Game Review - by James Allen
I think I have finally seen it all. The Typing of the Dead is a game based on The House of the Dead, except that you shoot the enemies by typing in words and phrases instead of using guns. An original idea, for sure, but will The Typing of the Dead type 100 words per minute, or hunt and peck its way to a fate worse than death?
The Typing of the Dead comes with several single player modes to whet your appetite with. The game manual states "arcade mode is exactly the same as the arcade version of The Typing of the Dead." Really? Who would have thought! You can enter the tutorial mode, story mode, or select a specific chapter. Original mode includes items to use during the game and coins to collect when you complete certain goals in each level. Tutorial mode has several tutorials to improve your gaming ability. Drill mode covers specific areas, such as reflex, special keys, and accuracy. And in boss mode, you can select a boss and defeat them without all that intermediate twaddle. That's right, I said twaddle. There are no two player modes (which makes sense, but why does it keep flashing a "PRESS ENTER KEY" for the second player??). And that's about it, folks.
The sound is nothing spectacular. Most of the death sound are looped, and are seemingly the same for each person. While you play the game, the sound seems repetitive and boring, and that's because it is. Again, the game shows its age in the recurring sound. Bah, humbug.
All right. This game seemingly teaches the player how to type effectively. However, the game is rated M, and thus shouldn't be played by any people who might actually benefit from the game! Great thinking, folks! The main game consists of enemies coming at you, and you must type a letter, word, or phrase of increasing difficulty to defeat them. This gets old pretty quickly, and really only leads to painful wrists from all that typing. In some of the boss levels, you are required to actually choose a correct response, but this is as advanced as The Typing of the Dead gets. It's just typing, and since you can't see the enemies most of the time anyway, I could program an equally compelling game in two or three minutes. Sure, the idea is original, but that only goes so far. The lack of an innovative surrounding idea zaps any desire to play The Typing of the Dead for an extended period of time. Unless you like doing permanent damage to your wrists.
The graphics are pretty bad. Thankfully, the large phrases to type in cover up most of the dated textures and objects, so you really won't notice it that much. The game shows it Dreamcast roots, both with the poor models and the Dreamcasts strapped onto the player's back. The port shows no 3D acceleration or improvement of the graphics whatsoever. When you port something, you should at least TRY to improve the graphics somewhat. And the words to enter in cover up a majority of the screen, especially with multiple enemies present. The foes themselves show pretty good damage effects, but, again, you won't notice because of the dominance of the black boxes of doom. Pretty sad.
The Typing of the Dead is certainly an interesting premise, and for that it gets some s. I don't think that a sheer typing adventure has been done ever. But, the port from the Dreamcast is surely evident, and the game shows its old age in many places. I would like to see this idea in another game, but not one this ancient. It will hold your attention for a short period of time, and then end up on the shelf. And even worse, my hands hurt.