The Typing of the Dead
by Empire Interactive Reviewed by: Ben Piazza
After the events of House of the Dead, you once again must put a stop to those who would dabble with forces that man was never meant to meddle with. You figured that the goals the insidious Dr. Curien was trying to accomplish died with him. It seems, though, that the creatures he had created have risen again to consume all of humanity. With any luck you’ll be able to put a stop to this new adversary known to you only as Goldman. To make things more complicated you must leave behind your trusty firearm and instead arm yourself with only a simple keyboard. What can possibly be done with just an everyday keyboard? If you fancy yourself an adequate typist, you’ll be able to type those flesh eating zombies hurtling back to whatever hell they crawled out of.
The Typing of the Dead, while it does have some extra options, is essentially a re-release of House of the Dead 2 with a challenging and different spin on the combat method.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Not everyone has spectacular typing skills -- to aid in overcoming this problem I suggest that you take a shot at the tutorial on the main menu screen so that you can become more confident with your keyboard. I even decided that it would be a sensible idea to go through the entire lessons available so that I wouldn’t receive such a beating when I started the game. During the tutorial there is an image of a keyboard at the top of your screen that shows what keys you are pushing during the lessons. Don’t sell yourself short by breezing through the lessons as fast as you can in order to get to the action. Even after I had a go at the tutorial I still had problems dealing with all the opposition. Take your time and become familiar with the keys before you move on.
As soon as you have gotten all you are going to get out of the tutorial, you should move on to the drills. You may scoff at the idea that you may need to speed up your response time but I must say it pays off. Don’t rush through the drills until you feel comfortable with the score you have gotten. Drills will help increase your skills as a typist so that you won’t become frustrated with the difficulty of the game. Even after you decide that you wish to move on to the next section you can still may want to come back to the drills later to improve your skills.
Once you get past all the training nonsense, you have a chance to show the zombies what you’ve got. At this point you have a couple of decisions to make on the direction you want to go. Now, usually you have to just jump right into the game, fighting through whatever the threat is, then finally arriving at the big boss where the two of you attempt to destroy one another. Well, now you can have the satisfaction of tossing away the plot and just mutilating the bosses. Not to say the plot isn’t a barrel of laughs, but who wouldn’t like to get down to the main fights and whooping the bosses before they know what hit them? It sounds good enough, but I found that the boss fights are quite difficult -- especially for one who hasn’t become familiar with typing combat. Since the combat might frustrate you to no end if you haven't built up your skills, I believe that going through the scenario first proves to be more enjoyable in the long run.
So how does one take out the zombies throughout the game? All you have got to do is to type out the letters that appear whenever a zombie begins to approach you. The difficulty of the words or phrases that appear on each opponent is dependent on how far you have progressed in the game. This can become quite complicated later on in the game, since some of the words that pop up can really boggle the mind. Another difficulty you will encounter during the course of the game is that it may take a couple precious seconds for the words to appear, which may determine whether you live or die. As long as you keep a sharp wit you should be able to blast through everything in your path.
I’ve got to admit that I’m a fan of violence, which is probably why I loved playing this game. You’ve not only got a dozen different zombies to set your sights on but you also get to watch them lose limbs with every shot from your keyboard. On top of that, each zombie has different ways that it can be taken out, depending on how far you’ve progressed in the game. With every shot you can laugh to yourself, as the zombie has to watch itself become nothing more than a bloody stump. Keep in mind though that you have to be quick or you’ll end up on the menu.
What can be said other than "make the hurting stop!" Usually I don’t mind listening to music when I play a horror game but only if it fits the mood. Anything other than what belongs in a game full of gunshots and screams of terror, well, just toss it in the garbage and wait for something more fitting. Also I would’ve appreciated if the characters had put more feeling into what they were saying during the course of the game. Not that it does fit the classic corny dialogue of most zombie flicks, but it almost goes too far. You’ll be better served switching off the sound immediately and putting on your headphones with some good mood music playing, instead.
Windows 95/98/Me, P2 233Mhz, 660MB hard disk, 64MB RAM, 8MB Direct 3D compatible video card, Microsoft compatible keyboard and mouse.
What can one expect out of the game? You’ve got to have some skill at typing to get very far, and on the plus side it does provide a detailed tutorial on how to become an accomplished typist. It has an interesting plot with lots of wandering around shooting off the limbs of the walking dead. However, you shouldn’t expect too much out of the dialogue or the background music. If you are the type of person who loves a challenge, and the horror genre of videogames, then you should go purchase a copy for yourself.
Review Posted On 17 October 2001.
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