Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Number 10: Bully

Ahh yes Bully, the game that’s content was nowhere near as bad as the name suggests. In fact the Classification Board here in Australia were so worried about the name that it was originally sold as Canis Canem Edit here, which was almost bound to make the game fail sales wise, but I digress.
What can I say about Bully? GTA with out the guns? Possibly, but that’s not doing this game justice either. Sure it did leech off of the GTA model but it stood unto itself with charming characters and at times all too recognizable ones. Add to this a hilarious story, terrific voice acting and an interesting location, nothing like this had really been done before.
Essentially this was a crime and punishment game like GTA, but the school and adjacent town was a joy to run around and explore. It would be hard to call this a technically proficient game (most open world games have grander ambitions than than technology allows, and this is no exception), it is hard to call a last-gen GTA game technically proficient, but it is so much fun, whether you are biking around, or running all over town there was so much to see and do.

As Jimmy Bullard you were sent to boarding school out of convenience for your parents, and you quickly become an outcast, from all of the regular cliques. The game has you running from bullies, needing to make classes, which gives you perks and benefits in various areas. You even get to try and woo the female classmates.
I originally brought this game simply based off the developer. I was happy that I wasn’t to be disappointed, it is a rare gem and seemingly not as fondly remembered as many other Rockstar games.
Sure it had its issues, it was more frustrating on missing class than it needed to be, there was little incentive to skip them and as bed time was enforced by prefects and police alike, it often gave a very small window to dash between missions. In the scheme of thing it isn’t that big a deal, but it did make it more restrictive, and therefore more annoying, than the GTA games.
This game will always hold fond memories as I got it just as I was finishing school, so there were a lot of school tropes that could be contrasted between this game and my life at that time (even if the game version was highly exaggerated). It wasn’t a perfect game, especially in comparison to what Rockstar has achieved before and since this game but it was a hell of a lot of fun.

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