Since I'm not really interested in most of the forthcoming titles available in the next few months (if the demo of Starship Troopers is anything to go by, it's going to be a bit of a damp squib, and - sorry, DAT - the demo of Farenheit puts me off getting the full title solely on the basis of the terrible controls: you can see from the get-go that it's been hamstrung by co-development for the consoles), I've picked up a new hobby. Well, not so much a new hobby, but a new angle on my current one.
Namely, replaying my favourite games, but in *French*. Due to the localisation of some games titles in Europe, you have the option not only to play games in English, but in some cases, in French, German, Spanish, or Italian. Now, my Spanish and Italian aren't much beyond "cerveza" and "birra", but my French is pretty good - good enough to contemplate using videogames to try and help expand my vocabulary, especially since quite a few RPGs and other more wordy titles include helpful subtitles.
At the moment I've got both Baldur's Gate II and Beyond Good And Evil on the go, and it's quite interesting to see (no, *hear*) the differences in the voiceovers. For example, the English Minsc in BGII is more Deranger than Ranger, with a crazily jolly voiceover, and a telling lilt to the voice which makes you acutely aware that Minsc, well, isn't really playing with a full deck. In French, Minsc is almost an Errol Flynn swashbuckler type - which is a curious way to interpret the voiceover when you take a look at the dialogue...
Jaheira, on the other hand, has far less of the standoffish matron about her - the voiceover is that of a much more vibrant (and, dare I say it, sexy) woman. Imoen too is much less of a wet blanket in French than her English counterpart. It's almost like playing a different game in some respects, especially when you're so used to the voices of the characters in English.
I need to stick a few more hours in to get beyond the Prologue (with having to translate the script, choosing dialogue options is by far the hardest part of the game now), so I can see how they've voiced Aerie and Viconia...
I can see that this will continue to be a good ploy to keep me occupied whilst the Summer Games Drought continues, and may even serve to help get my girlfriend interested a little more in gaming - especially if she can do it in her native language.