Review by wolverinefan

"Some ups and downs but still an improvement over the original."

I really didn't care for Bully when it hit the Playstation 2 way back when. It felt limited and the game play wasn't too exciting. Plus the load times were terrible and too frequent.

I can't say much has changed here in this enhanced version of the title. It's pretty much the same game with better graphics and a few added classes to it plus achievements.

The new features are rather stark and don't add up too a whole lot. We get two new classes. Their rewards allow you to see locations of the hidden items. It's actually a rather helpful skill for those who want 100%. Besides that there really isn't much in the way of new features.

The graphics haven gotten an overhaul and they look much sharper. A few problems come with it though as my game had horrendously long load times and they are just too frequent. Not only that but the game chugged along at a mind numbing pace and I had trouble focusing on the actual game play.

Sure, game play isn't everything but the not even the story is worthwhile.You're a young lad who is sent to a boarding school because he's a big ole bully. Well when a bully enters a new school he has to work his way back up the food chain of bullyness or something. Sadly the role of a bully in this game means you protect nerds and make out with ugly girls. Wow, makes me wish I was a bully in school...

Let's cover the game play though shall we. The game is a sand box title with a bit of structure to it. You have routine that should be followed but you don't have to. There is a clock and you have classes twice a day. You also have a curfew and if you're up past 2 AM then you pass out from being tired. This causes an unneeded bit of strain on you trying to finish goals.

What makes it more annoying is that if you're caught outside class or out past curfew you can be sent to class or to bed. This is annoying when you've almost finished off a tough mission only to get caught at the last second.

The combat system in the game is fairly simple at fist but you can trade some hidden items for new moves and going to gym class will also net you some moves. I found the fighting to be a bit more enjoyable after the first chapter. Not only that but you can also use different tricks like marbles and a powder to slow your enemy up and if a bat is near by just hit him with it.

Classes also play an important part in the game though. You can get better skills like talking your way out of a beat down or having better girl (or boy) skills.

Each class is a mini game of sorts. One is a rhythm game along the lines of Parappa the Rapper, one is a wrestling match where you just need to pull off the combos. My favorite is the lab mini game where you dissect animals. It's kind of gross to look at but it's rather fun.

The game is split up into chapters and each has about 10 or so missions for about 50 missions total. The game is actually kind of long for a sand box title and with all of the hidden rubberbands and stuff you can easily spend a few good days going for it all.

A part of me wonders why I found this adventure a bit more charming than the PS2 entry but I really can't tell you why. There are some problems though that really hold the game back. As I said before the load times are terrible and frequent and the lag in the actual game is unacceptable.

As far as the genre though you could do a lot worse but you could also do better I guess. It's a fun little game but it's world fills a bit shallow and the entire plot is kind of annoying rather than amusing. I like the more structured nature of the title though than say the completely open world of the Grand Theft Auto series but the time pressure is a bit too annoying.

Story - 6/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Control - 8/10
Game Play - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10

Final Score - 7/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/14/08

Game Release: Bully: Scholarship Edition (US, 03/04/08)

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