Final Fantasy 16 has received plenty of praise on the production side, with many praising its gorgeous visuals and natural-sounding dialogue. The latter turns out to be due to the fact that English and Japanese actors recorded their lines together in order to make the banter feel snappier.
The Final Fantasy YouTube channel released a “Behind the Voices Discussion” video discussing how they made the dialogue feel natural. Surprisingly, the English cast recorded first, so they had characters record lines together to ensure their rapport was more realistic.
Usually, games made in Japan have the Japanese cast record first then have the localization team make it work in English. It’s why some English dubs can feel awkward because the English team has to match the time of the Japanese recordings. That’s not even mentioning matching the character model’s lip flaps, which can be a nightmare.
Recording first definitely helped the English cast of Final Fantasy 16 cast get comfortable. It paid off in dividends as the voice acting is some of the strongest we’ve heard in all of video games. The exchanges between Clive and Cid in particular are really well-acted.
Great voice work isn’t the only reason gamers gravitate toward the game. Combat is so good that the game’s initial demo was able to convert non-Final Fantasy fans to pre-order the game. Having assist-based combat similar to Marvel vs Capcom definitely helped there.
Even with good acting, this entry in the long-running franchise was seen as controversial by hardcore fans. Focusing on real-time combat and minimizing the RPG aspects turned off some longtime players. Japanese fans in particular didn’t find the game too appealing, resulting in low launch numbers.
Still, Final Fantasy 16 sold well around the world, with many fans appreciating the grittier tone and fast-paced combat. The RPG did so well that Square Enix is considering making DLC for the game.
Final Fantasy 16 is now available on the PlayStation 5.