Half-Glass Gaming [Episode 29] : If They’d Gone to Video Game High School, They Would Know This

Video Game High School

This week, we start the show with ponderings about some of the stranger media we’ve been consuming. Somehow we completely gloss over the Reverend’s newly discovered snake-woman fetish. We take a little time to explain a pleasantly strange little game called Roundabout, and Josh explains his experience with SOMA, which he finally played. He has a few complaints, folks.

After the break, we explore our most requested topic to date: video game voice acting. We start with the crazy world of voice synthesis and the mysterious deaths surrounding the Berzerk arcade game. (You can read more about the Berzerk deaths here.)

We’ve also got a lot to say about the history of voice acting and how it’s evolved through the years. We get into celebrity voice actors, including the wonderful Tim Curry, and how modern voice actors are becoming their own type of celebrity. Obviously, we shine a big ol’ spotlight on the bottomless talent of Nolan North.

If that’s still not enough for you, we’ve managed to dig up some insider info on why PSOne-era voice acting was so hilariously awful (Retrovolve has an article about that too!)

Whip those ears into shape, folks, we’re about to dump some facts into them!

Here’s a full list of games mentioned in this episode:

  • Michigan: Report from Hell
  • Monster Monpiece
  • Roundabout
  • Resident Evil
  • SOMA
  • Stratovox (1980 arcade game)
  • Berzerk (1980 arcade game)
  • Sinistar (1982 arcade game)
  • Bomb Squad (Intellivoice)
  • Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
  • Super Metroid
  • Bubsy
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (series)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog CD
  • Conker’s Bad Fur Day
  • Last Alert
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mega Man 8
  • Gabriel Knight (series)
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo
  • Fox Hunt
  • Grand Theft Auto III
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • The Last of Us
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • Destiny
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Fallout 3
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • Resident Evil 5
  • BioHazard
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
  • Yakuza
  • Shenmue
  • Mad Max (2015)
  • Final Fantasy (series)
  • The Legend of Zelda (series)
  • Super Mario Bros. (series)
  • Pac-Man
  • Castlevania
  • Journey
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6 years ago

Listening to it again, you can actually hear the female voice actor stressing the pronunciation of Dr. Wiley. It is almost as if she was politely trying to say to that old codger, “This is how you say Dr. Wiley. It is absolutely not Dr. Wowry!”. Plus Josh’s 30’s slickster-style voice is priceless.

Jimmy Mamatas
Jimmy Mamatas
6 years ago

Great episode! I prefer to imagine my own voices for characters, but as I’ve stated, I have old fashioned tastes. I always enjoy learning more about the history of gaming.

6 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Mamatas

When I was a kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s well before voice acting, my brother and I would do all of the voices ourselves. We would do accents and lady-style voices, it added another level to the adventure as we were more intimately involved that way. Voice acting today has definitely gotten very strong and noteworthy, but I do miss those good old days.

Jimmy Mamatas
Jimmy Mamatas
6 years ago
Reply to  JulianWhatThe

Yes, my brother and I would do the same. I can’t do that these days (as I’d be talking to myself) but I miss being able to make up whatever sort of voice I’d like. It was a bit jarring to see so many characters with American accents when I’d imagined them otherwise for years.

6 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Mamatas

That’s interesting, I never thought of that. Although I am an American we always liked doing fake Euro accents, I was especially at a Sean Connery-type rogue. I’m pretty sure we always mispronounced Japanese character name though. A lot of the times we would just give everyone American names like Jim or Jack. Those were the days.

6 years ago

The voice acting in Resident Evil really wasn’t that bad, it was bad writing/translating. Of course, REmake is still better in ever way.

Elizabeth Thompson
Elizabeth Thompson
6 years ago
Reply to  mako33

No, it was also bad voice acting. The actors enunciated things oddly, emphasized words in weird places, etc.

That said, whether it was on purpose or completely by accident, they managed to make it feel exactly like a B-Horror or SF movie. Which was the feel of the entire game. So while one could say that the voice acting (and the writing, and the translating) was objectively bad, I really do feel like it fit the aesthetics of the game. Which, in a round about way, makes it *good*.

– The Reverend

6 years ago

I thought first person anime would be a shooter lol I wouldn’t watch that other crap.

Tyrant Fluffy Pants
Tyrant Fluffy Pants
6 years ago

Remeber when they did that laugh in FF10 and it sounded so bad? I laughed so hard I cried. I think Soulsborne games have some really good voice acting, like Marvaleous Chester and Stockpile Thomas. It really makes the atmosphere feel better.

6 years ago

Is the clip at the beginning from the Sude51 game “Michigan”? That game takes the cake for all time in the hilarious voice acting department.

Mandi Odoerfer
6 years ago
Reply to  Jdcomix

Yup, it’s Brisco from Michigan: Report from Hell.

6 years ago
Reply to  Mandi Odoerfer

Yes that’s the game! I saw a LP of it and it was the funniest thing I’ve ever watched. I like when the guy does the news team rap.

Andy Reierson
Andy Reierson
6 years ago

Roundabout wails!

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