Gibberish as a way to convey characters speaking to each other in a game is one of the worst design choices… ever.
It’s almost like leaving a kill screen in a game, because it gets me annoyed to the point where either the volume goes down or the game goes off as my eyes start bulging while animals or what have you go on sounding out shit that couldn’t even be conversation. Granted, there are some (many) games with voice acting that is atrocious as well, but I’m not talking about those games here as that is, while probably far more rampant, more likely the result of poor production planning than a dumbass thinking he is clever making a heinous error.
And at least a kid playing a game can understand Sonic saying some dumb one liners, instead of smacking his head in dumbfounded confusion while Squeely the pig oinks and burps over pages of on screen text.
Gibberish talk is something that has grated on my nerves since back in the day when I bought Banjo-Kazooie on the N64. I don’t know who thought it would be cool to add something like baby talk rung through a bullshit machine that is played throughout every conversation as a running dialog to that game, but they should be fucking shot. Banjo was a rather playable game (if not obnoxiously stiff at times) but there were so many conversations that after awhile of dealing with stiff controls and obnoxious moans, burps, glugs, what have you, I just wanted to shred my 60 dollar cartridge and call it a day every time Banjo would start to “speak”.
Now fast forward to Sunday, or whatever day I finally started Henry Hatsworth, and it’s in this game too and WORSE! More than a decade later, developers are determined to make gamers shove Q-tips in their ears until they bleed to drown out the awful, awful sounds that are supposed to be a conversation?
Again I have to present the question of who thought it was a good idea to create this nonsense in a game? From a design standpoint, how does it really make any sense? These games, like Banjo and Henry, are geared toward ageless groups. But by including such a reprehensible feature, the game starts becoming rather obnoxious very quickly for anyone older than say… 8? 9? Both of these games also feature an exorbitant amount of text for a platformer, which is supposed to be fairly ageless and the question has to be asked, why is there so much text that you think a kid (or anyone for that matter) would want to read through word after word while the game goes, “DUH duh DOY dudududu?”
I’m sure a 3 year old who just wants to shoot eggs out of a birds ass and punch crocodiles with a yellow hot pants and suspenders wearing bear would just start crying while some strange shape like things (letters) keep popping up on screen as a mole keeps moaning like it’s getting rung out like a squeegee. Yeah, it’s a frightening sight and even more obnoxious to listen to. The bad thing is Banjo is actually a well written and funny game. But having to read to my daughter the words that are being said while an obese fairy god mother is moaning like an 80’s porn star… is not what I’d call enjoyable.
Banjo was the originator of this issue for me, but when I started Henry Hatsworth I almost threw my DS out the fucking window. Whenever the story is told it’s in the same manner as BK, except it’s a strange gruff English man going “HerhahahahEHRHAWRHAHEHRHEHAHRHRHEHAHERHRHR” every time he speaks, and his “boy” sounds like Kazooie recorded 10 times over on itself on an audio cassette and then played backwards through a New Years noise maker. The game nearly made my ears bleed on its own, without the Q-tip stabbing and such, even. When the game used the voice sparingly, it was quite alright, but any other time…. grrrrrr…
Now, there are simple solutions around these issues. First, if you aren’t going to put in full recorded voice acting, mirror Nintendo, a company that has mastered one off sayings that start and/or end conversations. It isn’t too annoying usually and even if the sounds made are somewhat bothersome, you only talk to each character one or two times anyway. This is a standard across all Nintendo games to keep characters memorable but not obnoxious.
Second, just leave the shit out. If you don’t have the restraint to not put a garbled mess of shit spraying from a seals mouth, on top of long text driven conversations, just don’t do it at all. As I outlined above, NO ONE WANTS THAT SHIT. It’s not funny, entertaining, or anything of the above.
Third, if you still want your terrible fucking non-vo, because I guess your mom made you wear a zipper mask and call her naughty when you were a kid, then pull a Brutal Legend, and give me the option, from the very beginning, to mute all of the horse-fucking-goat in a meat grinder noises from the game. Thanks!