Stubbs the Zombie

Was super excited about this game. If it weren’t for all the time I’ve had to spend this week publically defending, scrapbooking on the topic of, writing fan fiction about, and drawing pictures inspired by The Warriors, I’d have been much more all over this.

Finally played it for a few hours last night. Neat concept. Very polished. Terrific Hugo Gernsback retro-futuristic art direction. Writing is pretty sharp and right off the bat there’s an excellent swastika joke. In fact, the hit to miss ratio on the jokes is like 60/40, which is darn good.

Unfortunately, worst gameplay ever. I’m not exaggerating here. The gameplay is so monotonous and wafer thin that I think I must be missing something. The ultra mega simplistic controls make the combat in Ico look like Virtua Fighter 4. You walk slowly up to enemies while they stand there and shoot you, then you press the x button twice to hit them a couple of times and then you press the y button once to eat their brains. And then you do that over and over and over again until you eventually end up in a wild 10 on 10 brawl against scary looking, bat wielding thugs. Only to get to the exciting gang fight level, you have to press the button that ejects Stubbs the Zombie and put The Warriors back in. If you don’t do that, the boredom goes on maybe forever.

Did anyone else pick this up? I need a reality check. I mean, it can’t possibly be this bad, and yet somehow it is.

Bummer. Gamefly is sending it to me now because nobody is returning Indigo Prophecy.

Yeah, sadly, I agree. It’s totally awesome in every respect except the actual play. Shamble up, eat brain, shamble up, eat brain, shamble up, eat brain, oh there’s a large group, throw bomb thing, shamble up, eat brain…I guess it is an accurate zombie simulator. But it’s not that fun.

You want a neat concept that commences to completely suck, try Trapt. Not the band, the game that has nothing to do with them that ships 11/1.

I had that and Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, and if I didn’t have Fire Emblem too, I’d think the guy who sent them to me hates me.

So what’s the deal with the reasonable scores for Stubbs if it’s teh suq?

EDIT! Jesus! Gerstmann even says “Exciting gameplay” in his “The Good” things at Gamespot!


It’s good…briefly. It’s got really excellent production values and makes an excellent first impression. It just gets old fast.

I thought I read this here but someone at Bungie said that Halo was thirty seconds of fun over and over: smack someone in the head with the back of your gun, toss a grenade into a group of enemies, then pull out your sniper rifle and finish off the rest (anyone have the actual quote?).

Stubbs is that thirty seconds over and over literally.

I think that was quoted in the 1up review of Stubbs.

Yeah, that halo quote is accurate. It was part of a making of feature I saw. Maybe at GDC? Not sure. Anyway, what people don’t realize is that it wasn’t the 30 seconds of fun repeated that made halo good, it was the fact that killing enemies was tons of fun that made halo good.

30 second repetition is never truly good; the player gets bored, or tired of doing the same thing, unless everything the player does during that time is just so fantastic that it doesn’t matter that it’s all he does.

The way I played Ninja Gaiden, it was basically point-five seconds of fun over and over: double jump off of a wall, perform a driving slash. And it was awesome.

Yeah, but Ninja Gaiden, like Halo 1 and 2, has a superb feel to its action. The graphics, sound, and controller vibration combine to convey the sense of being a kick ass ninja pulling off elegant, powerful, and complex moves like no other action game in history. Ninja Gaiden may be mostly built around repeating the same few gameplay patterns (attack groups of enemies, attack bosses) over and over again, but if it didn’t feel right, then it wouldn’t stand as one of the best action games ever made.