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In building a vid' game, there is the TECHNICAL SIMPLICITY question to keep constantly in mind, esp. on PS2 or X-Box, 'cause of the drastic memory limit°s on management (history and the like), that seem to give us the "so poor-dialogues" drawback.
The graphic aspect is NOT a problem IF the graphist REALLY gets the sense of the universe depicted, and correctly fixes (UNDER WP's CONTROL) the most sign. character poses (only, cause for what's around, it's quite simple)

For Elfquest, one may stay on a simple basis for dialogues :
when you speak (or "send", or even act), you simply want to :
    . give some info ("a long-horn, there !")
or . express your feelings (bad mood, hungry...)
A good way could be playing on a small icon bar and "classical" thingies in it, the context settings being put in a binary system : available or not
This way, on an immediate basis, one could easily set the context FOR EACH CHARACTER (depending on his/her ind. situation) and avoid silliness and long menus and so on...

Having played for long, I come to this approach,
  but there ARE other ones...

Shall we discuss it, you and I ?