Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bully final impressions

Finally, finally beat "Bully" a few nights ago, and nothing I encountered lessened the game's appeal. You still never get weekends, but once you pass all your classes every day is basically a weekend, because you don't need to be in school. That's when the game's open-world environment really begins to shine.
The story satisfies to a strong degree, as you end up taking out all four school factions (nerds, jocks, preppies and greasers) and even get to take out a fifth, non-school faction. You even get to run some errands for your teachers. My only complaint is that Gary, who's such a force in the first chapter and was an amazing teenage villain, disappears until the grand finale. I wish the writers had kept him around more consistently, because I love hating the jerk and he's a formidable challenge. Also, as always with any great game, it's a little on the short side.
The missions do get more challenging, but the game was still unable to really get me frustrated at any point. That's a result of me being a good student in the beginning and dominating the classes, thus unlocking major bonuses. If you want to really, really make this game a challenge, skip the Art, Physical Education, Chemistry and Geography classes.
The game is definitely endless fun, mostly because you can continually torment whomever you want. Once you beat it, you unlock "Endless Summer", which is basically a mission-less chapter with no end where you can cause as much mayhem as you want and finish up any and all loose ends. I appreciate this, because too many games give you a ton of cool powers, but once you get them you only get 10-15 minutes worth of game play out of them. With "Endless Summer" you get as much as you want.
It still maintains its rating of 4.5 buttons, and takes its place alongside "Metroid Prime: Corruption" and "Super Mario Galaxy" as the best the Wii has had to offer. Here's hoping Rockstar writes a sequel with Jimmy in college or elsewhere. He deserves the franchise treatment.

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