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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Intro:

Publisher: Rockstar Vancouver
Genre: First-person game

Bully: Scholarship Edition, is another classical Rockstar release. Sometimes referred to, as 'GTA at school', it does, indeed, deliver a similar gaming experience as some of the other top-noch GTA games under the environment of an educational institution called "Bullworth Academy". Your main character will be an unfortunate 15 year old named Jimmy Hopkins whose mother has had 5 marriages oO and the kid has been expelled from 7 other schools before arriving here. Corruption and fowl play dominate this academy and as a new kid, you must embark upon a series of tasks to ensure your dominance over all others.

System Tested On:

-=System Requirements=-
PC Processor Type --- Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, AMD Athlon™ processor
PC Processor Speed --- 3GHz
PC Operating System --- Windows XP, Windows Vista
PC System Memory --- 1GB RAM
PC Hard Drive Space --- 4.7GB
PC Video --- DirectX 9.0c-compatible NVIDIA 6800 or 7300 or ATI RADEON X1300 or better video card with Shader 3.0 support
PC Sound Card --- DirectX 9-compatible sound card

-=My system=-
Intel E2160 @ 2.14GHz
ATI HD2400 Pro @ 607/1023
Kingston 2GB DDR2 667MHz RAM

Gameplay (9/10):

As mentioned earlier, fowl-play and corruption dominate the environment at Bullworth Academy. The teachers' attitude is similar to that of a prison rather then an educational institution. The most important thing to keep in mind here, is that the school is clearly divided into a number of factions and cliques, namely, the bullies, jocks, greasers and nerds. The entire story-line is divided into 6 chapters.

The Good:

If I were asked to describe this in one sentence, I'd say that the taks are awesome! This is typical of a Rockstar game. Your task objective isn't just to go out and beat a bunch of tough guys (well it boils down to doing that in most cases :D but anyway...) You take on a variety of tasks, some of which are as simple as going out and beating someone, while others require you to remain stealthy and keep a low profile. This game provided me with a well-earned break from the other FPS games which I was playing like CoD whose aim was pretty bland and dull. In some tasks, you'll need to recover some items from enemies, some tasks will be more like a reconnisanse mission where you go out and photograph malicious acts to provide proof, while other will require you to win a bike race or boxing match. All in all, each task is unique and gives you a different thrill and it all contributes to making the game pretty darn addictive. The story-line is also very interesting, full of surprises and twists and turns. In an instant, your greatest foe becomes your friend while your greatest friend betrays you and turns out to be plotting against you all along. You're always just dying to know what will happen next! Another great thing is that the game world isn't just limited to the school, there is also a an entire city outside of the school which will be accessible after you complete chapter 1 (though some parts of it will still remain locked and you won't have full access until the start of chapter 5). Apart from the main story-line and tasks, there are also a number of side-tasks and objectives, like getting a job (newspaper delivery boy anyone?), running errands for students (like escorting them safely to their desired location or silly stuff like planting fire crackers into toilets or stuffing students into garbage cans and picking locks lol) Each of these side-tasks bring you a small reward like money or new costumes and such. You can also flirt with girls and take them to the carnival to show off your strength and try to get them to kiss you :heh:

Now onto your arsenal! You'll have a wide array of typical school-yard weapons. You'll start off the game with nothing but fists, but you'll get a slingshot in no time and soon, a super slingshot (which is the mainstay weapon). Apart from this, you'll also have some other prank stuff like itching powder, 'kick me' signs (lol), bags of marbles (to make people slip) and spray paints (for graffiti). Later on in the game, you'll also come across the spudgun, which is the most powerful weapon in the game, but ammo for it will be limited.

Oh wait! I just forgot the main thing which you're supposed to do in school: classes! :D You study a wdie range of subjects, namely English (make words from jumbled letters), Biology (animal dissections, anyone like to identify and extract a frog's testicles? :lol:), Chemistry (just mixing stuff right), Math (basic arithmetics), Photography (very interesting, you're supposed to find unique stuff in and around the school like banners and hobos and take shots of them), Auto-shop (work on bikes and cars), Art (a modded version of a Sega game) and gym (dodge-ball!). You'll have 2 classes each day and no weekend. But hey! You can always bunk these classes and you son't have to complete them straight away. After you complete the main story-line, you'll start chapter 6 called "Endless Summer" where you'll get infinite time to complete all these classes and side-tasks, the main story-line, is just half of the entire game (no seriously) When I completed the main tasks, I only achieved 50.5% game completion oO.

The Bad:

As with almost all other Rockstar games, you'd expect to have a whole bunch of cheat codes to play around with. Sadly for the PC version of this game, there aren't any cheats to go about right now. Your average gaming website doesn't even mention the PC version of this game, and the ones that do, have no cheats to go around at the moment. They are available for the PS2, Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 version, but not for PC (which is a real bummer!) But on scouring the net for a while, I was able to come across a trainer at CheatHappens which allows you to have infinite health, no wanted level, and instant save. Moreover, I couldn't help but notice that the game world is somewhat small. It's MUCH larger then the game world in other games I must admit, but nowhere near the size of San Andreas. In other words, the city could have been a bit bigger and more interesting.

The Ugly:

Firstly, you won't be able to roam the school and city without fear of randomly being attacked oO Each clique has its own turfs in and outside the school. So the jocks will normally be found in and around the athletics section, the greasers will hang around the auto-shop, the nerds will be around the library (no surprise their eih?) and their large secret "observatory" behind it, the preps (rick kids) will be near the Harrington House and the high-income community in town, and finally, the townies (who aren't actually part of the school and will only emerge as a clique in chapter 5) occupy the low-income caravan parks in the industrial part of town, they're poor kids who have either been expelled from school, or didn't have enough money to afford it. Your main objective of the game is to gain respect amongst the various factions and cliques, these cliques are constantly at war and rivalry with each other. Throughout the game, you'll ally with one clique to defeat another and hence, some parts of town and school will ALWAYS remain no-go areas until chapter 6, unless you have the guts to withstand non-stop pumelling. So it's pretty difficult to acomplish much of anything in these no-go areas. The main story-line tasks will always result in your respect increasing with one clique, and decreasing with another.

Another thing which is pretty nasty, is that prefects basically reign supreme in the school. No matter what your respect and status is, they'll catch you if you do ANYTHING wrong and there's loads of them patrolling the grounds and the main school building. Truanting classes will result in your wanted level rising, and if a prefect catches you, he'll send you to your class and you'll fail your current objective. Violence, in any form, spikes your wanted level too and you'll get busted if you're caught; one or more of your weapons will be taken away from you as a result. This is why I found it absolutely necessary to apply that trainer to make life easy. A curfew is in place after 11 (there is a clock on the top-left corner of your screen) and you're expected to be in your dorm by then. The girls dorm is also off-limits (trespassing) :D

Graphics (8.5/10):

The graphics are.......average I must say. With my specs, I was running the game at 2x AA, low shadow quality and 1024x768 resolution. For 80% of the game world, this setting gave me fairly decent fps (didn't test it though) but in some indoor places where there were lots of shadows and such, the fps dropped dramatically (to ~20 fps I guess). I checked out some of the screenshots in some websites and they were fairly acceptable, nothing out-of-this-world or exceptional though. But since it didn't demand much, I'm gonna give it a good rating :p For all you graphics whores though, you will HAVE to set shadow quality on High, otherwise, the shadows are just plain old blur and jaggy. 4x AA also gives it a nice little boost.

Stability and bugs (9/10):

I just wanted to add this as a category since I've seen many people here, and on other places complaining about the stability factor and that it's full of bugs. The original version might have been buggy, but this v1.154 is totally stable. Not once when I was playing, did I get any sort of errors, BSoDs or freezes. The only bug which I came across was that a part of the introductory clip appears in 8-bit color, as did the video which plays when you start the story-line of the game. But other then that, all the options and game play is all normal and completely stable.

Replay Value/Online play:

I didn't bother to give a rating since it's almost nil :p And there's definitely nothing worth replaying in it. But as I said before, after you complete the story-line missions, there are a number of side-missions and school classes which you have to complete in order to achieve full game completion. There are also some collectible items in the game. There are 75 rubber bands and 40 G&G cards scattered throughout the game world in sometimes akward spots which you have to find. Finding all the rubber bands will give you a large rubber band ball which you can throw around a room and take out everyone in it, while collecting all the G&G cards gives you a nice and cool costume, so there's definitely some incentive to continue playing after you conplete the main story, not that it would count as "replay value" though (or at least I think....)

Overall (9.5/10):

I must say that this game was absolutely fantastic! The first time I played this was on my friends' PS2 and it was love at first sight, I'd been waiting for months for a PC version of this game, and IMO, the wait was well worth it. I'd been feeding exclusively on FPS fodder for months before this, and was getting bored of being a soldier and killing eneimes, so this game gave me a nice little break from that dull story-line. I think this game is a must-buy for anyone who liked the GTA series. It's an A-one game that deserves top-score!


Sorry if I made my review extremely long and that it actually resembles a brief walk-through now :)D) but I think it's worth it, and still, there's some other cool stuff as well which I didn't get around to mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
OK now, what's it about the violence factor which apparently makes this game so bad? I know there might be some mentally retarded people out there who might let this game effect their real school life, but not me. I attend high school too, and this game has had ABSOLUTELY NO effect whatsoever on my behavior at school. It hasn't given me ANY incentive for violence or other malicious acts. My behavior is exactly the same as it used to be.

It's a game, it's a game meant for people who have just left school and older who want relive their school life in a humerous way. Honestly is this game would have been called School Life instead of Bully there would be much less of a problem.
I am fat, I am bloody huge, I know all about being victimised and being bullied, on some days I felt just like those people who kill their entire class before shooting themselves, I myself fantasised giving them some of their own medicine, possibly blowing their brains out like those cases that cause all the ruckus about games like this, but I never did and I never will. And after all this I have no problem with such a game, hell this does not even sound half as bad as GTA, it sounds like great fun and I want a go although I somehow feel the review might be a little biased and I personally hate escort/protection missions.
There's only 1 or 2 small tasks in the story-line in which you have to escort someone (and it's usually nerds who can't fight for themselves :lol:). Other then that, escort tasks are only errands which are purely optional and barely take 1 minute. And since little effort goes into it, the reward is also minimal, like a buck or 2 of cash :p

Gamefreak, Rule #2 to a good review is no spoilers (Rule #1 is No Bias), giving background is all well and good, saying more stuff will be unlocked later, but telling you your best friend betrays you at the end and makes your life a living hell is entirely another.
Sorry :D I'll edit it out

One thing I am curious about though, other than the weapons obviously not being as brutal, is the battle/fighting/gameplay the same as GTA? Because the punching part would be better on a redone hack and slash engine in my opinion...or does it fell ok and not annoying?
Somewhat different from GTA fighting style I'd say. You'll mostly be using your super slingshot throughout the game, but when it comes to close range combat, you can punch someone, kick them when they fall down, humiliate them once their health is low enough, and there are also plenty of other fighting moves (6 to be exact) like sweep kick and under-cut, which you'll get taught by someone in the school once you do their bidding (this is again, a side-line task but one which greatly improves your combat effectiveness on main missions and its fun doing moves too :D). And another thing is, that your enemy doesn't actually 'die' after their health becomes zero, they'll just lie on the floor squealing in pain with their hands between their feet lol There's also the grapple feature which allows you to push other people, you can even stuff them into garbage cans or lockers for the lulz



UPDATE: Adding some stuff which I forgot to type in originally in "The Ugly"
 
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