Voice Acting in games.

I was bored, so I thought I’d start a discussion. What are your thoughts on voice acting in games? Do you like it, or don’t? Do any games stand out in your mind with particularly good or bad voice acting?

Well, the voice actress for Nel Zelpher from Star Ocean 3 was good, but I’ve heard her voice in too many animes, so it was a little redundant. She is good, though.

Some absolutely horrible voice acting was Collette from Tales of Symphonia, though I guess it kinda fit. Horrible voice acting for a character with no depth at all, makes sense. It sounded like they just picked up the nearest “liek whatEVER!” blond teeny-bopper bimbo they could find.

The absolute best voice-acting, IMO, is from Grandia 2. Skye had the coolest voice ever, and Millenia had the second coolest. Skye had that old, sardonic voice, and Millenia had that sexy, fun-loving voice. One of my favorite quotes of her was a battle quote, when you cast Burnflame: “Ahaha hey! Check this out!”, I simply burst out laughing the first time I heard it.

Too bad Roan sounded like a 40-year old trying to pinch his nose and talk in a high voice.

…You’re fucking kidding me. You thought Collete’s voice acting sucked? her voice acting was PERFECT to portray the eternally optimistic, eager-to-please-everybody, slightly dense teenaged girl!

I thought Xenosaga had excellent voice casting… better than XS2 in my opinion. FFX was hit-and-miss (some great voices, like Wakka and Auron… some, like Lulu or Yuna, weren’t bad voices, but they were very badly acted.) Star Ocean 3 also had some good ones (Nel, Cliff, Roger) and some bad ones (Peppita).

I’m generally in favor of it as long as it isn’t excruciating.

It’s so-so. It would be nice to have the choice like on DVDs.

I am absolutely in favor as it really adds a lot to the characters. Of course, there are exceptions (EVERYONE in Megaman X4, the guy who plays X in Megaman X7, etc). As for my favorites:

I’m biased because I have only recently finished Disgaea and have a hard time thinking of anyone better than Etna, Laharl and Mid-Boss.

Xenosaga has Albedo, who is the greatest nutjob villain ever. Whoever did his voice needs to be given an award, because it’s absolutely perfect. Xenosaga I’s KOS-MOS was also very good and getting her replaced in Episode II was a crime aginst humanity.

As Cid said, FFX’s Wakka and Auron were both excellent. I thought Lulu was okay for her character, as were Rikku, Kimahri and Tidus. Yuna is the only one I had problems with, it sounded “forced” to me.

Some more I can think of are: Delsus (Atelier Iris), Helba (.hack), Ganz and Cross (Radiata Stories) and Lenneth (Valkyrie Profile).

Am I the only one who thinks Jessica in DQ8 sounds about 10 years older than she looks (I mean, she looks in the stereotypical 16-21 age bracket for RPG females, but her voice sounds in her 30s) (well, the game is going to be redubbed for the PAL version, heavy British accents? Maybe good news for those of you in PAL countries. Though the rest of the voices seemed alright. Kinda sad you don’t hear several character’s voices again after their plot scenes are done. I kinda liked Valentina’s accent. Then again, Emma, servant of the King of Ascantha, er “Emmer” of “Ascanther” kinda bugged me.)

Wakka in FFX was brilliant, if only because I kept on expecting him to say “bite my ginger island-boy ass”. Some games have had some amazing voice acting- the GTAs spring immediately to mind. Then again, we’re talking about the likes of Burt Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson here.

Then on the opposite end of the scale, we have just about every survival horror game ever. Fortunately the PS2 Silent Hills offered an improvement over the original, which I swear was acted using various accents of Microsoft Sam.

Creme de la merde though has to be the very first Resident Evil on PS/Saturn. Close your eyes and concentrate really hard you can just about hear the director going into spasms in the background. Whether this was cause or effect is anyone’s guess.

The ever classic ultra bad voice acting of Resident Evil 1 and House of The Dead has to up there in the top 10 worst of all time.

On the flip side, Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo for the PC Engine is still probably one of the best voice acting jobs I’ve heard to this day. The german voice acting at the beginning really adds to the atmosphere.

The problem with voice acting in games is that the good is rarely really good, and the bad is usually really bad.

The president’s daughter’s voice in RE4 is like nails on a chalkboard. I can’t stand listening to that bitch. Too bad you can’t just let her get eaten.

Also, sometimes it bothers me when I have to wait for characters to give long speeches when I could have read it twice as fast if it were text. Especially if it is something I’ve seen before and can’t skip.

Tales of Symphonia had some of the best voiceacting I’ve ever heard.

I’m also quite fond of the VAs Nippon Ichi’s games. Say what you will about them, but if nothing else, they were fitting for the characters. ESPECIALLY Gordon from Disgaea.

For bad voice-acting…the king of bad voice-acting, as far as I’ve played, would have to be Megaman 8. Though I’ve heard some horror stories about Shining Force 3.

When it all comes down to it what makes or breaks a game’s voice acting is the direction.

The actors in Tales of Symphonia weren’t at their best, save for Lloyd’s voice actor as thats the ONLY voice he can do, as can be seen with the voice actress who played Presea. Tara Strong, who played Bubbles on Powerpuff Girls, Timmy Turner and an assortment of other characters in Fairly Odd Parents as well as Raven on Teen Titans and Rikku in FFX, is obscenely talented. But poor direction lead her portrayal of Presea to be boring, lifeless and disjointed. She still did a good job but not as good of a job as I would expect from her.

There’s also the fact that some companies that are voicing games are now turning to Vancouver, BC Canada to voice their games. Which makes sense since we’re the hub of voice acting for all of North America. The reason the MMX games have good voice acting as of late is entirely due to that they’ve started using The Ocean Group, the same group that does the dubs for a wide variety of anime dubbed for the US market such as InuYasha…they even did Hamtaro.

And again, unless the voice acting is disgustingly bad, such as in Baten Kaitos, the fault can often be placed in the hands of partially the actor/actress but a big part of the blame goes to the director as they’re telling the voice what to say and how to say it. Tales of Symphonia is the best example of that I can think of. Cam Clarke (Kratos), Tara Strong (Presea), Jennifer Hale (Sheena), James Arnold Taylor (Yggdrasil) and to a lesser extent Brianne Siddall (Mithos) are all extremely talented. But their performances were somewhat damaged due to what I can only call mediocre directing in some areas of the game.

Oh, yeah… forgot to mention Metal Gear Solid. The acting (and the script) was generally excellent in those games.

Albedo, by the way, is played by Crispin Freeman, one of the most prolific anime/VG actors in existence. You may have seen him in, for example, Slayers (Zelgadis), Witch Hunter Robin (Amon), Read or Die (Joker), VanDread, Now and Then, Here and There, Star Ocean 3 (Albel)… the list goes on.

It’s so true.

I’m sorry… I must be dyslexic… does that say that you <b><i>FORGOT ABOUT METAL GEAR SOLID?!</b></i> I’m disappointed in you, Cid >=(

Crispin Freeman, noted. The only English dub I have ever seen from that list is VanDread: The Second Stage. [STRIKE]Who does he play in there?[/STRIKE]

Nevermind, I googled it. I can’t believe it, the two voices are alike in the depth of the tone, but he sounds so different when he’s not screeching like a madman. Amazing guy.

Don’t remember the name, but it’s the girl who’s actually a guy. 8p

Full list: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0293342/

Yes, I forgot MGS, because this is an RPG FORUM. >_< And I haven’t played one in a year.

I love good voice acting, but bad voice acting can really hurt a game.

Xenosaga was good, although the script didn’t help in some parts. Albedo was just too good. You can download clips from this place if you want to keep Albedo on your computer. I know I did. http://bluelaguna.net/movies/xs/fmvs.php. XS 2 is also there if you want his holiday speech at the end. I liked that one.

FFX was very good as well. ToS was also good. DQ8 was excellent, but the pace of speech of some characters killed some of them for me and I didn’t like some of the voices like the octopus at the start. That was retarded. As a note, Ascanther has less to do with voice acting, but what the person being played is supposed to sound. It may sound odd, but that’s just a trait of what’s being mimicked. Aside from the pace and a couple things like the octopus, I thought the voice acting and script in DQ8 was amazing.

Tidus and Yuna were probably my favorite.

I love voice acting, I also think it adds a lot to characters.

I’ve enjoyed the addition of voice acting to the RPGs I’ve played more recently. Do you know how long it took me to realize that Wakka and Bender were voiced by John DiMaggio? Oh man, too funny…

I hadn’t put too much thought into it before, but I agree with Ori on the importance of the direction.

FFX was my first (thankfully positive) experience with the VA, and my taste was less discriminating that it is now, but even still that’s not saying much. :smiley: Xenosaga was good, and XS2 wasn’t quite as good but was still awesome with the lines below. For DQ8, some parts were completely cheesy, but overlooking the cheese factor I thought it was excellent.

Crispin Freeman - Damn, I just love him! He could read a dictionary for all I care.