Games without an English dub, should that alone be a deal breaker?

When you pick up a new video game, what language do you expect it to be in? Well the answer to that question will depend on the region you live in, but if you're here in the west; chances are you're looking for an English game. Well typically this is always going to be the case. Games normally aren't released in the west unless they've been translated, but sometimes there is a limit to just how much is changed from Japanese.

In the past year or so, games without English voice acting has become a lot more common. Games are keeping their Japanese dubs, but with English sub titles and text so anyone who doesn't know Japanese will still be able to understand it. The thing is though, this is a deal breaker for a lot of people. For some, if the game doesn't include English voice acting, they won't even bother looking at it, and in some cases, they may even cancel their pre-orders despite it being a game they were looking forward to. Still, is this a valid reason to not get a game? We think not.

The thing about these games is, they mostly appeal to a specific fan base; one that typically also enjoys anime, manga, Japanese culture, or Japanese games in general. While this isn't true for all fans, it is for the majority. For example, those who enjoy visual novels like XBlaze are most likely anime fans as well, who are used to reading subs. In the case of Tales of Hearts R, many Tales of fans actually prefer the Japanese dub included in some of the games over the English voice actors, and even if they don't, it doesn't change the fact that they still have to read most of the game's text; you can't just simply listen to the whole thing. In another recent case, Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn, it matters even less. The game is a hack and slash where characters occasionally speak during battle, repeating the same things over and over (except when stating a mission objective), with only a handful of cutscenes. Although it takes you through major battles form multiple Gundam series, it isn't a game based on story, and all dialogue can easily be read. Unless you really want to hear Kira announce to the world that he will fight time and time again, the fact that the voices are in Japanese should not be a deal breaker.

Unless you have something against other languages, or truly cannot stand the sound of the Japanese language, you shouldn't avoid buying a game just because there is no English dub. If all the text was in Japanese and you couldn't understand what is going on it is understandable, but to avoid a game just because the characters do not speak your language is a bad excuse. Even if you don't like the Japanese language, a lot of games do allow you to adjust the volume of spoken dialogue. Simply turn it off, and it is problem solved. Well, unless you wanted to listen and not read; if so, then you're just out of luck.

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