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Why Do Western Games Have Superior Voice Performances?

For some reason, Japanese games just don't have the professional voice acting we hear in Western titles. It has become more and more noticeable.

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Pozzle2303d ago (Edited 2303d ago )

I think there are a couple of reasons for it: Translating the Japanese language into English without losing any of the meaning can be difficult, sometimes the voice actors hired just aren't very good, and sometimes the script and voice actors try to match the Japanese lip-flaps so they end up with awkward pauses and stilted delivery (e.g. Yuna in FFX).

It's easier for an English voice actor to voice someone like Nathan Drake (who uses fairly common American slang/phrases) than someone like Lightning (who speaks in a way that might sound ok in Japanese, but sounds very formal and over-the-top in English which would be harder for a voice actor to do naturally).

notimetobeidle2303d ago

I agree.

What if Japanese gamers constantly roll their eyes at our voice work because the translators/dubbers don't get it right?

The article covers that possibility further down and I think that's what's mostly at play here. It's hard to know though, unless you are proficient with both languages.

Lavalamp2303d ago (Edited 2303d ago )

I sure as heck don't. The writer's view is completely one-sided. He's comparing the quality of voice acting in a native country to international localizations.

What about western games with Japanese dubs? The voice work the west gets for the average Japanese game is the same as what Japan gets for the average western game. Regardless of where it's from, when a game travels overseas, it's being handed over to a *foreign* localization company.

Check out the trailer for the Japanese dub of Uncharted 2. Not an ounce of Nolan North goodness to be found in that Drake.
http://www.youtube.com/watc...

And then compare something like that to a native title like Steins;Gate, and there's a noticeable disparity between the two.
http://www.youtube.com/watc...

Mannerism, accents, and other idiosyncrasies play a significant role in voice acting, and all of that falls by the wayside in the localization process. German/American/French accents get swapped out with Kansai/Kanto/Umpako dialects (and vice versa), honorifics are abandoned, and cultural allusions are replaced with awkward filler jargon.

A fair comparison would be between native western voice acting and native Japanese voice acting. But the problem there is we can't properly gauge voice acting that's totally foreign to us because culture is deeply rooted in the craft.

thetest2303d ago (Edited 2303d ago )

Most Asian, Indian etc. movies, music and media are tasteless and uncouth. It's only natural that there are less voice actors of western quality.

I'm from India and I find the idea ludicrous. There is no way any studio here can perform a classy western script. It just looks awkward and hilarious when I see Indians trying (and failing) to act that way.

Viper72303d ago (Edited 2303d ago )

why can't we just have English subtitles and original audio in games? I am sure most native English speakers can read just fine.

I have been reading subtitles from the age of 7 so its pretty hard for me to grasp whats wrong with them?

And god no, I don't want any games other than ones made for children to be dubbed on my mother tongue. Even the tough of this brings shivers down my spine.