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December 18th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

I’m not going to claim to be the best speller or writer out there. Typos and me go way back. But is it too much to ask for games to have their words spelled correctly?

Case in point, Legion Arena. The battles in the game are separated by a voice-over history of Rome with a map as the background. The narration is pretty good – and the voice strangely uncredited in the manual. But as the map zoomed out for a bit on the Punic Wars, I was horrified to see “Cathago” and “Puncia” on the map. (It should be “Carthago” and “Punica”.) Two of the game’s battles are misspelled, too – “Claudine Forks” instead of “Caudine” and Agrigentum gets a double-G after the A. (They refer Mark Antony as “Anthony”, but the H-spelling is an acceptable alternative in the UK.)

There’s an odd but frequent formatting problem, too. The text that introduces each battle often runs across the box in such a way to leave a single period at the beginning of a line.

None of this affects the gameplay in any way, naturally. And we’ve come to expect spelling errors in our games, especially as more and more of them are made in non-English speaking countries. But Slitherine is a British company and it’s not like the game was rushed out the door or anything.

Spelling errors do annoy me in games, probably out of all proportion to their importance or frequency. And considering how many words your typical strategy game has, it’s probably remarkable that I haven’t found more in Civilization IV. But these errors do have the effect of pulling me out of whatever zen-like gaming trance I am in, reminding me of the banality of fact-checking and how often it is left for later – and then never gotten around to at all.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Corvus

    That’s crazy. At least they can patch any errors that are brought to their attention.

    The Muppets Season 1 DVDs have spelling and grammar errors in the ‘Muppet Morsels’ features. Drives me crazy.

  • Dave Long

    I’m playing Cuban Missile Crisis: The Aftermath for a PC review and the game’s biggest problem is the terrible spelling and grammar checking along with an entirely too small and sometimes nearly unreadable font.

    The game plays well thanks to the Blitzkrieg engine and some great tweaks to the formula like the turn-based campaign that sets up the battles, but screwing up the fundamentals of presentation really makes me mad when I play it.