Not Fully Voiced - Is It A Deal Breaker?

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#1 Edited by liquiddragon (1699 posts) -

Sooo Polygon confirmed that Link will not speak. I guess the better question is: should Link speak?

But what's even more shocking is that Aonuma says voice is only punctuated in key scenes to make an impact. The question of how much or how little voice work is actually in BotW is still up in the air but it does leave you scratching your head. Finding this out, personally knocks the sail out of my excitement quite a bit but I'm no Zelda fanatic so I'll turn the question to you. Is this a deal breaker?

Quote from Aonuma - "It’s not that I made everything voiced. But I have these moments where I want to leave impressions on users. I add voice there."

Edit:

It's really hard to make a subtle thread to get people talking. I have to clarify what I'm getting at. Of course it's no problem for a Zelda game to not be fully voiced. My worry comes from Aonuma's statement. This was the coming out party for the Switch and Zelda is the flagship title. Aonuma is the lead creative on this anticipated game and anything anyone important at Nintendo says during this unveil will be analyzed and scrutinized. A lot of people are assuming the cutscenes will be voiced and that'll be cool. Which, that would be cool with me as well. What worries me is that, in fact, that's not the case. People will be satisfied with that but that's just not what Aonmua said. "I have these moments where I want to leave impressions on users. I add voice there." I really don't think I'm reading that much into this. I think we're looking at an extremely disjointed and awkward blend of voiced material up against text boxes.

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#2 Posted by FrodoBaggins (896 posts) -

After that most recent trailer they put out, how anybody could say it not being fully voiced is a deal breaker is beyond belief to me. The game looks truly exceptional.

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#3 Posted by Ketta (58 posts) -

I feel like this would be a nice testing grounds for Nintendo to see if the fans really want full VO.

Lots of games do this mixed voice and text style. I really don't have any problems with it.

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#4 Edited by Rodin (260 posts) -

From the trailer I'm guessing that cutscenes will be fully voiced and everything else will just be text and while I couldn't say of the top of my head, there are games that have gone this way and it was fine in my experience, and I believe that they are most if not all Japanese games, so maybe it's just a thing in jrpg type stuff.

Certainly though I would prefer full voice acting from this game, but like I said above, I don't know that I need voiced lines for dialogue that I can just button through and skip.

Edit: Also if I have to listen to that English VO when playing the game then I'm kinda glad it's not fully voiced.

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#5 Posted by pompouspizza (1279 posts) -

I think the game looks phenomenal so I don't really care all that much. That being said, part of me wishes that they had gone all the way and fully voiced it. I don't know if this is true but I imagine that if they had voiced Link, people would just complain that he doesn't sound like they imagined in their heads.

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#6 Posted by TobbRobb (6115 posts) -

What is actually the thing with voice acting? I really don't understand. It's not something I've ever missed in a game where it's not present and it has actually harmed games in the past when the performances are poor. Not that I think Zelda would've had bad voice acting, but you know.

Voice acting is such an expensive and limiting thing to add to a game. The work/reward ration is so skewed I almost never think it seems worth it. It'd mostly be worth doing in cinematic games like Naughty Dog makes or in stuff like Metal Gear.

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#7 Posted by Ravelle (2567 posts) -

It's an odd choice, I would prefer if nobody talked than every one except link. Now you have still that awkward silent protagonist.

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#8 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4395 posts) -

It's a 13.4 gb game, for $60. Neat.

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#9 Posted by fnrslvr (411 posts) -

I wouldn't want to be the kind of person who would make decisions about whether to play a game based on presence or lack of voice acting.

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#10 Posted by BojackHorseman (690 posts) -

I don't have a problem with a silent protagonist. Would prefer to have all other NPCs voiced, but it doesn't matter, cause I'm not paying 360 bucks to play Zelda.

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#11 Posted by Sinusoidal (3395 posts) -

Lack of voice acting is in the lesser of LoZ's problems. The formula has long grown stale. Each 3D iteration since Wind Waker has been less and less enjoyable. To the point where vast swathes of Skyward Sword were just tedious. This game looks like it might have the potential to be something special, but it's just as likely to be another tired 8.8. I do hope otherwise.

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#12 Edited by Redhotchilimist (1694 posts) -

I didn't mind this in Persona 4 at all.

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#13 Posted by Slag (7351 posts) -

Not an issue whatsoever. Tons of games do this. Maybe not AAA ones, but if I let this bother me I'd never play anything from outside the US ever.

After experiencing Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, I don't even need the VA in English.

TBH I liked the Japanese actress' take on Zelda better than the American one based off the little I heard.

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#14 Posted by ripelivejam (11096 posts) -

@blu3v3nom07: literally what relevance does the game file size have on its value?

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#15 Posted by Mike (17307 posts) -

@blu3v3nom07: literally what relevance does the game file size have on its value?

Nothing, that is what is commonly known as a shitpost.

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#16 Posted by Humanity (16407 posts) -

I never cared about Zelda and even I was impressed by that recent trailer - partial voicing is not a big deal at all.

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#17 Posted by AlexW00d (7495 posts) -

@blu3v3nom07: literally what relevance does the game file size have on its value?

I mean, I doubt it's what he meant, but uncompressed audio is usually what takes up the majority of space for games these days.

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#18 Posted by flasaltine (2425 posts) -

A lot of Japanese games do that thing where certain scenes will have voiced lines and then others will just be text only. I hate that.

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#19 Posted by TheWildCard (362 posts) -

I didn't mind this in Persona 4 at all.

Yeah, it can be done well. Thing is it works better when your "silent" protagonist is still given dialogue options or stuff like that to still be expressive. Some people seem to think Link should actually be mute (even though he is clearly having conversations in some games). Hopefully Link isn't too vacant looking compared to the emotive characters around him. At any rate I'm just happy they are actually committing to voice acting for other characters. Judging by the last trailer it will be a better game because of it.

@tobbrobb said:

What is actually the thing with voice acting? I really don't understand. It's not something I've ever missed in a game where it's not present and it has actually harmed games in the past when the performances are poor. Not that I think Zelda would've had bad voice acting, but you know.

I've specifically thought that the lack of voice acting is distracting in modern tent-pole Zelda games, considering the amount of dialogue present and the fact that they're still record lots of grunts and noises for a bunch of characters.

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#20 Posted by SkullPanda1 (1502 posts) -

I'd honestly just prefer to have it done all in Japanese with english subtitles, but that's just me.

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#21 Posted by liquiddragon (1699 posts) -

@slag: yeah, Japanese Zelda was spot on but English one sounds way off. They needed to rework the script as well, can't just say the translation. I get that most Japanese titles have this, tiers of A/V presentation but Aonuma's quote is what worries me. It sounds like only a subsection of a subsection will get voice.

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#22 Posted by paulmako (1720 posts) -

No. Not at all. It's not a dealbreaker. It's not even a deal prodder. The lack or inconsistency of voice acting in Zelda gets nowhere near the deal.

It's not something I think about at all when thinking about Zelda.

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#23 Posted by Justin258 (14431 posts) -

I think if that's a deal breaker for you, then maybe Breath of the Wild wasn't a game for you in the first place.

As for me? I don't want to sound like a smartass, but... I can read so it doesn't bother me. A lot of my favorite games lack voice acting anyway. If they had chosen to voice everything and hired good voice actors, that would have been a nice plus, but they didn't. Lack of voice acting doesn't even register when wondering if I should buy a game or not.

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#24 Posted by Hunkulese (4079 posts) -

Enh. I always button through text as fast as I can read it so voice acting is never that big a deal.

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#25 Posted by Zeik (4522 posts) -

I prefer it this way. Nintendo games excel at a lot of things, but great story and dialogue is not often one of them. Accentuating that by putting a focus on voice acting will not help that. Minimalistic dialogue and voice acting means they have to use other methods to convey their story, and that's where Zelda games do best.

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#26 Posted by shinofkod (88 posts) -

I don't know. I haven't really got a horse in the race but I feel like the story in Zelda is pretty threadbare when you consider just how many games we've had in comparison to the amount of information we actually have. At the same time that's more of an issue with how they present that story than the format of it. In the end it may be that Nintendo really doesn't have the stones to pick a voice for Link. I wonder if they agonized over Mario's voice back in the day.

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#27 Edited by Lv4Monk (416 posts) -

Japanese to English dubbing in the US cribs too much from children's cartoons and is a major reason I so rarely prefer dubs. It's either big time actors that don't feel like they fit for any reason beyond name recognition or someone whose career consists of silly slapstick antics with colorful cartoon characters.

Same thing with the anime industry, really.

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#28 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (2764 posts) -

Like a lot of Japanese games, story sequences will be voice acted while random NPCs and side quests won't be. It's not at all uncommon, and while I would prefer everything be voiced, I'm fine with it.

The biggest reason I've wanted voice acting in Zelda games is because the recent games have put more emphasis on storytelling. They've had nicely animated cutscenes with expressive characters, lip-syncing, and decently written dialogue, all with no voice over whatsoever. It was just getting silly.

That issue won't be present in BotW.

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#29 Posted by Slag (7351 posts) -

@liquiddragon:It might, but at least to me I've been enjoying these games voicelessly for decades. So I view any voice as a bonus and don't mind if it's used sparingly. If I had to guess this game will only use voice in cutscenes (which Zelda has definitely had in past games).

All told, especially if the VA isn't spot on and if the Japanese track is not available, personally I'd rather have less spoken than more. I've seen what happens to Japanese developers who are inexperienced localizing spoken dialogue & scripts when they go all the way (Final Fantasy X comes to mind) and trust me sometimes less is more. Eventhough this was a hurdle most got over over a decade ago, given that Nintendo stylistically chose not to for their core IPs basically until now in my mind they count as inexperienced in this area.

YMMV, I wouldn't blame anybody who really enjoys VA being sad if there isn't a lot.

TBH my personal biggest concern with Zelda is the overworld design. One of the core aspects of the appeal of those games to me, maybe even my favorite part, is environmental puzzle solving (see the recent Ittle Dew 2 quicklook and I think you'll see what I mean). This one makes it seem like the Overworld won't have that element to it at all instead of a more wide open, open world with crafting and hopefully big monster fights.

That can be very cool too as I love Dragon's Dogma/Monster Hunter etc, but if the game doesn't at least retain those puzzles in the dungeons (and have a good number of them) I'll probably be bummed out.

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#30 Posted by BabyChooChoo (6588 posts) -

Meh, that's fine with me. As someone who plays a lot of Japanese games, lemme tell you that this is not uncommon.

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#31 Posted by Zippedbinders (1182 posts) -

@lv4monk said:

Japanese to English dubbing in the US cribs too much from children's cartoons and is a major reason I so rarely prefer dubs. It's either big time actors that don't feel like they fit for any reason beyond name recognition or someone whose career consists of silly slapstick antics with colorful cartoon characters.

Same thing with the anime industry, really.

Its bewildering how far under the bus you're throwing professional voice actors because you don't like cartoons.

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#32 Posted by Zevvion (5219 posts) -

It doesn't detract enough from the game to make it a deal breaker. But I would like some voiced Link in the future.

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#33 Posted by Superkenon (1662 posts) -

So it's like Persona 4.

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#34 Edited by Lv4Monk (416 posts) -

@zippedbinders: Simmer down there, duder, not thinking childrens cartoon voice actors mix well as often as they're used is decidedly NOT throwing them under the bus...

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#35 Posted by FrostyRyan (2125 posts) -

It's not even a deal make worse-ener

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#36 Posted by Jeremy808 (29 posts) -

It's not a deal breaker to me. Although sometimes I kinda wish specifically the Zelda and Mario games would aspire to be more. Having Link only say HIIYAAA and gasp at shit and have all the NPCs make one little noise every so often while making a face that sticks or just a canned animation while you read the text, is kind of done at this point.

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#37 Edited by jacksukeru (6572 posts) -

I expected as much after last E3's gameplay demo where Link talked to a person and there was just text. I think it'll probably work pretty well. From that video Link seems to also have dialogue choices to choose from accasionally.

I should note that I'm happy that they are doing VO for the game. The way they did some scenes in Skyward Sword, where they were basically regular style cutscenes just with text appearing as the characters spoke and moved their mouths instead of audio, felt akward.

I'd say that if they want to use those kind of cutscenes in their game then they SHOULD accompany them with voice acting.

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#38 Edited by NTM (9885 posts) -

No, it's not a dealbreaker at all. Zelda is fine without voice work, but that said, the voice work that's there is already cool enough that it's there that it makes it even less a dealbreaker. I'm glad voice work is there, and think Zelda should implement it in some way, but the fact not all text is voiced doesn't bother me. When I went through Skyward Sword, I got some Miyazaki vibes, which does extend to many of the previous Zelda's since you have weird, quirky looking and acting characters, as well as cute characters. I've always felt Miyazaki's films did well with the voice work, and feel Zelda can be similar in that manner.

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#39 Posted by Itwastuesday (1223 posts) -

i actually thought it was slightly too voiced based on the trailer

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#40 Posted by Mcfart (2033 posts) -

They should just do the gibberish thing that they do in Rayman 2/3.

Avatar image for ll_exile_ll
#41 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2764 posts) -

@mcfart said:

They should just do the gibberish thing that they do in Rayman 2/3.

That would be terrible. Based on the trailer, they're clearly aiming to bring more emotion to the characters, in both facial animations and voice over. Having these intense dramatic scenes play out with all the characters speaking gibberish would be farcical.

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#42 Posted by Vortextk (614 posts) -

As someone who would rather listen to a good dub over subtitles in most situations(and I've listened to weeks worth of japanese subtitled content), I did find the japanese Zelda better. But not better as in "I understand Japanese and acting and clearly this is objectively better", just better as I thought to me it kind of sounded better.

I don't mind Link not talking. As said, it's been done fine in other games, but I get kind of annoyed at games that have sometimes really good dialogue(in whatever language) but only important cutscenes are voiced and in engine "day to day" scenes are all text. If it's good I want it all voiced, not that it's easy but I think that means more even if a large part of your audience will button past it. I also don't like it when the game nearly treats your character as an actual mute when it's clear that you ARE conversing and asking questions, we just don't see text or hear the characters voice, so even just picking dialogue options here and there is better than that.

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#43 Edited by ToySoldier83 (260 posts) -

@lv4monk said:

@zippedbinders: Simmer down there, duder, not thinking childrens cartoon voice actors mix well as often as they're used is decidedly NOT throwing them under the bus...

It is when you only refer to them as "children's cartoon" voice actor (among your other disparaging remarks).

Avatar image for ivdamke
#44 Edited by IVDAMKE (1451 posts) -

I don't need every book to speak and I don't need every movie to either. Games are no different in this regard.

Sometimes It's better for the protagonist to be silent. See Fallout 3/New Vegas up against Fallout 4 the voiced protag was nothing but a mistake in more ways than just 'voiced or not'.

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#45 Posted by Marz (6045 posts) -

i think it's a better game for not giving link voice acting.

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#46 Edited by Gamer_152 (14491 posts) -

It's hard to imagine anyone ever coming to a Zelda game for a fully-voiced experience. If you've followed the series, you know that's not what Zelda is and there are plenty of other games to get that experience with if you want it. Personally though, I'd rather have a game that is entirely voiced or entirely unvoiced. I think leaving it as not entirely one or the other creates this weird inconsistency.

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#47 Edited by Lv4Monk (416 posts) -

@toysoldier83: So because many american voice actors are from the world of children's cartoons I'm being disrespectful to voice actors? In what world does that make sense? It's an issue with casting caused by a country where there wasn't really an industry for voice over that wasn't for children suddenly getting anime and video games.

What part of this suggested I dislike cartoons and was somehow disrespecting voice actors? It's about the US not having the most appropriate pool of talent to pick from when bringing over much of the media from Japan. Voice over being for someone other than children was extremely rare until very recently over here and it results in many characters sounding goofy and overly stylized when they really shouldn't.

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#48 Posted by ToySoldier83 (260 posts) -

@lv4monk said:

@toysoldier83: So because many american voice actors are from the world of children's cartoons I'm being disrespectful to voice actors? In what world does that make sense?

Because voice actors in America (and around the world) don't just voice children's cartoon as you put it, they also lend their voices for video games, movies, radio and even do physical acting on screen and on stage. Simply regarding them as children cartoon voice actor, ignores their extensive and varied body of work that they do. Also by saying that your comment reeks of elitism/ignorance.

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#49 Edited by Lv4Monk (416 posts) -

@toysoldier83: You're not following the cause and effect here. Obviously I'm acknowledging the work they NOW do, I'm saying the pool of talent developers could pull from could only come from people already doing voice work for a living. In the US that meant children's cartoons.

I'd appreciate it if we could cool it with the melodrama and insults.

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#50 Posted by Efesell (2584 posts) -

I mean the silent protagonist should have been excised from video games a couple of generations ago but I was never under the illusion that Link would speak so whatever.

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