2011/06/29

DW:Gundam 3 Rant Ensuing

I know people are still waiting on my D-Arts X review, and it's still going to be a minute thanks to camera issues. But I feel the need to discuss a recent purchase I made that I'd been waiting for since I've heard about it...
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3

I just picked it up yesterday (Launch day) and, so far, the gameplay has improved dramatically from previous entries. The change to a cel-shaded engine I think does the franchise justice. And, while I'm waiting for the DLC's (Kshatriya. Pssh, duh.) , the available roster is decent.

But, wait! You said there would be a rant ensuing.

Indeed. But this is much more targeted toward the localization process. This is a rant that brings my total North American Gundam nerd-dom to the table.

That's right. I'm ranting about the voice cast.

The highlights show all of the changes made to the voice roster. While I know Mark Gatha can't reprise his Domon role due to leaving the industry and moving to New Zealand, and Mark Hildrith may be too busy to do Heero again, the rest I see no valid reason except that OCEAN GROUP didn't want to bring actors from Bang Zoom! or FUNimation over!
I'm aware, sometimes, that some voice actors may not be available. But, when recasting IS necessary, PLEASE PICK VOICES THAT WORK!!! Banagher sounds like a 25 year old!
But this should work to an advantage for one character: Full Frontal. His voice is supposed to sound like Char's, and even though Keith Silverstein is doing a great job, Michael Kopsa is the Char everyone's most familiar with. However...

They couldn't even have Michael Kopsa do Full Frontal!? Even though he's supposed to be (sound like) Char Aznable!?! Jonathan Love, by the way, makes Full Frontal sound like an 18 year old...
I fear for the characters I haven't heard yet. I know I'll miss Tara Platt for Marida...

Now I know there's is a simple solution: Switch the audio to Japanese. Which I'm going to if I wanna beat this game without an aneurysm. But the point is, I shouldn't have to!
What Bandai/Tecmo should do in the future is put SUNRISE in charge of the ADR localization. They would probably be more willing to get everyone back proper for their roles. They owe the loyal fans stateside at least that much! I belive this is one of the key reasons why this franchise can't last in the US, because the people bringing it over refuse to take it seriously! Zeta was the first step, but that was corrected in the games, at least!
As fun as these games are, I don't think I'll get any more local released games for Gundam. This has just gotten out of hand...

9 comments:

Siroh32 said...

Well, until you came to the solution, the suggestion I always had in my mind was getting Gundam Musou 3. But that works too; If I could help it with my state-side games re-voiced, I'd switch 'em over. For example, I can't remember a time where I ever heard the English voices of my Soulcalibur II game. (I like Nobuyuki Hiyama as Yoshimitsu, especially.)

It's not to say English voice acting can't be good at all, but it seems the ones that are--more often than not--aren't imports with origins from an anime franchise, or derivative from a movie or TV franchise (same actor or not voicing the character). A common trait is that you can somewhat tell they're not trying; you'd think in your head, "It's starting to sound like they feel they were put up to this, or something."

Maybe part of the reason for my general preference is ignorance of the language, but from what I've played (and I'll use Gundam as an example), performances translated from anime of origin to video games seemed strong enough to me. Especially when I'm able to make an apples-to-apples comparison at least in my own head (if not having both game and anime loaded for comparison, which I usually don't).

Siroh32 said...

In Gundam Vs. Gundam NEXT PLUS (as well as previous Gundam Vs. games), ranging from some-to-plenty, a chunk of a pilot's dialogue during combat is dialogue from the anime itself. Again, to me, performances usually translate well. It may not be explicitly how they were uttered, but they seemed to have delivered the line with similar passion.

Though that can sometimes be a problem when you do understand something; while I like Sochie Heim as voiced by Akino Murata, when I play the Kapool, it's odd to hear her say "I'll shoot!" when she really is shooting the vulcan cannons. The context of that phrase comes from Episode 48 of the TAG anime where she is escorting someone in another MS escaping, and was threatening to shoot. At least she delivers the line well in-game.

Another note; a reason I like GvGN+ a bit more than I usually would happens to be the dialogue. There's plenty of crossover dialogue that are small in the grand scheme of things, but they're neat little easter eggs. For starters, use V2 with either the RX-78, Nu, Zeta, or Aegis as a partner, and Uso's Haro will talk to Amuro, Kamille, or Athrun.

OZKai said...

I probably would have gotten Gundam Musou 3 if I didn't have to buy a Japanese PS3 as well.
And in these games' cases, they have original modes with dialogue that's irrelevant to the series itself.

Siroh32 said...

Wait, I thought only Nintendo region-locks things nowadays? (I didn't have to get a PSP overseas to play GvGN+.)

And the point I was trying to get at is how I feel actors here versus the (original) ones overseas generally perform, especially in video games.

OZKai said...

@siroh32
All home consoles are region-coded. Only hand helds like the PSP or N(3)DS have not been coded.

I'm partial to English voices only because, especially with anime, I don't like to read my anime. And as of late, voice actors here in the US are getting re~ally amned good with their jobs (Code Geass, Gundam UC and the new Evangelion movies are prime examples) and are at worst comparable with their Japanese counterparts. I feel the business deserves to thrive, but scenarios like this drag down the industry a notch. It urks me as I thought we've come so far only to see it fall again.

Siroh32 said...

According to the Wikipedia entry for "Regional Lockout", the Playstation 3 happens to be one of the consoles advertised as being "region free" (for PS3 games), and the 3DS is actually region-locked.

So I guess this means (as an example) you could probably import Gundam 0081 or ACE R and play it, if you wanted.

Siroh32 said...

As for the part regarding anime in North America; I personally don't care to discuss or argue something as if I could change someone's taste. It won't stop me from dropping two cents or asking for it or something, though.

I'm no expert by any means as I never even researched this, but I personally feel a bit of a pessimist as far as the chances go, which is sad to say, since I like the anime/manga medium. Mediums of storytelling such as comics (including manga), animation (including anime), and video games have come a long way from what they once were. They all can tell a story just as good as a TV show or movie can, and can be for anyone.
But it just seems North American culture has adopted the treatment of those mediums (maybe VGs a little less so) of all three being kids stuff as an old habit.
And given how there's a little more of a need to be a penny-pincher nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if branching out to try something is looked down upon for financial reasons, with a layer of cultural opinion slapped onto it for further justification.

Besides, I gave anime with English voice acting a bit more of a try a little more of a decade ago. The effort and bizarre need for creative liberties for various reasons was enough to turn me off. To the point where I ignore and wonder if I should believe people when they're saying it actually has improved. *shrug* And if I want to hear English voices in an animation, then western animation suffices just fine.

OZKai said...

@Siroh32
That's the thing! Those "Liberties" are no longer taken! They truly do try to keep them as close as possible now! For instance, FUNimation and Bang Zoom! both have their voice actors reference the Japanese audio before doing their lines to get the correct emotion for the scene! The Japanese producers are MUCH more involved with the localization process for anime. Gundam UC is being handled directly by Sunrise (as was Code Geass). Even the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was locally directed by the Japanese movie director! The Japanese see the potential over here and are trying to give proper guidance.
Manga Entertainment and ADV Films (R.I.P.) were definitely on the list for taking things too far on their own ends (Besides FUNimation, but they're correcting those mistakes slowly). It's always been a niche market here, and probably always will be, but it is improving. Don't let what you've experienced 10 -/+ years ago ruin the improved experience now.

Tom said...

I remember watching my friend playing the first DWG game. I swear to god, some of the voice acting were atrocious.

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