Gaming Pet Peeves: JRPG Text Bubbles


I’ve recently finished binging the Mass Effect series, and one of the many, many reasons I love these games is because every piece of dialogue is voiced. I mean, even the plethora of NPCs you come across are all voiced over, and certainly not half heartedly I might add. Contrast that with almost every JRPG, in which sure, there’s voiceover included in the main story scenes, and a few lesser arcs as well, but there is far too much text bubble reading included in the mix.


Ok, there’s a massive amount of dialogue in the script, voiced or not, but that’s no longer an excuse when Mass Effect 1 was released in 2007, almost a decade ago. Tales of Berseria, a game that just recently came out, and Final Fantasy XV, a game with a blockbuster budget, couldn’t even boast that the entirety of each respective game had 100% audible voiceover.

Now I’ve love JRPGs since The Legend of Dragoon, and they’ve been very close to my gaming heart, but please step it up on the vocal front. Hey Square Enix, I expect Final Fantasy XVI to not include a single text bubble, in fact, I double, no, triple dog dare you to do it. It indelibly helps the virtual polygon world become as real as possible.

So turn it up Square, Level-5, Atlus, and NIS, like Townie from “The Waterboy” said, “You can do it!”

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