A talking protagonist is something that a lot of people have mixed feelings on. Some people feel it completely breaks immersion and ruins the player's feeling of putting themselves in the protagonist's shoes. On the other hand, some people seem to like making their protag "talk" in attempt to add character development, or add something extra to a particular scene etc.
In my opinion, all of those points are valid, but it definitely makes for an interesting discussion!
Personally, I think it depends on what the project is like - if it's the kind where the player is supposed to feel like they themselves are the protagonist, I think it's best to keep the player silent or offer dialog options in that case. I think it can work (depending on execution) if the player is meant to be taking on the role of a particular character instead of themselves.
*** How do you feel about the idea of talking protagonists? Do you like it in certain scenarios, or does it turn you off altogether? Do you think more people should do it, or would you rather nobody did it at all? Love it, hate it, share your thoughts here!
I think the argument that a talking protagonist "breaks immersion" is a little dramatic. If a talking lead is enough to break immersion, I doubt the game has very many qualities that make it immersive in the first place. An emotionally evoking plot, compelling characters, an interesting premise - those are the types of things that create an immersive story, not some generic lead that's given very little semblance of a personality. That all being said, I don't dislike the silent protagonist. It provides a sense of mystery and lack of identity which, in some cases, can help drive a story. If a game makes their lead silent in an attempt to create immersion, though, it should provide some means for the player to characterize them in my opinion. Otherwise, like I said, you're just left with a shell of a character and that's not "immersive" contrary to popular belief.
I think a talking protagonist is necessary at times because It's difficult to characterize somebody that isn't explicitly given dialogue. The most you can do is characterize them through in-game scripting, but sometimes that's just not enough to flesh out a character as much as you'd like. Take Link for example; we can deduce that he's good and courageous, but that's about the extent of it. The talking protagonist adds that extra layer of personality that you normally wouldn't get from a mute character.
So, yeah, I think it just depends on the game honestly. Personally, I like both if they're done well.
I believe it's just how you feel. I my self would prefer a silent protagonist since I think you can put yourself in their shoes and pokemon isn't like a visual novel where you choose the personality so the talking protagonist can differentiate the player, but I don't think pokemon having a talking protagonists is bad because it's pokemon Idoubt they would make the protagonist act like gary since they would most likely want the main protagonist have a kind relaxed personality.
Making a Rom Hack it's name is currently under construction like it.
While a talking protagonist in a Pokémon game is still something I have to get used to, it can - if done well - add so much to the game.
In my eyes, a silent protagonist feels very "Pokémon-like" and it works. If your character is just your average ten-year old who's now setting out on an adventure for the first time, it makes sense that they let the adventure happen to them and let the grown-ups handle all the difficult stuff. In such case, the focus lies with the world and the other characters. The story happens, and the player is there just for the battles, which is in the end what Pokémon games are about. And since little is defined, anybody can easily identify with the player!
Silent isn't the same as mute by the way. You can always make it appear as if the player responds by using dialogue such as: "Who are you?" "Oh, you are [player]!"
Now, if the player character is anything more meaningful and will have something to say for their own, a talking protagonist can definitely work. If done well, it can add so much more to the story by having a player character that is actually... a character!
But, that means it needs to be done well: talking player needs to be an interesting character (otherwise, why bother putting in extra dialogue the players need to read through?). Also, it needs to be clear who's talking all the time. Either of those, are enough reason for me to put the game down and go do something else.
TL;DR: A silent protagonist is always a safe bet. A talking protagonist can be way more awesome if done right.
I haven't played too many recent hacks lately, but a lot of the ones I have played in the past that have had a talking protagonist, I just didn't enjoy as much as I could have if the protag was silent.
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I will always prefer a silent protagonist to a talking protagonist, at least in Pokemon.
I'm taking a kind of middle of the road approach in my hack. The protagonist "talks", but only to herself. She can comment on things she interacts with in the world, which I think is more interesting than an omniscient narrator telling you info about stuff. I'm not sure how consistently this is used in other media but the parentheses are meant to indicate that she's talking to herself/thinking, like so:
However she never actually talks to anyone else, at least not without player interaction. I think this is a happy medium because you don't get an annoying and possibly unrelatable talking protagonist in the actual cutscenes & important dialogue (and yes I'd say most hacks with talking protagonists are both annoying and unrelatable), but you're also not completely mute and without personality.
I always liked playing a game and being given choices to respond to in a conversation. Being silent always felt weird to me, even in the official games. Just imagine someone talking to you but then walking away before you respond, thats what it always felt like to me, having a silent protagonist.
I'm also fine with having more dialogue be in a game. As long as it adds to the story and isn't just there to show the player that the creator knows how to type, it's fine.
But playing as a character who won't shut up is annoying.