Monday, March 13, 2006

Top 5 Best Uses of Celebrity Voices in Video Games

It used to be rare to find a celebrity attached to a video game. Not any more. Now they even make them (see Vin Diesel).

But a celebrity voice does not a great game make. Christopher Walken has one of best and most recognizable voices in Hollywood, but it didn't make "True Crime" any better. Here are my Top 5 best uses of celebrity voices in video games.

1. Phil Hartman ("Blasto") - Phil Hartman was hilarious! Doing voices for "The Simpsons" was a natural segue into video games. He could read a cook book and I'd think it was funny. I don't know why more comedians don't do this.

2. Ray Liotta (Tommy Vercetti in "GTA: Vice City") - Another case of an actor making a perfect transition from his on-screen persona ("Goodfellas") to the video game world. The writing was superb and he was up to the challenge.

3. Michael Ironside (Sam Fischer in "Splinter Cell") - Jester from "Top Gun" has the voice and face (Have you seen this guy? He's a troll.) for video games. If I were his agent, I'd have him doing car commercials.

4. Ian McKellan (Gandalf in "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King")- The white wizard has a soothing, hypnotic voice. He just sounds like he knows what he's talking about.

5. James Woods (Mike Toreno in "GTA: San Andreas") - I hate to be a GTA hack but lets be honest, who's handled celeb voices better than Rockstar? That and Woods' performance was so slimy, my TV screen needed to be wiped off after every scene he was in.

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