With a wry smile and a touch of chagrin, veteran gamers will easily recall the early days of voice acting in video games. It was before the time of broad mainstream appeal, and before the time developers and publishers could afford to hire actual voiceover professionals. Well, those days are long gone.  I love Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to pieces, but… man , that voice acting was bad.

Voice acting has become more of a major industry than ever before, and without it, we'd lose much of the effect and impact most of the best games currently offer. We rely more heavily on strong voice performances simply due to the increased technology in the industry; the mere fact that the entire experience is more cinematic in nature. Considering this massive leap forward, we thought you might be interested in reading a brief interview conducted by Console Obsession. It's with voice actress Kari Wahlgren, who provided the voices for Elika in the recently released Prince of Persia and Ashe in Final Fantasy XII . Most critics will agree that both of these titles boasted very strong voiceover performances, and Wahlgren is a professional actor in this realm…something the game industry absolutely requires at this point. For you RPG fans out there, it'll be interesting to know that she also lent her voice to Karin in Shadow Hearts: Covenant , so Wahlgren will likely pop up in more video games in the future. The interview is worth reading, so head on over and check out what a voice actor has to say regarding preparation for a particular role, personal favorites, and more.

For our part, we distinctly remember good voices in games (sadly, because there were so few in the past, but many more now), and it's a testament to Wahlgren's work that we certainly nodded in appreciation at the characters mentioned here. Most game creators have realized that this talent is necessary, but there are a few Japanese devs who still haven't quite grasped it… It's only a matter of time, though. People like Wahlgren should be able to find plenty of work.

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JofaMang
JofaMang
11 years ago

I remember Mark Hamill lending his voice to Wing Commander 3 (or was it 4? both?) was kind of a big deal. It was in the earliest days of multi-CD PC games, well before the PS1, and was pretty groundbreaking, if a kind of crappy game.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Heh, I remember that, too. A friend of mine made a HUGE deal about it, and I remember thinking it WAS a pretty huge deal.

JofaMang
JofaMang
11 years ago

I think it was a 4 disc game, no optional install. Put on a pot of coffee and take a dump during loading times (old 2x CD rom, ohhh yeahhhhhh)

It was slightly prettier than WC 1&2, so the disc space was all for Mr. Skywalker, considering the previous titles came out on floppies.

Naga
Naga
11 years ago

Kari Wahlgren voiced Lady from Devil May Cry 4 maybe 3?

But I agree Voiceacting has improved dramatically I wouldn't have bought Soul Reaver 2 if it wasn't for brilliant voiceactiing on Soul Reaver

Zorigo
Zorigo
11 years ago

the voice acting in mgs4. OMG! awesome. man that voice of snake is just iconic.

city96
city96
11 years ago

GTA4 wouldnt be the same without Nikos ridiculous accent!

TGG
TGG
11 years ago

I personally like Kim Mai Guest, because she voiced Juli in Xenosaga, and Mei Ling in MGS and MGS4. Speaking of Metal Gear Solid, who could forget David Hayter? He has possibly one of the most iconic voices in gaming ever.

Victor321
Victor321
11 years ago

Wow really cool article. One actor that is a personal favourite to me is James Arnold Taylor. He voiced ratchet, but he did a lot of other projects that ain't just coming to my head =(

Kangasfwa
Kangasfwa
11 years ago

Now only if developers could lip sinc the words properly

jonny_bolton
jonny_bolton
11 years ago

The prince in PoP was so crap! I couldn't quite understand why a persian prince was so American? Maybe I could have put up with an american accent if the actual script wasn't so american. Or maybe it was something to do with the fact that all I could see was Nathan Drake running around…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

"Die monster" haha B movie fun.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Rico: "Help me, [email protected]…Now!!!!!"

It's official. KZ2 is my favorite fps, and has taken place of MGS4 as my favorite Sony exclusive, even with it's silly voice-acting. That being said, the voice acting talent was not subpar (especially Visari and Sev). It's just the script didn't translate so well.