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Best Voice Acting
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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy had the deck stacked against it when it comes to voice acting. The majority of people are familiar with these characters from the movies, with high-profile actors portraying them. How could Eidos Montreal even compete? The answer was to cast voice actors that could nail each character’s iconic personality but still put their own spin on them. The best example is Star-Lord, voiced by Jon McClaren. He captures the character’s cocky attitude flawlessly, emulating a Corey Feldman-type tone and inflection, which works well because the game goes out of its way to mimic ’80s nostalgia.
The rest of the cast follows suit, each with a unique take on their respective character. Kimberly-Sue Murray’s Gamora has a tough, no-nonsense tone to her voice. Jason Cavalier Leboeuf’s Drax lands the character’s iconic enthusiasm when it comes to tough fights. Alex Weiner’s Rocket gives the tech-savvy little racoon his trademark snark as well as his tendency to curse in a PG-13 space-inspired way. Then there is Groot, played by Adam Harrington, who has the fun job of saying nothing but “I am Groot” for every conversation, but perfectly lands the inflection you need to understand what he is trying to convey. The banter between all of them is infectious, and never stops. Their performances really sell that this group of misfits is a team as well as a found family. There are also plenty of side characters that have excellent voices contributing to the cinematic feel of the game, including one performance that is downright Shakespearean. The voice direction deserves a ton of praise, because the game wouldn’t be nearly as charming without its amazing cast and performances.
While Final Fantasy XIV’s music has always been heralded, its voice acting has played no small part in contributing to the audio experience. Since its first expansion Heavensward, the game has made use of a primarily British-based cast and the vast majority returned for Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker alongside some new names. It’s a joy to hear the massive cast of characters once again, with the newcomers fitting right in. Aided by brilliant writing and strong direction, the cast members use their experience to put on a fine collective performance. Meanwhile, Endwalker continues to make appropriate use of its cast and accents available, further building up the cohesive and complex world.
There are a lot of fantastic casting choices in Tales of Arise. It’s very clear that a lot of thought and care went into the casting and direction of the voice acting. Ray Chase does an amazing job bringing Alphen to life, showing both the character’s vulnerability and strength. Erica Lindbeck shares both the sweet and salty sides of Shionne, while Christine Marie Cabanos gives listeners the joy and wonders that come from Rinwell. Given how loveable Arise’s main cast is, it’s easy to sing its praises given that every actor brings to life each of the characters’ personalities, solidifying why its voice acting is worthy of note.
by Kelley Ryan, Alex Fuller, and Sam Wachter