How does one go about comprehensively ruining a timeless classic? If one were Konami, they would probably seek to replace all their decent voice acting with ‘actors’ who could not find work on Passions, in an attempt to further deny the original cast the royalties they were due.
When questioned this week on the ghastly new voice acting featured in Silent Hill HD Collection, Guy Cihi, the voice behind Silent Hill 2 protagonist James Sunderland, revealed that Konami’s seemingly nonsensical decision to replace the original cast with second rate knock-offs had little to do with a stylistic call on their part, and more to do with the bitter acrimony surrounding the original cast being denied the residuals that they were owed for their voice and motion capture performances. This decision may lend itself to saving Konami some pocket change in the short term, yet it is somewhat debatable whether the sorely abused Silent Hill community will be able to rally behind Silent Hill HD Collection as presenting ultimate versions of these PS2 classics.
The Silent Hill series has never been renowned for its excellence in voice performances – yet they were at least competent, and contained a numb wooden quality which leant itself perfectly to the isolation and unreality of the Silent Hill universe. The new vocal tracks by contrast sound like the sum total product of a modestly budgeted cash-in game having to scrape together the funds to re-record two entire games worth of voice acting at short notice, which verily it is.
The HD collection originally had PlayStation 3 exclusivity, but Silent Hill Downpour producer Tomm Hulett announced last week that after fan response unfazed by the voice acting debacle, they will be bringing it to the Xbox 360 as well. The current release window is September or October 2011.