Not Fully Voiced - Is It A Deal Breaker?

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#51 Posted by FinalDasa (3056 posts) -

Zelda games haven't been voiced in the past, not sure why adding voices, even if they weren't "fully" voiced, would be a deal breaker.

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#52 Edited by BisonHero (10496 posts) -

@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.

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.

Yeah, I tend to agree. Like, random example that comes to mind: original Knights of the Old Republic. I played it quite a few years after it first came out, and here is the sum total of what I remember about the voice acting in that game:

  • Bastila Shan is just Naomi from Metal Gear Solid, because it seems like Jennifer Hale can get away with using a slightly more refined/formal version of her normal speaking voice in a lot of roles
  • there's a sidequest involving some poor guy wrongfully (or rightfully? I think it takes a turn) accused for a crime, and the prosecutor is Cam Clarke doing his snide Liquid Snake voice pretty much verbatim, and it's great
  • Ed Asner plays a grumpy old Jedi who might as well literally be named Ed Asner. Celebrity stunt casting at its finest!
  • Mission Vao had an appropriately bubbly, street urchin-esque attitude and voice performance
  • HK-47 is great, 80% because of the writing, 20% because of the deadpan delivery. Sorry to that guy, but I think a lot of people could pull off "deadpan robot voice saying vaguely menacing things", so it really comes down to the writing.
  • Most of the male characters are just Grim ToughGuys, except for Carth who is just kinda lame.

And that's about it. I'm sure BioWare spends a lot of money on VO for their games, but aside from being worth it for the occasional "Wrex, Shepherd" memes, most of that incidental dialogue (especially with minor NPCs) could be unvoiced and it probably wouldn't dramatically make a difference to what I really take away from those games.

I mean, I guess if there is some audio engineer at Nintendo who really wants to take a crack at a cool voice effect to give every Zora and Goron and Deku, then go nuts, I guess, and until then I just have to imagine that. But it sounds like whoever oversees most of the big Nintendo franchises isn't interested in transforming them into fully voiced epics, the same way they'd rather not make a full console Pokemon RPG since they'd have to gamble like 10x the budget and those portable Pokemons sell just fine as is. The only one I can really even think of that got a big story and VO upgrade was Metroid: Other M, which had abysmal melodramatic writing and voice acting that didn't make a good impression on players and critics. I can't imagine it gave Nintendo much confidence to suddenly give more story and VO to their other 20+ year-old franchises.

Honestly, if Zelda eventually transitioned to the point where it is semi-voiced, like the recent Fire Emblems on 3DS, that's probably close enough. Most characters just have like 10-20 generic lines that kinda indicate their mood and give you a sense of their personality, with only a few story-central characters actually having significant custom VO for story cutscenes.

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#53 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7002 posts) -

It hasn't been in the past, whether you look at the zelda series or even other games with silent protagonists (of which there are many examples). To think anyone would consider it a dealbreaker to what looks like a very special game is kinda crazy.

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#54 Posted by SgtSphynx (2420 posts) -

TBH, I just don't care. That being said, I do feel the silent protagonist needs to be done away with.

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#55 Edited by Lv4Monk (399 posts) -

I'd actually prefer either entirely voiced or not voiced at all. Partial voice ends up making the non voiced sections feel awkwardly quiet. Still, most of the time I end up not really caring too much unless it's unusually obnoxious. Generally it's the cutesy anime voices that get to me.

No, lady, you don't sound 8. You sound like a 40 year old pretending to be an 8 year old.

Avatar image for icemael
#56 Posted by Icemael (6860 posts) -

It's not a deal-breaker but it's lame. Either you don't have voiced lines and you make that work, or you go with full-on voice acting and you commit to that (which doesn't mean that the player character has to be a chatterbox -- see MGSV). This in-between thing of voicing only certain lines is something that might be understandable in a low-budget game with tons of dialogue where it's simply not economically feasible, but a huge company like Nintendo have no excuse for going that route with the next major entry in one of their biggest franchises. It just feels cheap and half-assed.

Avatar image for haz
#57 Posted by Haz (361 posts) -

It's not a deal breaker, and to be honest with or without voice acting, I don't think I would mind.

Though, I have to applaud Nintendo for trying it out with the new Zelda game (and from the looks of the trailer), doing a good job with the voice acting. I'm really hoping for some great things with this one.

Avatar image for cikame
#58 Posted by cikame (1849 posts) -

Given the quality of the voice acting in the trailer, it might be better without.

Avatar image for kindgineer
#59 Posted by kindgineer (3087 posts) -

No, but it would be nice. Never really been a "fan" of the silent protagonist. Not against it by any means, but a fully voiced cast of characters means a lot when I'm trying to dive into the story it's providing.

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#60 Posted by FrodoBaggins (867 posts) -

@cikame: I thought the voice acting was spot on during the trailer, both the narrator and zelda. Perfect fit in my opinion.

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#61 Posted by SloppyDetective (1013 posts) -

Idk if the partial voice acting will bother me, but I think silent protagonists are pretty dumb and weaken the story. I guess the fact that Zelda is light on story is the main reason the silent protagonist isn't that big a deal in these games.

Avatar image for opusofthemagnum
#62 Posted by OpusOfTheMagnum (185 posts) -

I wish they would get past no voice in Zelda. It just seems like they are clinging to old traits.

I don't mind link being silent. Maybe even do something interesting with it. Have it as a character trait rather than something ignored in universe. But the lack of voice seems to encourage the awful practices they have when writing dialogue.

Not a big deal either way I suppose but I feel like silent paragraphs reiterating points need to go away at the very least. And I'd really like some damn voice acting honestly.

Avatar image for sergio
#63 Posted by Sergio (3538 posts) -

I can read. I'll be fine.

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#64 Posted by Doskias (403 posts) -

I don't mind it. Voices for the big, important cutscenes, no voices for the third time Beedle invites you to look at his wares. That's totally fine.

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.

These thoughts mirror mine.

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