Learning Japanese With Video Games
A few of you may already know this but I love video games. In fact, before I started learning Japanese I spent most of my spare time playing Call of Duty and Dota 2. I know how enticing video games can be and one of the things I realised when I started learning Japanese was that learning the worlds most difficult language would take up a lot of time. I knew that to get through it that I would need fun and interesting material that would keep me in constant contact with the language. For someone who could easily game for hours straight, what could be better than video games? What I want to say is, don’t get rid of the fun stuff, just get the Japanese version instead!
If you are looking to learn Japanese via video games, or even just love Japanese games and own a Play Station 4 then this Japanese PS4 games list is a good start. Before we start though, if you are new to importing goods from Japan then definitely check out my guide to importing Japanese video games. I cover everything you need to know about importing video games, including importing JP PS4 games, in the following post: Where to Buy Japanese Import Games | 8 Sites For Buying Import Japanese Games.
4 of the Best Japan Only PS4 Games to Import
Most people who have owned a PlayStation have probably, at some point, heard of the famous Yakuza/Ryu Ga Gotoku series. As such, it’s a real surprise that this game is on this Japanese PS4 games list considering that there are thousands of fans of the series in the West. But unfortunately, the game never made its way to the US or Europe. The game is set in the Bakumatsu (幕末) period (final years of the Edo period) of Japan and has a great story line with subtitles on cut-scenes, which is great for learners of Japanese.
龍が如く維新 on Amazon
If you’re a fan of games like Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors than there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll absolutely love Sengoku Basara 4. This is by far one of the best Japan only PS4 games that didn’t come out in the West even though it had a reasonable fan base. Players are able to choose their character from a diverse roster and raise hell on the battlefield in this insane hack n’ slash game. There’s a lot of speech from some of my favourite 声優さんs, with JP subtitles, so it’s another game that’s great for anyone immersing in Japanese.
Japanese gamers seem to love fighting games and anime girls. Put them both together and you get Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition. It’s kind of obvious as to why this game never came out in the US. The game pits popular female leads (and a few male leads) from different anime shows against one another in glorious 2D 1v1 combat making it a treat for anyone that loves fighting games and anime. With its fast action-packed gameplay and great graphics, this game is definitely worth importing.
Kamen Rider is a popular Japanese TV show and the games are just as popular. This game is the closest you’ll get to an actually enjoyable Power Rangers game but due to lack of awareness and demand, this gem of a game never made it to US shores. If you’re looking for a fun, action packed, button-smasher with crazy antics, stupid phrases and over the top action, then this will be a great game to import.
仮面ライダー バトライド・ウォー 創生 on Amazon
Besides Way of the Samurai 3 and Persona 4 Arena, games for the PS3, PS4, PSP and PS Vita are region free so you won’t need to buy a Japanese version of the consoles to play most games. Creating a new PSN account and setting it to the appropriate region will allow you access to different region’s PlayStation Stores, allowing you to get access to games you wouldn’t normally be able to purchase. Of course, to be able to buy them you will need some Japanese PSN cards which you can get from Play-Asia or Amazon (links below).
JP PSN cards on Amazon
So hopefully this post has given you a small glimpse into the world of Japan exclusive games. For some reason some publishers and developers in Japan seem to think that certain games won’t do well in the western world, or may quite simply not think about the western audience. Due to this, and various other reasons, there are tonnes of titles out there that have never made it to the western coasts, which is a real shame. If you love video games and want to find more Japanese video games, or Japan exclusive games, then you can check out the post I wrote on importing Japanese video games here.
As always, thanks for reading!
マットBy Matthew Hawkins2018/02/25Follow me on Twitter
Here are some of my favorite tools and sites for learning Japanese
Thank you for reading this blog post, which I hope you found useful for learning Japanese. Here are some of the most useful websites that I’ve found for finding Japanese content to use for immersion as well as some really useful learning tools to help you through your Japanese studies. Some of these are affiliate links which just means that if you decide to use these sites by clicking the following links, then I will earn a commission. But honestly speaking, these are the sites that I use and recommend language learners, even my friends, to use anyway.
Anki Tools: To get started, I really like Migaku for Anki. By itself, Anki is already a super useful tool for language learners but Migaku allows for integration with websites like YouTube and Netflix, allowing it’s users to create flashcards from the shows and videos that they are watching, as they are watching them. If you use my link you can get an extra month for free.
Speaking Practice: For this I absolutely love iTalki. There are thousands of Japanese teachers on the platform that are available at all times of the day to have conversations with you, in Japanese. Some teachers take a more traditional approach while others are just there to chat, these are the ones I would recommend if you are looking to improve your conversational Japanese. Lessons start from just $5 and there’s no long term commitment, I highly recommend them.
Immersion: I’ve used a lot of different earphones / headphones over the years but by far the one that has come out on top is the NENRENT S570. This is a singular in-ear earphone that matches your skin tone to keep it discrete, meaning you can listen to the language you are learning while at work, or school. For a full list of tools and gadgets I recommend for maximizing your immersion time, check out this blog post.