Dubbing Allows More Fun
Good news for fans of the Japanese hit action adventure game, ``God of War'' _ a sequel is on the way. But what's more exciting is that the new Japanese game will feature characters dubbed with Korean voice actors.
What will it be like to experience the main character Kratos, who is always suffering with anger and agony, speaking in Korean?
``It was not an easy task to understand Kratos before,'' Choi Suk-pil, who play Kratos in the sequel, said. ``He is like a man of anger who kept me shouting.''
Choi, or rather his voice, has starred in many animations and films. Though he has lost his voice only once in his career of over 10 years, his recent role as Kratos has tested his vocal chords to the limit, he said.
The original game won many awards, including ``Game of the Year'' honors in 2005 from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences _ the award is given for games that exhibit superb gameplay, advanced graphics and well composed musical score. Its highly anticipated sequel was released in early March in many countries, but it has been delayed from reaching Korean fans until now.
But the voiceovers require far more from its voice actors _ different from the work involved in animations and films.
For games, the voice actor reads a script in a studio without partners or a full picture of the game _ as dubbing is generally one of the first steps in developing a game.
Voice actor Kang Soo-jin said dubbing often requires an actors' total imagination.
``It is crucial that we express essential feelings in a very short and fragmented dialogue with very limited background information about a game,'' Kang said, who plays Shu, the main character of the popular role-playing game ``Blue Dragon.''
Kang also emphasized the importance of proper voiceover work as a game's budget doesn't generally allow for mistakes.
``Many game developers spend a lot of time and money on visual effects. But poor dubbing work can ruin the whole game,'' he said.
Since the most popular games are from Japan or the United States, it is crucial to have them in local languages to appeal to broader audiences. But the procedure is seen as an extra investment and even a risky choice for a game developer.
``Of course, it could be a risky choice,'' said Kim Ji-young, group manager at Home & Entertainment Division and R&D Team of Microsoft Korea. ``Localization usually needs more than 100 million won, which means you need to sell thousands more copies.''
The localization of games here is still in its beginning stage, compared to those in U.S. and Japan, but Korean gamers will get more chances to enjoy upcoming games because of a proper localization, Kim said.