Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Played Lately: Bully

  • I'm assuming you've all heard the term "Retail Therapy." It's a phrase my wife taught me a few years back. I cringe every time I hear it. However, I cannot deny it was the reason I picked up a twenty dollar copy of Bully a few weeks ago.

  • Bully was the game that Rockstar put out between GTA: San Andreas and GTA IV. It is, by far, my favorite game that they have released. Not because I don't like the GTA games. It's just that Bully has a more forgiving difficulty curve. There are none of the GTA-style road blocks that leave me perilously close to controller-throwing rage.

  • The game starts with Jimmy arriving at Bullworth Academy, the boarding school of last resort. Jimmy has been proudly kicked out of several schools before. But with his mother and most recent step-father embarking on a year long honeymoon, there is no where for him to go if he is kicked out of Bullworth. He quickly falls in with Gary (the sociopath) and Petey (the school runt). Under Gary's master plan, Jimmy goes about winning the respect of the various cliques in the school.

  • Like any good Rockstar game, there is plenty to do. The story missions are all interesting and well varied. There are a number of side missions to accomplish to earn money or just have fun with the mechanics in the game. The bike races were a lot of fun. (I really appreciated that each checkpoint actually tells you which direction the next checkpoint will be. More games need to copy that idea. Yes, I'm looking at you, Brutal Legend.) And then there are the classes.

  • As if I needed any more proof that I was a nerd, I have to admit that I loved going to all of the classes. I could try to say that I'm doing it for all of the bonuses you can earn, but that's not true. I just enjoy playing all in the minigames to pass the classes. Obviously, I'm pretty lame for a bully.

  • I completed the game after several days of play. It was the first time I have ever completed a Rockstar game. Maybe it's because Bully was easier the the GTA games. (There's a reason that Red Dead Redemption is getting a difficulty setting.) Maybe it is because it's a better game. All I know is I had a blast with Bully and I'm glad I was bargain bin diving that day.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. I never played Bully, your description intrigues me. I share your frustration with the difficulty spikes in the GTA games.

    I'll be cruising along with the story line for hours, and then hit one of those missions that makes me want to put my controller through a wall.

  2. Cool, I will have to look for this in the bargin bin too.

  3. @ Yeebo - I'm actually at that point with GTA IV. All of the missions I'm on are so difficult that I just don't want to play any more, even though I really enjoy the story of that game. I would like to try the DLC expansions, but I don't want to buy them until I finish this first. Ugh.

    @ Jayedub - Best of luck to you. They are probably a dime-a-dozen used, as well.

  4. Oh, I should mention that I listened to the Rebel FM Game Club episodes after I played through the appropriate chapters. If you're a fan of that podcast, it was cool to finally play along with one of their games. Even if it was a year after the fact.