Studing Japanese doesn’t have to be all about textbooks. Playing PC games can be a fun alternative to boring grammar points and tedious word memorization. It’s also a good way to see that you are actually doing progress – and what you should study more. Sure, there are many educational games out there for learning Japanese, but let’s face it – real games are more fun.
Unfortunately finding games with Japanese language support is not always easy, especially if you’re not living in Japan. Here are some favorite games for the PC that you can easily get your hands on via Steam or other easily accessible stores.
Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World
Japanese language support: Full. Interface, subtitles (game has no speech)
Where to get it: Steam
If you like old style point-and-click games this might be the game for you. Although not in the same league as Monkey Island (what game is though?) Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World is a great recent take on the genre. The game follows classic point-and-click game rules where you have to use logic and items to progress through a very humor-driven story.
Best of all – You can do the entire adventure in Japanese. Since there is no time pressure involved in making choices or even in the dialog it’s a great game for Japanese learners. This is however not a game for complete beginners. The dialog i pretty simple, but there are many kanji in use.
Game in short: You take on the role of Kaptain Brawe, a not too bright hero, and embark on an adventure in space. On the journey You will encounter different planets, creatures and puzzles. Everything is hand drawn in an alternative 19th century style.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Platform: PC, PS4
Japanese language support: Full. (Interface, sound, subtitles)
Where to get it: Steam
Ni no Kuni II is a beautiful Japanese roleplaying game made in a very Studio Ghibli-esque design. The gameplay is like many other jrpg, if not all, based on combat and leveling up your character(s) and weapons. The combat is however in real time and not turn based like many other jrpg:s.
The game has a whopping 8,1 score from both critics and users on Metacritic.com. That’s not surprising. This really is a stunning game with beautiful graphics, a crazy Japanese story and different types of gameplay. This is a game that will give you many hours of gaming and a good practice for your Japanese skills. The game has Japanese language fully supported, which means that you will have audio as well as subtitles and menus in Japanese.
Ni no Kuni II is a must buy, not only for anime fans but for anyone looking for a fun game in Japanese language on PC.
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Platform: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Japanese language support: Full.
Where to get it: Steam (release on September 25th)
Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a popular strategy style jrpg from famous developer Sega. It takes place in Europe in an alternative World War2 setting, where the Atlantic Federation is fighting the Eastern Imperial Alliance.
If You have played earlier games in the series You will notice one big addition to the new game: A new soldier class. In Valkyria Chronicles 4 You can now play with the Grenadier, who fires mortar rounds. They can even fire without being spotted, if You can get good battlefield information.
The game is possible to play completely in Japanese, but be aware: You have to have a pretty high knowledge level in order to understand everything that’s happening.
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This article will continue to be updated with more games. If you have any suggestions, please comment below!