The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

James got a letter. From a dead person. Oh dear.

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JPS 79
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The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

Post by JPS 79 »

I did not find a thread about this when I searched through the Silent Hill 2 forum so I hope that this thread isn't worthless.

To preface this I should say that I'm okay at writing and reading the English language, but I'm not all that good at listening to it and I'm especially not good at speaking it. I'm not a movie or television watcher, I generally don't play many games with voice acting so I don't have much to compare it to, and I obviously don't interact with American people in my daily life.

I keep reading everywhere that the voice acting is really bad, and sometimes I see people say that it's ''bad on purpose'' for various reasons such as that the characters are all broken people and that it adds to the strange atmosphere. Aside from maybe one or two weak character deliveries or strange script lines I don't think that it's bad at all. A few of the interactions make me feel uncomfortable and that's the whole point from what I can understand.

So is it really as objectively bad as many people claim it is if you're actually from North America or you pick up on spoken English a lot better than I do?
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Re: The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

Post by NanayaShiki »

It's a mixed bag. Some of it comes across as really awkward or forced (especially Laura), while some of it is so on point it's heart-breaking (Mary/Maria). Most of it isn't BAD, though. Just not as professional as you'd get out of a AAA video game today.

The truth is that it was an early PS2 game from 2001 when we didn't have such high standards for voice acting. In particular Japanese games with English dubs being recorded in Japan often created awkward scripts and voice directing with actors that didn't need to pass a particularly high bar to be cast (see the infamous Resident Evil 1 for that).

For what it's worth, that sort of awkwardness is likely easily missed on someone who doesn't speak English natively (just like a lot of Americans don't realize conversational Japanese isn't as dramatic as it's depicted in anime, we don't pick up on the nuances).

I do think some fans use "it's supposed to feel awkward and off" as a justification, but I don't think that was as intended as some want it to be. I do agree, however, that it does add to the tone, intentionally or not. For what it's worth, the HD Collection in turn gave us an objectively "better" dub with an all star cast of voice actors and directors, and it didn't feel right to almost every SH2 fan, myself included.
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KageReneko
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Re: The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

Post by KageReneko »

Being honest, as a colombian man whose first language is spanish I never noticed anything wrong with the dialogues... Back in the PS era we even thought Resident Evil voice acting was good!
Droo
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Re: The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

Post by Droo »

Hit or miss. None of them are what I would call truly great performances except for Mary/Maria. A lot of it sounds awkward but that's part of the charm.

Also James' voice has been ruined for me now that we know what a nutcase his actor is.
"Oh yeah, I've been here before
I can see it with eyes closed
Shadows that look like blood
Dead as far as the mind goes
Fear that comes from my head
Lives in the mirror"
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The Adversary
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Re: The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

Post by The Adversary »

I mean, it's no Double Dribble but it's pretty all right.
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leftshoe18
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Re: The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

Post by leftshoe18 »

The whole series was pretty comparable to most video game voice acting from their eras. Silent Hill 1 was probably a little worse than its contemporaries (sans RE1) while Silent Hill 3 was probably a little better. By the time you reach Origins pretty much all of the voice acting the rest of the way is at least average.
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Droo
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Re: The voice acting from the perspective of a non-American?

Post by Droo »

I thought Lisa's voice acting in SH1 was great.
"Oh yeah, I've been here before
I can see it with eyes closed
Shadows that look like blood
Dead as far as the mind goes
Fear that comes from my head
Lives in the mirror"
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