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Old 09-26-2006, 07:14 AM   #1
bapenguin
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[PS2] - Bully Hands on Preview


Title: Bully Hands on Preview
Platform: Playstation 2
MSRP: $39.99
by: Nicholas ďbapenguinĒ Puleo
Screens: Link


Bully


When Bully was announced back at E3 2005 to a small closed door group of press it immediately garnered a ton of attention. Unfortunately it was the wrong kind of attention with numerous groups and a lawyer that should not be named claiming the game was a Columbine Simulator. These people went as far as saying the game should be cancelled and that it was irresponsible of Rockstar to make such a game. These people are also idiots. They were irresponsible for not getting all the information on this game before making these outrageous claims. Bully is a caricature of boarding school life. Bully is no more a Columbine simulator than robotic crabs are a part of Japanese history.


In Bully you play Jimmy Hopkins, a 15 year old kid with a mom who is a professional wife. With his mom on her 5th marriage, the game starts with her and her latest husband dropping Jimmy off at a New England boarding school named Bullworth Academy. Being at a boarding school isnít easy though as Jimmy tries to fit in with the numerous cliques in the school. On top of that Jimmy must attend a morning and afternoon class as well as make sure he gets a good night sleep each night. The game takes place over the course of a school year and is broken down into 5 chapters. During the school year the weather and seasons will change as will the decorations around the school according to the holiday.

Your main base of operations is your dorm room. From here you can view your in game achievements proudly displayed on the wall above your bed. You can also change outfits to fit in with the different cliques around school. Your dorm room is also where you must sleep at night. Jimmy needs his sleep and if you stay up too late the game starts to slow down and get blurry, and if you arenít asleep by 2AM Jimmy will pass out from exhaustion wherever he is. In fact most of the game follows a strict schedule like this.


Each morning and afternoon Jimmy must attend a class. There are 6 classes to choose from including photography, art, English, chemistry, shop and gym. Each class is a mini game and each class contains 5 levels of difficulty. After completing a level in a class Jimmy unlocks a new skill. Pass level 2 in English and maybe Jimmy can talk himself out of a difficult situation, pass level 4 in Chemistry and maybe Jimmy is able to create stink bombs.

Like I said before the game has a strict schedule and if Jimmy misses one of his classes he will be truant. The top right of the gameís screen shows a small meter displaying your current violations. Examples of violations include truancy, violent, trespassing, past curfew and a handful of others. While in violation prefects walk the campus looking for kids skipping class and in violation. Looking at the radar you can see prefects in a Metal Gear Solid style cone of vision overlay. If one of these prefects spots you they will chase you down and your only escape is to hide in lockers or garbage cans until the coast is clear.

So this game is called Bully so surely there must be fighting, right? Indeed there is. The fighting system is incredibly simple and relies on pressure. The longer you hold the button the harder you hit. There are a few different moves and grabs you can do. As your opponentís health goes down and gets into a red zone you can do a humiliation move to finish him off. Examples of these moves are Indian burns and wedgies. Contrary to popular belief no one dies in Bully, and in fact there isnít even any blood in the game. You can get various items like Eggs and Stink bombs to throw at people. There are certain weapons you can get like baseball bats and sling shots, but there are absolutely no guns in the game whatsoever. And letís face it; Bart Simpson used a slingshot 15 years agoÖnothing shocking here.


The game features 6 cliques; the nerds, the jocks, the greasers, the preps, the townies and the bullies. Each one of these cliques has strengths and weaknesses. As you complete missions your respect with each group changes accordingly. A lot of the missions involve helping out one clique that is being picked on by another clique. For instance, one of the first missions of the game has you helping out the nerds. One of their buddies has gone to the garage to get a part for a science project. Unfortunately he hasnít returned in a while so the nerds hire you to find out where he is. When you arrive you find the Greasers are picking on the poor kid and you have to defend him. Every confrontation gives you the option of trying to talk your way out of it. If your English skills are high enough you may be able to persuade a group to do something, especially if your respect is high enough amongst that group.

Rockstar demoed various missions from the game. I saw mission from the beginning to missions from later on in the game. There are a variety of missions with multiple tasks involved to completing them. For instance one mission had a teacher asking you to kill a studentís prize Venus fly trap. To do this you had to sneak into the prepís dorm. The first step was to dress up like a prep and get a haircut like a prep. From there it was into the dorm and up to the plant. You then could use a plant poison gun (conveniently located nearby) to put the plant down. After that it was a mad dash to escape the dorm as the preps tried to get you. One part was particularly cool as I was cornered at the top of a stairwell by a few preps. I managed to literally slide down the railing past everyone and out the front door. It was a tense moment and a very exciting escape.

As you can see not all missions are violent. One of the very first missions in the game involves you finding chocolates for a fat Swedish girl that had them stolen. Recovering the chocolates from the boy who stole them yields a nice reward of a big fat smooch from the chubby little girl. Kissing gives you a health boost. In fact thereís a whole dating aspect to the game. Players are able to give various girls chocolates and flowers to get them to like them and try to play a little smoochy smoochy. But be warned, you canít go big pimpiní everywhere; if one of your girlfriends catches you smooching another girl sheíll get angry.



The game of Bully takes place in a living breathing world. After the first chapter is complete you can enter the town for exploring. Later on there are other areas like the upscale section of New Coventry or the Blue Sky Industrial complex. All of these areas are fully interactive and contain the 100 or so unique NPCs in the game. Every person in the game is unique and has jobs and tasks. While roaming around town there are times you will see members of the school running errands.

Bully is the kind of game anyone who has ever been to junior high school or high school can relate to. With over 30 hours of gameplay time as well as side missions the game should keep you fairly busy for a while. The game features a wide variety of mission types and a living breathing world that allows you to get attached to the story and itís characters. And like all Rockstar games, the game will track crazy stats of your endeavors. Be sure to see how many banana peels people slipped on or how many people you stuffed in a locker.

Look for Bully on the Playstation 2 on October 17th.

- bapenguin Ė


Last edited by bapenguin; 09-26-2006 at 07:43 AM..
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:46 AM   #2
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I might have to go buy a PS2 now, so many games I have been missing out on.

Also, I thought this game was a ultra-violent killing simulator, at least that is what some people have claimed it to be.
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:47 AM   #3
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Dugg it. Nice preview bap.
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:55 AM   #4
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Dugg it - looks sweet, I'm actually looking forward to this a lot. The GTA games were always fun to me, but people got a lot more excited over them then I did. This looks to actually be something I can actually get into.
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bapenguin
They were irresponsible for not getting all the information on this game before making these outrageous claims. Bully is a caricature of boarding school life. Bully is no more a Columbine simulator than robotic crabs are a part of Japanese history..
Honestly, thats the greatest quote man. I got a good laugh out of that. You know the Bully reminds me of the latest leisure suit larry game in terms of gameplay.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:30 AM   #6
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You think so? Doesn't sound anything like it as far as I'm concerned... other than the fact there are mini-games in both.

Bully sounds like a good game. Magna Cum Laude was just a collection of rather dull mini-games coupled with some rather witty writing. Shame it couldn't have been saved for a better game though.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:30 AM   #7
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Outstanding. Sounds like a must buy title.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:33 AM   #8
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Sounds friggin awesome. An RPG set in a boarding school! Also, I had no idea it was coming out so soon, I need monies o.o
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
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Great preview BAP, however, I wish I got a better feel for how much you liked or disliked the game. Seems like overall you enjoyed it but is it a renter or a buyer?
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:41 AM   #10
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What's the deal with exclusivity on this title? Is it PS2 only forever? Or will it be released for other systems 6 months down the road?
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dolbex
Great preview BAP, however, I wish I got a better feel for how much you liked or disliked the game. Seems like overall you enjoyed it but is it a renter or a buyer?
I enjoyed my time with it. I only got to play 3 missions and they weren't in any sequence, R* warped me around so I'm not sure overall how the game will feel. But the bits and pieces are saw were entertaining and funny.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:58 AM   #12
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Eh, I'll probably pass on this one. I hated school as I was living through it and I have no real desire to go through it again in a game. I think it would be more interesting if it actually WAS a Columbine simulator. I don't know, I just don't have the mindset for games that closely emulate real life.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:15 AM   #13
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Great review Bap. The game sounds fun and the idea is pretty good.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:24 AM   #14
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Great preview, bap! Thanks! This game seems more and more intriguing to me now. AT only $40 I may pick it up to play inbetween FFXII sessions.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:32 AM   #15
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What's the deal with exclusivity on this title? Is it PS2 only forever? Or will it be released for other systems 6 months down the road?

there was never any talk about Bully coming to any consoles besides the PS2, not even rumors.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:36 AM   #16
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there was never any talk about Bully coming to any consoles besides the PS2, not even rumors.
No...it was cancelled for the Xbox. One source. There are tons of Gamespot, IGN, Gamespy pages still up for the XBox version.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:41 AM   #17
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Clearly missed that one, always thought that bully was intended from the start as beeing a PS2 exclusive. Think its a time exclusive or is R* firmly committed to the ps2 regarding bully?
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:46 AM   #18
bapenguin
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Clearly missed that one, always thought that bully was intended from the start as beeing a PS2 exclusive. Think its a time exclusive or is R* firmly committed to the ps2 regarding bully?
I'm pretty sure the XBox version was cancelled meaning it's now a PS2 exclusive forever. That is...until they make a 360 version.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:47 AM   #19
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Well done preview (dugg). Rockstar did right by demoing for you. I'd totally buy it if I still owned a PS2.
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Old 09-26-2006, 10:18 AM   #20
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My question about the game is the time limit. Like do you automatically move onto the next chapter/season as time goes by, or is chapter transition based on doing story missions?
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