5 Performances That Turned Modern Video Games Into Great Comedies
Not a day goes by when a gamer doesn't remember at least one example of god-awful video game voice acting from a game of old. Back then, studios either couldn't afford the best actors or they just didn't care about modern and unproven things such as "story". Early video game history is filled with instances of what many game connoisseurs call "bad voice acting", but the truth is that modern games – even AAA ones, also suffer from the same problem (albeit in smaller amounts). What has changed the most is our appreciation for art and video games as a whole, and so we've decided we no longer accept the term “bad voice acting”. It's all a matter of perspective, and a much better perspective is to see “bad voice acting” as just really good unintentional comedy.
Elden Ring's narrator needs to fix his libido
One of the very few things people complain about Elden Ring is that it doesn't feature a fully animated intro cutscene, and yeah, what's up with that?! All previous FromSoftware games did have a neat intro cutscene – even Demon's Souls, a game nobody believed in. Well, that sucks, yeah, but the narrator's “enthusiasm" more than makes up for it. He narrates the entire thing in a relatively normal fashion for the most part, but there are two specific moments when he does an inexplicably bonkers moan/shout combination we just cannot forget. (Check at 2:49).
A dedicated fan made a supercut of the best moans, and it's worth every two seconds of it (it's 2 seconds long).
Death Stranding is a cautionary tale about fandom
Hideo Kojima brought the intensity of Hollywood films to video game cutscenes with the original Metal Gear Solid and changed the entire medium forever. Unfortunately, though, he's also too enamored to a few celebrities to let them go, even when his work suffers from it. No better example of that than in Death Stranding, where actress Mala Morgan plays a character called “Chiral Artist” in both the Japanese and Western versions of the game. She's great in the Japanese version, but there's one problem: she doesn't actually speak English. Kojima thought that Morgan's star power would more than make up for her shortcomings, but she's only very famous in Japan. The result feels like an amateur dub and is exactly the opposite of what made Metal Gear Solid great in the first place. (12:43)
Dante from Devil May Cry fills our dark souls with laughter
The Devil May Cry series approaches narrative by throwing so many awesome action cutscenes at players that they forget that there should perhaps be some drama in the mix as well. Capcom probably uses that trick because they once tried their hand at drama and boy did it not work out. There's one scene in the original Devil May Cry in which the main character, Dante, is very sad because his girlfriend has seemingly died. He holds on to her dead body and belts out “I should have been the one to fill your dark soul with light!” That sounded cringe even for the nu-metal crowd of the early ‘00s, but it’s made even better for two reasons. One, Dante's voice cracks right when he says LiiIIight, and two, there's an echo that makes us hear it like 4 times. It's beautiful.
They probably had no more tape and this was probably recorded before the advent of digital, so this is what they went with. We can only salute the courage.
NBA 2k15 Should have hired voice actors
Back in 2015, 2K games decided to create a realistic campaign mode for NBA 2k15 and decided that the best way to do that would be to get actual Basketball players to act in a game. The result was, well, very natural.
If only the people at 2K games had seen Gary Oldman's PSA about how athletes perhaps shouldn't be acting (he's even wearing a Basketball outfit, for god's sakes).
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion shows us that there's no shame in trying to do better
Oblivion features great acting through and through. Hell, they even hired Sean Bean to die just like he'd die in a movie. There are, however, a few instances of “bad” voice acting here, but it's less the fault of the actor, and more the fault of the person who uploaded the voice lines to the game. In the scene below, we can hear the actress speak her line, and, even though it wasn't bad at all, she just gives up and says “ wait a minute, let me do that again” in her normal voice and then goes back to saying the same thing – and it all made it into the final game.
Below are a few more glorious examples of suspiciously similar voice-acting oopsies.
The most infamous performance of the past two decades (deserves some contextualization)
A lot of bad has been said about a scene from Final Fantasy X in which one of the co-protagonists tries to cheer up the other by laughing it up. (starts at 2:53)
It's undeniably cringe-worthy, but it gets a lot of undeserved flack. Let's get that out of the way so that we can throw at it the flack it deserves, shall we? The scene was meant to be, as the kids say, cringe. That's why Yuna immediately tells the guy that he shouldn't be doing it. The problem here isn't the voice acting (the scene plays out the same in any other language). The problem here is the writing. Why would anyone ever destroy his chances of getting laid so early in the story? What's scary about this scene isn't the fact that it accidentally turned into a trainwreck – it's the fact that the people making it were really aiming for a trainwreck. Much like the Star Wars prequels, the once infamous laughing scene from FFX sprouted a large number of glorious remixes that mostly make up for the suffering these things have caused in their more potent original form. Here's the famous theme from the villain of Final Fantasy VII played by an orchestra of laughing Tidus(Tiduses? Tidae?)
Anyone who's into this and wants to further shatter their minds will be pleased to learn that some deranged fan has made a version of the FFX soundtrack where all instruments are Tidus' laughter. It's only 3 and a half hours long.
Top Image: Capcom