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Why voice acting is ruining games

BeefJack: "Both Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2 will break MMO tradition by featuring voice acting. But is it really necessary, asks Yuliya Geikhman – in fact, could it do more harm than good?"

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Pozzle2922d ago

I must admit...if there's one thing I'm worried about if Square ever do a FFVII remake, it's the voice acting. The Final Fantasy VII Compilation games have been pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to voice acting and there are so many ways that epic scenes can be screwed up with lousy voice acting. :(

PirateThom2922d ago

Not only that, the original game lacked voice acting and, because of that, you've made up your own decision for the tone each line was delivered with in each scene... while I may have a completely different view. Not everyone will be happy with the delivery choices.

Yi-Long2922d ago

... a game should ALWAYS have the option to choose the original voice-acting.

So many good japanese games have received a mediocre english dub in which case it took away from the overal quality and enjoyment of the game.

Pozzle2922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

"At the very least a game should ALWAYS have the option to choose the original voice-acting.
So many good japanese games have received a mediocre english dub in which case it took away from the overal quality and enjoyment of the game."

Or if that's not possible, at least hire some decent actors and a good acting director. It amazes me that companies like Disney or Pixar always manage to have great voice acting for their animated movies, yet many video games still struggle with making characters sound good or natural. Even games that were made in America often have this problem. It's bizarre that there's still such a difference in the quality of voice acting in animated movies and voice acting in games.

morganfell2922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

I personally do not think voice acting is going to damage Star Wars. That game has already done so many things wrong that no one is going to notice the voice acting. Even the CGI trailers are straight out of Episodes 1, 2, and 3.

Star Wars has become this idiotic universe of massive Jedi Armies, Force resistant armor, Lighsaber resistant clothing, and human or mechanized enemies that can take multiple blows from a Lightsaber directly on the body with zero, and I mean zero damage.

Jedi were so rare in the Star Wars universe (originally) that the average person doubted their existence. Now every kid and their uncle can apparently drink "midiclorian cola and swing a fancy light sword."

Is is really so difficult to sit down and establish "realism" rules for a mythical setting and then follow the "realism" of that story when designing the game? No.

The mistake occurs when developers work backwards. They think of "cool" things to do in the game then write the rules of that world around it rather than the other way around. It makes for a mish mash canon breaking assemblage of strung together mechanics that does so much more to damage any game than players or designers initially realize.

This is particularly harmful when the rules of the canon are already laid our for everyone because the IP already exists.

Speaking of design, characters appear fine...in CGI. But when gameplay rears it's ugly head suddenly I think "Look, Buzz Lightyear is a Jedi."

The character design in The Clone Wars series works for a particular reason and for a certain audience. The overall design of this game lacks the seriousness that is at the heart of what made Star Wars such a powerful story.

But the graphics are a side bar to the issues I mentioned earlier. The smearing of the original Star Wars rules for the sake of creating gameplay. Failure to have broken ground as regards design is going to send this game down the same fateful path as DC Universe.

I'll doubtless be attacked for these remarks. It's sad because I think so highly of the Star Wars universe. And this game deserved to have a company break graphical ground as well as return to the mechanics of truly great Star Wars title.

Every Star Wars title since Dark Forces II Jedi Knight, a truly great work, has been a sometimes gradual, often times headlong descent into mediocre hell. I hate with more angst than I can muster that this game is heading in such a direction at lightspeed.

MariaHelFutura2922d ago

Ico has the best voice acting.

:)

Tanir2922d ago

yeah for real. like the ending of crisis core.......cloud was so unemotional compared to the japanese voice actor, the very odd thing is the voice director tells him to talk like a robot on purpose, he tells him to just lip sync, and we know how long japanese words can be, so matching english words to japanese.......yeaaaaaah.

you can tell because if cloud would speak off screen it sounds good, but if it shows his face its awful.

they even had his actor redo all of his lines in Advent children complete, and it sounded far better.

dissidia is clouds worse voice acting ever

GUYwhoPLAYSvideoGAME2922d ago

dissidia is great game, but worst voice acting ever. it's laugh worthy.

Pozzle2922d ago

Oh man, I watched Advent Children in Japanese first, so I was quite surprised with some of the...er...interesting voice acting decisions that were made for the English version. A lot of the characters ended up sounding like bizarre stereotypes or cartoon characters, instead of actual real people.

Cloud's was particularly horrible. I remember the big dramatic moment where Sephiroth was finally revealed, and Cloud responds with a bored-sounding "Sephiroth. What do you want?" I was like, dude, you killed this man two years ago! You prevented him from destroying the entire planet! Show a little emotion!

Bleach2922d ago

But it's not like they are incapable of excellent voice acting, look at Final Fantasy 12.

Tanir2922d ago

ff13's voice acting is good too (aside from vanille).

the odd thing is square doesn't use many anime VA's besides Laura Bailey. its sorta odd.....cloud is the dude from general hospital lol

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2922d ago
TopDudeMan2922d ago

I'm indifferent towards voice acting. If it's there, that's great, if not I'm not complaining.

EditorAtGNG2922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

I doubt it will ruin Star Wars: The Old Republic for two reasons:

1. Bioware has proven that they have the talent and eye for polish in order to create awesome RPG games that holster some of the best and most impressive voice work in the biz (which is also one of the pillars of their games).

2. It is going to bolster both the single player aspect of the game and give something unique to the multyplayer aspect. If you are playing solo, instead of just auto-accepting each and every quest (like most players do in contemporary MMO's like World of Warcraft) here, you will feel the full power of immersion which is the trademark of every Bioware game. NPC's will have personalities for once, they wouldn't be a freaking quest generating machines that are as bland as a pile of rocks.

Just imagine playing a "never ending" KOTOR with the best elements of Mass Effect / Dragon Age with loot / instances / daily missions and a possibility to play with other people.

So, to sum up, if your voice acting crew is up to the task and you have the writers to come up with interesting and unique approaches to making quests, I don't think voice acting could ruin ANY gaming experience.

Darkfiber2922d ago

Have you even actually PLAYED the game? You shouldn't assume things. It does, in fact, make the game worse. It may not seem possible, but in an MMO, it simply doesn't work. The voice acting makes you care about your actions and what is going on in the world, however, the world is completely static, meaning that nothing you ever do will change anything. If you save someone's life, that person is still going to be in peril for all eternity immediately after being saved, and 20000 other jedis will be tasked to save that same person after you. With normal quest text which most people skip, there is no emotional investment in quests, but with the addition of the voice acting, you will just get frustrated knowing that your actions mean nothing and knowing that every single other person in the game is getting the same earful from NPCs telling them they are the galaxy's only hope and blah blah blah. I wont even get into the whole roleplaying aspect being ruined, as you can't even create your own story since one is created for you, and it's EXACTLY THE SAME for whichever class you play. Not to mention the fact that the game does nothing new in terms of ANYTHING ELSE, so sitting through hundreds of hours of dialog to go tell you to kill 10 of this or collect 5 of these items is going to wear players out.

EditorAtGNG2922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

There is this mechanic called "phasing" my friend. It changes the world around you as your character progresses in that particular area. It was introduced in WoW with Wrath of the Lich King and I've read that SWTOR will have the same thing. So, there WILL be an impact and you WILL find yourself in a different set of circumstances if you take another route, different from the previous one.

Oh and I did check most of the developer diaries and quest hubs, where everything is confirmed.

Saladfax2922d ago

Phasing was actually my favorite part of Wrath of the Lich King. Not only was it really neat to see the development and setup of more and more staging grounds nearer and nearer to Icecrown Citadel, your varied actions made it possible to see the really neat cinematic.

I mean, you could've just looked it up on YouTube, but it gave a pretty nice sense of accomplishment. Rather than feeling like 10 million other schmucks were going to do all of this stuff (and the fact that you could watch them), it made it feel fun and unique.

Baka-akaB2922d ago

I just want the option for original voices . It's my pet peeve and why i just usually import instead without hoping anything from publishers .

And before some idiots comme with the "weaboo" nonsense , how about i treat you to some french or german uncharted and gears of war and watch you perish from anguish ?

It's not just for jrpgs and japanese games ... stuff like the Witcher are just miles better in their original perfect voices .

sjaakiejj2922d ago

While in remakes I could imagine that this would be up for debate, but if we're talking about new titles I would highly disagree that voice acting can in any way be a bad thing.

Let's analyse his arguments:
"Videogames add features just to be “different”"
True, but Voice Acting doesn't make them different, as nearly every game has it these days. A game without voice-acting will feel old and sluggish in comparison with the more modern industry. That's why MMOs are doing it.

"The power of that scene lays largely in its silence."
That's probably because it was written with that idea in mind. There's a distinct difference between the way you write for actual spoken dialogue, and the way you write for text-box information, as the second needs to incorporate emotions in a way that is obvious to the viewer with the first one.

"I can imagine after a while you reach a point where you just have to yell"
I'd probably get annoyed far earlier if a text-box popped up with my every move that I'd have to press X for. In fact, I get annoyed after 3 consecutive ones.

"can you remember a game where you did not end up skipping at least some of the voice acting?"
Uncharted (1&2), Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy X, Resistance (1&2&3), Mass Effect (1&2)... etc, I find it much harder to remember one in which I did end up skipping some of it. Besides, it's much more tempting to skip through a text-box in an MMO than it is to skip through spoken dialogue

"All this is, of course, assuming the voices are done well"
And also assuming the text has been written well, otherwise it becomes all the more tempting to skip through those boxes.

"hearing the characters speak just slows down the flow of the game"
Not as much as a textbox does.

"Tell me a story: otherwise I will be skipping over your words, whether they are written or spoken."
And if you write them instead of speak them, I'll skip over them even if it is a good story, as I and many others are simply not bothered to read a wall of text. That's where this abbreviation comes from: tl;dr.

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