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Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (Xbox) artwork

Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (Xbox) review


"Imagine that after living a crappy life, you were murdered, just like that and even worse, when they threw your ass into a hole in the ground, no one cared. No one came to wish you your best as you began your journey into your afterlife. There were no fancy tombs, no sacrifices, no screaming widows; just a lump left in the Earth after the dirt was thrown on top of you. That would suck. Moments before your death, as your life flashed before your eyes, you’d wish for a chance to come back and do t..."



Imagine that after living a crappy life, you were murdered, just like that and even worse, when they threw your ass into a hole in the ground, no one cared. No one came to wish you your best as you began your journey into your afterlife. There were no fancy tombs, no sacrifices, no screaming widows; just a lump left in the Earth after the dirt was thrown on top of you. That would suck. Moments before your death, as your life flashed before your eyes, you’d wish for a chance to come back and do things differently. You’d wished that you had settled down, loved, had children, and dozens of other things as your heart pumped that last little bit of consciousness through you.

As far as I’m concerned, we never get that chance to come back, so you have to live life to the fullest everyday, which is something I don’t usually do. I just sit here and play video games (or write about them). But, imagine if you did get to come back. Just like all those commercials for prescription drugs you see every twenty seconds if you watch the early morning news, certain side effects to reanimation can and will occur. The most common side effect of reanimation is Zombification. Edward “Stubbs” Stubblefield recently awoke from a twenty year stint with death and his Zombification is sadly irreversible. Now, in 1959, he’s trying to live his life to the fullest in the City of Punchbowl, but as a misunderstood, second-class citizen.

One of the problems with being dead for twenty or so years is how hungry you when wake up and Stubbs is one hungry deadite. As Stubbs emerges from his unmarked grave in one of the main squares of Punchbowl, a Mecca for modernization in 1959, one of the first things he discovers is that he’s hungry, and his hunger can’t be contained. He needs to constantly eat. Stubbs has a particular preference though: brains. You see, brains, while only contributing about 2% of the mass of our entire body, consume nearly 20% of the energy that our body produces, so these brains are incredibly nourishing.

Stubbs was a traveling salesman in his old life, but his new business is all brain consumption. It’s all he really has time for and his new career is messy. When Stubbs clamps his teeth down onto the skull of a victim, their blood shoots out in every direction. Chunks of bone and sinew litter the streets as Stubbs dines on the tasty grey matter inside the heads of once living victims. Zombification is typically a disease that strikes the dead at random, but it is highly contagious if a zombie should happen to munch on your brains. If Stubbs does feast on the brains of say, a teenage hunk or a police man, well, they’re unfortunately going to be afflicted with Zombification as well.

These new Zombies are hungry too. Once Stubbs has chewed on a few tasty brains, he soon has an army of undead minions at his disposal. His army might not be comprised of the best and brightest, but they do take a lot of attention off of Stubbs and allow him to eat more and more brains and infect more and more people with his potent strand of Zombification without being overwhelmed by the defense forces of Punchbowl. Sometimes they might need a shove in the right direction, but generally Stubbs’ army can handle themselves in combat. Unlike Stubbs, who regenerates health constantly, his undead minions tend to fall in battle rather quickly.

Another side effect of Zombification is flatulence. Everyone has a little gas now and then, but during Zombification and the rotting of your insides, farts can literally clear rooms and knock people out. However, when attempting an overthrow of a municipal government (as Stubbs is attempting), this can be incredibly beneficiary. I mean, have you smelled a rotting corpse? Not good. Imagine smelling a rotting corpse’s gas. You get the picture.

Of course, life as a zombie isn’t always the most interesting. It mostly involves brain eating, and then some more brain eating, followed by a few more hours of brain eating. Stubbs might occasionally possess someone and use them to act in his place, or blow them up with his head, but really, his life boils down to just a whole lot of endless people killing, and Stubbs wants to break free from this rigid life. He’s got himself a love interest, and hopefully she can see past his green, slimy exterior and his insect-filled interior and find what remains of his maggot-consumed heart.

Fortunately for Stubbs, Punchbowl’s municipal defenses aren’t very strong, and Stubbs, even suffering from a severe case of Zombification, can achieve victory in just a few days. With the help of competent human ally, Stubbs can take over Punchbowl in just a handful of hours. Stubbs might be left craving a few more brains and he might have wished that he could have done a little bit more than just feast and fart, but I think that by the time Punchbowl and love have been conquered, Stubbs is reasonably satisfied with the second chance he was given for life and love.

Rating: 7/10

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Community review by asherdeus (April 27, 2006)

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