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LONG BLOG

Teh Bias: STFU!

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When I watch a movie that was based on a book, there is usually a smarmy bastard or two who canít help but incessantly remark at the differences in this adaptation. They always arrive at the conclusion that the book was better, and that anyone who hasnít read the book is inferior and probably touches their tacos inappropriately. For all the analysis these smug nitpickers pride themselves on, they never seem to arrive at the obvious conclusion, which is that the book is almost always better (the only exception I can recall at the moment would be The Shawshank Redemption).

The book is better because the reader utilizes their imagination instead of watching what equates to a summary of someone elseís interpretations. My favorite video games tread a similar path, providing basic imagery, accompanying music, and succinct character outlines/development rather than pure text over elongated descriptions and dialog. But one characteristic will curdle my demeanor like the aforementioned smarmy bastards, and that is voices in videogames.


This one too.

The novelty of voices wore off for me fairly quick, somewhere after Resident Evil. Itís always seemed entirely unnecessary, an afterthought to make the game ďnext-genĒ at worst, a misguided attempt to propel the medium forward at best. Sure, adding actual voices does advance gaming from a technical standpoint, but itís in the wrong direction. Itís too often that a potentially emotional scene is shattered by hammy acting. I loved Lost Odyssey, but felt many scenes lost much potency due to the acting. Worse, piss-poor writing can be glossed over by overacting the same way so many glam bands glossed over their shitty ballads with an overdone guitar solo Ė Heavy Rainís Ethan Mars comes to mind as a prime example.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulbotKa5LnM
I'll concede that some good comes out of bad acting
(or I would, if the embed would work).

Memorable and emotional moments prior to the advent of voices in games relied on maximizing the mediumís potential. Voice acting could be a fine accent to these established tactics, but instead itís used as a crutch. This is why I shudder when I realize a gameís dialog is exclusively delivered in voiceovers. Give me a game absent of voices over something like Heavy Rain any day. Writers and developers need to focus on making a memorable story, an atmospheric world, an evocative narrative, interesting characters, and great gameplay. Let the player take care of the voices.
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About Dr Light ate your Magiciteone of us since 8:24 PM on 05.12.2009



I mostly enjoy retro games, but not entirely for the challenge. I like games to be a mix of a book and a movie in that they are visually stimulating but still allow the player to fill in the voices and other elements with their imagination. I'm weird and awkward, which really makes me stand out among gamers.

Outside of video games, my other great passion is music. I'd consider myself a metalhead because it is what I gravitate towards most. My collection also boasts healthy helpings of shoegaze, dream pop, darkwave, visual kei, neofolk, neoclassical, classic rock, prog rock, classical, and of course, video game soundtracks, along with smatterings of whatever else has caught my attention.

My favorite games include:

ActRaiser
Bit.Trip series
Blazing Lazers
Bucky O'Hare
Castlevania II, IV, Symphony of the Night, Order of Ecclesia
Cave Story
Chrono Trigger/Cross
Cthulhu Saves the World
Earthbound
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Fez
Final Fantasy IV, VI, VII. Theatrhythm
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
Gargoyle's Quest
Ikaruga
Illusion of Gaia
Kirby's Adventure
Link's Awakening
Lords of Thunder
Lost Odyssey
Megaman II, III, V, X
Mother 3
Resident Evil 1, 2, 3
Rocket Knight Adventures
Seiken Densetsu series: from Final Fantasy Adventure to Legend of Mana
Shadow of the Colossus
Silent Hill 1, 2, Shattered Memories
Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2
Tales of Symphonia
Teleroboxer
Threads of Fate
To the Moon
Tower of Heaven
VVVVVV
World of Goo
Xenoblade Chronicles

Xbox LIVE:Trevoracious
Steam ID:drlightateyourmagicite


 

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