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Posts with tag japanese

DS doubles up as notebook for Wii kanji trainer

Anybody who has attempted to learn how to correctly write kanji will know that the process involves a bewildering number of rules. Memorizing rules is stressful enough, but practicing your kanji skills with a Wii Remote would surely only make the experience more frustrating.

This meant that IE Institute faced a potential dilemma when developing its Wii-bound kanji trainer, 250 Mannin no Kanken Wii de Tokoton Kanji Nou, yet the developer found a graceful, elegant solution: throw in a spot of DS-Wii connectivity, and let users input kanji characters on the DS's touchscreen, which is perfect for handwriting (as other games have already ably demonstrated). There's been nowhere enough DS-Wii connectivity for our liking, yet this is easily one of the better uses of the feature to date.

Navigating your Japanese copy of Tetris DS

Tetris DS has become a hard-to-find item, leaving the DS with the distinction of being the only Nintendo handheld (except for the Pokémon Mini stuff) without a ubiquitous Tetris game. And that just feels wrong. The surprising rarity of the Nintendo-nostalgia-themed puzzler has driven prices on eBay way up. In order to clear lines without clearing their bank account, many would-be Tetrists are buying Japanese copies -- including DS Fanboy staffers eager to drop Tetriminoes every Game Night.

It's easy enough to play Tetris DS even without understanding the menus. Just push enough buttons and eventually something will happen. But it's somewhat trickier to engage in multiplayer without being able to read the interface. In order to help anyone stuck in such a situation (and to encourage online Tetris-ing, of course!) we've gone through the menus in a Japanese copy of Tetris DS and translated the screen text.

Click the picture to browse the entire gallery, or you can pick your starting point from the list below. We hope this guide is the I-piece in the prospective Tetris that is your Tetris DS experience!

Berlitz language training for kids: yes, it includes Japanese

There's plenty of DS language training available for kids in Japan, but language software elsewhere seems to be focused on either adults or ... whoever Spanish for Everyone was supposed to be for. Virgin PLAY is taking advantage of this gap by releasing a series of language training games designed for kids, based on Berlitz language training materials. The series also covers the one language that gamers always clamor for in language-learning materials: Japanese.

The first two Mind Your Language games planned for release this summer (in Europe, we believe) include Learn English and Learn Spanish. But Berlitz and developer Spiral House are also working on three more programs to teach French, German, and Japanese, to be released this fall.

Gallery: Mind Your Language

Calligraphy Training brushes away our doubts

You might not remember the footnote mention of a Calligraphy Training (non)game for the DS -- it was two years ago, after all -- but some more news has recently surfaced about the title. Set to release in Japan on March 13th, this training game is aimed at teaching folks how to properly draw Japanese characters.

One of the coolest things about this nongame is that it will ship with a special brush stylus. That alone has us starry-eyed in love with Calligraphy Training, but that's not even all the game has to offer. Apparently, the game has a multiplayer mode that lets up to six players compete over who's calligraphy is the most accurate. We're sure that's a better idea in theory than in practice, but it's still a nice feature.

Game Watch also reports that there's a quest mode included in Calligraphy Training, as you'll be helping a wanderer to perfect 3099 different characters. Not bad for a simple little calligraphy game, Nintendo.

Before you think "neat" and then forget about this game for the rest of time, you can head on over to its official website to watch some video footage, should you feel so inclined.

[Via Modojo]

Ojaru-maru is encouraging

D3 has posted a video of Ojaru-Maru: Ojaru to Okeiko Aiueo DS that is sure to make you want to learn basic kana, even if you have already done so. It's been a long time since we've been praised so profusely for minor successes, and we could use the encouragement.

In addition to some extraordinarily, adorably enthusiastic praise from voiceover, you can see the actual game at work, in both educational and noneducational capacities. The most basic kana training game involves drawing hiragana and then being shown an item whose name contains that sound, as in i / ichigo (strawberry). The next game involves filling in missing syllables from words. The demonstration (which, charmingly, was created just by pointing a camera at a DS) then goes on to show really easy-looking minigames.

The video is accessible by clicking the orange rectangle on the game's homepage. Check it out to feel happy about hiragana, D3 Publisher, and yourself.

Get your kana on with an obscure license from D3

Ojaru-maru: Ojaru to Okeiko Aiueo DS isn't necessarily made for adult learners of Japanese as a second language. In fact, it isn't. It's made for children. But the first thing you learn from trying to learn a new language is that being illiterate is pretty much the same experience whether you're 4 or 40. Materials designed to help kids learn to read in their first language are pretty useful for adults learning it as a second language. Unless they're too hard.

Ojaru-maru DS helps you learn to speak and read very basic Japanese. It contains games that train kids on how to read and write the kana syllabaries, and pick the correct numeral classifier for counting different varieties of objects. There are also speaking exercises that require you to pronounce phrases into the DS mic. It's made for Japanese native speakers, but this vaguely approaches the idea of a My Japanese Coach. It could come in handy for at least learning how to read the Media Create listings every week!

DS Daily: Japanese for gamers

For the kinds of games most Nintendo gamers are interested in, Japanese is a lingua franca (not literally, of course). Nintendo games are often released earlier in Japan than in other regions, if they even get to other regions. The same is true of third-party stuff: so much weird and interesting material never makes it to the West. Therefore, learning the Japanese language is a great way to expand your gaming possibilities.

Given our (my) own level of Japanese proficiency (which falls between novice and mute), we thought it would be interesting to poll the rest of you. Who has studied Japanese expressly for gaming purposes? Have you taken formal classes? Picked up some books? Are you a dutiful listener? Or have you just learned some katakana from the web, for navigating menus?

We'd love to hear about your experiences and your self-assessment of your progress. No need to feel embarrassed about slow progress; language learning is hard. At least that's what we tell ourselves.

Stephen Totilo grills Reggie about our lack of talking cookbooks

Where's our Cooking Navi? What about our Japanese language trainers? In a chat with Reggie Fils-Aime, MTV's Stephen Totilo asked the questions we've been asking since forever. The news, however, is only good. Reggie refers to the localization of Cooking Navi -- which we knew was confirmed for Europe, but from this response, it seems it will head this way as well. Great news! Of course, that localization takes more time than for a regular game, since it's not just a matter of changing the language, but also the cuisine. We're willing to wait. You can check out the full interview past the break, but beware, it apparently only works for US viewers.

Best Reggie moment: Maybe you need it [English Training] ....

Continue reading Stephen Totilo grills Reggie about our lack of talking cookbooks

Conjecture Countdown: 7 days to go

Even with a diminished E3, there's no controlling the wave of rumors that hit the Internet every year before the show. Why fight it? From now until E3 hits, we'll be posting one piece of wild speculation every day. Some may be patently ridiculous, and others just might turn out to be true. Even some of the ridiculous ones might turn out to be true! Rest assured, everything will be totally made-up and unfounded. Except, of course, when we speak about all the ass Reggie is going to kick. That part? Totally true.

Rumor: More language training games will be announced, by Ubisoft and others, but no one will manage to hit the one that we want with a Japanese training game. Suspiro.

Japanese hardware sales, Jun. 4 - Jun. 10: Harry Potter edition

BUY THIS BOOK FOOLZThe final release of Harry Potter, one of the most widespread, wonderful literary series ever written, is coming to a close come July 21st. We'd like to take a moment and salute J. K. Rowling for reintroducing the better part of a world to the joys of reading, because hey, if no one read, we'd be out of our jobs. Pick up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as soon as you can, guys. Trust us.

Harry Potter and the Japanese Hardware Sales

"Harry," said Ron, slightly out of breath, "Snape'll go nutters if we're late again. Remember what he did to Neville?"

"Yeah," replied Harry, throwing himself down a shifting staircase and sprinting through the corridors. Snape had used a particularly nasty hex on the frequently tardy Neville, turning his hands into N-Gages. Harry allowed himself a momentary shudder.

They rounded a corner and began the descent into Snape's dungeon of a classroom, Harry's least favorite place at Hogwarts. Even disregarding his immense dislike of Severus Snape, Harry had never had much of a knack for Potions; it was always his lowest grade of the term.

Continue reading Japanese hardware sales, Jun. 4 - Jun. 10: Harry Potter edition

Phantom Hourglass site opens with new videos

With less than two weeks to go before The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass' June 23rd release in Japan, Nintendo has launched an official site for the ARPG with several new videos. The clips mimic the commercials that've been advertising the handheld adventure in Japan, showing off Link's new touchscreen movement and controls. We know that you hate to pay long-distance fees for visiting sites outside of the country, so we went ahead and embedded the movies after the post break. Really, there's no need to thank us -- let's just say you owe us one.

Continue reading Phantom Hourglass site opens with new videos

Translate! Ultimate Stars

Jump Ultimate Stars is one of the most popular DS games with importers. Since it's a fighting game, it's not a huge deal to play Jump without knowing Japanese, but there are a lot of missions that may be difficult to figure out. Also, the game actually tries to tell a story, which is rare for a fighting game.

Abel Tamayo wrote in to tell us about a wonderful wiki project he's managing, called, appropriately enough, the Jump Ultimate Stars Translation Project. We've seen amazing fan translation projects from single translators, but never a project done in a collaborative wiki format. It's a great idea, one that will allow tragically busy people to help out. If you know Japanese, why not sign up? Translating a fighting game-- that's another rarity. SNK never bothered to do it.

Japanese hardware sales, May 28 - Jun. 3: Explanatory Aqua Teen edition

FROM THE PASTWe know, you were disappointed. Last night, as you happily refreshed DS Fanboy every nine seconds or so looking for this week's Japanese hardware sales, the vim slowly faded from your eyes as the hours ticked into oblivion. We would never willingly deprive our readers so; we were unavoidably delayed! You see ....

Thousands of years ago, before the dawn of man as we knew him ... there were the moon men, reigning over the Earth. But this was not the Earth you knew! It was covered in jelly and high-density motor oil, making the planet very slippery. The moon men blamed the corporations, and there was a war and many were killed. The battle raged for millennia until 8000 A.D., when the moon men realized they were not actually from the moon, but from rural Pennsylvania. They then built a monument to the moon but then the Quakers stole it and filled it with oatmeal, and no one knew what flavor. Californians were highly displeased and turned all the Quakers invisible, which is why you never see them anymore. And that ... is where babies come from.

- DS Lite: 123,140 4,321 (3.39%)
- Wii: 69,748 11,104 (18.93%)
- PSP: 26,358 261 (1.00%)
- PS2: 11,814 503 (4.45%)
- PS3: 8,998 629 (6.53%)
- Xbox 360: 2,219 175 (8.56%)
- Game Boy Micro: 310 97 (23.83%)
- GBA SP: 247 41 (14.24%)
- Gamecube: 226 30 (11.72%)
- DS Phat: 71 10 (12.35%)
- GBA: 16 1 (5.88%)

[Source: Media Create]

Japanese hardware sales, May 21 - May 27: Step by Step edition

Only four, not twelve.Some of our readers wonder exactly what they're supposed to do with the Japanese hardware sales every week. To promote enlightenment and worldwide harmony, we've taken the liberty of creating a step-by-step walkthrough of a proper response to the weekly figures. Adhere to these rules whenever possible, and if you must deviate, remember to at least properly remove all semblance of standard English grammar from your comments.

1. Look for any obvious outliers in the sales data, such as the Nintendo DS falling out of first place. This will never occur; advance to step 2.

2. Statistical variation causes slight fluctuations every week. Immediately look for numbers that come close to dividing evenly into one another; this enables comments such as, "lol, wii sold 5x of PS3s this week, pwnage."

3. Should any Nintendo systems suffer a decrease in sales, come up with reasons as to why they dropped. The usually accurate "supply is unable to currently meet demand" excuse is no longer sufficient in most cases. Come up with creative replies like, "redirected shipments of software caused a temporary instability in the retail market," or "lol ghost of kutaragi put a curse on teh DS kekekekeke."

4. There will invariably be a Sony or Microsoft troll, defending his or her own system while attacking your own. Henceforth, we'll be posting IP addresses and relevant contact information*; please take it upon yourselves to attack and/or maim the aforementioned troll, preferably with some kind of mace that grants +7 strength while fighting trolls.


- DS Lite: 127,461 16,248 (14.61%)
- Wii: 58,644 6,451 (12.36%)
- PSP: 26,097 1,408 (5.12%)
- PS2: 11,311 430 (3.95%)
- PS3: 9,627 968 (11.18%)
- Xbox 360: 2,044 18 (0.89%)
- Game Boy Micro: 407 21 (4.91%)
- GBA SP: 288 42 (12.73%)
- Gamecube: 256 20 (7.25%)
- DS Phat: 81 55 (211.54%)
- GBA: 17 16 (48.48%)

[Source: Media Create]

**Not really.

Japanese hardware sales, May 14 - May 20: Satisfactory edition
Having issues with performance? Can't seem to keep those sales numbers up? Disappointed in your ability to satisfy Japanese schoolchildren? It's okay, Mr. Miyamoto. It's not you, it's just ... you know ... they've seen it all before. They want something new. They need something big, and yours just isn't big enough. But boy, do we have a product for you!

Trust us. With regular use comes a guaranteed increase in size, or your money back! Girls will flock to you, women will be putty in your hands! After all, we've seen the results firsthand. Yes, that's right, we've sunk quite a bit of our own money and time into this product, and we're just absolutely 100% positive you'll start seeing results within a few weeks. And hey, it's not your fault nature didn't give you a little more to work with! So go ahead and start Training Your Brain, Miyamoto-san, and give those women what they really want: your astronomically high IQ.

- DS Lite: 111,213 52,572 (32.10%)
- Wii: 52,193 351 (0.67%)
- PSP: 27,505 6,928 (20.12%)
- PS2: 10,881 467 (4.48%)
- PS3: 8,659 180 (2.04%)
- Xbox 360: 2,026 79 (3.75%)
- Game Boy Micro: 428 20 (4.90%)
- GBA SP: 330 13 (3.79%)
- Gamecube: 276 39 (12.38%)
- GBA: 33 15 (83.33%)
- DS Phat: 26 13 (33.33%)

[Source: Media Create]

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