Recent Movies

Title Poster Datesort descending
Warthog Jump by Randall Glass narcogen 04.15.02
Halo Hurricane by Skavenger narcogen 04.15.02
Breaking The Rules (Team Overkill) narcogen 04.20.02
HaloST3K narcogen 05.26.02
Asshole blackstar 05.26.02
Warthog Jump Revisited by Randall Glass narcogen 06.01.02
Evolution Of Halo by Bungie, recorded by... narcogen 06.09.02

Latest Sheet Music

Title Transcriber Date
Enough Dead Heroes Poop Scoop 03.12.04
Silent Cartographer Guitar Sol... Poop Scoop 03.17.04
Halo Theme Guitar Tab XvShadow 03.17.04
On A Pale Horse Poop Scoop 08.28.04
The Maw Poop Scoop 08.28.04
Halo: Master And Chief Poop Scoop 08.28.04
Truth And Reconciliation Suite Poop Scoop 02.07.05

wideload

Welcome to punchbowl, and welcome to my walkthrough of Stubbs the zombie. This will get you through the whole game on the insane difficulty, and hopefully find all of the hippos on the way. Where needed, I will include screenshots, and maybe (but probably not) even videos. Enjoy, as soon as I ask permission, I will link the recordings of the commentaries to their respective hippos.

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

This forum post got me pretty excited ( 3rd post down of course ;) ). If my workload would ever let up (looking like summer by now), I was planning on trying to record as much dialogue as possible, with one or two specific targets.

Needless to say, I would be more than willing to pay for this content. On top of that, the use of the word "wacky" is nothing short of exhilirating. Or is it sarcastic?

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Richard 'MrE' Elliott over at the Global Gaming League has an interview with Doug Zartman, now of Wideload Games and formerly of Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Software.

category: 
game: 
topic: 

A couple recent conversations, and this article got me wondering what Wideload might be doing next. Unfortunately, I am not the most informed person out there, so all I can do is talk about what I would like, and one possiblity mentioned in the above interview.

game: 
platform: 
topic: 

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.

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

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.

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

[image:9359 left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0] This issue has been stewing for quite awhile; and for a long time, I left it completely alone, hoping that it would just go away.

Except it didn't.

In the past two weeks, Wideload Games' debut offering, Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse, has garnered more press attention for its inclusion in a controversial list of games produced by NIMF, the National Institution on Media and the Family, than it did for being released as an interesting and entertaining Halo-engine game with an innovative theme, and that's just wrong.

The list purports to bring attention to games that parents should watch out for. The twelve "games to avoid" on this year's list included Far Cry, F.E.A.R., Doom 3, Resident Evil 4, Conker: Live and Reloaded, and at number four (with a bullet) our pal Stubbs the Zombie.

What's a zombie got to do for a little respect?

Supporters of the game industry were quick to point out that every single game on that list is rated M for Mature and not intended for children.

NIMF President David Walsh, asserts that the ESRB rating system is "broken beyond repair". How a voluntary rating system that correctly identified all of their 12 "games to avoid" as Mature is broken, I can't really fathom. If I was the NIMF, I'd be seriously worried that people would interpret this list to mean that all the other M-rated games aren't really that bad, and thus would be okay for children. Or that they'd be worried that the industry would respond that their games rated M aren't as bad as these on the list, and should perhaps be rated T instead.

[image:8446 right hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0] At the end of the day, the ESRB ratings, just like the MPAA ratings, are not enforceable as laws; individual retailers have to enforce them. And just like the MPAA ratings, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. If they don't and consumer watch groups want them to, why they don't lobby the retailers instead of the ESRB or the developers, I've no idea. The idea solely seems to be to pick on the weakest child. The retailers are more interested in making money than pushing NIMF's agenda, and so are the console makers and game developers. The ESRB, as a nonprofit, is clearly the easier target. NIMF and others criticize them for failing to achieve something that isn't even part of their activities-- the enforcement of the ratings by retailers-- so they can muscle the ESRB out of the way and replace it with their own nonprofit group with its own ratings system that would most assuredly by ignored with just as much enthusiasm as that promoted by the ESRB.

Like most of the games on that list (with the possible exception of Conker) Stubbs is clearly intended for an adult audience. It's got adult themes, an adult sense of humor, and it's set in a time period that today's teenagers have only ever seen on Nick at Night.

None of this even touches on the most ridiculous part of NIMF's justification for including Stubbs on the list: that's right, cannibalism. I could waste my breath on how silly that sounds. Luckily, you don't have to. Wideload was also quiet about the list until last week; and while it may be true that all publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right, Wideload did respond to the allegations of cannibalism leveled at Stubbs, in a posting that bears the clear fingerprints of lead writer Matt Soell:

Stubbs is a zombie. Thus the title "Stubbs the Zombie." Zombies eat brains. That's what they do. Stubbs cannot just saunter into the cafeteria and order a plate of Freedom Fries. He has to fight for his meals. In fact, actual cannibals only make it harder for Stubbs to eat, which is why this "cannibalism" story is insulting as well as injurious.

It's no surprise that the all-human media cartel resorts to distortions and name-calling; their anti-zombie bias has been evident for decades, and Stubbs is just the newest target.

Of course, some might call Wideload biased in this respect. After all, they did make the game.

Columnist Dean Takahashi also took special exception to Stubbs' inclusion on the list:

But by putting this game on the list, along with "Far Cry" and "Fear," the institute also does a kind of dis-service. There's a stigma to getting on that list, as if the makers of the games were really producing reprehensible stuff with no redeeming social value. It is on the same list, for instance, as "Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories" for the PlayStation Portable and "True Crime: New York." The institute noted that the cannibalism scenes in Stubbs and Fear are more examples of the industry sinking to new lows. But in Stubbs, I don't know if you can call it cannibalism. The zombies eat the brains of live humans in a fairly comic manner, with gushers of blood coming as they do so and the humans screaming "oh you ate my brains" in the process. But they're zombies eating humans, not humans eating humans.

I don't consider cannibalism, in any case, to be an artistic and legitimate form of expression. Yet this game isn't the equivalent of "Night of the Living Dead." Stubbs the Zombie is a satire. It makes fun of the sterile environment of the city and the dumb people who populate it.

[image:9705 left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0] "It's just the worst kind of message to kids," said Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman of Stubbs' brain-eating proclivities.

Be careful out there, gamers. Looks like the dumb people have escaped from Punchbowl and are overrunning Congress.

game: 
topic: 

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

game: 
platform: 

NewCityChicago's Mike Schramm has produced a nicely researched little feature on Alex "The Man" Seropian; it includes a brief history of Bungie, with a proper tip of the hat to Marathon as the genesis of Halo, and an introduction to Wideload and their brainchild, Stubbs the Zombie.

category: 
game: 
platform: 

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:

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

The Hilton Head IslandPacket has a nice review of Stubbs the Zombie up that has two major negative points: one, it spoils part of the plot of the game in its second paragraph, and two, it suggests that because the game is too short, it's a better rental than a purchase. (This is what happens when you play Halo engine games on "Easy"--Ed.)

game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Joseph Blancato at the WarCry Network has put up a review of Stubbs the Zombie called That's Not Eisenhower-Era Behavior. He found the game quite underappreciated, as well as its main character, Stubbs, whom he likened to a zombified James Dean (hence the title):

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Randall "Bat" Schwebke has put up the second part of Wideload Games dot Org's interview with Aspyr's Glenda Adams. Aspyr is now working on the Mac and PC versions of the game, which was released last month on the Xbox. Of note: the game is shipping for the Mac on a single DVD, but the PC version is shipping on 3 CDs.

category: 
game: 
topic: 

The Associated Press' roundup of Halloween themed games mentioned Stubbs the Zombie's "rampant, demented humor" (sounds like there's a Bungie fan there--Ed.) but used the other r-word as well.

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

The syndicated column tech.life@play has a short feature on Halloween-themed games. Among them, they took a special shine to Stubbs the Zombie:

How can such a thing be funny? The game plays it for laughs - and succeeds - by displaying an impeccable sense of comic timing, off-the-wall comments uttered by Stubbs' victims, and the dutiful ministrations of a robot guide that wants only to give Stubbs a detailed tour of Punchbowl.

category: 
game: 
platform: 
topic: 

Pages