But, not the main game. In story mode you play through the House of the Dead 2, with a Sega Genesis strapped to your back. All of the movie sequences are told with slides, but the voices remain. Actually, English of the Dead has even more voices than the House of the Dead 2. If you’re struggling to decipher the kanji an ominous voice says “hospital” without any accent. Since you’re given the answers after a few seconds, scribbling the answers in the story mode is not the best way to test your Japanese literacy with English of the Dead. One of the training modes is a better alternative.
In the handful of training mini-games there is a translation game where zombies run on an open field carrying English text. The bottom screen has three choices in Japanese, usually written in kanji, for you to select. It’s like a multiple choice exam. Choose the correct translation and the zombie drops to the ground. Miss and the zombie escapes. You gain an extra four seconds to your time limit if you get the correct answer and lose four seconds if you miss. Granted this requires patience, but if you discipline yourself to play the translation game you should be able to learn some words in kanji from the five levels of “difficulty.” When I say “difficulty”, I’m referring to how common the words are in English, not the difficulty of kanji or anything like that.
After all, English of the Dead was designed to teach English, not Japanese.
Images courtesy of Sega.