If you have a Japanese 3DS you really should download Denpa Ningen no RPG Free. As the name suggests, it is muryou, tada, roha – or as we say in English, free. And what’s more it is good. A great deal better than
many games that cost thousands of times as much. Oh wait, that’s still nothing isn’t it? A great deal better than many games that cost lots and lots of yen.
And it really is excellent Japanese practice apart from being a ton of fun and a banshee of tanoshii.
If you’ve never played a Denpa Ningen game before, you may not realize that the eponymous beings are little folk who inhabit the electrical waves. There are actually a lot of them in your house. Maybe not exactly in your house because I think it might be a parallel dimension or something. But co-existing spatially with your house. Don’t look now, but there is quite possibly one floating above the chryselephantine statue of Chancandre the First in the corner of your room right now – just beside the Bechstein Grand piano, floating and giggling even as you read these words.
Actually you can look now if you like because you can’t see them. You need an interdimensional viewing device to do that. Fortunately though, you have one. Or you nearly do. With a few little adjustments (which the software will make for you) your 3DS can be converted into just such a device. The kinematic below demonstrates how it works.
Once you have captured a few denpa ningen you can start your adventure. Denpa Ningen has always been a dungeon crawler, but this new version adds Doubutsu no Mori-like elements. You buy an island, and build your own house, and then expand and furnish it. You fish. But mostly you crawl dungeons because that is the way you make the money to do the other things.
Also you run into situations such as the forest being infested with bakemono that prevent the builders from getting wood. So if you want them to build for you you need to go make the forest safe by clearing out the monsters.
And some of the monsters are very interesting for example, when did you last fight a giant cake boss?
What about the Japanese-learning side of the game? Well, as you see from the screenshot above, the game has furigana which is one of the things I always look for in a game. Of course you wouldn’t need them on this particular screen, but there are many where they make life much easier.
There is a lot of text in the game. While you will be spending time dungeon-crawling your kawaii party meets with various dungeon denizens (other than monsters) quite frequently and the in-game dialog density, while not up to visual novel standards is on a par with many RPGs.
There is also quite a bit of voice acting which makes for some listening practice. The voices are kind of – well you know how little critters tend to talk. But then since we are all learning Japanese to make the acquaintance of cute little critters anyway, we’d better get used to it, ne?
The game makes full use of the 3DS’s power. By which I don’t mean anything boring and technical. I mean it transports you into a pretty, charming 3D world-in-a-box. That is what the 3DS is for. If you wanted zombies and poorly-shaven shocktroops in photo-real (but flat) worlds you really bought the wrong toy. 3DS is a Magic Box that is bigger inside than outside and is just made to contain love and charm and cuteness.
And it talks to you in Japanese, because it loves you. And it gives you games like Denpa Ningen no RPG Free – free. And you are happy.
Note: You need to have a Japanese NNID in order to download this free game. Don’t worry – this article tells you all about how to do that.