to look elsewhere.)


Pokemon games

 

As many of you might already be aware, in the 3DS Pokemon games (that is Pokemon X/Y as well as Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire), you can pick the language you want to use before you start the game and yes, Japanese is one of these choices. Note that you can’t change your language afterwards, unless you wipe your save and start fresh, so no switching back into English mid-way. That might actually prove to be helpful, though, as it ensures you won’t wimp out, because reading Japanese is haaard.

You can also switch between hiragana-only and kanji modes in-game, so you can play even if you’re not feeling too confident in your kanji-reading abilities yet.

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Import Report – Soma Bringer and Tales of Hearts DS

…AKA “Take the internet away from me, or else I’ll end up impulse-buying games at 3AM.”

Anyway. Are you ready to hear another story about me and my gaming history?


The time when I first got my Nintendo DS was a quite magical. It was my first gaming system period. It was a new dimension of gaming for me. I set off for a search of games I wanted to play. Everything was fresh, new and exciting. While nowadays I usually turn towards well known, critically-acclaimed titles, I didn’t have similar reservations back then.

…Partially because I buy my games now, while back then I mostly acquired them by… less legal means.

Also, I didn’t know Japanese back then. So in my search, I ran into quite a few titles that basically made the Western fanbase go: “Why didn’t they bring these over here?” I also remember looking at these games wistfully, wishing I could play them. That was six or seven years ago…

And today I’ve got two of these games right here.

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The Otome Corner – Code:Realize ~Blessed Future~

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Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these…

So, I don’t think there’s a single English-speaking otome fan out there that hasn’t heard of Code:Realize. It’s generally considered one of the best if not the best out of otome games currently available in English, and out of all the games I’ve played this year, it’s also been one of my favorites.

Now, the fandisk for Code:Realize (with the subtitle Shukufuku no Mirai, AKA “Blessed Future”) is coming out next month, so I thought I’d translate the info from the official website, to celebrate this.

By the way, if you don’t read Japanese, don’t worry about never getting to play this – from what I’ve heard, Aksys Games have announced that they’re going to localize this fandisk. There’s no Western release date yet, though.

As usual, all of the info comes from the official website. If you’d like to find out more about the first game, you can do so here (website is in English).

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The Import Report – Collar x Malice and some talk about otome games in general

If you’ve taken a look at my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I made a lot of posts about a game called Collar x Malice. Yeah, I was really hyped about it. Part of why I created this blog in the first place was because I needed somewhere I could put up my translations for it.

Anyway, the game came out well over a month ago, I got it, I’ve completed it, I’m going to talk about it now. But first, I’d like to tell you a story about how the hell I got so obsessed with otome games in the first place.

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Collar x Malice translation + State of the blog

(Note: If you’re coming here from my YT channel, wondering why all the videos are gone, it’s because they’ve been flagged for copyright and taken down. You can still watch the narrated version on Dirili’s channel, though!)


So, some of  you might’ve noticed that there have been no new Pokedex posts recently or… any posts at all, really.

To all of the people who’ve enjoyed the Weekly Pokedex (yes, all two of you), I have a somewhat sad announcement to make: the series is on indefinite hiatus.

There are two reasons for this:

One – honestly, there are only so many grammar points to talk about in the Pokedex entries, given their nature, and I don’t know how entertaining I can make these with how repetitive they would eventually get. Plus, I began feeling that I just wasn’t explaining the grammar all that well.

Two, and this brings me to my other main point in this post – I’ve started a collab with Dirili on YouTube where we’ll be uploading videos with the common route of Collar x Malice (AKA Chapter 0), translated into English. In fact, the first video is right here:

(Alternatively, if you prefer to watch it with Dirili’s narration and commentary, you can find a link to her video in the description)

Translating such a text-heavy game is a lot of work (even if it’s just a single chapter), especially for a translation noob like me and that’s another reason why there hasn’t been much going on on the blog lately.

And also, I’m looking for a job now so there’s that.

That’s all for today’s update, see you guys next time, whenever that is. (;´∀`)