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Short skirts, big hands…

everybody_04111.jpgSo I just played the UK version of Everybody’s Golf 5, after spending many a night in rapturous love with the imported Japanese copy.

Now, what I liked best about the Japanese version was its character, its whimsy, and most of all the big-handed, short-skirted, female golfers. These girls were cute, saucy, and uttered adorable phrases in Japanese. I couldn’t understand the phrases, so I made up words in my head, you know, erotic words. All was well, and I basked this bizarre (and morally questionable) fantasy for days. And then I played the UK version, with the real voices. These weren’t cute, they were annoying (mostly Scottish), saying stupid and resolutely un-erotic things. The game was all but ruined. It then got me thinking about Japanese voice acting in general, and how it is always much better than its western counterpart.

Take the 360 game Eternal Sonata for instance. The game is bloody unplayable with the US voice actors. I literally want to batter those two 8 year old kids to death with the heel of my stolen Japanese bowling shoes (don’t ask). However, as soon as you switch to the Japanese voices those kids not only become tolerable, they actually become funny, and adorable. Obviously you have to read the subtitles to understand what they’re saying, but the delivery of the lines, i.e. the intonation and timing, is just spot on – professional actors doing a professional job.

Overall, Japan is always going to have better voice acting in games than the US. Because of the massive anime industry the country has a huge pool of voice acting talent to draw upon. The west can only compete when devs have enough clout and cash to bring in proper T.V. or movie actors. We should therefore be given a choice, on any game that relies on dialog – even to a minimal extent – to switch to Japanese voice acting with subtitles. I don’t think there’s any excuse, especially not with the space that Blu-ray affords. What do you guys think? Oh and please tell me I’m not the only one with an Everybody’s Golf fetish…..

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