Video Game Talk The Place to talk about and trade Video & PC Games

Bully

Old 10-06-06, 05:32 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 132
Bully

So has anyone heard if this is going to be any good? It comes out soon, and am thinking of picking it up.
Lazy Bum is offline  
Old 10-06-06, 07:23 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 3,393
I'd wait for reviews to come out. It could be really bad, but designed to sell based on the controversy (aka free publicity) it is getting.
TheMadMonk is offline  
Old 10-06-06, 10:01 PM
  #3  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 132
I hope it's not bad, the premise sounds fun.
Lazy Bum is offline  
Old 10-06-06, 11:26 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Posts: 8,494
Early buzz has been positive. You might want to read IGN's preview here. I'm looking forward to it too, it sounds pretty fun and funny.
Joe Molotov is offline  
Old 10-07-06, 02:12 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hero
 
nickdawgy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southern Cal-ee-for-nee
Posts: 29,356
When is the last time Rockstar did anything bad? I see it getting at least an 8-8.5 rating.
nickdawgy is offline  
Old 10-09-06, 10:46 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 31,721
http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,...?tw=wn_index_2

Byy Clive Thompson
02:00 AM Oct, 09, 2006

Warning! There are a few small spoilers in this column.
---

I laid into the kid with a flurry of punches, including a punishing uppercut I'd been taught by an alcoholic Vietnam vet. Wham, wham, wham: Pretty soon I'd pummeled my opponent into the ground. And for my brutal finishing move?

I leaned over and gave him a hand up. I lectured him about the importance of not bullying defenseless kids, and he apologized, promising that he wouldn't be such a meanie any more.

Then we became friends.

This was, I confess, not quite what I expected when I first heard about Bully, the hotly anticipated new title from Rockstar Games. Indeed, it's not what anyone expected.

But last week I got a rare advance chance to visit Rockstar's offices and play the game, and I discovered something interesting. While Bully is extremely fun -- more on the gameplay later -- it's an even more intriguing glimpse into the today's digital politics. Because Bully has had the weirdest history of any game yet: It endured a vicious backlash more than year before being released.

By now, Rockstar is the most politically radioactive gaming company in existence. Cultural conservatives had long savaged the Grand Theft Auto series for glorifying gang violence, hooker-killing and drive-by shootings. The Hot Coffee scandal of last year merely cemented the Rockstar's reputation as the digital pied piper of our age, luring children into the woods of sexual damnation.

So the Bully storm began the very instant that Rockstar first announced the game. In May 2005, Rockstar released a single sentence describing it -- noting that you'd play as "a troublesome schoolboy" who would "learn to navigate the obstacles of the fictitious reform school, Bullworth Academy".

It wasn't much, but opponents nonetheless leapt into overdrive. School boards proactively banned the game. Peace groups protested outside Rockstar's offices. Lou Dobbs called it "another disturbing example of our culture in decline." The game, critics somberly predicted, would inspire vicious acts of copycat bullying nationwide.

Except -- whoops -- here's the thing: It turns out the game doesn't glorify bullying at all.

Indeed, it's almost precisely the opposite. In Bully, you play as a young tough whose parents dump you in a decrepit reform school out in the countryside. Bullworth is filled with all the usual cliques: Preppies with coiffed hair and poncy accents, geeks in thick-framed glasses, greasers hanging out in the scrap yard -- and, of course, blindingly dumb jocks. This is the social morass in which you must defend yourself.

But you are not, in fact, intended to be a bully. Instead, most of your early missions involve you defending the helpless: Escorting weak-bladdered nerds past phalanxes of threatening athletes, or sneaking into the girls' locker room to retrieve an essay that popular cheerleader stole from a helpless she-geek.

There's one moment when things look pretty ugly -- you accompany a gang of toughs who want to beat up a homeless guy. Except they wind up running scared, and you befriend the hobo.

I almost wondered if Rockstar had been so burned by the years of criticism that it was actively attempting to thwart everyone's grim predictions.

In Bully, there's no blood, and the stakes are pretty low: One of the biggest "crimes" is staying out after curfew, or wandering around when you ought to be in class. Even then, all that happens is the prefects hunt you down and put you in detention, where you play word and puzzle minigames. Oh, and if you punch a girl? You're in big trouble, my friend.

Yet the more I played, the more I began to realize that that Bully does in fact fit quite neatly into the Rockstar tradition. Sure, there aren't any AK-47s lying around the school halls. But the gameplay is otherwise quite similar to Grand Theft Auto. You can explore anywhere, try out tons of minigames and eavesdrop on the surreal conversations of passersby. ("Have you ever tried to start a rumor about yourself?" one girl in the hallway asked another. "The sores aren't contagious when they've scabbed over!" another pleaded. Nice.)

The action's pretty intense, too: While frantically running to evade the prefects, it felt just like having four-star notoriety and half the police force chasing me in San Andreas.

But more importantly, Bully feels culturally similar to the GTA series, because you're constantly confronting corrupt authority figures. In Vice City or San Andreas, all the forces of "good" were inevitably on the take. Cops ran rackets; municipal conspiracies lurked in every corner.

Liberty City Stories signs off his broadcasts: "Remember what my daddy always said: 'Don't tell anybody I was in here!'")

What the Bully controversy proves is that politicians have never really appreciated the satirical edge of Rockstar's games. Peel back the hood on the ludic violence, and Rockstar's games have a surprisingly consistent moral view: Those with power will inevitably abuse it. It is a conclusion that would not displease Thomas Hobbes, or even Thomas Jefferson.

That's why Bully is, in many ways, the ultimate Rockstar game. By turning to high school, the designers have found the perfect locale for exploring the cliquishness, unfairness and brutality of everyday society.

Bully plays like a homage to the 1980s flicks that originally explored high-school as a metaphor for society -- like Heathers or The Breakfast Club. As with any John Hughes movie, the cheerleaders of Bully lord their power over lesser mortals ("I can do anything I want, anything," one brags), and prefects re-enact their own personal beatdowns by victimizing you ("I've been waiting to do this a long time!" one gloats as he thrashes me).

All of which means I'll be interested to see what the critics do when they finally actually clap their eyes on Bully.

Rockstar has performed what amounts to a piece of cultural jujitsu. By downplaying the prurient aspects over which critics obsess -- the gunfire, the pools of blood -- they've made a game that lets their snarkily clever social commentary shine through. Politically, Bully might be their first game that is -- pun intended -- bulletproof.
Draven is offline  
Old 10-16-06, 04:47 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Brent L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 13,617
IGN Review - 8.9

GameTrailers Video Review - 8.1 out of 10

Game Informer - 8.5 out of 10

GamePro - 4.5 out of 5

Games Radar - 9 out of 10

GameBrink - 92 out of 100

I just ordered this in the Family Video deal for $30.98 so I hope that I really enjoy it.

Watch all of the Bully vids on YouTube. I ordered this game without watching any of them, and now that I've watched them all I'm even more excited about finally being able to play this one.

Here is one of em:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kA8h3Wmk8U

Last edited by BrentLumkin; 10-17-06 at 01:15 AM.
Brent L is offline  
Old 10-16-06, 09:57 PM
  #8  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,426
Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
Watch all of the Bully vids on YouTube.
Just fyi, you can watch better quality videos on gametrailers.com than the super-low res of youtube videos.

Here is the specific page for Bully on gametrailers:

http://www.gametrailers.com/gamepage.php?fs=1&id=3121
kgrogers1979 is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 12:56 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Brent L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 13,617
GameTrailers Video Review - 8.1 out of 10
Brent L is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 12:35 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 14,806
I wish this was on XBox...

= J
Tarantino is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 02:56 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Brent L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 13,617
I thought PS2 ownership was required to a gamer.

1UP - 10 out of 10
Brent L is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 03:25 PM
  #12  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,426
Originally Posted by Tarantino
I wish this was on XBox...

= J

Me too.

I still have a slight hope that it might come to Xbox or 360 eventually though. GTA was PS2 exclusive for a long time before it was ported to Xbox. Maybe we will see a Bully port with enhanced next-gen graphics in 6-8 months.


Originally Posted by BrentLumkin
I thought PS2 ownership was required to a gamer.
I am not a fanboy or anything, but I just like to own one console per generation. The Xbox and 360 are my preferred consoles since I am an American-style FPS/action junkie.

Last edited by kgrogers1979; 10-17-06 at 03:29 PM.
kgrogers1979 is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 04:08 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Brent L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 13,617
I got the game today. After I play it for a little while, I'll post a few things about it.
Brent L is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 04:38 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Posts: 8,494
Bully was supposed to be on the PS2 & Xbox, but the Xbox version got cancelled.
Joe Molotov is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 05:31 PM
  #15  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,426
Originally Posted by Joe Molotov
Bully was supposed to be on the PS2 & Xbox, but the Xbox version got cancelled.
Why was the Xbox version cancelled?
kgrogers1979 is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 06:50 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,393
It might have something to do with no more Xbox's being sold.
Fandango is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 07:39 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 744
and they wanted all effort focused on the PS2 version. XboX is dead and gone.
sureAV421 is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 07:49 PM
  #18  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,426
Why not just shove the Xbox version over to the 360 if they were worried about bad sales due to Xbox being dead. They could have just made it backward compatible from the start. Then they would have gotten the best of both worlds: Xbox gamers who haven't upgraded to 360 could play as well as 360 owners.
kgrogers1979 is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 07:52 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Brent L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 13,617
Originally Posted by sureAV421
and they wanted all effort focused on the PS2 version. XboX is dead and gone.
I listened to an interview with one of the producers of the game, and that's what he said. They wanted to totally focus on the PS2, to make sure the game was as solid as it could be.

I'm sitting here playing it, and let me tell ya - it worked.
Brent L is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 08:19 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Brent L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Upstate, SC
Posts: 13,617
Ok, I just found a little bulldog running around, and I think you're supposed to (or you just can) play frisbee with it, but instead I attacked it. I grabbed it by the head, then punched it right in the neck. I couldn't believe it.

Spoiler:
Paging kvrdave, paging kvrdave!!!


This game is awesome, there's a lot of stuff to do in it besides punching innocent dogs in the neck.

Last edited by BrentLumkin; 10-17-06 at 08:22 PM.
Brent L is offline  
Old 10-17-06, 11:57 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Baron Of Hell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle and sometimes hell
Posts: 5,980
Damn I think the ps2 and dS might reign as king and queen of consoles even after the PS3 and Xbox360 has been out a while. Guess we will see. Oh and no one likes a bully.

Hmmm maybe they'll port the game the next gen systems down the road.
Baron Of Hell is offline  
Old 10-18-06, 12:09 AM
  #22  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: southern CA
Posts: 446
i'm legitimately depressed they cancelled it.
im_ryandick is offline  
Old 10-18-06, 12:47 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
CKMorpheus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 8,023
Can't wait for the PC port. It's gonna kill me not owning this, but I just can't play anything on my PS2 other than Guitar Hero. I hate most console games.
CKMorpheus is offline  
Old 10-18-06, 02:45 AM
  #24  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 5,426
Originally Posted by CKMorpheus
Can't wait for the PC port.
Are they porting it to the PC for sure? If so, I may just get that if it never shows up on the 360 in the next year or so.
kgrogers1979 is offline  
Old 10-18-06, 03:29 AM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 595
I was really looking forward to playing Bully after all the bullshit it went through in the media, then they cancelled the Xbox version. I don't have a PS2 anymore so I'm SOL. I'm sure if the sales are up there Rockstar will definitely port it to either the 360 or the PC.
Sanitarium is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.