As if the English of the Dead game itself wasn't appealing enough, those with a mind to learn the language of the Land of the Rising Fun can make strides with Sega's DS title. It may not be as full-fledged as a product aimed specifically at teaching English-language natives the language of Japanese, but it's surprisingly useful.
You see, there's this mini-game included with the title that has zombies running about, with English words above their heads. You, the backpack-wearing son-of-a-gun, are then presented with three different words in kanji, one of which matches the English word. Pretty neat, huh?
Start your Friday with a bit of an English refresher -- and some zombie-dispatching! Sega has created a short Flash demo for English of the Dead, recreating the multiple-choice training mode. In this mode, a zombie will run out and threaten you with two rubber mallets. Then, a Japanese sentence (our Flash player doesn't have Japanese language support, hence the gibberish) and a partial English translation will appear. It's up to you to choose the correct English word on the bottom screen, and compel the zombie to jump into a trap door!
You actually have to wait a long time before the zombie will attack you. Presumably this is more challenging if you don't know English.
Hey, look, even more English of the Dead stuff! A lot of the screens in the latest update from GAME Watch showed up in yesterday's bundle of screens, but we think this is worth a look anyway. The new screens are organized by chapter and by mode, for a complete overview of the new training game (which means you can see what the Magician boss, and the others we had yet to see, look like on the DS).
Most importantly (to our curiosity), the new screens include this straight-on shot of the new backpack. It's clearly (as clearly as it can be in that resolution) a Japanese Mega Drive in the second model, with the blue button and the red cartridge slot (and the fact that the game is Japanese) distinguishing it from other Model 2 Mega Drive/Genesis systems.
IGN seems to have developed a hunger for screenshots of English of the Dead, much like we have. We cannot be stopped. We remain unfazed by bodily harm as we wander the Earth endlessly in search of screenshots. "screeeeeeeeeens," we intone in an inhumanly low growl. We are driven by an insatiable desire to direct-feed.
They've posted the biggest, most delicious screen update ever for the zombie English trainer, featuring screens of multiple modes and levels, and finally -- sort of -- answering the question of what the dogs of the AMS will wield in the DS game. It looks like maybe a Genesis? The thing in their hands is a big rectangular tablet for writing. And not a Sega Pico, which would have been really funny.
Sega is really proud of their funny zombie drawings. Of course they have every right to be, since the funny zombie drawings are in fact funny, but we are still surprised by how heavily this trailer for English of the Dead relies upon them. Of course, if you had an excuse to create an animation of a zombie being served your game's modes on separate plates, wouldn't you?
In addition to being hilarious and enthusiastic, this trailer provides our first brief look at the game's engine in motion. It's so smooth! Again we must register our disbelief that Sega has ported The House of the Dead 2 down so well, for a training game.
Not actual screenshots of the dead, obviously -- that would be horrendous, and would shatter all boundaries of good taste.
No, we're actually referring to new shots of Sega's English of the Dead, which just shambled our way from Japanese site Gemaga, and which are now waiting for your fleshy, delicious EYES in the gallery below.
Incidentally, the image for this post is taken from a promotional flier for the game (full version viewable here). We just put it there because a zombie in a mortarboard best sums up the inherent hilarity of Sega's game, a title in which gigantic, two-headed serpents can teach us the Japanese word for "bicycle."
As if we didn't already have enough reason to love the bizarre English of the Dead: the latest update to the official website reveals this little wonder here. It's one of the ways that the game records your progress -- in addition to an accuracy percentage and medal rankings, there's a measure of the amount (by head weight) of zombies killed. In the screenshot here, it's revealed that 646 zombies weigh roughly the same as one elephant.
Assuming a weight of 10,000 pounds for an average elephant, that means that the average zombie head weighs about 15.5 pounds. That's pretty heavy for a head! Ah, we can't wait for the inevitable arguments elephant and human head weight.
Childishly, we think it's kind of funny that new screens of an English training game for Japanese people were available on a French website. It illustrates the fact that the English learning is not what matters about English of the Dead. It's the zombie killing. It's enjoying the bizarro juxtaposition of edutainment and gore. It's about it being time for the dogs of the AMS to make a move.
That's why it is of interest to a website whose operators understand neither the Japanese nor the English text -- the awesomeness of this language game transcends actual language.
The box on the bottom screen is a handwriting interface, used for the default style of fighting. Bosses will mix it up, putting pre-printed multiple choices on the bottom screen. But before the bosses, your life depends on your penmanship.
Speaking of official websites: Sega has put up a teaser site for their absolutely enchanting zombie-shooting/English-training game The English of the Dead. It doesn't contain much in the way of screens, but it does have some wonderful chibi zombie art which is not to be missed.
And it's not like you're being cheated out of screens, because Famitsu totally put some up! It might be an academic distinction, but this appears to be a ported version of The Typing of the Dead rather than The House of the Dead 2, in that the axe-zombie guy has his red mallet from the typing game here, and the ranking display looks the same. It's kind of hard to pinpoint the source of a port when both Dreamcast games are the same game running on the same engine. Whichever game it started from, we have to admit that we're impressed with Sega's ability to shrink it down to the DS.
The latest issue of Famitsu has revealed something bizarre and magical from Sega: English of the Dead. Like Typing of the Dead,English is a conversion of House of the Dead 2 in which players must write words to defeat zombies. In English of the Dead, however, the zombies' words are in Japanese and players must translate them into English in order to score a kill. There's also a listening mode in which the zombies speak English, and boss battles with varying gameplay -- the Hydra, for example, is a multiple-choice translation test. This is a training game we could get very excited about, and we know English.
The most amazing thing about this game, to us, is that Sega ported House of the Dead 2 to the DS just to do this. Maybe they're trying to teach English to ... the people who wrote House of the Dead 2's script. They could use the help. Go, Kuarl (past the post break for the full scan)!