spiceninja's Bully (Xbox 360) review

You'll have to look past a lot of bugs and glitches.

Bully is one of the most entertaining games ever made. Why this is is fairly apparent. It's a Rockstar game that plays like GTA and who better than to rip off GTA than Rockstar themselves? But that's not what Bully is all about. Sure, it's another open world game and that's been done a million times before but that's beside the point. Bully offers an experiance that many other games strive for but fail to accomplish. It offers an engaging story that will keep you playing just to see what will happen next and who in the wonderful cast of characters you'll be able to trade punches with. It also offers up the tried and true gameplay that has made Rockstar one of the most beloved and recognizable game developers out there.

You play as a 15 year old boy named Jimmy Hopkins. He's been expelled from multiple schools and his mother has been remarried more than five times. It's apparent Jimmy has had a rough life and he copes with it by beating people up and acting like a real delinquent. His mother has gotten married yet again and she and her new husband dump Jimmy off at a boarding school know has Bullworth Academy forgetting he even exists in the process.

Bully is a misleading name. You don't play as a bully (although you can if you so choose) but rather you go out of your way to stop all the bullying at Bullworth. Within the first few minutes of the game you see what kind of a school Bullworth really is and Jimmy wants to clean it up. Along the way you'll meet an amazing cast of characters that feel real and alive within the game. You'll meet Algernon, the nerd who frequently wets himself; Gary, the boy you come to trust but soon realize is a maniac only out for himself; and many others who all of which are perfectly voiced by a talented cast of actors.

Your in an open world were you can do pretty much anything you feel like doing. Want to beat up a teacher? Well go right ahead. How about skipping class? You have the choice to do so. But keep in mind that doing such things does come at a price. School prefects will chase you down and if you don't get away or find a place to hide then there will be trouble. The first couple of times your caught you'll just get a slap on the hand, but if you continue to misbehave then it's off to detention with you.

During your term at Bullworth you can attend classes. Scholarship Edition adds new classes that were not found in the original game. Those are Math, Geography, Biology, and Music class. All of the original classes from the initial release also make a return in the form of Art, Gym, Shop, English, Chemistry, and Photography. Classes play out like minigames and are generally fun. In Chemistry you'll be doing button presses as they scroll across the screen to mix chemicals akin to San Andreas's dancing minigames, English class will have you making word out of jumbled letters, and so on. You'll want to attend classes not only because they are fun, but because they reward you with new moves, and skills that are essential to game progression.

There are also eight new missions added to Scholarship Edition. None of them are terribly exciting but if you've played the game on the PS2 then they'll stick out as something new. Most of them take place during Christmas time and as such have a Christmas theme to them. You'll help a bum who thinks honest to God thinks he Santa teach some punk kids a lesson and you'll also help him take out the rival Santa so kids will come to him for their Christmas photos.

Bully takes place over 5 distinct chapters. Each has it's own feel and theme. In chapter one you'll work your way up to the leader of the bullies and take him out making all of the bullies respect you. The same happens in chapter two through four with you taking out the leaders of each clique. The story in the game is a bit predictable but not in a particularly bad way. It's all satisfying and extremely exciting.

Bully has gotten a bit of an upgrade graphically since it's outing on the PS2. The lighting has been improved and doesn't make the game look so dark. Character models have also been somewhat improved. But even with the improvements Bully still looks like a last gen game. It also suffers from frequent crashes and a lot of framerate issues. So take this into consideration if you plan on buying the 360 version. A patch has been released and with it installed I only encountered a game crash once and it was halfway through the game.

All in all Bully is an amazing experience that you shouldn't miss. It was a classic in 2006 and it's still a classic now.


Other reviews for Bully (Xbox 360)

    Bully: Scholarship Edition Review 0

    Bully is based in and around the schoolyard of one of the roughest schools in the world, at the beginning you'll be dropped off outside Bullsworth academy by your Mother and stepdad, this will be your home for the next year while they are on a very long cruise. After some brief introductions you are left to make your own way in the school, you have two classes a day to attend and various side missions and a main quest to follow to advance the story. The game has a very open feel and there is muc...

    3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

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