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Video Game Tuesday: Dual Audio

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that I, and many others, place a lot of value on. It’s all about Dual Audio!

What do you mean Dual Audio?: I mean the ability to switch between two different languages in a Video Games settings to allow for the main spoken word in the game to be one language instead of the localized version, if the player wishes to do so. Tales of Zestiria, still my all time favorite JRPG, had the ability to switch between English and Japanese at any time out of battle through the settings menu and it was wonderful. The emotions and feelings of the characters came through so much better with the original Japanese dub instead of the English dub. This option should be included in every game that gets localized into another language.

Why?: Because even if you don’t understand the words themselves the emotions are very clear in a person’s tone of voice. Plus what is the subtitle option, which you are going to turn on anyway, used for except for just such things? Now if you actually understand the language and the localization is done poorly, looking at you Digimon Cyber Sleuth and SAO: Lost Song, you can get confused by the conflicting messages of the voice and the text. However that is a problem that is becoming less and less prevalent in today’s games. Most games have excellent Localization. Tales of Zestiria for example was wonderfully done, and while there was maybe one or two points that the text didn’t quite match what the voice was actually saying, it was spot on.

What about (Insert language here) to (Insert your native language here)?: Well it doesn’t just have to be Japanese to English, The Ezio set of Assassin’s Creed games had options to allow you to set the language to French or Spanish or Italian. The last in particular was awesome because the game was set in Italy for the most part and you could just read the subtitles to get the specifics while hearing the emotions being spoken in the actual language that the character would use.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, do you want more Dual Audio in games in the future? Leave a comment below!

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