Slightly more developed by still undeveloped theory of the month:
Video Game Sequel Theory (VGiST) Phase 2
ToeJam and Earl have always been thugs. They will always remain thugs. They are the epitome of living the thug lyfe. With that said, this update on VGiST comes, yet again, with more questions than answers. Once again, I suggest people make use of the comments section if they have anything that could be added to this theory.
The changing of graphical style and voice actors for sequels is what I’d like to discuss this time. I mentioned this last month about Xenosaga II. Xenosaga II completely changed the style of graphics, and changed a lot of the voice actors as well. This example brings up the point that sometimes voice actors need to be changed in order for the voice of the character to appropriately fit the new look of the character. Some of the original voices of Xenosaga, in my opinion, would not have fit very well with the new looks of the characters. My conclusion on this: If you are going to change the entire look of a sequel from the original, you might as well go ahead and change voice actors.
In the case where the graphics are exactly the same, I would have to say that it is very annoying when voice actors are changed. I grow accustomed to the voices of the characters when I play a game, and it is very jarring when they suddenly have new voices for the sequel. I’m not sure of the reasons why this is done when sequels are made, either. In the Xenosaga example, I can see how they would want to make new voices better fit the characters, but I don’t see why voices would be changed when nothing else is. Perhaps it has something to do with money issues. Maybe they need to hire cheaper, crappier voice actors because the original actors want too much money to make a sequel. Perhaps the original voice actors are simply uninterested in making the sequel, and there is nothing the game makers can do about it. Eventually, VGiST is supposed to be able to give a definitive answer to this, but right now it doesn’t know anything. If you know any other reasons, or have any feelings about changing voice actors, VGiST could use the information. Thugz four EvR!