Characters with Voices

I was looking at the back of my “Final Fantasy X” case, just ‘cuz, and I read a most amusing thing.  In the upper left is a short little thing undoubtedly left there to entice us to buy it.  And to the right are words beneath four pictures.  The top two read: “Characters with voices” and “Real-time facial expressions”.  I stared at this, then, burst out laughing.  Well, of course they have voices!  They’re not all mute!  Oh, big woop, facial expressions!  Why not awe us with a caption like “Characters with limbs”?

            But, then it all reminded me of how spoiled we are today.  The mere fact that these characters could speak and have expressions must have been new at the time.  I could hardly imagine a world where I never got to hear my favorite “Kingdom Hearts” characters’ voices or if bad guys could only yell threats during battle in less-than-intimidating speech bubbles.  Fear my font!  A terrible world indeed.

            And that reminds me of other things us gamers are spoiled with today.  Characters used to have what I call “karate hands”.  They had all their fingers stuck together except for the thumb.  And yeah, they had the same look on their faces the whole darn game.  But, I guess I shouldn’t complain.  Before that, our characters pretty much had no facial features whatsoever but eyes and maybe a ‘stache.  Not to mention the fingerless nub hands.

            And while I don’t really remember what my first game with voice-acting was, I do remember how bad it used to be.  Just terrible.  Methinks people didn’t take it very seriously at the time.  Now voice-acting is amazing and characters’ mouths move perfectly with what they are saying.  I saw this starting in the PS2.  I’m used to it now and don’t usually give it a second thought anymore, but it has come a long way.

            It was also first on the PS2 that I saw the most amazing graphics.  First in “FFX”, actually.  Certain scenes got the most beautiful graphics you’ve ever seen.  So perfect and lovely that I can’t completely describe it.  That’s one thing they should’ve included on the back of the case.  Now, though, all of “FFXIII”, for example, pretty much has perfect graphics, with certain cut scenes getting even better graphics.

            It’s amazing what they can do in games now.  I remember being absolutely amazed by this puddle of dirty water early on in “Halo: Reach”.  It was just a spectacular puddle of mud water.  It looked so real!  And I spent plenty of time admiring how the clothing on “Final Fantasy XIII” characters moves realistically, too.  Sometimes when I play, I think of the people who worked so hard just to make a game.  They design the characters, environments, creatures.  They compose music, create a story.  And yes, even give the characters voices.  I wish more things had this much love put into them.

            So, we are very spoiled.  Especially young kids now.  I would have to rant at them, “In my day, our characters had no voices, facial expressions, or even fingers!  Heck, before that, they hardly even had faces!  Rrr, razzle frazzle, control pad, grr!”  Then, they’d probably laugh at me.

A Duck, Now in Glorious 3-D!

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4 thoughts on “Characters with Voices

  1. I still miss Atari and Pitfall and I don’t think that guy had a face. Oh how I played Pitfall for hours and hours. Those were the days Duck. I miss them so.

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    1. Yeah, some of those old games were pretty great. The new ones are nicer to look at, but that doesn’t mean they’re better. I never played the games you mentioned, but I do enjoy the Donkey Kong games from the mid 1990’s. Still have them. They’re awesome.

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