Just as every beginner struggles with the decision of what textbook to choose, an even more confusing and time-consuming choice lies in deciding what method(s) to follow. With such an ever increasing amount of Japanese study websites, trying to find what works well and matches you can be a daunting task for even the fiercest of learners.
Stop the stress. I’m going to make this simple for you. Visualize this:
Choosing a method is choosing a character in a fighting game.
It is just that. Let’s look at how exactly method = fighter.
1. Fighter select screen
All fights start here. You have a group of fighters to choose from. If you’ve never played the game before, you may just randomly choose the fighter that looks the best or coolest. Or you may do some research online or ask people around which fighter is easiest to use, strongest, or best for a beginner.
2. Testing out what fighters match your playing style
Some people go through a lot of different fighters before they find the one that suits them best. Some people immediately find their perfect match. Some fighters you will instantly hate, and others you’ll immediately love.
Are you a projectile or close range fighter? Are you a combo or one move fighter?
3. You can’t master every fighter
If you want to use your fighter in an efficient and awesome manner, you have to narrow down how many you try to master. Most people get really good at 1-3 fighters. If you try to spread yourself to thin, you never really get awesome at any specific ones.
4. Some fighters are over-powered, others are under-powered
Game creators intend all fighters to be balanced. But we all know that the reality is different, as the way players make use of the fighters may often vary from their intended use.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that if you choose the over-powered fighter you are guaranteed a win, or under-powered fighter you should expect a loss, but you will have a varying handicap.
5. Fighter ease of play varies
Some take a lot of time to get used to, with difficult controls and combos, requiring certain talent, practice and patience. Others are one-button smashers, that most people can easily grasp.
6. Fighters have the same basic moves
While fighters may have different techniques and play styles, they often all share in similar basics. These basics transfer over to other fighters you may use.
7. You can beat the game with any fighter
Regardless of the type of fighter, if you keep playing, keep improving, keep progressing, you will eventually win.
8. People like to argue why the fighter they use is best or why other fighters are no good
Some people just need something to argue about, right?
9. People grow attached to their first fighter
Often times the first fighter a person uses, no matter how ill suited it may be for them, becomes their go to fighter. It may be bad for them, but it is what they know, and they are comfortable with it.
10. It is common to give up a fighter and start a new one
There is no harm in deciding to give up a fighter you usually use to try out a new one. You can always return to the old one, or you can decide that the new fighter is the one for you.
The goal of a fighter or a method
The goal is always to clear the game (become fluent in Japanese). Whatever fighter/method you choose, keep practicing and working hard, having fun, enjoying the overall game, and you will make it to the last boss in no time.
Can you think of any additional ways choosing a method is similar to choosing a fighter? And if you had to compare your method to any video game fighter, who would it be?
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.