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The Best Games Period - Episode 115 - The Typing of the Dead: Overkill


Jack Gardner

TTotD-970.jpg

 

A PC adaptation of a Wii on-rails shooter that shifted the shooting mechanic into a typing mechanic in homage to a surreal 90s Dreamcast title doesn't sound like something that would turn out well. However, Typing of the Dead: Overkill inexplicably works. The quirky game asks players to improve their typing skills while also playing through a grindhouse schlock-fest of gore and f-bombs.

 

Despite the educational nature of its mechanics, kids should definitely not play Typing of the Dead: Overkill. We can't stress that enough. But adults? You make your own choices and decide whether this C-tier romp through zombies and low-budget film cliches might just secretly be one of the best games of all-time. 

 

Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.

 

 

Outro music: Undertale 'Gaster's Legacy' by DS (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03761)

 

You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well!

 

If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod 

 

New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday

 

Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

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You are absolutely missing out if you haven't tried Epistory: Typing Chronicles yet. It is an indie, low-budget typing-based game that isn't on rails. It has a fairly large world map to explore, a boatload of optional content to discover, and features a gorgeous, unique origami-based aesthetic where the game world literally unfurls around you. It's slower-paced overall like TOTD:OK, but makes up for it by makes your eyes move around the screen much more and having to stop and pick your chances to fight back against the swarm of insects coming to ruin your day. It has an adaptive difficulty that will match your typing speed and accuracy, making it challenging but fair to all skill levels. Try finding the nest that throws Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis or Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic at you. And it's extremely family friendly! 

 

I honestly think playing that game will drastically change your opinions of TOTD:OK. In my opinion, It doesn't do the typing well, it doesn't do the horror well, and it doesn't do much else. If you want a fast-paced, high action, typing-shooter hybrid arcade game, you want Typing of the Dead. The original. In my opinion, TOTD:OK is far too slow paced and repetitive, and the only thing it does better than Typing of the Dead is be available -- which is, sadly, perhaps the most important thing to do well.  TOTD:OK is on Steam.  TOTD requires a DreamCast and a DreamCast keyboard.  Good luck with that! If the game -is- difficult and fast-paced enough for you, your opinion is going to vary wildly from mine -- but I also think it means you should give Epistory a try, and at least go watch some footage of the original if you can't get your hands on it. But as a speedrunner, who loves when games give me 'input breaks' where I don't have to do anything, this game was great, because there is a lot of downtime.

 

I don't think you have to be offended by f-bombs and gratuitous, over-the-top-even-if-campy horror and gore to be offended by by main characters calling physically disabled people "cabbages" and "cripples" more than once.  But even if you're here for the bad jokes, campiness, over-the-top lampooning of the horror genre as a whole, if the gameplay itself is slow and plodding and can't keep up, you're honestly left with a game with big boobs, big explosions, and vegetable jokes -- and there must be better ways to get that type of entertainment than with this video game. There was a time where the only thing I would stream are typing games and typing game speedruns, but once I unified the world record for all three TOTD games (for all of 12 hours), I dropped the game like a bad habit.It just isn't fun. It's too slow. It's too easy. It's way too repetitive.

 

The original TOTD is worthy of GOAT consideration, at least in the "typing game" genre and maybe in the "arcade-style shooter" genre as well. But it's what modern typing games -- what few there are -- compare themselves to.  Not TOTD:Overkill. Typing of the Dead, because it has name recognition and it's the game people remember playing.

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Oh, wow! Thank you for the recommendation!

 

I just looked that up Epistory, and I'm super impressed by what I saw. I'll include the trailer below for other people who read your comment. I'll definitely be checking it out! :)

 



To clarify, the show premise is not that every game we talk about is one of the best games of all-time (though some of them are), but that they are at least worthy of an in-depth discussion about what they do well and where they fall short - basically, we like talking about what makes video games so gosh darn interesting! 

 

I actually agree with pretty much everything you said and it's why I came down as a hard no as to it being one of the best games of all-time. The ableist "jokes" and the way the game treats its female characters are both huge issues for me in my enjoyment of the game even if I recognize them as stylistic throwbacks to the grindhouse films of the past. It was dated in 2013, but especially so in 2018. I really wanted to do the original Typing of the Dead, but like you said, the availability of it is just absurd. 

 

One of the things we bemoan is that typing seems to be a criminally underused mechanic in video games, so thank you again for the excellent suggestion of Epistory! 

Also, wow, congratulations on holding a speedrunning record! Even for just 12 hours, that's amazing!

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