Would you play commercial VN without voices?

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Lockvia
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Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#1 Post by Lockvia » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:03 am

Lately, I've been playing a VN on my phone and the characters don't have voices, most likely because the game would be too heavy for the phone to handle. But I was wondering if people would play a VN on their computers without voice actors/actresses.

Personally, I like hearing the characters' voices because it shows more of their personality. But I've played some games where the voice doesn't suit the character and it was quite distracting so I ended up turning off that character's voice.

What are your thoughts?
Last edited by Lockvia on Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#2 Post by Asceai » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:12 am

Japanese? I play older titles without voices all the time and that's fine, but I feel like nowadays you need a really good reason to not voice your game.

English? Yes, I'd probably prefer it without voices.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#3 Post by Lockvia » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:18 am

Why is it that you prefer English not to have voices?
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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#4 Post by Asceai » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:25 am

Lockvia wrote:Why is it that you prefer English not to have voices?
I don't really know. It might be a bias due to language familiarity - even unskilled Japanese voice acting sounds good to me (although it can occasionally be hilarious), while unskilled English voice acting can entirely ruin my enjoyment of a work. Due to the budgets VNs operate inside, especially OELVNs, voice actors tend to range more towards the 'unskilled' side of that spectrum. I doubt this is a majority opinion, though, and if a VN has voices it's not like I'll turn them off immediately. I'll play for a bit and then turn them off =P

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#5 Post by ShippoK » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:27 am

Asceai wrote:Japanese? I play older titles without voices all the time and that's fine, but I feel like nowadays you need a really good reason to not voice your game.

English? Yes, I'd probably prefer it without voices.
I'm with you on that!
English voice over in VN's never sound any good compared to the Japanese voice overs.

Besides, it seems like a waste of money to have some choppy voice acting be put into your VN anyway.
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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#6 Post by MayPeX » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:58 am

Could the preference of Japanese voices overs be down to the fact that English ones seem forced? By that I mean trying hard to imitate the Japanese tonal qualities? Whether it be a conscious thought or unconscious? I am not saying that the voice actors are bad, each persons voice suits a particular character somewhere. That is voice acting.

It may well be down to that it started in Japan, thus it only sounds good in Japanese. I'd like to believe that is wrong. I look towards the western film and game industry, we have some good voice talent for sure. I always wondered what it would be like to take those voices and shove it into a visual novel? This may be a bad example since most of the films and games I have seen/watched have primary adult characters.

In short, I would like to see english voice acting more often in future english novels. The only way we get better at it is to make mistakes and prance about first until we nail it.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#7 Post by Hyraculon » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:10 am

If I'm playing the game in Japanese (as in, not translated at all), I need the voices to help with my comprehension. But normally, playing something where the text is in English, I'll tend to leave Japanese audio on. Of course, I usually end up ignoring and skipping it before it finishes. It just slows me down too much. In general, I'm too impatient to wait for someone to read a line that I can read myself much more quickly.

For English, I almost always turn the voices off. It feels like you either have professionals trying to mimic Japanese voices and sounding awkward at best, or amateurs sounding... amateur. It's deeply distracting.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#8 Post by LVUER » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:30 am

I would play it just fine. The original Fate Stay Night VN doesn't have voice acting. And it's even more understandable if it's a VN for smaller device like handheld console or smartphone since they have smaller RAM, processing power, and storage capacity. It's also normal for commercial indie (or title from smaller company) to not have full voice acting. It's a balance between production cost and the price tag.

About Japanese VA or non-Japanese one, I absolutely prefer the original voices. Meaning I don't like the DUB... with the exception if they are good... I mean REALLY good, like Disney good. I know they are not VN, but FFXII good is still acceptable. Of course Metal Gear good is... very good, I think it's even better than the Japanese one. David Hayter's voice is so addicting. But then again, all titles I mentioned above is super AAA class. Any lower budget title usually have hilarious quality for the dubbing. With the exception of Ace Combat series though. I don't know why but I really like the English voice and can't stand the Japanese one. This is the first for me.
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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#9 Post by Rozume » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:25 am

English voice acting in a VN never sounds natural to me. I always know that there's an actor talking into a mic, which there is, but it kind of ruins the illusion that the character is speaking.

I don't think some of the VAs really understand the characters they're portraying. I'm by no means an actor, only taking one acting class in college (however, my professor was trained by Stella Adler), and what I've learned is that you really really have to understand the character, get into their skin, and make your own interpretation of the character. I don't see that a lot with English VAs, especially with the latter part. Maybe it might be due to time constraints, budget, skill, etc.

I want to have English Voice Acting in my VNs in the near future, and a couple of my games I'm planning are R-18, but getting good VAs are expensive and would blow my budget out the window orz.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#10 Post by Flowers from Nowhere » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:25 am

I always switch off English voice acting unless it's really really good. I have found that bad or even mediocre voice acting really detracts from a game and the majority of VNs just don't have the budget for a full cast of good voice actors.
MayPeX wrote:Could the preference of Japanese voices overs be down to the fact that English ones seem forced? By that I mean trying hard to imitate the Japanese tonal qualities? Whether it be a conscious thought or unconscious?
I think English speakers are more likely to enjoy Japanese voice acting because it's a lot harder to tell if the voice acting is bad when it's in a language they don't understand (or at least aren't as familiar with). It's not that the Japanese voice actors are necessarily better than the English ones, English speakers are just less apt to notice the problems.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#11 Post by Wissa » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:16 pm

^ Exactly, this is how it is for me. English voice acting, even professional, has always sounded off to me. I always assumed that it was no different from Japanese voice acting, because I know that's not how they talk irl, but I can't pick up those subtle differences like the Japanese could.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#12 Post by Ryuno » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:30 am

To me, Voice Acting is a bonus as opposed to a necessity.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#13 Post by Mimi_Melody » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:50 am

The ONLY commercial games with English voices that I love are from Sakevisual (the Jisei series, and now looking forward to Backstage Pass XD).
Other than that, I'm not really fond of English voices. Just sounds kinda off somehow, maybe it's because I'm used to hearing Jap voices?
(Well now that I think about it, it's not like there are many OELVNs out there with voices anyway...)

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#14 Post by kmarsel » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:06 pm

I prefer reading to listening so I never listen to voices. It's way too slow and I'm too impatient to wait for them to finish. I don't even like waiting for the text to finish scrolling onto the screen. I actually prefer games without voice acting as I find the voices detract rather than enhance the game for me.

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Re: Would you play commercial VN without voices?

#15 Post by Cith » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:29 pm

Most definitely would.

I'm old fashioned. Audio costs a significant amount of money, so I find voices can compromise the amount of writing in a game. Thus I'd prefer to go without.

Also I read fast, so I usually don't hear the voices anyway.
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