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JohnArmstrong

Voice Acting in Games

7 posts in this topic

I run a network for voice actors and oddly many of them seem to have quite small egos when it comes to their
effect on a video games audience. In fact not long ago I introduced the main evil character in an online MMO
game to his online audience and he was swamped with emails.. he never had a clue that they would know 'him'
and not just his character.

So which voice actors do you recognise? Which game do you think wouldn't be the same played by someone else.
(Jon St.Jon- Duke Nukem, seems a favourite to many)- Who are your favourites?
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Tony Jay and Keith David come to mind. But I think they've been known for quite a bit of work other than just their voice acting. When it comes to any actor in general I'm not so good with who's who. For voice acting, I think after I've gotten 'attached' (for lack of a better word) to a character or if there's something about the voice that really stands out, I'm more likely to recognize the voice somewhere else and become curious about the name behind the voice. I suppose it also helps when the credits are clear.
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Richard Cox and Paul Dobson are my favorite voice actors. I'm sure that they've each done video game work, but I don't recall any specific game characters they played.

In games, I tend to powerfully dislike the voice actors used. They seem to either be like Patrick Stewart in Oblivion (there for all of 10 minutes) or Vanille from FFXIII (there way too damned much for how poor her voice acting skills were). Often I feel I would have preferred to read text boxes for dialogue than have to deal with voice acting poorly done.

It's really really easy to be a bad voice actor. It's easy to overact, hard to be consistent, hard to achieve any smoothness or flow to disjointed audio tracks jammed into scripted events, and you have absolutely nothing other than your voice to compensate for any problems. And if your voice is the problem, then you're stuck. It's also an easy place to cut costs by hiring someone cheap (read: terrible) or just call the tracks good enough even if they aren't.

That's not to say that there aren't really good voice actors; there are. But if 90% of the cast makes me slam on the mute button, I won't remember the two or three characters whose voices I loved very well.
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I'll admit that I don't recognize many voice actors at all, and in particular quite few in video games. Patrick Stewart in Oblivion was the only example that came to mind of any recent game.

Strangely enough, the only two voice actors I can name off the top of my head that I can mostly recognize are Jim Cummings and Charles Adler. Jim Cummings voiced a lot of cartoon characters from the cartoons of my youth (in particular Dr. Robotnik from the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, and Winnie the Pooh hilariously enough). Charles Adler voiced a lot of other characters (Snively from the same cartoon, as well as a number of other characters such as the purple thing from Aah! Real Monsters).

Actually, now that I think about it, unless I'm crazy, it sounded like Jim Cummings voiced the Master in Fallout.
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[quote name='Telgin' timestamp='1313073303' post='4847697']Patrick Stewart in Oblivion was the only example that came to mind of any recent game.[/quote]Yeah, I only notice whenever someone recognisable from elsewhere appears in a game, like Patrick Stewart in Oblivion or Stephen Merchant in Portal 2.


I've probably played different games that have the same voice actors between them, and not noticed.
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The guy who does the English Voice for Solid Snake is pretty good. Actually the voice acting in the game as whole isn't too shabby.
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Nolan North is obviously the first name that comes to mind for me, just cause he's like - everywhere.

However the best voice acting I've ever had the pleasure of listening to is the guy who voices Xenon the Antiquarian in Dragon Age 2's Black Emporium item market add-on. I would visit the place just to hear some of his lines. "DON'T!! Maaannhandalll.... the uuuurchiiin.....*grunt*... He's [i]not[/i]... for ssssallleee......... FIND YOUR OWN!!!"
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I recognize most of the voice actors in video games that are also anime VAs, in particular those working out of California studios like Bang Zoom and the Texas Funimation and the defunct ADV studios. This is due to the fact that my brother wrote a dub review column for anime for a while. It was big enough that he got free discs of pretty much everything coming out of the Texas and California dub studios, and he got to be friends with quite a few of the Texas VAs. (This indirectly led to me being felt up in an anime convention by Vic Mignogna a few years back.) Largely though, which VA plays which character doesn't make much difference to me unless the VA changes in a sequel or across media, one notable example being the character of Shion Uzuki in Xenosaga. I have been known to buy video games based just on the VAs involved, but that's usually because of a conversation with my brother along the lines of "You should play GAME - ACTOR is in it and he did a really good job/sounds nothing like himself".
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