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Voice Talent Loves & Hates


teddymeow
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From the comment by @moosegrinder in the BulletStorm thread about his love for Jennifer Hale, let's have a topic about your favourite / most disliked voice talent.

 

Who do you find easy on the ears and who makes you feel like you're listening to nails down a chalkboard?

 

Can you think of any who, despite being amazing in some games, feel out of place in others?

 

For me, the standouts are:

 

Nolan North as Drake in Uncharted. He's been in too much to list but this is his standout! Except when he talks to himself in Mafia 2.

 

David Hayter as Solid Snake in Metal Gear (none of that Kiefer Sutherland malarkey!)

 

Jen Taylor as Cortana in Halo 2 onwards (didn't realize it was Natascha McElhone in the first game)

 

Troy Baker in The Last of Us (among other things. His Sam in Uncharted 4 is also great and Delsin in Infamous Second Son. And Ocelet in MGS5!!! And that bloke in Death Stranding!!!! Phew!! :lol:)

 

James Arnold Taylor is great in Ratchet & Clank.

 

Joh DiMaggio as Marcus Fenix in Gears of War is fantastic. Real gravel chewing.

 

Keith David is uniformly brilliant in everything. His voice is like silk!

 

In terms of bad voice acting there's some examples that have gone down in gaming history and are fondly thought of - "Jill sandwich" anybody?

 

The voice actor for Ashley in Resi 4 is one that annoys me no end but that's more to do with the character. She's supposed to be annoying 

 

 

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Nolan North I can't hear as anything other than Nolan North, no matter what he's in. Troy Baker is much more diverse and I sometimes don't recognize him.

 

I have a soft spot for most of the voice actors in Destiny 2 but that's because most of them are "actor actors". The guy who plays Saladfingers also does Reaper in Overwatch and I do like his gravelly rumble. (Google edit: Keith Ferguson David Firth Keith Ferguson).

 

Claudia Black is always dependable. And Gideon Emery who will always be Balthier from FFXII whenever I hear him.

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North is perfectly fine, but I still enjoyed Dinklage-era Ghost in Destiny. The modulation and slightly drier delivery worked well for a hovering AI guide.

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Yeah all of the Destiny cast do a great job with some genuinely terrible dialogue. The story's absolute unfollowable bobbins but the characters really shine. Shaxx especially. 

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I hate, properly hate, Witcher guy (Doug something?)

 

He's been awful in nearly everything I've heard him in - flat, monotone delivery with no real range. He's terrible. 

 

Mark Meer really came into his own with Mass Effect 2 & 3, I really liked him. 

 

But Witcher guy sucks. 

 

Disclaimer: I've yet to play more than 20 minutes of Witcher 3, so perhaps he knocks it out of the park. But I doubt it. 

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22 minutes ago, teddymeow said:

Jen Taylor as Cortana in Halo 2 onwards (didn't realize it was Natascha McElhone in the first game)

 

I'm pretty certain it's always been Jen Taylor. Certainly IMDb has her down from the off. 

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I'm just glad we're mainly past that whole era where developers were obsessed with blowing their budget on starfucking voice casts. It rarely got results that justified the expense.

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1 minute ago, Harsin said:

I'm just glad we're mainly past that whole era where developers were obsessed with blowing their budget on starfucking voice casts. It rarely got results that justified the expense.

 

A few days ago I was watching old footage of True Crime - the 6th-gen GTA rival from Activision, featuring Ron Perlman, Michael Madsen, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman... :blink:

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0378918/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

 

At least it helped maintain the series' popularity in the future! Oh wait.

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33 minutes ago, teddymeow said:

James Arnold Taylor is great in Ratchet & Clank.


Not denying his voice talent, but I’d read he turned out to be a bit of a right-wing arsehole with some dodgy Parler posts.

 

Anyway add me to the Drake and Cortana fan clubs.

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Troy Baker and David Hayter are both great calls, they absolutely embody their characters. In general every voice actor in The Last of Us games are outstanding, they feel like real people and it’s fantastic the emotion they imbue the characters with. 
 

The Destiny cast are also spectacular. It’s insane that Lance Reddick was in the wire but I still think of him first and foremost as Zavala. I guess maybe it’s the volume of dialogue and how much you hear it in some games. It’s hard to separate an actor from a role you’ve heard them in for hundreds of hours. I also preferred Dinklage’s ghost though.

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38 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

Claudia Black is always dependable. And Gideon Emery who will always be Balthier from FFXII whenever I hear him.

 

Yeah, Claudia Black is fantastic!

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2 minutes ago, Cosmic_Guru said:

Fem Shep. GOAT.

 

 

 

On that note, Melissanthi Mahut who did Kassandra in Assassins Creed Odyssey deserves a mention, as I thought she was even better! 

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Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell games. He's very good at playing an unfazed tough guy with a deadpan sense of humour!

 

Don Jordan as his boss Lambert was good too. That character was recast with a celebrity actor for one game: Dennis Haysbert, 24's President Palmer, played him in Pandora Tomorrow. His performance was fine, and I remember Steven Poole saying in one Edge column that the game was enhanced by his participation, because you had this guy who played an incorruptible paragon on 24 was asking you to carry out all these morally dubious actions. But the thing that annoyed me about the Haysbert version was that he kept inhaling audibly between lines! e.g. from 0:50 here:

 

 

 

I don't know whether the breathing being audible was his fault, the voice director's fault, or the person responsible for trimming breathing out of the audio files. But I found it annoying!

 

So I preferred the original Lambert, Don Jordan.

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51 minutes ago, Gabe said:

Disclaimer: I've yet to play more than 20 minutes of Witcher 3, so perhaps he knocks it out of the park. But I doubt it. 

He did, if that means his flat, one-note grunting made an entirely unlikeable character stand head & shoulders in unlikeability above a cast of similarly unlikeable characters.

 

Witcher 3 is a game I should have loved but the portrayal of Geralt (as well as his uncanny ability to get stuck in the scenery & die falling off a low wall) really made the game an arduous experience for me.

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1 hour ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

I'm pretty certain it's always been Jen Taylor. Certainly IMDb has her down from the off. 

 

Ah, Natascha McElhone was cast as Cortana in the TV series but has been replaced by Jen Taylor.

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I was expecting a lot of hate for the OTT Anime VA trope that is in so many modern video games, especially JRPG’s 
 

I just wanted to add that I absolutely love it. There’s a slight tongue in cheek vibe to it that just makes it all so very cosy. Breath of the Wild has - in my opinion - amazing voice acting that is so very deliberate. 
 

My most recent VA love is Rab from Dragon Quest XI


 

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1 hour ago, Gabe said:

I hate, properly hate, Witcher guy (Doug something?)

 

He's been awful in nearly everything I've heard him in - flat, monotone delivery with no real range. He's terrible. 

 

Mark Meer really came into his own with Mass Effect 2 & 3, I really liked him. 

 

But Witcher guy sucks. 

 

Disclaimer: I've yet to play more than 20 minutes of Witcher 3, so perhaps he knocks it out of the park. But I doubt it. 

I'll be that guy and tell you that Jacek Rozenek who does Polish-language Geralt is fantastic.

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