Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

The Silent HD Collection VO

If you’re a fan of Silent Hill at all, you’ve probably heard about what’s going down with Silent Hill and the VO on the title. If you haven’t, here is the quick version:

Konami announced they were re-recording all of the VO for both Silent Hill 2 and 3 for the HD collection. Some hardcore fans got pissed. There was drama. Konami looked at some legal and technical stuff and announced they could put the original in for 2. So now, Silent Hill 3 only comes with re-recorded VO and new voice actors, and Silent Hill 2 has the options for the new VO or the original. Some fans are still pissed and rejecting the new VO.

If you know me (or really, read my blog at all), you’re going to know that I am a super hard core fan of Silent Hill. So, I found myself pondering… should I play the game with the new VO, or the old VO?

I have decided that yes, I am going to use the new VO. And here is the break down of that choice.

The main reason: If a Broadway play is being performed, no one refuses to go because it doesn’t have the original cast. Theater patrons look forward to seeing the new take on characters. I feel like the new voice acting is something very similar. I want to see the new actors take on the characters. Will it be better? I don’t know, but won’t ever know if I don’t try it out. I can’t have a preference if I have only experienced one.

The second reason: The people they brought in to play Mary/Maria and James are heavy hitters in the voice acting world.

So, who’s playing new Maria?

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. Why does that name sound familiar? Well, it’s because for one, she is pretty much the *voice* of Silent Hill. She does the female vocals on the soundtracks for *every* Silent Hill to date. In addition, she has been involved in tons of other awesome things such as CowBoy BeBop, Princess Mononoke, Tekken, Ghost in a Shell, .hack, and Shadows of the Damned. And that’s just for starters.

How do I feel about this? I’m really excited. Mary has proven time and time again that she is good at being a voice actor, and has always been a very important part of the Silent Hill franchise. She seems like she would hands down have been my first pick for Maria.

So, who’s playing the new James?

Troy Baker. Again, this guy is in everything. I’ve already worked on 2 games in which he plays the main character- Red Faction: Guerrilla and Bioshock Infinite. Additionally, he’s all up in other cool things- like Full Metal Alchemist and Shin Chan. Not to mention he is in practically every video game ever.  From WOW to Saints Row 3, he’s got it covered. Not to mention, I actually got to meet him in person one day at work, so that was cool.

How do I feel about this? I’m looking forward to it. I’m not all “OMG, TROY!” but I’m looking forward to his take on it. I haven’t seen him take on a character who really experiences pain on the same level James does in Silent Hill 2, so I’m interested in seeing how Troy tackles it.

The Final Reason: It’s looking pretty good. If you watch this clip below, you can see some side by side comparisons. Now, warning, the guy who made this video clearly hates the new VO… so skip to 15 seconds in and don’t watch the end.

Now, watching this, I’m not sure I prefer McGlynn’s Mary.  I’m not saying it’s bad, but her voice just seems too…  strong. The original voice acting seems more innocent as well.  But that same thing that makes me unsure of her Mary, makes me LOVE her Maria. Her revision of Maria just oozes seduction. I think it’s great, and I’m looking forward to it.

This video doesn’t show as much of James as I would like. I really don’t have an opinion on Troy’s part yet. I didn’t see enough. I can’t tell from that clip if he can really show the pain and fear James is going through. But, I’m looking forward to finding out.

And anyway, what kind of Silent Hill Fan would I be if I couldn’t boast about playing it will all VO versions, or having some crazy deep opinions on how did it better and why?


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