Learn Japanese through RPGs

I like Japanese. I’m studying Japanese. Sometimes it can get tedious.

However, you can learn a lot of Japanese writing by playing some fairly fun RPGs. They really do work pretty well, and its a heck of a lot better than reading flashcards or books.

The best I’ve found is Knuckles in China Land [ http://chinaland.cjb.net ]. This is a very well done game (the battle system is innovative, and the text is well written). The graphics are mediocre at parts, but thats not the reason you are playing it. This supports learning of all Hirgana and Katakana, plus some Kanji and vocabulary as well. If you know all the kana, you can start off with just the kanji, or choose the vocab version.

Another one is Project LNRJ [ http://www.lrnj.com ], which has a game called Slime Forest. This was probably the first such project in development, but isn’t as good as the aforementioned one.

I’ve played both (Slime Forest awhile ago, and KiCL since last week), and I can say that Knuckles is the way to go. But feel free to give them both a try. You can only learn more.

The type of gameplay is very interesting. Usually in RPGs, your characters gain experience by battling and thus get more powerful to defeat more powerful opponents. In educational RPGs, the one who gains the experience is YOU, the player! Thus, it is hard to recognize how far you’ve come since there are no level-ups to indicate sudden gains of power in real life. I find this an interesting field for RPGs to get into, although an exploration of that topic is beyond the scope of this thread.