Game Over Online ~ Typing of the Dead

GameOver Game Reviews - Typing of the Dead (c) Sega, Reviewed by - Jimmy Clydesdale

Game & Publisher Typing of the Dead (c) Sega
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 200, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 70%
Date Published Tuesday, January 23rd, 2001 at 08:04 AM

Divider Left By: Jimmy Clydesdale Divider Right

You know it's January when…

With less than a handful of new releases so far this year, it's given us here at Game Over the chance to catch up with a few titles that were brushed aside during the hectic holiday season for whatever reason. In this case, it's Sega's Typing of the Dead. One part House of the Dead, one part Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, you gotta figure when this idea was pitched at one of Sega's brainstorming sessions half of the producers were thinking "Hey, this guy might be on to something here", while the other half of the suits were saying "Alright, no more drinks for this clown!" In either case, the green light was given and Typing of the Dead has arrived. Is the result pure genius or a group decision never to conduct brainstorming sessions after happy hour again?

Typing of the Dead is based on Sega's zombie-ridden House of the Dead, a series that resembles a George Romero movie marathon complete with hordes of undead creatures, a predictable storyline and terrible acting. Of course, those are the classic elements of a great b-horror flick, which is one of the reasons why House of the Dead is such a popular series. Those of you who have played through House of the Dead 2 will instantly recognize all the levels, characters and creatures that have been recycled in Typing of the Dead. There's just one catch.

This time out, James and his friends are armed simply with a Dreamcast console, strapped to their backs, and a keyboard poised in front of them. You'll require some quick fingers, not to pull a trigger but rather to type in words that are attached to the various zombies as they approach you. Players must type each word or phrase in before the zombies get close enough to cause damage to you. Sound a little crazy? It is, but it's also strangely compelling.

As the game progresses, players encounter a variety of typing scenarios. For example, when zombies throw severed limbs, organs and other potentially dangerous objects at you, they'll appear with a single letter attached to them, letters that you have to match. As you get to the later levels, the words and phrases become much trickier, complete with hyphens and other special characters. In certain instances, you'll also be asked to answer various questions pertaining to the words that appear on the screen. It can become quite difficult, even for the most prolific of typists.

Typing of the Dead is limited in a few respects. For starters, most of the individual words and phrases begin with a capital letter, yet you aren't required to begin with a capital letter yourself. For example, if the word "Idiot" appears alongside a zombie, you could get away with typing "idiot" and you wouldn't be any worse for the wear. Interestingly enough, you don't have to worry about spaces between words either, youcanjusttypethewordstogetherlikethis. In that regard, it's not an excellent typing tutor, unless you're simply looking to improve your knowledge of the keys on a keyboard and not necessarily the correct sentence structure, and so forth.

If you're at all familiar with the House of the Dead series, you shouldn't be taken aback by the visuals. The resolution is fairly low as is common with console ports. The graphics aren't necessarily poor though, just not what you'd expect from a PC title. The audio consists mostly of moans and groans, and that's just the voice acting, there are also loads of zombies in the game as well. The voice acting is as bad as it gets, but like a good b-horror flick, it's all part of the experience.

For those of you whose typing skills are well below par, Typing of the Dead comes complete with tutorials and training modes that'll help improve those skills with practise. The tutorials cover accuracy, speed and even special characters, leading up to several typing tests involving countless zombies. There is even a multiplayer feature that allows for up to two players to compete via TCP/IP.

I'm not quite sure what the intended audience is for Typing of the Dead, perhaps those younger individuals who would prefer their typing skills be taught and tested with a little more oomph. Typing of the Dead is a perfectly good typing tutor hidden in a relatively solid action game. It's certainly limiting in some respects, no spaces or capitals required, and it can become a little repetitive as you progress through the levels, but it's entertaining in it's own quirky fashion. Typing of the Dead certainly isn't for everybody, but if you're looking to improve your typing skills and don't mind an environment that fights back, you might want to look into Typing of the Dead by Sega. Now, if only someone could hide my tax program within a game, I might actually get my taxes in on time for once.

Important Note: The Typing of the Dead only supports US and UK keyboard sets. We have already received a handful of e-mails from gamers in various other countries who are unable to play The Typing of the Dead due to keyboard conflictions. So please be aware of this keyboard issue if you plan on purchasing The Typing of the Dead. A playable demo is now available for download in case you have any concerns.

[ 38/50 ] Gameplay
[ 06/10 ] Graphics
[ 05/10 ] Sound
[ 08/10 ] Controls
[ 07/10 ] Replayability
[ 06/10 ] Multiplayer


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