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FiringSquad says that Halo 3 mostly delivers on the expectations built up by the previous two installments, providing a fitting conclusion to the trilogy:

So has Halo 3 lived up to the massive attention and hopes for fans of this franchise? Based on playing the single player campaign and checking out its community and editing features we would have to give it a qualified "yes" but again we will have a separate review for its online multiplayer features.

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Most everybody likes Halo, but not everybody loves it. They don't have to. Some find things they enjoy, and ignore the rest, like Kotaku's Brian Crecente:

While Halo 3 doesn't reinvent the genre, it doesn't need to. What it does instead is provide fans of the trilogy a sort of satisfying ending and a much more satisfying experience.

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True to their nature as a technical site, what impressed Ars most about Halo 3 was its solid framerate:

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Okay, so the 360 isn't setting sales records in Japan, and the Japanese aren't really known worldwide for their love of the Halo franchise. Still, that didn't stop flagship Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu from ranking the game quite highly. One scorer gave it 10/10. The others? 9/10. Not bad. PlayTM has the story.

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In yet another example of Halo becoming so cool that the only way to make yourself look cooler in comparison is to dump on it, Steve Tilly at the Edmonton Sun drops this pearl of wisdom: Halo 2 is the #4 most overhyped game ever, just ahead of Daikatana:

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Australia's PALGN has posted a review of Freeverse's XBLA port of Marathon: Durandal. Their verdict:

Marathon: Durandal is one of the best value games on the XBLA. You could spend more time playing through this than Halo, and at a fraction of the cost. There are aspects of the game that are archaic and it’s not a good game in short bursts, however, it provides a mysterious and lengthy experience for anyone who is willing to immerse themselves.

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Funkmon over at Subnova wrote up a scathing review of Eric Nylund's latest Halo novel, Ghosts of Onyx. Although he gave high marks for writing and story, in the end he wanted fewer new characters and more of the Master Chief-- and the reality is the book isn't about Master Chief at all.

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In the first part of my review of Stubbs, I lamented that most gaming media outlets were giving the game less attention than it deserved. That is still so. It was fortuitously released around Halloween, which gave many mainstream outlets an excuse to mention the game, but for the most part the hardcore gaming press dismissed it as a game with a cute premise and a nice soundtrack but just not much to write home about.

Without meaning any disrespect to Robert 'Apache' Howarth at Voodoo Extreme (a site I generally find to be a cut above most gaming sites, even if it is part of IGN) I found his mini-review of Stubbs a good example of what's wrong with game reviews in general and reviews of Stubbs in particular. So I thought I'd annotate a version of it here.

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A multi-part review of Stubbs the Zombie by Rampancy.net.

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More reviews of Stubbs: Anton P Nym wrote a nice piece on Stubbs the Zombie in his blog that is well worth a read.

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Despite being not just very different games but nearly different kinds of games, comparisons between Wideload's debut effort, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without A Pulse, and Bungie's Halo franchise are inevitable.

Wideload has derived not only their core personnel but also the game's engine from Bungie.

At first glance, if it weren't for the "made with the Halo engine" sticker on the box, there might be little to suggest any connection at all. Some reviewers have gone so far as to suggest this was merely a marketing ploy, to attach the relatively unknown Wideload's first game to the blockbuster Halo series. However, the connections are far deeper than that.

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Most reviews of Wideload's debut effort, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without A Pulse have been far more routine and uninteresting than the game itself. Barely a few hundred words, they run down the same checklist of pros and cons as if there was actually only one person who had played the game and written a review, and the rest were all cribbed from that original effort. This is probably not too far from the truth.

The usual litany goes like this: respect for the game's central "high concept" conceit, which is "a zombie game where you play the zombie" and a grudging acknowledgement of the game's sense of humor. The soundtrack is always mentioned, with a list of bands I'm obviously too old or out of touch to have heard of, who admittedly did decent covers of 50's standards.

Then, the review notes some of the controversy regarding the game's gore, accuses it of being too short and/or repetitive, and caps it off with some unrevealing series of numbers or snide advice about rental.

I'd like first to respond to each of these elements that most of the short reviews have in common, and then go on to take a more detailed look at what Stubbs is.

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Two major categories of news in this roundup: Stubbs and Xbox 360.

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HBOer N1NJ4 wrote a review of Wideload's Stubbs The Zombie. The mostly-positive review says that Stubbs is as gross as it is engrossing:

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