6 Games Hit Hard by Bad Voice Acting

Here are just six games of the many that have issues with their voice acting.

Sometimes there are amazing voice actors breathing life into the characters of our favorite games. And sometimes you come across an otherwise good game that could have been a masterpiece had the voice acting not been absolutely abysmal. Voice acting can be a big part of the complete experience for some gamers. Here are six games that suffer from the unfortunate ailment (not in any particular order).

6. Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is pretty much a cheesy action flick that has some shoddy voice acting, not to mention borderline racist (much like another game in our list). When you listen to how ridiculous and over the top the acting is, it is something you can roll with because it fits the nature of the game. By the same token, though, the experience can diminish when there is just so much absurdity and stereotypical, inaccurate accents. It might be a good rule of thumb to not alienate the ethnic part of your audience. Just a thought.

5. Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence was a decently fun game, if not fairly straightforward. There were some notable voice actors like Crispin Freeman and Michael McConnohie that you could pick out from most RPG's of the generation. However, the voice acting was...subpar. It might have been the script and pacing, but the voicing was overly zealous or unfitting to the scene. With all of its flaws, it was an enjoyable game, but could have been more so with improved dialogue and voicing.

See also: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

4. Kuon

Kuon is a little horror gem with an interesting story with Japanese roots. Personally, I loved the game. The only issue? The characters spoke...but their mouths did not move. Maybe adding the animation was too much of a hassle, but the voice acting was not anything to write home about anyway. It might have made more sense to read the dialogue instead, and it would still be all right to include the eerie screams or groaning to add to the atmosphere. It was a deliciously creepy game, but could have done better with moving lips or just written dialogue--especially because there is not a ton of dialogue in the first place.

This is the intro as well as a little gameplay to see what the game is like.

3. Deus Ex

Deux Ex has some awful, and thoroughly offensive, voice acting. It might be able to get away with some of it, but the stereotyping accents are in poor taste. There are some goofy elements, but with so many strange characters it takes you out of the somewhat serious cyber world you are exploring. The voicing is something you can overcome and play through, but you also want to avoid "enduring" the game as if there is an aesthetic obstacle.

2. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time

This is one of my favorite games and consists of so many well known voice actors you have likely heard in many other games or anime. However, the voice acting was god awful. The pacing was also at fault. The game could have probably fit on one disk if they cut down the silence in some most of the cutscenes. Sometimes pensive silence is engaging and you can see the conflicting emotions on the characters' faces, but it became a little too much. 

Plus, many of the voices did not fit the characters you ran into or were unbearable, specifically Cliff and Pepita. It might be mean, but I hope I'm not alone in my utter hatred of their voices. I feel the actors should have made different choices in terms of tone, mostly Cliff. It would not have been a huge deal except for the fact that they are main characters that have a lot of screen time, which detracts a GREAT deal from the experience when there are loads of cutscenes. I wish it would be remade with some editing, improved graphics, and different voices for two-thirds of the main cast--but keep Crispin Freeman as Albel.

1. Resident Evil

Another example of a good game gone bad voice acting. To be fair, it is a bit older and made when not a ton of games had voice acting. But Resident Evil has some seriously gooberific lines that make the game less ominous than it really should be. Repetition, off-kilter inflections, awkward reactions in conversations... Yet it spawned the lovely Resident Evil franchise that has some great games in the mix. So, despite its flaws, the terrible dialogue is somewhat entertaining and you can accept it for what it is.

This is just a small list that could encompass probably hundreds of games. For example, House of the Dead 2 is another tragic example of bad voice acting. It is also very subjective. So tell me: which games do you think have atrocious voice acting that affected your gameplay? 

 

Columnist

Designer, opera singer, gamer, and pug lover.

Published Sep. 11th 2013

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