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Bully Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Who needs a next generation console when there are games like Bully? Rockstar's newest game is easily one of the best games of the year, an adventure game that you should pick up ... regardless of what type of games you are into. Don't make me twist your arm into picking it up, this is one game you won't soon forget Rating: 92%
Bully
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Throughout his time at Bullworth Academy, Jimmy is constantly being introduced to new items, weapons and accessories. Sometimes it's as simple as marbles or a slingshot, other times it's a high powered potato gun (which is the closest you get to guns in this game). Along the way you will be able to pick up all sorts of odds and ends laying on the ground, including bats, Frisbees, soccer balls, and garbage can lids. You will also be able to use a couple of different modes of transportation to get you from point A to point B faster. Early on you are given a skateboard, which gives you a slight speed advantage when running from angry jocks, hall monitors or the police. You will also be able to peddle your way across Bullworth in a few different bicycles, all of which control almost exactly like the bikes in San Andreas. If the bikes and skateboards aren't fast enough for you, then why not steal a moped? This small, motorized scooter is about the closest thing Bully has to drivable cars (there are other vehicles driving around the streets, but you can't jack them).

Thankfully you won't need any high speed race cars since the city of Bullworth is fairly small. That's not to say that Bully's location is tiny and crowded, it's about half the size of Liberty City. What Bully manages to do is successfully model itself after a small town in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mountains and forests. You have the school's large campus to explore, as well as a downtown area, residential housing, an industrial area, a trailer park, an insane asylum and even a large carnival (full of silly mini-games and rides). The city of Bullworth is full realized, every inch of land is unique with no duplicate houses, buildings or factories. The city is full of detail; it's a genuine joy to run around all of the areas looking for every last hidden item. With Bully Rockstar continues to prove that they are the masters at crafting open landscapes that are realistic and fun to search.

The city of Bullworth is merely one part of what makes Bully such an attractive game. The entire game is filled with great looking character models and architecture. The game does have some problems when it comes to displaying the landscape at great distances, but with so much detail you can almost forgive some of the engine's shortcomings. None of the characters in Bully are very realistic, but that doesn't matter when you're watching the great animation found in each and every cinema scene. Every part of this game has personality, it all has its place and feels like it was meant to be there. Bully doesn't try to bite off more than it can chew, instead it creates a great looking world that is as much fun to look at as it is to explore.

The sound in Bully is also top-notch; in fact, I would go as far as to say that the audio department may just be the best part of this game. The voice acting is incredible; everybody plays their roles with conviction. There aren't any big name voice actors in Bully, but you really don't need them when you can get people who are so good at delivering drama and, dare I say it, full on comedy. Bully is a game that is played for laughs; it is easily the funniest game Rockstar Games has ever released. Comedy is not easy to do, especially when you're dealing with voice acting work. Yet no matter how difficult it is, Bully's cast manages to hit all of the right notes and understands comic timing. I found myself spending long stretches of the game just wandering around the school listening to the various conversations that have been written into the game. There's no shortage of funny jokes about school clich?s, stupid jocks making stupid comments and insecurity.

Also great is the music. Unlike most Rockstar Games titles, Bully doesn't feature licensed music. Instead it offers a full score that reminded me of the brilliant work rocker-turned-composer Mark Mothersbaugh did for The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore. The music fits perfectly with the mood of Bully; it's one of the few game soundtracks I would actually buy on CD (if it were made available).

Bully is an extremely easy game to recommend, it's a lengthy adventure (clocking in at over 30 hours) full of memorable characters and exciting missions. It's the type of game that will no doubt remind you of everything you loved and hated about high school, all while keeping you engrossed in one of the best stories of the year. With all of these next generation consoles hitting the market it's easy to forget about some of the PlayStation 2 games, but Bully is not something you should pass over. Rockstar's newest game is easily one of the best games I have played all year, an adventure game that will stick with you long after you've finished your final class and graduated from Bullworth Academy.
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