Despite universally positive reviews from critics and fans, Dragon Quest XI seems to be taking a bit of flak for the outlandish English voiceovers. Heck, I even brought it up in my own review of the game. I found some of the characters to be annoying, over-the-top, or just downright unbearable. With that being said, I think we all might be jumping to judgement too quickly here — the English voiceovers really aren't that bad.
At Least They’re Consistent
No matter how you feel about the actual voice-acting, you have to admit that the game is regionally consistent when it comes to dialect. For example, the sisters Veronica and Serena hail from the same part of the world — Arboria — and they share the same vaguely British accent. Gondolia, a region that is modeled after Italy, offers up a population with a unique over-exaggeration of the Italian dialect. All the local residents (at least those who speak) use a regional accent, adding to the overall atmosphere of the world. While the voice-acting itself might be a bit much, you can’t argue that Dragon Quest XI is inconsistent.
Another thing to note is that the game is meant to make you laugh. Even without the voiceovers, the text tends to be comedic, not dramatic. This is mimicked by the over-the-top animations and generally hilarious encounters you'll discover all across Erdrea. Whether Veronica is being called a child, Prince Faris is acting like a coward, or you are just listening to Slyvando speak, the game clearly presents itself as a less-than-serious affair. Acting like this would ruin a title such as Final Fantasy or The Legend of Zelda, where the humor tends to be downplayed. Dragon Quest XI? It’s a perfect fit.
What Did You Expect?
If you’re a longtime fan of Dragon Quest, then you probably weren’t too shocked by the wild accents. Sure, they could have picked better voice actors, or told them to be careful and not change dialects (we’re looking at you Erik), but this is part of the appeal of the series. It’s weird. It’s campy. It’s one of the quirkiest games on the market. This wild voice-acting is part of the package. It fits right in with a game that features the Puff Puff joke and enemies such as Platypunk, Stump Chump, and Crabber Dabber Doo. It’s that type of game.
Still not a fan of the English voiceovers? Then change them to the Japanese version or turn them off. It’s a simple fix. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the direction they took the voiceovers, I understand where they were coming from. I do my best to keep them turned on as often as I can. Granted, there are some characters I just can’t stand, but there are others I can’t get enough of. The off-kilter voice-acting is a unique part of Dragon Quest XI. And it’s really not that bad.