|Wow. I’m five feet tall and sick of school. It’s like junior high all over again, except this time I’ve got the strength to fight back when the bullies try to amuse themselves at my expense.|
Bully replaces the thieving, cop-killing, gang-banging, hooker-punching, nihilistic attitude of Grand Theft Auto with bloodless fisticuffs, sports, pranks, and a little petty vandalism. These activities – while less spectacular – are more fun and engaging by virtue of them being less repulsive. If you ever got sick of the grotesque pointlessness of gang wars in GTA: San Andreas, then you know what I’m talking about.
Jimmy Hopkins is new kid in a tough school. His mother is a woman who is too busy getting remarried to deal with such tiresome tasks as raising her own son, so Jimmy is dropped off at Bullworth Academy, a private school that acts as a dumping ground for unwanted or unruly kids. The school is hopelessly defective, with alcoholic teachers, insular and combative cliques, a predatory coach, an indifferent headmaster, and rampant bullying.
|Yes, you can scoop up some snow and pelt someone for a laugh. Jerk.|
As the game progresses the seasons change. People wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Holiday decorations come and go. This gives the place a healthy dose character. The town of Bullworth isn’t as large or a sprawling as Liberty City, but it’s more detailed and filled with purpose.
The students aren’t bunch of randomly generated pedestrians. Each one is unique. Each one has a name, and each one has his or her own look, sayings, and preferred hangouts. After a while you’ll get to the point where you can recognize them on sight. The student roster isn’t really big enough to fill up a campus this size (there are “only” 61 students in all) but the game does a good job of hiding this.
|The boy’s dorm is unsupervised and so the already wild kids go almost feral in this setting. The place is a cesspit of trash and vandalism.|
So the game and the gameworld are smaller but with less filler. The missions have less repetition. The gameplay is just as robust. Bully is a box of Lucky Charms that leaves out the bland, tasteless cereal and lets you eat one bowl of marshmallows after another.
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