"Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Partial Voice Acting

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Gear
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"Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Partial Voice Acting

#1 Post by Gear » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:24 pm

If you've played Fire Emblem: Awakening for the 3DS, feel free to skip down to the bolded section of this post. If you have not, please read on for some background.

Fire Emblem is a long-running series in Japan (a bit more new to the US) of turn-based strategy games. The most recent incarnation is Fire Emblem: Kakusei, or Awakening in English. This title was developed for the 3DS, and in my opinion, is an excellent game. But the focus of my question is based around the storytelling style of the games. More commonly in recent games, Fire Emblem tells its story primarily through VN style breaks between the action, and with cutscenes. In Awakening, during most of these sequences, the game uses a form of partial voice acting. Examples:
Line: What?! We can't take our troops that way! It would be suicide!
What you hear: What?!
Line: Chrom, we really need to look at the bigger picture.
What you hear: Chrom...
Sometimes, the lines don't actually match up with the sound you hear, but the sound represents the spirit of the line. For instance:
Line: Please! You can't die!
What you hear: No!
Line: Okay, I'll follow your lead.
What you hear: Right!
The line you hear is basically the general theme of the line being spoken, but it may or may not match the entire line. So, now we come to my question. What do you think of Fire Emblem: Awakening's style of partial-voice acting? Do you think this adds to a game, or is it distracting/unnecessary/etc.?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Last edited by Gear on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#2 Post by Googaboga » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:39 pm

Personally I enjoy it. Sometimes it seems too off to work but in general I am happy they have those little bits and pieces instead of none at all. It also helps that I really like most of the voices.
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#3 Post by SundownKid » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:14 pm

If you can't voice act the larger story, I'd say go for it, it's just a question of extra effort.

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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#4 Post by Deji » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:37 pm

I like it, personally.
We're doing it for our NaNo project too :'D
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#5 Post by WolfHunner » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:21 pm

I liked it as well.

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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#6 Post by DaFool » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:45 pm

Deji wrote:I like it, personally.
We're doing it for our NaNo project too :'D
Oh snap, my awesomely brilliant idea was stolen!

I knew we could use what are essentially "battle voices" in the main VN portion, but it wasn't until I played Fire Emblem that I saw that the pros did it that way and can work.

My super simple textboxes were pulled directly from Virtues Last Reward though. Basically the whole feel of the game feels console-style, instead of the uber-HD trend nowadays.

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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#7 Post by KittyKatStar » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:58 pm

Deji wrote:I like it, personally.
We're doing it for our NaNo project too :'D
Haha yea, I was actually visualizing Fire Emblem-like voice acting. XD (Since I just played it recently and loved loved loved everything about it.)

What do you think of Fire Emblem: Awakening's style of partial-voice acting?

I love it, especially since it has limited voice acting. It still gives you an idea of their tone/emotion during the scene.

Of course sometimes it's awkward if say... Someone agrees or is excited, and their line is "My sword hand twitches!" and totally not related to their line. XD

Lon'qu's WOMEN made me laugh. =,D Whenever the topic of women came up, he would just say... "...women".

So it *could* be distracting if the lines reallllly don't match up, but in general I like it. It adds a touch to the game. ^_^
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#8 Post by LVUER » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:03 am

It's good. And I like it too, both as a gamer and as a developer. This kind of partial voice acting have been done in the past by a few games, and I like it from the first time.
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#9 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:13 am

Hm. To me, it sounds a little like the "voice acting" in Twilight Princess, where characters would speak in nonsensical gibberish, but with a tone that underlines the emotion of what is being said. That worked pretty well. Hearing Midna giggle at times really helped define her character, so I guess it's a good idea to go for that.
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#10 Post by wyverngem » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:15 pm

I've finished the game and I do admit that the partial voice acting is kind of a nice compromise. I mean sometimes you just want to skip through and still get that emotion. Though personally no, I'm not fond of it. I mean it saves on file size and is quicker, but some bleeps just don't fit.

Also Harvest Moon comes to mind with their sound effect people. Remember "hi" when talking to someone or the giggling?XD Kind of glad it only lasted a few games.

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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#11 Post by Fox Lee » Wed May 01, 2013 11:32 pm

I like it much better than full voice-acting, but much less than no voice acting at all. With a few exceptions (Sam and Max springs to mind), I just don't like English voice acting in games; too often, the voices are not what I imagine the characters sounding like, are awkwardly timed thanks to engine limitations (say, when a character is "interrupted" by another, only to leave a half-second pause before the next character speaks), are rendered insincere by a lack of decent facial emotion, or simply feel like the actor wasn't fully invested in producing the voice.

Japanese voice acting does not push my buttons the same way - because I don't speak Japanese and therefore can't assess the acting quality - so I can generally enjoy a subtitled game even if a more informed person might not. The inappropriate pauses and facial stiffness are still a factor though.

In any case, I think "fragment" voicing like in Awakening is a decent compromise. However, my favourite technique is VA gibberish, as performed by characters like Midna in Twilight Princess and the mysterious heavenly voice in Shadow of the Colossus. That works really well for me - it expresses the character's attitude and emotion without words, and therefore without issues of translation, dubbing, or (for the most part) acting.
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#12 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Wed May 01, 2013 11:40 pm

I do enjoy partial or full voice acting if the quality is reasonable.

Unfortunately, I'm in the position where I'll need to have a very large percentage of my game voice acted, mostly for Japanese parts, so people can hear real Japanese pronunciation. I hope the voice actors I use are acceptable. They are Japanese, but with no experience doing voice acting.
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#13 Post by enta » Thu May 02, 2013 2:18 am

Um it's not really that rare(more like I've seen it a lot done before).

It's the exact VA used in Dangan ronpa by the way. :'D Important scenes were fully voiced though.

It's a great way to (probably) save money to pay for VAs and to minimize game size :lol:

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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#14 Post by arachni42 » Thu May 02, 2013 3:03 am

TrickWithAKnife wrote:Unfortunately, I'm in the position where I'll need to have a very large percentage of my game voice acted, mostly for Japanese parts, so people can hear real Japanese pronunciation. I hope the voice actors I use are acceptable. They are Japanese, but with no experience doing voice acting.
Hey, as long as it's not done with a "tight smile" like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJxWkNSTIJk

More generally speaking, though, I don't think "partial voice acting" would bother me at all as long as it made sense and the voice acting wasn't stilted. I enjoy voice acting a lot. I haven't played Fire Emblem, though; the 3DS isn't in my budget atm.
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Re: "Fire Emblem: Awakening" and Voice Acting

#15 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Thu May 02, 2013 5:00 am

arachni42 wrote:
TrickWithAKnife wrote:Unfortunately, I'm in the position where I'll need to have a very large percentage of my game voice acted, mostly for Japanese parts, so people can hear real Japanese pronunciation. I hope the voice actors I use are acceptable. They are Japanese, but with no experience doing voice acting.
Hey, as long as it's not done with a "tight smile" like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJxWkNSTIJk
Nope. Plus I decided to forgo the dramatic speaking that we hear in anime, in exchange for more natural sounding, everyday speech. May not be as cool, but it's more useful for people who are planning to visit Japan.
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The #renpy IRC channel is a great place to chat with other devs. Due to the nature of IRC and timezone differences, people probably won't reply right away.

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