Video Game Voice Acting On The Rise
With a wry smile and a touch of chagrin, veteran gamers will easily recall the early days of voice acting in video games. It was before the time of broad mainstream appeal, and before the time developers and publishers could afford to hire actual voiceover professionals. Well, those days are long gone. I love Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to pieces, but...man, that voice acting was bad.
Voice acting has become more of a major industry than ever before, and without it, we'd lose much of the effect and impact most of the best games currently offer. We rely more heavily on strong voice performances simply due to the increased technology in the industry; the mere fact that the entire experience is more cinematic in nature. Considering this massive leap forward, we thought you might be interested in reading a brief interview conducted by Console Obsession. It's with voice actress Kari Wahlgren, who provided the voices for Elika in the recently released Prince of Persia and Ashe in Final Fantasy XII. Most critics will agree that both of these titles boasted very strong voiceover performances, and Wahlgren is a professional actor in this realm...something the game industry absolutely requires at this point. For you RPG fans out there, it'll be interesting to know that she also lent her voice to Karin in Shadow Hearts: Covenant, so Wahlgren will likely pop up in more video games in the future. The interview is worth reading, so head on over and check out what a voice actor has to say regarding preparation for a particular role, personal favorites, and more.
For our part, we distinctly remember good voices in games (sadly, because there were so few in the past, but many more now), and it's a testament to Wahlgren's work that we certainly nodded in appreciation at the characters mentioned here. Most game creators have realized that this talent is necessary, but there are a few Japanese devs who still haven't quite grasped it... It's only a matter of time, though. People like Wahlgren should be able to find plenty of work.
3/2/2009 Ben Dutka