Hey guys, its your girl, KrisSimsters and I want to throw a rock at this game. When I asked to review this game, I thought it wouldn’t bother me that much, but now that I’m almost into a year of reviewing games and my opinions of games have changed so much.
Two years ago, I wouldn’t have cared if the plot was stupid or not, as long as I had fun. While I can still have fun with Bully–or Canis Canem Edit–the plot to this game is really, really obvious and could have been avoided if things were done differently. I don’t completely hate this game and I will give it some credit graphics wise, it did release in 2006. I will try to go easy on it, but not that easy. Anyway, lets jump into this recap, shall we?
Bully–aka Canis Canem Edit–was released on October 17th, 2006 as a PS2 exclusive, developed by Rockstar New England. It was remastered on March 4th, 2008 with the subtitle of Scholarship Edition for the PS3, XBOX 360, and Wii-U. Another version of the game was released on PC on October 21st, 2008. Because things were buggy with the XBOX 360 version, the game was soon removed and on March 22nd, 2016, the game was remastered for the PS4. The game is an open-world sandbox set in a school environment. You play as Jimmy Hopkins, the main character of the game as he battles his way through Bullworth Academy, a fictional school in New England, fighting Bullies, Nerds, Preppies, Greasers, and Jocks.
There are five chapters throughout the game, the first four chapters dealing with a specific clique and fifth chapter about Jimmy’s downfall and expulsion from Bullworth. Chapter six is unlocked after the main game is finished and is the only time the school is at peace. Not only are there main challenges within the game, there’s also a lot of mini-games you would have to complete in order to get 100% completion.
The game in total takes around 27 hours to complete and the main story alone takes 14 hours to complete. Jimmy’s main fighting style is boxing and you learn new techniques from a Hobo living behind the school as long as you bring him parts for his radio. The more parts you bring him, the more moves you can learn. Even though Jimmy’s main style of fighting is boxing, he also has an arsenal of weapons, including a slingshot, a bag of marbles, firecrackers, stink bombs, a carton of eggs, and itching powder. Larger weapons are a rocket launcher and a spud gun.
Spray paint and a camera also count as weapons, but more for vandalizing and catching students and teachers in the act, respectively. Jimmy can also pick up melee weapons such as trash-lids and baseball bats as extra help in a fight.Another huge part of the game is making sure Jimmy follows the rules. Truancy is one of the more harmful offenses, if you get caught skipping class at school or in town, he’ll either be dropped off at the front of the school or will be forced to go to class. The only way to not be considered truant is by passing all five levels of your classes.
Voice-acting for Bully: Scholarship Edition includes Gerry Rosenthal as Jimmy Hopkins, Peter Vack as Gary Smith, Matt Bush as Petey Kowalski, Cody Melton as Russell Northrop and Ralph Gunderman as Dr. Crabblesnitch.
As stated before, the main plot is split into five chapters. The first chapter, Making New Friends and Enemies talking about Jimmy Hopkins arriving at Bullworth Academy and has an encounter with the school’s bully clique as he goes to see the headmaster of the school, Dr. Crabblesnitch. Dr. Crabblesnitch wants no trouble out of Jimmy, especially considering that he was kicked out of his last school for causing mischief. On his way to the dorm, Jimmy is once again harassed by the bullies, but when a teacher by the name of Mr. Hattrick sees what’s going to happen between Jimmy and leader of the bullies, Russell Northrop, he stops the fight but also scolds Jimmy for not being in his uniform. In the dorm, Jimmy meets Gary Smith and yeah, you would have to be blind to notice that he would be the main antagonist of the game. Unfortunately, we have to follow Gary around and if you hit him, then you have to start over from the very beginning. Anyway, Gary introduces us to the rest of the cliques of the school; the Preppies, the Greasers, the Nerds, and the Jocks.
The first few chapters of the game deals with Jimmy having to defend the Nerds by fighting off the Bullies and going on specific errands for them. This particular part will piss you off later in the game. Anyway, at the end of the first chapter, Gary will lead Jimmy to an underground fight where he fights the Bully leader, Russell. Realizing that Gary tricked him for power, Jimmy beats Russell in the underground fight and convinces him to stop picking on those smaller than him.
In the second chapter, Rich Kid Blues, Jimmy has to deal with the Preppies. He’s invited to the Boxing Gym in old Vale, where he signs on for a boxing tournament with a prize of $1,000. He wins the boxing tournament, but because his parents aren’t alumni, they won’t give him the prize money. In exchange for the prize money, they give him an old beach house. This also counts as a save location. The Preps then invite Jimmy to Haddrick’s house for a revenge plot involving Haddrick and another teacher and when Jimmy agrees, they tell Jimmy to bring eggs.
When Jimmy does get to Haddrick’s house however, the Preppies turn against him because of Gary and Jimmy ends up hating Gary even more now. Thanks to information given to him by Petey, Jimmy then proceeds to beat the Preppies in a bike race, but has to beat them up after they try to steal his trophy. When Jimmy realizes that no matter how many times he beats up the Preppies, they’ll continue to attack him. Petey tells him one last move, in order to beat the Preppies, he’ll have to beat up their leader, Derby Harrington. Jimmy beats up Derby and now the Preppies are under control.
In chapter three, Love Makes the World Go Around, Jimmy’s next clique is the Greasers. This chapter starts out Greaser Peanut Romano telling Jimmy that the Greaser leader, Johnny Vincent needs his help. Jimmy refuses at first, but Petey says it might be good to get on Johnny’s good side, so Jimmy meets up with Johnny. Johnny says that his girlfriend, Lola is cheating on him with Gord, a Prep. Johnny wants Jimmy to take pictures of Gord and Lola to see if its true. Jimmy gets proof that Lola is indeed cheating on Johnny with Gord, and when Johnny gets the proof he needs, he and the Greasers, along with Jimmy, follow Gord and beat him up.
Afterwards, the Preppies are mad at Jimmy and manipulates him to spray paint New Coventry. Jimmy does this and also after stealing their hangout–another save location known as Blue Balls Pool Hall–are now in a bad standing with the Greasers. Things get worst when one of the Nerds, Algie, and another Prep, Chad entangled in the Lola-drama. After helping Chad and Algie escape from the Greasers, he’s in an even worst standing with the Greasers. After Jimmy beats Johnny in a bike race to win over Lola’s love, Lola manipulates Jimmy to break into The Tenements for her belongings.
With Jimmy getting tired of Johnny and vice versa, Jimmy battles the Greasers in order to get to Johnny and once Johnny is defeated, Jimmy has pacified the Greasers.
In Chapter Four, A Healthy Mind, In a Healthy Body, and Other Lies, Jimmy decides to take on the Jocks, but he needs the Nerds to help. This is honestly the most irritating chapter because Jimmy has to get back on the Nerds good side. Once Jimmy has defeated the Nerds, the leader, Earnest have a plan to get to the jocks. The Nerds’ plan is to get Jimmy to take naked pictures of their head cheerleader, Mandy and once they get the pictures, Earnest blows them up to full size and post them around the school and around Bullworth, promptly embarrassing the girl.
Jimmy fights off the Jocks and proceeds to cover up the posters of Mandy. This gets Mandy on Jimmy’s good side. This gets Earnest to come up with another plan, having Jimmy sabotage the football game by disguising himself as the school’s mascot–stealing the customer from another student–and doing various sabotages throughout the game. When Jimmy finally unmasks himself, the Jocks proceed to fight him, but Jimmy ends up winning. With the Jocks defeated, Jimmy has now taken over all five cliques of the school.
Jimmy’s popularity is tested in Chapter Five, The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hopkins, Aged 15, when the Nerds, the Greasers, the Preppies, and the Jocks turn against Jimmy in a plot obviously orchestrated by Gary. Petey tries to warn Jimmy, but Jimmy doesn’t listen and when he’s called into Crabblesnitch’s office, he’s expelled.
Now that he’s expelled, Jimmy needs to clear his name and Petey tells him to go the Townies, who admit, after getting beaten up, that it was Gary who hired them to set up Jimmy and get expelled. Jimmy’s new friend, Zoe, soon tells him that there’s been a lock down at Bullworth Academy. The fractions are destroying the school and the teachers are tied up. Jimmy gets Russell, who stayed loyal to him, out of trouble with the police, the two head back to Bullworth Academy and once again fight the fractions.
With the fractions pacified once again, Jimmy goes after Gary on the roof and fights him. The two fall from the roof into the Headmaster’s office, where Gary is expelled, Jimmy is reinstated, and Petey is made the new Head Boy. Also, the fractions have stopped fighting for good.
There is a Chapter Six, Endless Summer, but you mostly finish up your classes and finish up all side missions so you can complete the game 100%.
Pros & Cons:
- Good Plot: I actually like the story of this game. I just wish Jimmy wasn’t so stupid, we could have gotten through the actual plot sooner.
- Good Controls: The controls are good and I’m happy that they are at simplistic. And it brings back an old style since the Scholarship Edition is the version I played the most. Too bad my PS2 is dead.
- The Soundtrack: When the soundtrack isn’t overpowering the speech, then its something I would enjoy listening too. I could hear the main theme for hours on in honestly. It makes the game more enjoyable.
- The Classes Actually Matter: I like how the classes aren’t there, but they serve a purpose in upgrading Jimmy. Also, Chemistry is like the easiest class to pass.
- Audio Issues: This game has serious audio issues, I cannot stress this enough. THIS GAME HAS SERIOUS AUDIO ISSUES!! I know the game released in 2006 and I don’t give a damn, I’ve played games in 2006 and they did not have audio issues like Bully does. And to make it worse, they’ve remastered the game twice and it still isn’t fixed.
- The Fractions: The fractions are easily manipulated and easily beatable. But the worst fraction of them all…the Nerds. You help the Nerds out the most in the game and they are the sneakiest assholes. I honestly wanted them to suffer the most throughout the game. Especially Algie…I just hate Algie.
- Gary: Gary is a terrible final boss. Not only is he weak, but he’s also bad as an antagonist and if Jimmy was smarter, the game would have ended sooner.
- Jimmy: If Gary is a bad antagonist, then Jimmy is without a doubt, a bad protagonist. He’s dumb, genre-blind, can easily be manipulated, and he’s hot-headed at the wrong times. His saving grace is that he’s somewhat smart and can pass his classes, but honestly that’s because of me.
- ADULTS ARE USELESS!!: I honestly thought I would never have to put this blatant trope into a game review, but it’s so obvious. The Headmaster only listens at the end once he’s tied up because throughout the game, he thinks the “Bullworth way” is the best way. It is not. His teachers and staff spit in the food, are able to date rape other teachers with the help of students, drink, help other students cheat as long as something’s in it for them, and destroy other’s property. So yes, in this game, the adults are fucking useless.
Despite my issues with this game–and I have a lot of them–this is a good game. It has a cult following and I can’t ignore that. Even after ten years, the Bully fanbase wants a sequel, while the only thing I want is a remake of the original fixing all the technical issues I have with the game. If this game had a remake, I would have enjoyed it more. I do hate how this game wasn’t placed on hold in development, it was released right at the end of the PS2 generation. I honestly believe that if this game had waited at least one more year–or six more months–it would have been better on the PS3. Honestly though, this is actually a good game, I would actually recommend it for those who would want to try it. Until August, my name is KrisSismters and Stay Golden.
Final Rating: 6/10. Good Plot but Terrible Graphics and Audio.
Follow me on Twitter @KrisSimsters!!
August Game of the Month: The Sims 4