For once I didn’t stop learning Hiragana and I have like a dozen books…
Hiragana Pixel Party – Nintendo Switch – Released: 12/16/17 – $8.99
Short Review (Review copy provided by Springloaded)
For $9, this game has pulled me into learning Hiragana pretty well. It doesn’t teach words just to point that out right off the bat but it does teach you how to read basic Japanese Hiragana and Katakana. This is my only issue with the game is that after finishing the game I could easily read signs in the anime I watch but I still didn’t know what it was telling me. This was great but bad all in the same boat since now I can easily read so I feel like now it is my job to figure out how to combine them to create words. This shouldn’t be too hard since going back to the books I do own for learning Japanese. It was easy to read and memorize what words I was trying to learn. The game does get pretty rough and requires you to take your time and repeat stages multiple times before moving on if you want it to stick. The first time I played I went up to around the 10th mission when everything I learned came crashing down around me. Symbols were coming up hard and I couldn’t keep up with them. After about a week of during the opening stages it was easy again. Repeated this process for several weeks and I am currently 3/4 done the game. I feel like I can really read which is great so hopefully Springloaded is working on some sort of sequel that gives us words as a “Part 2” for the game or just give us words right off the bat like how other learning books do. I love playing this game even though I am not really close to finishing the game since it offers Katakana as well I look forward to finishing it and revisiting it just to keep everything intact. I highly recommend this for people that have trouble memorizing the symbols and have another way of learning words. Anime is a great entry point after putting some times into this game since I can hear all the syllables as I am reading the translation.
Icon pretty much captures what the game is about minus some music notes:
No story…. Sadly I wish there was but hopefully he is working on a sequel that uses words from the beginning that tell a story.
It is a rhythm game where each three block mission set presents you with one or two new symbols with typically the first or third mission being a collection of things you have learned. This is where things can get rough as you get further and further into the game it does get harder. There really is no holding back with this game since like learning anything being put into the deep end forces you to focus. I like this method since it is a lot like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo in that aspect. The game doesn’t have you learn words this is stated on the eShop page and on the Nintendo website. So I am making sure other people know this going into it.
This is a game that I didn’t want to rush playing since like any thing you want to learn rushing is never the answer. This review took a while just because of this if I review this game the week or week after it came out it would have resulted in a review of just the first 30-40 missions. It took me a while to get enough points to progress to the next set of missions. I even emailed the developer to let him know how much I was enjoying it since I didn’t want him to think I had forgotten. It is something really great for the price and something people should be looking into if you want to learn Hiragana or Katakana.
The price alone is worth it at only $9 it is the best and cheapest option for anyone who wants to learn the symbols. If you want to then learn words putting this game and Duolingo/Rosetta Stone together would make a perfect match. One teaches symbols while the other teaches symbols. The game is hard eventually because you are learning a new language so don’t like that turn you off since at the end you will have learned something others only dream of learning. I can’t wait to see what Springloaded does next but I do hope using the same engine we get a word based game with pictures in place of the symbols. It is an excellent game that made me and continues to make me push forward and helped me much better than any book I’ve purchased for learning Japanese.
I would give this game a 10 out of 10!
My Gameplay Footage:
I really have to hand it to this developer! It is a great game and I really really hope to see something more come out of this. Pixel Party looks great, sounds great, and made me learn a lot which isn’t common since college was rough for learning the languages required for my major. Even now I don’t have anything to practice them so they would be long gone if I didn’t use duolingo from time to time. I currently have around 10 reviews stockpiled on my tablet ready for publishing as well as a few online so look forward to those. I know currently I have Slain, Embers, Dimension Drive, Transcripted, Steamworld Dig Heist, and Tiny Metal ready so they may or may not come before this one. I haven’t set which ones to go live since some require some more edits and look overs from other people. As always I take my time with these reviews to make sure they are of good quality and with the video gameplay. It takes a little more stress since I can’t find out why my videos look pixelated but decided to stop streaming in favor of better video quality. Remember I still have the giveaway for another few days: