Learn Japanese to Survive! Hiragana Battle

Learn Japanese to Survive! Hiragana Battle

The title of this game alone is enough to make some people cringe, and while that’s a little unfair, its content is certainly not dispelling that first impression. Hiragana Battle isn’t just an educational RPG about learning Japanese; it’s a story where knowing Japanese can make you a world-conquering wizard. The laughable premise could be forgiven if the rest of the package was worthwhile, but the art, dialogue, audio, and gameplay are so excruciatingly bland that they should be covered by the Geneva convention. Being an RPG Maker title means it’s perfectly functional, but that may be the best thing I can say about it.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t learn some things from Hiragana Battle. Whether I’ll retain them is a different matter, and the experience certainly wasn’t entertaining. Combat consists exclusively of matching symbols to sounds or vice versa, with no attempt at utilizing the RPG mechanics beyond the barest possible implementation. The battles are too easy when doing well but quite punishing of mistakes, on top of being frequent and repetitive due to winding level design. All of which makes sense from an educational perspective, but an educational game is supposed to make learning more exciting, not less.

3/10
3/10

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