Bully: Scholarship Edition Review
Developer: Rockstar New England
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: March 4, 2008
Genre: Action-adventure, Open world sandbox
Platform: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Windows
Players: Single, Online capable on Wii and 360
-Eric Lee Lewis
How to bully a bully to stop bullies…
Rockstar Games: One of the best game companies out there, and for good reason. Rarely does a company get every one of their stories the way they want them and Bully: Scholarship Edition is no different.
Bully follows our foul-mouthed hooligan, Jimmy Hopkins. Jimmy’s mother and her new husband are dropping off Jimmy at Bullworth Academy for the next year. Bullworth seems to be like most American public school systems; there are different groups of students (nerds, preppies, jocks, and greasers) and bullies are an issue. Thankfully Jimmy is up to the task of stopping bullying by bullying bullies.
Our protagonist has his inventory of childhood weapons and ways of getting around which includes, eggs, slingshots, skateboards, bicycles, stink bombs, and so on. Luckily, each one of these weapons work in the ways that they should. Stink bombs keep an enemy from chasing you for a few seconds, the slingshot is your default projectile weapon, and firecrackers work as grenades.
To level up weapons and other abilities Jimmy has to go to classes. These classes are basically mini-games that range from simple math questions to animal dissection. Sometimes these classes are fun and break up the story at the right times. These classes are also the largest issue with this game.
The day in Bully starts at 8 A.M. and curfew is at 9 P.M. Plenty of time right? WRONG! An in-game minute lasts about 2-3 seconds. The clock that is in the upper left of the screen ticks fast and the minute hand moves faster than anyone can be comfortable with. Missions are plenty and the time to complete them before you are being chased by the prefects or police for breaking curfew is limited, especially if the mission has multiple arcs. Missions are varied and often fun. Sometimes you are collecting hilarious items to blackmail jocks and other times you are having a fist-fight in an arena to establish dominance and be the boss of another group.
Bully: Scholarship Edition is a good looking game with great voice acting that seems to be the standard with a Rockstar game. Collectibles are plenty and missions are varied. This is a game that takes some of the elements of other Rockstar games and puts them in a school atmosphere.
While Bully: SE is a rerelease of the 2006 version, the extra 8 missions and engine update are well worth the time. This game belongs in everybody’s collection as long as they have the patience to deal with time moving too fast and authorities being everywhere.
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