English-friendly Super Famicom games from Japan

With my Super NT arriving (hopefully) tomorrow, I’ve been motivated to poke around ebay for inexpensive SF games that are light on Japanese text and playable regardless of language. I picked up Tetris Battle Gaiden as a starter ($9 shipped!). What other games would you all recommend?

One that immediately comes to mind is Super Metroid. You can choose between English and Japanese.

But really any platformers, racing games, or sports games should be fine. Don’t have any recs at the moment. Might come back later with some.

You can learn about them the same way I did and have a blast while doing it!


Start there. Make him a favorite. Awesome.

You can find some of the things I bought this year from Japan in the Pick ups thread. Basically, if you think it’s going to have minimal text, you’ll be ok. Platform action, racing, shooters, fighting, beat em ups… all excellent options along with many games that never left Japan except as imports.

Seriously though… SNES Drunk! Have a great rest of your day!

Oh yes! SNES Drunk is totally a cool channel!

Ghost Sweeper Mikami is a great little action platformer that is very import friendly. Unfortunately it’s jumped in price recently (looks like $60 CAD on eBay), and considering it can be beat in about an hour, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you find a smoking deal.

I got a smoking good deal on that game since I bought it for like 20 some bucks back in 2014!=O

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Apart from RPGs, Adventure, Strategy etc I cant think of ANY Super Fami games that need much Japanese knowledge.

I mean go for Japanese exclusives like Super Puyo, Panel de Pon, Goemon 2 (3 and 4 have probably too much Japanese, as they’re 50% adventure games), DoReMi, Back to the Future II… but any action games would be fine too, Castlevania, Contra etc.

Here’s some menu tips:
はい Yes
いいえ No
(the easiest thing to remember is that Yes is two characters and No is three)
メニュー Menu
セーブ Save

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I recommend Sutte Hakkun if you like puzzle games, the only Japanese text is on the menu, which is selecting the game mode, it’s easy enough to navigate.
Good choice with Tetris battle gaiden, that is an often overlooked Tetris game but it’s one of the best.

Thanks for all the great tips and recommendations! It’s fun having something completely new to explore. Even though nothing was stopping me from making my NA SNES region-free years ago, the Super NT has rekindled my interest and excitement for the 16-bit era.

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Another vote for Panel de Pon as an inexpensive pick. Great little arcade-style puzzle game and one of the few console games from Nintendo R&D1.

Love the soundtrack, there are some higher quality versions of the tunes on the game’s website: http://www.intsys.co.jp/game/panepon/p0b/index.html

I only imported a few SFC games, but the one that sticks out most is this:


You don’t see too many physics-based platformers from back then non named “Sonic,” so it’s cool to see such a unique take on 16 bit hardware.


the violinist of hameln is also very good

Yeah, I need to add that to my collection. It’s one of a few I haven’t sprung for yet.

Bomberman series are all really easy to play without any Japanese knowledge.

This cool advice with the Kanji, thanks!

Kinda known knowledge; but Super Metroid has Japanese and English text option, so it’s a no-brainer for import.

Is the Violinist of Hamelin pretty decent?

also Google Translate app on your phone will translate live images of the screen, text in photos, or hand written characters. That’s my go to with any new Japanese game.

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But the whole story is in Japanese though. There’s a translation patch to help understand it.

Gundam Wing Endless Duel is a great game with no Japanese knowledge required.

Pop’n TwinBee is a very affordable and fun shooter, too.

Woah. That’s awesome!