Japanese games without kanji?

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Reply #1 - 2011 March 09, 3:31 am
Tykkylumi Member
From: England Registered: 2009-07-08 Posts: 144

I was wondering if any of you could recommend me some video games without kanji, for either DS, GBC/A or SNES. I'm planning on playing Earthbound again in Japanese. I also know the pokemon games are in kana but I don't want to play them again for awhile.

Additionally, what are some good games without too many complex kanji? Thank you (:

Reply #2 - 2011 March 09, 4:00 am
Odin89 Member
Registered: 2010-07-31 Posts: 50

The GBA versions of FF4, 5 and 6 have the option to play with the text in hiragana.
I think Paper Mario doesn't have too many kanji, you could try that.

I honestly think reading in hiragana is a chore though, especially for a beginner actually, the kanji helps as a visual aid for the words and their division; besides, most vocabulary you learn in hiragana, you'll eventually have to learn the kanji for it XD

Reply #3 - 2011 March 09, 5:11 am
wccrawford Member
From: FL US Registered: 2008-03-28 Posts: 1551

Professor Layton has 'friendly' versions that have furigana.  I'm actually playing the new 3DS one and it has it, too, even though it doesn't say 'friendly' on it. 

I've had a couple puzzles that I really couldn't understand without looking up a lot of words, but I've solved about 20 so far un-aided.

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Reply #4 - 2011 March 09, 5:17 am
Tzadeck Member
From: Kinki Registered: 2009-02-21 Posts: 2665

The SNES version of FFIV is also all in kana, in addition to the GBA option.  I remember giving up on it because I found it impossible to read all in kana.  I was pretty n00b back then though.

Reply #5 - 2011 March 09, 7:32 am
Kyoshi88 Member
From: Netherlands Registered: 2011-02-23 Posts: 40

The Pokemon series are all kana. Though I must say, kanji versions are much easier to work with. You shouldn't focus on kana too much, only if you're looking for ways in increasing your kana reading speed.

Reply #6 - 2011 March 09, 5:12 pm
Shadeless Member
Registered: 2010-05-25 Posts: 39

I was wondering the same thing a while ago, so I downloaded and tested few hundred NDS roms before buying some games.

Here's the list of games:

-with furigana:
Bleach Ds 2nd
Bleach DS Souten ni Kakeru Unmei
Dragon Quest IX - Guard of the Starry Night
Ganbare Goemon - Toukai Douchuu
Habu Yoshiharu Shougi de Kitaeru - Ketsudanryoku
Inazuma Eleven
Inazuma Eleven 2 Kyoui no Shinryakusha Blizzard
Inazuma Eleven 3 Sekai e no Chousen Spark
Kaitou Rousseau
Keshikasu-kun Battle Castival
Layton Kyouju to Akuma no Hako
Layton Kyouju to Fushigi na Machi
SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors Shin Mirisha Taisen
Sloane to MacHale no Nazo no Story
Sloane to MacHale no Nazo no Story 2
Tago Akira no Atama no Taisou Dai 1-Shuu
Tago Akira no Atama no Taisou Dai 2-Shuu Ginga Nazotoki Adventure
Tago Akira no Atama no Taisou Dai-3-Shuu - Fushigi no Kuni no Nazotoki Otogibanashi
Tago Akira no Atama no Taisou Dai-4-Shuu - Time Machine no Nazotoki Daibouken
The Legend of Zelda - Mugen no Sunadokei
Zelda no Densetsu Daichi no Kiteki
Do-Konjou Shougakussei: Bon Bita
Ni no Kuni
Nintama Rantarou
Rekishi Taisen Gettenka: Tenkaichi Battle Royale

-everything in kana:
Detective Conan - Kieta Hakase to Machigai Sagashi no To
Monster Racers
Metal Fight Beyblade
Medarot DS - Kuwagata Ver
Elebits - Kai to Zero no Fushigi na Tabi
Metal Fight Beyblade Bakushin Susanoh Shuurai!

-with kanji but a lot of audio:
Spectral Force Genesis
Gensou Suikoden Tierkreis
Luminous Arc 3-Eyes
Shining Force - Feather
Summon Night X-Tears Crown
Summon Night Twin Edge Serireitachi No Kyoumei

Last edited by Shadeless (2011 April 13, 9:49 am)

Reply #7 - 2011 March 09, 5:20 pm
erlog Member
From: Japan Registered: 2007-01-25 Posts: 679 Website

I know it seems like kanji are a big stumbling block, but I don't think you actually want this. No kanji actually has a way of making sentences harder to read because of all the homophones that exist in the Japanese language, and the difficulty of sussing out word boundaries.

Games that use full hiragana are generally games for children who already understand spoken language. If you do not already understand spoken Japanese language then you are going to have lots of trouble with hiragana-only games.

I would highly suggest going for games like Zelda or Layton that have options to give you furigana. That's going to be most helpful. You'll be able to easily look up words based on furigana, and you'll start learning some kanji along the way. You'll also more easily be able to figure out where the word boundaries are based on the kanji.

Last edited by erlog (2011 March 09, 11:19 pm)

Reply #8 - 2011 March 09, 6:21 pm
kainzero Member
From: Los Angeles Registered: 2009-08-31 Posts: 949

anything on the famicom should have kana only. like zelda 2 or dragon quest 3 or something.

but i agree with erlog, what's so bad about kanji?

unless you look up every word and don't know how to use radicals, kanji can only benefit you.

otherwise, especially for a beginner, it is very difficult to separate words out and look them up. pronouncing them doesn't do you much good if you don't know where the verb is or what the particles are.

Reply #9 - 2011 March 10, 2:43 am
Tykkylumi Member
From: England Registered: 2009-07-08 Posts: 144

I just want to clarify: I prefer texts with kanji. It's a lot easier to read and I'm not avoiding them. I'm planning on playing games with kanji at the same time. I just need a recap in kana before I start doing sentences and whatnot. I used to be able to read them with no trouble, now I'm really slow and I just need to go over them again (especially katakana.) I just need to pick up a bit of reading speed.
I can distinguish parts of the sentence OK, I'm not a complete beginner. Thank you for the help though.

I forgot all about furigana, thanks for reminding me, everyone. I feel silly now. tongue that would probably be a lot easier to read.

Shadeless> Wow! Thanks for that, that's really helpful. Must have taken you ages to go through all of those ROMs.

Think I might play some Professor Layton.

Reply #10 - 2011 March 11, 12:12 am
kainzero Member
From: Los Angeles Registered: 2009-08-31 Posts: 949

ahhhh, i see

yeah, i would avoid famicom games then, since they sometimes use a lot of hiragana when they should be using katakana. or maybe vice versa... which could be a good thing.

Reply #11 - 2011 March 11, 12:17 am
Tykkylumi Member
From: England Registered: 2009-07-08 Posts: 144

Yeah, I should have clarified in my first post, really.

Hmm... I'll probably give the famicon games a miss then :p I can imagine getting confused with them. Thanks

Reply #12 - 2011 April 13, 9:57 am
Shadeless Member
Registered: 2010-05-25 Posts: 39

I just now noticed that I didn't include four games that I recently tried out, and have now added them to the list.

Do-Konjou Shougakussei: Bon Bita (watch the commercial for this, wtf?)
Ni no Kuni
Nintama Rantarou
Rekishi Taisen Gettenka: Tenkaichi Battle Royale

Ni no Kuni also has subtitles with furigana on every video sequence, which is especially helpful.

Hope someone finds this useful smile

Reply #13 - 2011 April 13, 2:37 pm
jcdietz03 Member
From: Boston Registered: 2008-12-19 Posts: 349 Website

I participate on LLTVG.

The Legend of Zelda translation/explanation is done (example of katakana-only).

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past translation is pretty far along. This is an example of partial Kanji. Not sure how common that was on the SNES.

I started on Dungeons and Dam which is an example of "Normal Japanese Text" (kanji+kana / no furigana). I think the text in this game is too hard for me though.

My username there is the same as here.

...and don't know how to use radicals

How do you use radicals? When typing up transcripts, I usually type in the words I know and draw out the ones I don't using Microsoft IME. Am I supposed to memorize something like Heisig RTK2 (to try to guess the readings)?

Last edited by jcdietz03 (2011 April 13, 2:40 pm)

Reply #14 - 2011 April 13, 3:12 pm
loonytik Member
From: netherlands Registered: 2010-03-27 Posts: 72

he "Ni no Kuni" looks awesome for the ds. You get a "magic book" with it and it has furigana BIG awesomeness tongue art is also REALLY cool @.@

Last edited by loonytik (2011 April 13, 3:23 pm)

Reply #15 - 2011 April 13, 11:14 pm
LucidFaia Member
From: Ohio, USA Registered: 2008-04-03 Posts: 19

I wish EarthBound had kanji. =\

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