You know what occurred to me once I'd completed Naughty Dog's exceptional Uncharted 4? We're spoiled. The quality of voice acting we're accustomed to in this modern age is far beyond anything I heard as a whippersnapper. I mean, Crash Bandicoot could shout pretty good, but that's about all I recall.
However, it seems we were all accustomed to a very different kind of voice acting in some of our favorite video games. Seriously, wait until you hear some of the things that we actually listened to back in the day.
Well, At Least They Tried
1. Resident Evil (1996)
The legacy left behind by the title that defined the survival horror genre is one which just keeps on giving. In the 10-minute clip below you can revel in one of its defining attributes: its woeful voice acting. Here are just a few of my favorite moments:
- "Here's a lockpick. It might be handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you."
- "But just. take. a. look. at. this!"
- "Wooah, this hall is dangerous."
- " I just found a weapon, it's really powerful. Especially against living things."
- "Oh, do you? Then I'll try to go down with the rope!"
2. Mortal Kombat 4 (1997)
I don't even know where to begin with this one. This is certainly not how I remember Mortal Kombat. Look how Jarek struts towards Sonya, how insanely creepy his laugh is, Jak's terrible delivery as he throws him off the cliff and how Jarek consistently shouts...what does he say when he falls? "IT'S OKAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!" "WANT SOME CAAAAAAKE!!!!" I dono....
3. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
One of the greatest platformers of all time, Symphony of the Night is no stranger to terrible voice acting. I mean, this is the opening of the game below and its rife with the stuff. And the dialogue! The combination of the two makes for some truly beautiful gaming:
- "Your words are as empty as your soul!"
- "What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets." Well put, Drac.
- "Tribute!?! You steal men's souls and make them your slaves!"
4. Link: The Faces of Evil (1993)
Nintendo? Is...is that you...? Friends, you're looking at Nintendo's foray into CDI game development. What it spawned was nothing pretty and I'm sure many of us will happily banish it from our memories, but I've highlighted my favorite character in the video below as the delivery is simply priceless. Not to mention all that spindly finger wagging.
5. Heavy Rain (2010)
I'm very fond of Heavy Rain, but that doesn't change the fact that this narrative adventure was set upon by jarring moments of bizarrely out of place dialogue and voice acting during its campaign. I mean...I honestly don't remember it being this bad, but my god is it funny now:
6. Sonic Adventure (1998)
One of the launch titles for Sega's ill-fated Dreamcast, Sonic Adventure was Sonic's leap into the land of 3D. But much like other titles that soon joined the Dreamcast, this pretty decent game was infected with grating voice acting. Not to mention how terribly slow those cutscenes are. And yes, Tails' voice is still annoying after all of these years. Don't believe me?
7. Shenmue (1999)
After hearing the news of Shenmue 3 at last year's E3, I'm sure a lot of us decided to treat our nostalgia receptors to some of that good old fashioned Dreamcast gameplay. Though the game's visuals are certainly impressive when you consider its age, listening to the likes of Tom is simply too grating. This is comedy gold. If you played a drinking game that involved taking a sip every time you heard a poorly delivered line, I'm convinced you'd pass out before Shenmue gave you control of Ryo.
8. Time Crisis (1995)
These games are incredible. They're the highlight of any trip I take to the arcade and though I never had the pleasure of playing the first one on PlayStation, this looks amazing. Naturally, the voice acting is terrible.
9. Deep Fear (1998)
If you thought elevator conversations were awkward before, they're about to get a whole lot worse. Basically a Resident Evil clone, Deep Fear was one of the last titles for the SEGA Saturn. And when I say RE clone, I mean it; it even borrowed the awful voice acting!