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

Posted: 06 Jan 2021
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?

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

Posted: 06 Jan 2021
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.

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

Posted: 07 Jan 2021
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!

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

Posted: 08 Jan 2021
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.

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

Posted: 08 Jan 2021
by The Adversary
I mean, it's no Double Dribble but it's pretty all right.

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

Posted: 30 Jan 2021
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.

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

Posted: 31 Jan 2021
by Droo
I thought Lisa's voice acting in SH1 was great.

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

Posted: 02 Aug 2021
by Ryantology
I liked it much less once it was redone by professional actors. I was not one of the reflexive haters, but I tried playing SH2 with the new voices and it felt entirely wrong.

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

Posted: 21 Sep 2021
by Jonipoon
Voice acting in video games has come a long way since 2001. However, it's also worth noting that video games in general have come a long way since 2001. In those days developers didn't really try to make realistic games, whereas today developers are trying to make them look like movies as much as possible.

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

Posted: 21 Sep 2021
by Droo
Jonipoon wrote: 21 Sep 2021 Voice acting in video games has come a long way since 2001. However, it's also worth noting that video games in general have come a long way since 2001. In those days developers didn't really try to make realistic games, whereas today developers are trying to make them look like movies as much as possible.
I will say I'm getting a bit tired of hearing the same few voices doing the acting in almost every game these days. The earlier voice acting may have been more shambolic but I'm getting weary of Nolan North and Troy Baker doing all the voices even if their acting is far more professional.

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

Posted: 21 Sep 2021
by NanayaShiki
Droo wrote: 21 Sep 2021I will say I'm getting a bit tired of hearing the same few voices doing the acting in almost every game these days. The earlier voice acting may have been more shambolic but I'm getting weary of Nolan North and Troy Baker doing all the voices even if their acting is far more professional.
I feel the era of Troy Baker being everywhere and everything is a few years old now. He still headlines a major AAA game every year or two of course but it's nothing like the absolute dominating of the industry he had circa 2010-2018 or so. A lot of those BIG voice actors that moved from anime/JRPGs to AAA are still prominent but their replacements in those JRPGs are just as good if not better. I'd like to see them make the jump to bigger titles soon because there's a lot of really good talent that's been coming up in the past 5 years or so.