Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
The suave, daring, unrivaled King of Video Games. He is on an EROTIC quest to see if lesbians indeed have the goods. BEWARE, the Moon.

And just like my previous attempts at understanding women, I have chosen the worst possible way of going about this. In choosing to start with video games; not by choosing this particular video game. Typing of the Dead's the type of game that takes a crazy idea and does nothing else with it. That "typing" thing? That's all you're gonna get out of this game. But does it matter? Hell no, it doesn't! It does that one thing so well that you don't even care about everything else it does either OK or poorly. It was Asura's Wrath before Asura's Wrath.

No, wait, that's not entirely accurate. Asura's Wrath was a game just brimming with (one very specific) emotion; The Typing of the Dead has all the emotion of dirt, and it looks just as brown. Nobody in this game can emote worth a damn; they all sound like their voice actors were proof-reading the scripts and didn't realize that somebody was recording. The only exception is this purple demon thing, who sounds like what I just described with an Audacity nightmare on top of it. You'd think people would be showing more emotion in the middle of a zombie nightmare. The only person who seemed to enunciate on any level was also one of the few characters I couldn't understand in the slightest. It's not even just the voice acting, though. The environments are all a very dull (as in "never would I recognize this as scary") greyish-brown, and everybody looks utterly bored about their surroundings. This includes all the survivors you can save over the course of the game.

I must admit, Sega DOES rule.

I wouldn't blame them, given that the story is none too good. Or it might have been good. I couldn't tell; I couldn't tell you anything that happened in the story. Somebody's summoning demons, the future of mankind, tarot for no real reason. That's all I could get. The worst part about it, though, is how seriously this is all presented. I'm going to go into more detail about this later, but the game's main strength is its humor, the story contributing none. I don't ever remember there being any story moments that looked like they were even intended to be humorous. What this probably means is that somebody wrote the plot in a completely serious manner, thinking things made sense and would entertain instead of make the player groan. I think the only humor the story itself projects is at the end, like somebody finally realized how horrible it is and put this in to make us think it was ironic.

HOLD ON A MINUTE. Didn't I say that I liked this game? Well, I also said that it did about only one thing particularly well: the typing. Yes, it's a completely ludicrous idea, but that's part of what makes it work: how utterly dumb it is. That deadpan serious may have sucked last paragraph, but it's simply fantastic when you see those lifeless blocks called characters walking through the world with unacknowledged Neck Baskets. And yet it still sucked last paragraph, which explains why the rest of the humor comes from the balls-out loony things you'll be typing. I can't even remember any specific examples because there are so many to choose from. All I really have to say, though, is that one of the prompts very suddenly asked me how much I sucked at this game. That's all you need to know about the humor this game delivers (and I mean that in a good way). Some strings of these form entertaining mini-narratives, but for the most part, it's just an assault of random in your face. It doesn't even interrupt the actual gameplay too much, since you're allowed just enough time to comprehend how crazy these phrases are.

WHERE IS THIS EVEN COMING FROM!?

But what if you're the type of stiff asshole who doesn't enjoy typing things about women to kill zombies? Well, you heartless hypothetical bastard, Smilebit has taken your completely fictional needs into account when making this game, and made sure that there's more to typing than just typing funny things. Keep in mind that this was originally a straight-up rail shooter (presumably a bad one, given the now-lack of humor), so it had to survive on frantic action, something Typing of the Dead delivers in spades. You think you're good at typing? Typing of the Dead is here to show you how wrong you are. You're gonna stumble across your keyboard approximately a billion times, and each mistake is one step closer to having a zombie bite off your face. You have to act fast, and that's strength number two behind this game: the frantic action. I'd explain it all, but I believe I just did. Instead, I'll just say that the bosses combine all this with deceptively simple questions and other oddities. Need I say more?

Yes. I do. For I am a pessimistic bastard. For instance, the frantic action doesn't always hold up. There are some instances where the game forces you to slow down, thus briefly robbing the game of what makes it so good. I like my zombie shootings fast paced and on the fly, not plodding and methodical. That may not sound like much of a complaint, and while it certainly isn't, at only a couple of hours (maybe ten after playing through it a few more times), every second counts. You know what, though? Screw all those complaints. Who cares about slow moments or an ugly aesthetic or a non-existent story or droning voice work that would put Microsoft Sam to shame? Typing of the Dead still offers you one incredibly ridiculous idea and pulls it off really well, and that's all you need: the zombie genocide my blog has undoubtedly caused.

Review Synopsis

  • Man, everything surrounding the game sucks.
  • But the game itself is resoundingly strong.
  • It's like a reverse turd calzone!

It has just occurred to me that I probably should have saved that Swedish video for now instead of three weeks ago. Instead, I'll just say this: Fire Emblem could always use more fist pumps.

I know what you're thinking: what? What the hell is this? It's a video game for teaching English...starring Popeye. Already, this is a tragically flawed concept, since Popeye isn't known for eloquence in English or Japanese. So we've started with a tragically flawed concept, and let me tell you that things don't get better from here. Popeye's English Playing (there's a reason the title isn't in English) is basically hangman with about 90% more infanticide.

YOU'RE NOT EVEN TRYING!

I'd tell you the story, which I think is a Popeye x Saw fan fiction thing, but there's a lot more that needs explaining first. For instance, how does this game teach you English? Through Japanese....fuck. Hey, Nintendo (yes, Nintendo): who told you that I knew Japanese? I played this game to learn English, not to flounder about in Japanese. I know this sounds trivial, but it actually forms the major problem with this game. For you see, there's a lot of overlap between Japanese and English, and most of those words end up here. What this means is that the Japanese clue words are going to bear an uncanny resemblance to the answer, meaning the only thing standing between you and victory is a healthy dose of racism.

Oh, wait, I've just realized something: I forgot to contextualize all that previous stuff with some gameplay. Well, there are two modes (OK, three, but two of them are pretty much the same): the first is some multiplayer thing where you grab raining letters until the game decides you know English. I couldn't force another person to learn English with me, so let's just move onto the second, much meatier game mode: Hangman! That's literally what the entire game is: a clumsy game of Hangman. You pick a category, get to guessing the word, and repeat the process ten times. Throw some shitty music on top, and that's all there is, so it's difficult to review the actual game. All I can really say is that some of the categories can be a tad misleading. Dribble is not a sport, and since when was tangle a food? I might as well end here: you want to play a fun game of hangman? Look elsewhere. You want to learn English? Again, look elsewhere. Want to learn Japanese? You're approaching that from the wrong direction, so definitely look elsewhere. Want to see a fat man punch a baby to death?...............I don't know what to say to that.

Review Synopsis

  • You know how Popeye constantly sounds plastered? That probably explains a lot about this game.
#1 Posted by believer258 (12211 posts) -

I dunno, I found Typing of the Dead pretty humorous. Whoever thought to turn it into a typing game was a pure genius.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Whoever thought to turn it into a typing game was a pure genius.

But from what I remember, that was the only source of humor the game had. It worked beyond belief (funny how a different framing makes things funny), but I guess what I'm saying is that I probably wouldn't enjoy House of the Dead 2 should I play that.

#3 Posted by Mento (2810 posts) -

House of the Dead was a pretty dumb but exciting Arcade game. That's generally true for any light-gun shooter you care to mention. As far as narrative depth and quality voice acting goes, is HotD any better or worse than the various Time Crises and Enforcers of a Legal nature?

Typing of the Dead is just inspired though. The new ways the game found to make the bosses work (the one where you need to guess which head will attack next is now a quiz, the one where you need to keep shooting a pursuing monster now has really long, fully-structured sentences to type out, etc.) was clever enough but where the original tried to disorient you through its horror elements (or tried to), TotD does so through its non-sequitur comedy. You're definitely right about it elevating the original source material.

As for Popeye: Eigo no Asobi, it was one of the first NES games ever produced and it shows. When Nintendo launched the thing in 83, they kind of visualized it as a home computer that could also play ports of their Arcade games. So that's why you end up with a conversion of their Popeye Arcade game with English learning tutorials plastered over it. I've been watching a lot of Chrontendo and it's interesting to see how developers initially treated the NES (largely a split between arcade game ports and home computer game ports) before they began to appreciate its unique role.

Moderator
#4 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@mento said:

As far as narrative depth and quality voice acting goes, is HotD any better or worse than the various Time Crises and Enforcers of a Legal nature?

I honestly have no clue, but given this, I can't imagine it being very good.

@mento said:

I've been watching a lot of Chrontendo and it's interesting to see how developers initially treated the NES (largely a split between arcade game ports and home computer game ports) before they began to appreciate its unique role.

That sounds about right. I've always envisioned the NES as the first video game console (in that the consoles before it were basically home arcades in terms of design philosophy), but it makes sense that this wouldn't have happened immediately, especially since:

A.) A lot of the early stuff was just ports of arcade games, and

B.) The NES essentially became an arcade system in another life.

#5 Posted by believer258 (12211 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Whoever thought to turn it into a typing game was a pure genius.

But from what I remember, that was the only source of humor the game had. It worked beyond belief (funny how a different framing makes things funny), but I guess what I'm saying is that I probably wouldn't enjoy House of the Dead 2 should I play that.

You didn't think that the people making this game understood just how dumb it is? Something doesn't have to jump out and say "WE KNOW THIS IS STUPID" Blood Dragon-style.

#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#7 Edited by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -
#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#9 Posted by Slag (4903 posts) -

For your ultimate challenge, next you can try to understand English Women.

#10 Posted by bonbolapti (1626 posts) -

Typing of the Dead is an amazing exercise in the ability to type latched on to a cult favorite arcade shooter. It's remarkably bad in a good way (originally), and the one thing it has going for it is the shiny coat of dumb that makes it stand out from the regular typing exercises. ( Though some Minigames of the Mavis Beacon series try pretty well.)

It was the perfect excuse to buy a keyboard for the Dreamcast (because it certainly wasn't the web browsing.)

Though, English of the Dead on the DS takes typing of the dead and makes it a lot more interesting... given that you'd have to write the words on the touch screen.

Bah. That game is such a good time.

#11 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

It was the perfect excuse to buy a keyboard for the Dreamcast (because it certainly wasn't the web browsing.)

Wait, were there other games that bothered using the keyboard? Could you play Shenmue WASD style? Or was it something more mundane, like chatting in Phantasy Star Online?

#12 Posted by bonbolapti (1626 posts) -

@video_game_king: PSO is all about the macros. Typing of the dead was the only thing really worth keyboarding.

#13 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Typing of the dead was the only thing really worth keyboarding.

This implies that there are other games that use the Dreamcast keyboard. I'm playing those fuckers; you know I will.

#14 Posted by bonbolapti (1626 posts) -
#15 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@video_game_king: if you like shooters, be my guest.

.........I've already made one Beauty and the Beast joke today; I don't need another.

#16 Posted by Tireyo (6451 posts) -

I could imagine Popeye being plastered and have eaten his spinach too. =-P Wow, that would be a dangerous combination.

#17 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4610 posts) -

From what I remember, the original shooty version of the game is mindless, late night fun right up until you hit a point where you die and have to start from the beginning all over again (aka turn it off any play something else).

#18 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

(aka turn it off any play something else).

You mean ANYTHING else? Because I have a lot of options for Dreamcast games.

#19 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4610 posts) -

@video_game_king: Well, this was the only time I ever played a Dreamcast, and we went from that to some fighting anime game with crystals n shit, then gave up on that and played Crimson Skies soooo can't really give any pointers.

also that was supposed to be an 'and', not 'any'. I r stoopid.