Congratulations, Konami, on Finally Pissing All Over Silent Hill!

(This is another edition of </RANT>, a weekly opinion piece column on GameFront. Check back every week for more. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not reflect those of GameFront.)

I’d like to personally congratulate Konami on completing a goal it seemingly set out to accomplish several years ago. It has finally shat on the last clean piece of the Silent Hill legacy with its Silent Hill HD Collection. Truly, this is a marvel to behold, and proof that when Konami sets out to f**k something up, it makes sure to do a good job!

Personally, I thought it was almost impossible to ruin Silent Hill 2, which happens to be my favorite game of all time, but I was very wrong. Impressively, Konami has been able to take the best survival horror game ever made and render it almost unbearable to play thanks to the new voice actors found in the HD Collection. These are the kind of actors you’d find voicing PlayStation One games. Yes, I know we all thought they’d died out in the great “Shitty Voice Actor Fire of 2002,” but it seems Konami kept these amazing talents a secret, just for this very special occasion.

It’s not like the original Silent Hill 2 voice actors were good, but that’s where I truly give Konami the credit for its effort — the fact it was able to find voice actors even worse in order to ensure that nobody would like the HD remaster is absolutely astounding, and worthy of a standing ovation. The sheer commitment it must have taken to find a voice actor for Eddie as f**king shitty as the new guy leaves me at a loss for words. I can’t help but admire the herculean task that the publisher has undertaken this day. As for Maria, who happened to be very competently voiced in Silent Hill 2, I’m awestruck at how they took that one positive element and transformed the character into an overly slutty, unsubtle parody rather than the insidious, more intriguing character that she was. Truly a masterwork in the ruination of a classic!

I’d have gladly defended the new voice actors if they were better than the originals in any way, but Konami has gone to extraordinary lengths to make sure that nobody can fight in their corner. Ladies and gentlemen, not even the most devilish of devil’s advocates could defend this move! It’s so perfect that I refuse to think it wasn’t done on purpose. That Konami – they’re always one step ahead.

Of course, this whole thing is made easier thanks to allegations that Konami was too f**king cheap to pay the original voice actors their royalties. It was probably less challenging to find shittier voice actors when you’re hiring the ones who are willing to be paid peanuts. In fact, I’ve not it ruled out that peanuts were the actual currency used, and that a bunch of moderately skilled chimps are lending their vocal talents to the game.

Silent Hill HD Collection is the culmination of an effort by Konami to completely trash what was once the king of survival horror. With Silent Hill: Homecoming being a load of old shit and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories little more than a waggle-fueled farce which failed to be scary due to the fact that any threat came from pre-planned “RUN AWAY FROM THE PENISES” segments, it’s been clear for some time that Konami wouldn’t be satisfied until it had undermined everything to do with the franchise. Silent Hill 2 stood as a classic and seemed fairly untouchable, but anybody who thought so would have gravely underestimated the company’s resolve. Their grit and determination led to a total victory.

So congratulations, Konami, on pissing all over Silent Hill with the efficiency and completion of a well-oiled fascist machine. You left no stone unturned, and no shit left unshat. You are a true … patriot.

Do you agree with Jim? Are the new voices worse? Before you answer that, you should probably watch this comparison.

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30 Comments on Congratulations, Konami, on Finally Pissing All Over Silent Hill!

Varenvel

On August 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm

like it was something new , all game developers seam to piss over their gold laying titles , THQ pissed over red faction totaly ruining new one and then they ranted not many purchased it

recently i notice downgrade in continuation of games each next is usually worse

TD

On August 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I’d talk about SH2 if you stopped smearing all over Shattered Memories. I mean, it’s okay admitting that you didn’t get it, but starting this everytime Silent Hill is mentioned? It’s making your point seem more, well, pointless.

And if we’re on the topic of SH games not being scary, SH2 wasn’t scary at all save for PH moments. Mainly because the monsters weren’t much more than walking flaccid penises who couldn’t do anything at all.

Aids

On August 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I didn’t seen anyone rage over Resident Evil 1 remakes voice acting. Why? Cause ALL classic horror games have ty voice acting. This is just a fact.

Cj Melendez

On August 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

In my opinion, all of this hatred is very premature. What Konami gave us was an unfinished scene, that had no post effects. It sounded very bare and only contained voiceovers. Not only that, but the scene shown was also iconic. Fans have watched that emotional scene numerous times. For the new voiceovers to be revealed this way, it’s easy to see why fans are upset. I have no doubt that the “shock” from the new voices will dissipate when people start the games and play for hours. Then it won’t feel weird anymore and people will take it for what it is.

As for royalties, when are videogame voice actors due royalties?
http://www.1up.com/news/gta4-voice-actors-complain-union

Speaking to D.C. Douglas, the VA for Albert Wesker, he told me that VA on games are not due royalties on re-releases. They don’t qualify.

But I do think Konami should include an option to revert to the old VOs since fans are really pissed.

Milo

On August 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I’m not so upset about the voicework as I am that the original Silent Hill was not included in this HD collection. That is truly pissing all over Silent Hill, as those who haven’t played the original on PSX missed out big time!

Red

On August 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it on every site possible. They have no respect for the game, the series, or gaming itself. To us, Silent Hill 2 was a masterpiece; a game that transcended the sum of its parts. It was made by people who were passionate about what they were doing, and it shows in every minute detail.

In short, it was a game made by people who loved the game they were making.

To Konami, though, it is just another means of making money. Nothing more. I have spent this entire generation watching my favorite franchises lose any semblance of their former soul, but this one stings the most.

Tech

On August 18, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I honestly did not notice all that much difference between the two. Now I’m not a “harcore” fan of the series but I do like them and have played them through many a time.

Still I don’t see enough of a difference, at least not enough negative difference, to justify all the rage. It seems somewhat premature and a little over-sensitive.

Valerie

On August 18, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Maria’s new voice is actually Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, the voice behind so many of the great songs that grace the games. However, she’s kinda a back-stabbing skank by taking part in this slow murder of SH2. SH3 is included in this massacre as well, so the wonderful performances put on by Heather’s, Douglas’, and Claudia’s voice actors are all being redone… F**k Konami. How could you do this, you greedy dirt bags!? Is nothing sacred?!

…ugh, and James’ new “VA” sounds like an old version of James Bond that’s on crack… >.<

Alberto

On August 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Sadly, I completely agree. I’m 36 years old, I play vg since commodore 64, I played several games that I can call “masterpieces”. Unforgettable experiences. And SH2 is the game that stands over all others (especially with the “in water” ending, absolutely sad and gorgeus). I was looking for the new generation of consoles mainly to have a the rumored new game from team silent, which was said to be even more sick and deep than the already psychological horror that is SH2.
I was completely disappointed by the new chapters of silent hill, made by other developers. The visual style, the (on ps2) incredible technical level, the meanings in the story. All has been lost, in favour of bad copying from older chapters without any connection with the story (using symbols and foes completely at random, without any meaning); and with a medium tech.
But I had a wish: the wish of an high-def, 16:9 version of SH2 to be enjoyed with modern digital displays (I can’t bear on crt forever, to play some revival glorious retrogaming). And when I came to know that a collection was in development, I was thrilled.
Then I read that it would have been voiced again, and that has been enought to ruin my happiness about. The opening where James reads part of the letter, and the long dialogue between James and “Mary” at the end of the game (water ending) was enought to make it worth any effort to go beyond stupid legal problems.
And when I listened to the new voicing, I found it worst and uninspired. As said, Eddy in particular is totally different from the kind of person it should be. Maybe only the child will be better, since I didn’t like the original. It wasnot a perfect voicing, but in clue moments it worked perfectly. Andfor a mature and serious story like that, it means all.

Bob

On August 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I like the part where you took someone else’s opinion and said it angrily like it was your own

Gamba

On August 18, 2011 at 10:40 pm

It’s about money with those company. No soul, do not care about fans. Only freakin’ money. Money money money. Hey there, voice acting sucks? Hey, suck it up suckers, give us your hard earned money so we can produce more crappy remakes.

Mark Burnham

On August 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I’m puzzled by Konami’s decision to redo the voice acting at all. Like Jim mentions, Silent Hill 2′s voice acting wasn’t all that great. But for me it fit with the mood/vibe of the game, even if it was kind of bad. This move seems akin to George Lucas adding crappy CGI scenes to the original Star Wars films.

However, I also think the preview video we’re seeing was poorly put together. It seems like the sound wasn’t fully mixed yet, and the scenes were poorly chosen. Why would anyone choose to highlight that scene with Eddie? We might not be getting a good preview of what the final product will be…I say somewhat hopefully.

Kill yourself Sterling

On August 18, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Just watched the voice comparison video. The SH2 HD was far better than the original. Nostalgia gotry to the extreme in here.

lul they mad

On August 19, 2011 at 5:08 am

Why would they redo the graphics and leave in the nearly 10 year old voice acting? That’s like restoring an old car and then stopping half way and saying “Eh it’s good enough, the rust makes it nostalgic.”

NYstate

On August 19, 2011 at 6:18 am

Dude you’re flipping out for no reason. Nostalgia is a funny thing. If something is bad then, how could it be worse now? It’s not lake they’re completely remaking the game, they are redoing the voicework. On your remote look for a button called ‘MUTE’ press it and relax. Maybe Konami believes that the games needs new voicework or maybe there is a contract thing that says that Konami can’t reuse voicework from the game. It’s probably a contract thing. I know there is commoent about royalties mentioned from CJ Melendez, but what about ‘Born from a wish’? The included content for the Xbox 1 and the PS2 Greatest Hits version, Maybe there is a special contract just for that?

Would you rather more people to play a game that you love because it’s made available on current consoles, or the game not get re released period?

Oh I should have known it’s Jim Sterling. I guess I see your future Jimquisition article.

truth

On August 19, 2011 at 7:16 am

great writing style, i really had to laugh at some point, besides that what you said is absolutely true.

this horrible voice acting is totally ruining the experience (for me that is). BUT honestly i couldnt care less.

i have the original -> win!

CrawFail

On August 19, 2011 at 7:24 am

This article sums up my thoughts and feelings on Silent Hill, perfectly.

The Silent Hill franchise is like a night of sex. The first few times are amazing and feel fantastic, after that it gets a little painful until the last couple of tries where you’re ploughing away like a trooper, trying to find that little bit ecstasy through the agony and the blood.

HDbeatsSD

On August 19, 2011 at 7:27 am

I dunno about you guys but an HD game is way way better than an SD one. Forget about yesteryear, if you were to replay the original SH2 today it wont be as good as you recall it was.

DarthDiggler

On August 19, 2011 at 8:21 am

“Of course, this whole thing is made easier thanks to allegations that Konami was too f**king cheap to pay the original voice actors their royalties.”

Dude you are ing clueless. Of course they don’t want to pay royalties, this HD pack will sell OK, but it’s not going to light the world on fire. We are living in recession (it is a depression, but no one wants to call it that). So Capcom (who isn’t doing all that great themselves) need to secure whatever profits they can.

This is BESIDES the fact that Voice Acting, ESPECIALLY in the Horror Genre has always been PISS POOR.

Jesus dude this rant is stupid.

Noah

On August 19, 2011 at 8:24 am

Talk about a temper tantrum. Sounds fine to me. Probably better in the HD version. Still sounds awkward, probably due to translation from Japanese?

Johnny

On August 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

Are you seriously complaining about voice acting what are you going to complain about next the fact that they are even making a remake of the game so people can enjoy it without it looking like complete ass on an HD TV.

C4rnos

On August 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

some may hate me for this, but i think that it’s the way the performances are strung together, whoever was directing the scenes and how they played out on the original silent hill 2 was clearly not thinking straight; the pauses between each sentence or word is horribly overdone, a slight pause would have worked for the ethereal sense, but it shows that the voice actors aren’t terrible- not even the old ones, but in fact the ty robotic pauses in between sentences.

Yam

On August 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

Man someone forgot to have their Zoloft, Prozac, and Celexa tail this morning.

What a horribly written and immature editorial. You expect us to take anything you say at face value when you can’t even pull yourself out of the mire of nostalgia you’re currently neck deep in? I loved Silent Hill 2, but the voice acting in that game is laughable, at best. It hasn’t aged well in the audio category, with exception to Yamaoka’s pitch-perfect scoring of course.

While I’m not on board with all the voices in the comparison, James, at least, sounds more human. I don’t know about you but I like my protagonists to have a bit more humanity to them than the robot that previously lead the role.

Who am I kidding though. You successfully did your job. You had me visit a site I’d otherwise ignore so, in that Jim, you’ve done Game Front a service. Congratulations. Moving on…

Knarf Black

On August 19, 2011 at 11:35 am

These voice actors may not be as terrible as they’re coming off, but it’s clear they’re being hamstrung by the need to match the original CGI mouths. They must have owed some serious back royalties for that to seem like a good idea.

ManWithSword

On August 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I have to say, the new voice acting is actually better. Not sure what all the tantrums are about.

Jakey Bee

On August 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Dude you must be stuck in nostalgia mode. These HD voices still suck, but they’re much better.

Boulayman

On August 19, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Never played the originals. But in that comparison video I liked the va of the originals far better than the remake ones. Original had more identity despite not being good acting. Second ones seem slightly better acted to be frank but have far less identity and don’t seem to fit as well with the look of the characters.

SupremeAllah

On August 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I don’t understand the major love for SH 2, when 1 and 3 were the best.

Not that SH 2 was bad, but the “otherworld” in SH2 wasn’t as “ed up” as that of 1 and 3, for lack of better wording.

I still remember playing the first Silent Hill game in my basement. Indeed, in the basement, next to the furnace. In the dark. Walking through a school and hearing , but not seeing it. Then you see shilouette children with scalples hacking away at your legs. If that wasn’t bad enough, then they say “go to the basement of the school!” Ok, sure! I’ll go where it’s even darker and scarier to fight a ed up thing that can kill you in one hit with a game-ending character munching attack.

And then SH 3 just added on to that by continuing the story that SH 1 laid down. Just wonderful.

SH2 was fine and all, but it just didn’t have the feel the first game had.

Brad

On August 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm

You are crazy. SH 2 is among my top 5 games of all time – I’ve probably played it through about 3 1/2 times – and yet the voice acting has ALWAYS been distractingly bad. These new voices, although still not great, are way better than the stilted, awkward, just plain awful ones in the original.

That said the voice acting in SH3 was already a step up from 2 so I’m expecting a more lateral move there.

Pamplemousse

On August 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

I’m going to miss James sounding like Crispin Glover. :(

The new cast sound like anime voice actors; with their hammy community college stage delivery. Ugh.