Weekend Question: Do you listen to dialogue, or just read it and skip ahead?

PCG Jody

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Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: Do you listen to dialogue, or just read it and skip ahead?

It's nice to attach a voice to a character you care about, and the actors and directors put a lot of work into fully voiced games. But it's still tempting to read the subtitles and skip to the end. Sometimes you're impatient to get to the next bit, or don't actually want to hear someone put emphasise in all the wrong places. Do you listen to every word, or read ahead and click through? And do you ever feel guilty about it?
First time playing a game I take the full show—opening credits, tutorials, FMVs, speech etc. Both for info and to appreciate the devs' efforts.

If the game has even a bit of story, then the full show is usually a nice part of immersion.

2nd playthru I get annoyed if I don't have the option to skip everything. I may still look & listen, but I want the option. Unskippable cutscenes are a severe annoyance for me—couple that with a respawn point just before one and I have the 'Do I really want to continue this game?' conversation with myself.
Jul 18, 2021
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It depends on the game. For story-based games I usually do listen to the dialogue and just generally games that capture my attention and are interesting I listen to the dialogue. Sometimes though, like with a game I played recently, Fallout 4, it's just not that interesting so I'll read it and skip ahead, and other times I may really like a game but don't feel like listening to dialogue in the moment so I read and skip ahead then.
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I intend to both listen and read, but sometimes my brain checks out, and I end up doing neither. I do enjoy strong narratives, though. I'm not someone who gets easily frustrated with cutscenes unless I have to watch them more than once. Dying and having to watch a cutscene again pretty much infuriates me.

Edit: If I had to choose between being flattened by heavy machinery or only listening to Final Fantasy banter for the rest of my life, I don't know which I would pick.
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Never. Ever. I play mostly RPG's, and most of those have a decent to great narrative, where my character's choices matter, and can influence not only NPCs and companions, but local or world events. Even on my 2nd, 3rd or more play through, I always listen to the dialogue (if voiced), and read it (although some games give you the option to disable subtitles for spoken dialogue I leave them on).

It doesn't bore me (even if I've seen it several times), and I don't have that need to rush to next event or combat; I'm not a speed runner, and I don't play only for the combat. Also, some of the voice actors are just incredible (Jennifer Hale you're awesome!), and some dialogue, even if a bit amateurish, can be funny and set the mood for the game world. Yes, even Bethesda's games.

Dialogue changes with the choices you make. Sometimes a lot, sometimes only a little, but you never know when you're going to run into a unique situation that you've never seen before. Even games that are considered ARPGs, I read and listen to the dialogue. If I'm playing a game, why would I rush through it just to get to the next part? I'm in it because of the world, the mood, the atmosphere, the choices, dialogue/companions/nps, as well as the combat. The experience. Why rush through it?
It all depends how annoying, short on time and/or impatient i am.

For the first play through i listen to everything and i don't generally skip. However, there are exceptions to the rule. If i hear the same minor dialogue (like a shop keeper saying goodbye), i would skip it. Another example are boss battles where there are huge monologues/cutscenes before i fight, i skip when I'm trying to have another go beating them. i remember in Icewind dale the final boss I was so fed up listening/reading the grand speeches that i just selected the option akin to "I don't care your motives! lets just fight!"
Jul 22, 2021
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To me, it depends on whether I have played the game or not.
Because if it is a game I've never played before, I wouldn't want to miss any of the dialogue so that I may know what is going on in the storyline of the game. However, games that replay a specific cut scene because you died, could be a little annoying and it's a given that I will skip it.
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Sep 10, 2020
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Given it's the first time I experience the game, I definitely not skip. And depending on how good things were, I don't skip certain parts/quests/characters even when I play it for the 100th time. ❤
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It really depends on the game. In the Witcher series I can't even imagine to skip the dialogues. They're so good that's it's almost a crime not to listen to them! In voiced-over isometric RPGs I frequently skip them however. This is especially true for games which I play with my native language subtitles and original dubbing. I find it hard to wait for the dialogue to be fully played, because I have a tendency to read the text much faster. But even in these cases sometimes I slow down and wait for the voice-over. It all depends on the game, mood and quality of dubbing.


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