And You Thought We Were Getting Better At This?
Chaos Wars as I understand it is a strategy RPG by Idea Factory (So I bet you are already thinking quality right…..right?!) that has just recently seen western release. Now it was brought to my attention by a friend of mine that the game features some really bad voice acting. How bad, well I present to the jury that are the gamers out there the opening bits of the game with the English Vocal Track On.
Let’s just start at the very base of where I think this all went wrong, the translation….it’s ridiculous. For one thing even if the voice actors were trying (which they aren’t) it’s kind of hard to make this dialogue sound anything but absurd and stunted, and for another it barely even makes sense, what with non sequitirs and outright horrid sentence structure the likes of which would make even a Grade 5 student raise his hand to issue a correction. It actually sounds more like fan fiction or a rough draft then any serious final script a writer would produce for a finished game with lines such as “This has been like my playground since I was little” and “Your Mother Should (rather like would) Be Proud Of You”.
Next is the horrible quality of the audio track itself. It sounds like it was either recorded in a garage with the door open or everyone is too far back from mic and is distorted as if it were improperly mixed during the post production stage. It’s totally unprofessional in every sense of the word. I mean come on, we figured this stuff out not to long after The Jazz Singer and the early days of motion picture audio recording, so either this is a really really low budget job or somebody has no idea what they are doing.
Finally we reach the voice acting itself, which so many problems that I can’t believe anybody involved put any effort in. For starters, even looking at that Shizuku character and knowing nothing about her I can tell the voice is completely wrong for her. Same goes for almost every character, there doesn’t even seem to have been any effort to match their appearance to the voice actor (and I use that term loosely) that was assigned to them. Next there’s the awkard mid-sentence tone changes that don’t even seem grounded in the context of the scenes themselves. Why are characters suddenly developing sarcastic sounding tones while describing myths or just engaging in conversation? Likewise why are characters developing tones that convey anger when just describing things that have happened to them in a manner that seems like it should be casual? And then there’s the last thing that sinks this utterly laughable attempt at an english dub and reminds me of the 90’s far too much, and that’s the fact that the “VA’s” seem to honest to god be rushing their lines at times, leading to total flubs and butcheries of words (I mean seriously, “Salmon Gate” [Summon Gate]…”Mao’en” [Mountain]) and even proper names (Akihabara, but pronounced Ackihabara). No effort could have been put into this, but it sure as hell is amusing to watch.
So yes, that is a shining example of how not to do a dub. I can only imagine this whole track was put together over the course of a weekend wherein nobody had access to any notes on what it was they were going to be dubbing, what their characters looked like nor their personalites, or even any context other then “Say the lines”. And they sure did……they sure did…..anyway I’ll just be stepping back into the 21st century now (closes youtube window)…..aaaaaaahhhhhhhh much better.