Last year I bought an XBOX360 Elite expecting the system to come out with numerous titles that I would enjoy. I’m a girl, and yes I admit, as much as I like blowing the heads off of other players in army/fighting games, I still wanted something geared more at girls; something fun, quirky, colorful, and cute.
When I came across an older original XBOX game called Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse, I thought hey, this looks like something I would like. A little gore mixed in with a heap of cute fun. That cute fun comes packed in a zombie by the name of Stubb, the gore comes from how he kills his enemy, and the fun…well the fun is also how he kills his enemy.
The game takes place in a cute whimsical town in America called Punchbowl. The time era is the 1950’s, however there are futuristic robots, hovercraft and other odd things from the future that were mixed in to the 1950’s era.
After getting a quick camera glimpse at Punchbowl, the game begins with two lovers lying on the ground in what appears to be a little park. Not long into watching this little clip of lovers lying down together, we are introduced to our main character, Stubbs the Zombie.
He rises up from the ground where the lovers were. The tutorial begins immediately. You are told to have Stubbs eat the brains of the human by pressing the Y button. I pressed Y, and a quick launch from Stubbs sends him gripping on to his victim, while sinking his stank zombified teeth into his victims cranium!
It was cool, I must admit. It got even cooler though, oh yes. Shortly after munching on the brains of the kid, a few moments later he too became a zombie!
Now I was not expecting this to happen at all, and it was very, very cool to learn that with every brain I eat, or every kill I made, the victim would rise up from the dead and join me on my quest to munching the brains of everyone in Punchbowl.
The army of zombies I created in turn could kill and eat the brains of other humans in Punchbowl, thus changing them into zombies. Like a pandemic, and very much like Night of the Living Dead!
As game play goes on, Stubbs received other means to attacking the enemy, like Possession which included yanking off his own arm and sinking his fingers into an unsuspecting humans head to possess them.
Gut grenades are also pretty cool because Stubbs can stay away at a safe distance from his attackers. Gut grenades allows him to throw his guts, and then hitting the top trigger button to explode his guts, which would kill anyone nearby the explosion.
Sputum Head allows Stubbs to yank off his own head. After it is yanked off you then have full control of his head, which he will bowl towards his enemy’s (police, humans, swat teams etc).
Unholy flatulence allows Stubbs to fart a toxic gas that will choke up enemies allowing for a quick and easy brain chewing strike.
All of Stubb’s abilities are limited though. In order to refill these abilities back up to use, Stubbs must eat brains! It makes sense.
For me though, the only abilities I found useful during game play was Gut grenades.
Possession ability was also rather interesting because I had the ability to take control of enemies who had weapons. If my possessed human died while being possessed, I would immediately return back to playing as Stubbs.
Stubbs can be played in different difficulty settings. At easy settings, you can pretty much munch your way all through Punchbowl without taking any real damage or losing lives. The human enemies will shoot at you and all, but it’s rather difficult to die, as the humans are just as stupid as the zombies.
There is also medium, and high difficulty settings. You have the ability to play the game at any setting yo see fit. For younger kids though, and those who suck at games in general, easy is a fun way to munch your heart out.
The controls in Stubbs the Zombie are all quite simple to figure out. What you learned in the very first beginning tutorial is all you will really need. A lot of Y button mashing occurs because this is how Stubbs eats the brains of his victims. There is also an action fighting button which allows you to slash up the enemy. It however could take 3 or 4 blows before the person dies.
Although Stubbs the Zombie is far from being a graphical wonder, it is actually done really well. It uses a modified version of the Halo engine, and is quite easy on the eyes. Everything has a cartoonish feel to it though. All in all, for a game as old as Stubbs, the graphics are still really decent, with no complaints coming from me. I did not experience any glitches from the game, nothing disrupted game play, and I was quite happy with that fact.
The re-play value in Stubbs the Zombie is there, but it is small. I beat the game on an easy setting, and would definitely pick it up to give the game a go at a harder setting. However after that, it sort of becomes too repetitive of, hunt, munch brains, munch brains, raise zombie army, munch on brains, kill humans.
I picked up Stubbs the Zombie in the used bin at a local Gamestop for $17.99. For me eating humans brains in a cute little town called Punchbowl was a hell of a lot of fun. Although I beat the game rather quickly (3 days, around 2 hours of game play each day on easy setting) I had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
What I really enjoyed the most though was how the zombie game allowed the played to be the zombie for once, and not the stupid human running from them. It was quite refreshing for an old game!