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How big a difference does it make for you to have voice acting in a VN?


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8 hours ago, Zalor said:

Back when Fuwanovel was really active back in 2013, 2014 and 2015; we had topics like this all the time. Like 5+ a day sometimes, lol. Honestly I miss those days of Fuwa. It really shows how much the forums have slowed down that we only get like 1 of these threads a day. But I'm glad that people are trying to keep the forums a live. Its kind of like keeping a fire alive. And damn, the fire of fuwa used to be raging!

But yeah, one of the problems I had when the forums was that active was that I spent a lot more time talking about VNs then actually reading them, lol. 

The front page would be different almost everyday, now a lot of peeps seem to have left or gone to reddit instead i guess?

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I used to not care much. I even read Fate/Stay and Ever17 with no voices (E17 was an accident), and then of course Katawa Shoujo

However, these days I pretty much have to SOME kind of voice acting in there or it's harder to get invested. While I still kinda enjoyed it, Doki Doki LIterature Club having 0 voice acting made it a little harder to get through the slower parts. I think some voice acting could've been the later parts hit that much more.

Thankfully a group seems to be dubbing it and doing an alright job.

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I'd say I have a pretty clearly defined opinion about voice acting;

If it's actually good, it can add quite a lot to the experience.

If it's anything less than good, or if it's too inconsistent, such as if side characters pop up much at all but are unvoiced (unvoiced protag is fine), it tends to detract (and distract) from the experience more than it adds.

Of course, while I don't know if I can honestly name any cases where a VN which had no voice acting would suffer from somehow gaining good voice acting, or any cases of VNs with good voice acting that would improve in the absense of voice acting anyways, but it's worth noting that voice acting is often expensive for companies who make any sort of game at all. As such, it's quite possible that a company could end up either funding the creation of any other parts of a game less due to including voice acting, especially if they realize they underestimated the cost of voice acting after they've already commited too much money to its inclusion. This is particularly likely for small/indie/new companies, who are also the ones who are hit hardest by making this mistake.

With that in mind, I would say that VNs made by a big company that has less to worry about with regards to the risks of including voice acting benefit the most from it; There are limits to how much any one part of a VN can benefit from additional funds, due to things like artists/writers not being physically capable of producing more than a certain amount of material in a given amount of time no matter how much they're payed, and a big company is far more likely to actually run into those limits. Plus, they'll be more likely to actually be able to pay for good voice actors.

Meanwhile, VNs made by small/indie/new companies not only don't have as much to gain from voice acting (there's more risk of them not being able to get good enough voice actors for voice acting to actually be a good thing for the VN), but they also risk making other parts of the VN worse; Whether that be due to mistakes made when determining how much they should spend on voice acting leading to other parts of the game needing to be rushed to make the game profitable, or due to intentional planning which nonetheless leads to less resources (funds/possibly time due to available funds) being commited to other parts of the VN. Because of this, VNs made by these companies may even be said to indirectly benefit from not including voice acting.

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I almost always turn the voices off. I like to read quickly and with voices off I can progress text boxes without having to wait for the voices to finish speaking, because if voices are on and you don't wait for the voices to finish you end up with this sort of scenario:

 

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For comedy or faster-paced VN's, it's great to have voice acting. It gives the thing more life. Also in important scenes the voice acting can provide a voice that you couldn't have imagined from the text.

Voice acting's never going to be able to save a bad story though.

For English works I almost always prefer no voice acting. It seems fake and not seamless like JP voice acting, iuuno.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In the case of VNs I don't read any that do not have voices. It's one the bigger reasons I don't read OELVN. I know budget this, money that, they can't afford to have voices. To me that sounds like they don't have confidence in their product and aren't willing to risk some money. At the bare minimum all of the heroines need to be fully voiced. They make everything better provided they aren't poorly done.

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I like unvoiced VN's. The lack of voices usually brings some sort of unique atmosphere to a VN which I can't really describe with words. To me an experience of reading an unvoiced VN usually feels much closer to reading a book, while voiced VN's usually feel much more similar to anime. At the same time, voices can add a lot of extra emotions to the characters' lines that are practically impossible to convey with words. Comedic VN's, for example, usually work much better with voices.

At the same time, if two versions are available for a VN I'm going to read, I will read the version with voices.

PS. Also, in case of Fata Morgana, Japanese voice acting, I believe, would sound plainly weird, considering that the story is set in Europe and America. But I still wouldn't mind reading that voiced extra story for Vita. :illya:

Edited by Dreamysyu
lol
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3 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

I like unvoiced VN's. The lack of voices usually brings some sort of unique atmosphere to a VN which I can't really describe with words. To me an experience of reading an unvoiced VN usually feels much closer to reading a book, while voiced VN's usually feel much more similar to anime. At the same time, voices can add a lot of extra emotions to the characters' lines that are practically impossible to convey with words. Comedic VN's, for example, usually work much better with voices.

At the same time, if two versions are available for a VN I'm going to read, I will read the version with voices.

PS. Also, in case of Fata Morgana, Japanese voice acting, I believe, would sound plainly weird, considering that the story is set in Europe and America. But I still would mind reading that voiced extra story for Vita. :illya:

I'd say that voices work for both comedy and plotge, but it's not like I actually listen to any of the voices while reading anyways.

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5 minutes ago, VirginSmasher said:

I'd say that voices work for both comedy and plotge, but it's not like I actually listen to any of the voices while reading anyways.

Yeah, true. There are a lot of plotge that simply wouldn't work without voices (MLA is the first that comes to mind). I'm basically saying that some unvoiced VN's still work perfectly well, at least for me.

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58 minutes ago, Dreamysyu said:

Yeah, true. There are a lot of plotge that simply wouldn't work without voices (MLA is the first that comes to mind). I'm basically saying that some unvoiced VN's still work perfectly well, at least for me.

Fair enough. I've enjoyed a few VNs that didn't have voices. It doesn't really affect me overall.

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I am actually trying to avoid something really tedious right now, and this entire thread was such a pleasure to read through.

I like voice acting quite a bit; even really bad voice acting can be kind of fun sometimes. It's rare that games/movies are ever able to get me super immersed anyway.

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On 2/11/2018 at 3:39 PM, Okarin said:

VAs generally do a terrific job, especially Japanese ones (since they're well regarded, paid and trained, so they deliver a good job).

But I can tolerate and enjoy a game that has no budget for them, such as Ebi-Hime ones (those are all about the writing, however).

This is a good way of putting it. IMO VA does add to the presentation of a VN, and it helps to make the characters more real. Emotion can also carry over quite well (even if you don't understand what they're saying) - Fate/Stay Night for example, with Jouji Nakata as Kotomine Kirei: even if his voice crops up in other stuff I can't help but shudder when I hear him :D. That's not to say that unvoiced VNs are bad - it's an oft-cited example, surely, but I really liked Katawa Shoujo and of course that doesn't have voice acting. 

I guess the best way of saying it would be that I appreciate it if it is there, and I'd prefer to buy (in the case of something like G Senjou no Maou) a VN that has it, but if it's not available that's not a big deal and if I was considering buying the VN then at that point I'd be more interested in the story than whether or not it has voice acting. 

Edited by snowbell55
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I like voice acting.  A good performance can turn a mediocre character into an enjoyable one.

I can handle no voices if the writing is good.

I despise partially voiced games.  There is nothing worse than hearing a few scenes, usually just the H scenes, with voices.  Ruins immersion, imagination, and are usually so low quality that you can even enjoy the half-assed moans someone's 'friend' ($10/hr) is spewing into a phone from the back booth of a familyres.

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1 hour ago, Toranth said:

I like voice acting.  A good performance can turn a mediocre character into an enjoyable one.

I can handle no voices if the writing is good.

I despise partially voiced games.  There is nothing worse than hearing a few scenes, usually just the H scenes, with voices.  Ruins immersion, imagination, and are usually so low quality that you can even enjoy the half-assed moans someone's 'friend' ($10/hr) is spewing into a phone from the back booth of a familyres.

What kind of VN would go half and half with their voice acting anyways?

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On ‎2018‎年‎3‎月‎7‎日 at 1:19 PM, VirginSmasher said:

What kind of VN would go half and half with their voice acting anyways?

Back in the day, it was common, probably to save on money and space when neither was readily available.  Some classic companies - like Alicesoft - still release partially voiced games even in the modern era.

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It's usually one of the things that make me consider whether or not to pick up a VN, although when I've started reading and enjoying it, it doesn't matter that much.

That being said, it can definitely enhance the experience significantly. One that comes to mind is Fate/Hollow Ataraxia. I read and enjoyed it before the voice patch came out. But it was not until I reread it with the voice patch (including the minigames) that I gleefully laughed like a madman every 5 minutes. Of course, the quality of the voice acting is crucial, but since I usually read major and well-regarded titles, the VA is usually pretty good or at least ok.

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1 hour ago, Toranth said:

Back in the day, it was common, probably to save on money and space when neither was readily available.  Some classic companies - like Alicesoft - still release partially voiced games even in the modern era.

Makes sense why I haven't played one then. I don't play old VNs.

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Speaking about Alicesoft, I thought that Rance X will be at least partially voiced (Likw Evenicle) considering that we have voiced teaser video, or maybe fully voiced considering that we have 03 is like that. Turned out it wasn't voiced, which is understandable though considering that the number of the characters were pretty huge. I did think that if that's the case, actually Rance X could use one seiyuu for multiple role but I guess it's still need quite a lot of money to do that.

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