Learn Japanese to Survive! Katakana War

One thing I’ve wanted to do since I started importing games was to learn the Japanese language.  I’ve bought books when I visited Japan in Epcot and they’ve helped out somewhat, but I’ve never really been a bookworm.  Recently during the last Steam sale I purchased the two games in the Learn Japanese to Survive series to see if they help.  And here are my thoughts.

You play as a new transfer student who wants to learn the language, but you’re not alone.  You’ll meet characters like Owen, Tia, and (my waifu) Charlotte.  The three run into Obake (Japanese ghost) in the shape of Katakana letters.  The teacher, Daisuke, shows up and takes them out, he then takes his new students to the classroom and our first lesson begins.

The game is chapter based, and at the beginning of each chapter you learn five, sometimes ten, Katakana characters.  The games is meant for you to have a notebook handy as you write down each character.  You’re able to hear how each is pronounced and how they’re written.  After that you’re given a mini quiz on what you just learned.

After that your free to roam around the map, but there’s always a main objective.  It can be as simple as defeat a certain number of enemies or find a way into a certain location.  The battle system is pretty basic, your character on one side and enemies on the other side.  All the enemies are Katakana characters that you’ve learned.  They can only be defeated by using the correct letter, otherwise your attack does nothing.  You’ll learn Magic as you progress, where you’re able to either buff your party up deal damage to enemies, the catch is enemies can’t be defeated by magic only, you still need to attack with the right letter.

There are plenty of side quests in the games where you’ll usually need to head to some location and defeat a certain enemy or buy an item for them.  You’re rewarded with not only Bonus Crystals for character upgrades but they’ll teach you some Japanese words.  During each chapter you can run around the map and go on dates with each character.  Doing so will increase their stats but going on three dates will give that character a special buffing spell they can only use once per battle.

I had fun playing this.  It’s a game that serves it’s purpose, getting you the player to learn Japanese.  I did notice slow down when after that third date, the transition where the character gets their buff, chugged for about a minute and a half but that was about it.  The game was pretty easy, I think only once or twice did I have a character die in battle.  You get plenty of money for items like potions and antidotes, and new weapons and armor.  It’s about $7 on Steam which won’t really break the bank.

-Marcus