I honestly think that the only reason my parents allowed me to become obsessed with gaming at such a young age, is the fact that I was doing a shit load of reading as I played. Final Fantasy (8 is my favorite), Pokemon, every game was structured around text-based dialogue. Obviously that was just the way things were. Voice acting only occurred in cartoons, movies, and videos that you purely watched.
Although I’m an avid reader (books kick ass), I don’t really see myself enjoying games that don’t include voice acting. Especially now when nearly every game introduces different acting talent to carry their characters. It’s something that I almost expect to see now. In a world where games now seem more fast-paced, it feels archaic to see text to purely express dialogue.
Which is really strange considering that I hated voice acting when it first started appearing. Of course I’m only saying this because I don’t really remember playing a game that had voice acting before the Xena game on the original Playstation. Although I know that there were others that I just can’t remember at the moment. Of course, Xena sticks out to me the most because it’s the greatest show ever, and I had to have the game. Much to my disappointment, the voices didn’t come from the original actors from the show, and that was what made me despise voice acting.
Which really kills me now since Lucy Lawless (who breathes awesomeness) recently voiced a character in Hunted: The Demon’s Forge. Can we please have an updated Xena game that includes the actors? Pretty please? Oh yeah, I already covered this topic.
My point? Kick ass actors are becoming more involved in the gaming scene, something that was unheard of in the beginning when video games were purely a kid’s hobby and less of an entertaining art or a unique way to tell a story (although to me, games were always an art form).
So what about text-based games now? I’m thinking primarily of Skyward Sword where you stay in the locked “Zelda” formula where Link has no voice and you have to read 5967868 novels before finally finishing the game. Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask will always be favorite games, but they were also introduced in a time when that was just normal. Reading didn’t feel sluggish and it didn’t make the game less exciting.
I think the presence of voice acting kind of ruined the traditional feeling of Skyward Sword for me, and it would no doubt ruin any other game that involved more reading and less listening/watching/playing. Everyone keeps asking me what I think about Skyward Sword, and honestly I like it. I don’t think there will ever be a Zelda game that I dislike. But I would like it so much more if it had been made a few years ago.
So after picking through this random and somewhat jumbled post, what do you think? Do you still enjoy games with an infinite amount of reading? Or do you think voice acting is now a must in terms of relaying a story and keeping a game more “action-packed” and exciting?