By: Casey Curran
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill may be the most ridiculous name for a video game, ever. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone not familiar with gaming what they think it would be about. Those of us that are familiar with its Dreamcast predecessor, however, know that it takes the light-gun zombie classic, The House of the Dead, and replaces the gun with a keyboard as the weapon of choice to take down hordes of zombies. Only now it takes the Wii’s House of the Dead: Overkill and gives it this treatment, which ends up being a wonder to behold.
House of the Dead was always a cheesy series, but cheesy in a more subtle way where it was hard to tell whether said cheesiness was intentional. Overkill, on the other hand, turned the absurdity up to 11 from the ridiculously over-the-top characters to the film grain and static in the sound that were common with movies in the 1960s. The result was one of the most hilarious zombie games I have ever played.
Typing of the Dead: Overkill embraces everything that made its Wii predecessor absurd by implementing its equally bizarre gameplay twist. It is the standard light gun formula with the twist of typing instead of pointing and shooting. Each zombie has a word or phrase in front of it, with the tougher zombies having more complex typing exercises — hitting backspace cancels your input. The game asks you to write many ridiculous phrases to take the undead out, with “Fried gold,” ‘I’m Spartacus too,” and “Trust me, I’m a doctor” being among my favorites. Just know ahead of time that these are the cleaner samples, but foul language is to be expected when one level consists of shooting zombie strippers in a night club.
The only issue I really have is that there can be confusion between which word matches the zombie that constitutes the most immediate threat. In the original, it was just a simple matter of pointing and shooting, with the benefit of being able to alternate between zombies. Now, however, a zombie does not die until you finish the phrase and if you switch to another zombie mid phrase, you must start all over again upon returning. This did lead to more than a few hits, which hurt my combo building as you gain more points by avoiding taking damage.
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is a blast to play, plain and simple. Simply put, if your PC is even somewhat capable of handling games (it’s only a Wii game, so it won’t strain most computers too much), then it is a must buy for anyone who likes cheesy, stupid fun. With the added bonus of an extra hard mode, an addicting score system and the promise of online co-op, this is a game I will be playing for quite a long time.