The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    the legend of zelda breath of the wild

    The Nintendo Switch was released this month! And with it, the newest installment in the Legend of Zelda series. For us, the most exciting thing about the Switch is that it is the first Nintendo console in a long, long time that is not region locked. You can take your American (or wherever else you live) Nintendo Switch and change the system settings to Japanese. This will immediately change the language of any game you play to Japanese. In this case, the newest addition to the Zelda series: Breath of the Wild, or ゼルダの 伝説でんせつ ブレス オブ ザ ワイルド.

    This is arguably the first open world Zelda game, and the quests throughout its expansive world are driven by conversations. Many side quests don't even appear in your quest log, but rather are hinted at in short chats with NPCs. With this focus on deciphering conversations and context clues, it becomes a wonderful tool to practice your Japanese. There is very minimal voice acting, so you get to practice your reading above all else. A pretty important skill. Not to mention, the game itself is brilliant.

    Just beware — as is the case with many games, many of these conversations will use "fantasy" Japanese, language you wouldn't normally use yourself. But if you want to start playing games in Japanese, the vocabulary you'll learn will be helpful with the rest!

    If you're lucky enough to already have a Nintendo Switch, I don't know how you wouldn't have Zelda already, since it's the launch title – but it is definitely worth picking up, as both a game for fun and a game for Japanese practice.

    Nintendo Switch