Previews// Bully: Scholarship Edition - Preview

Posted 24 Jan 2008 16:51 by
The Rockstar reps demo-ing the game are keen to point out that they feel there is a huge, largely untapped market for this type of game on Wii. I cannot help but agree with them. Aside from what I consider to be Nintendo?s Holy Wii Trinity (Twilight Pricess, Metroid and Mario Galaxy) there really aren?t enough Wii games that have the depth and offer the many hours of story-driven fun that this game does. As ?Wii-makes? (sorry!) go, this is the best I?ve yet seen and I?ll be recommending the game to all those ?casual? gamers I know that have recently been brought back into the fold by Wii.

The first new bits of content I was shown were the new mini-game ?lessons? - maths, music, biology and geography ? which you can play in two-player mode, with your mate playing as the evil Gary. Biology class involves the painstaking dissection of a rat, winning points for speed and accuracy. It?s a shameless rip-off of the gameplay from another one of my personal Wii favourites, Trauma Center, with the use of various surgical tools ? scalpel, forceps, magnifying glass and so on. It?s also superb fun. Who would ever have thought that removing a virtual rat?s testes would be described as ?superb fun?? I was told that there are a number of other creatures including pigs and aliens that you get to take apart in this mini-game. I can?t wait till March to try them!

So, I?m more than happy to report that the Wii version of Bully: Scholarship Edition is shaping up to be a must-buy title for Nintendo fans this coming spring. Come faster, spring!

360 Version
So, what of the 360 version? This version was developed by a third-party studio called Mad Doc, overseen by the ever-watchful eye of Rockstar Vancouver. For some reason the team didn?t use Rockstar?s proprietary RAGE engine in the game (I quizzed the Rockstar guys, but they?re not entirely sure why) but it looks like the Mad Doc team has done a splendid job nonetheless.

As expected, the big sell here is the graphics, which look peachy creamy (as you can see from the screens illustrating this preview). They?re not the best, by any means, and they are in no way comparable to GTA IV (much more on which, shortly?), but then, nothing else is either. While all the mini-games and new missions that are in the Wii version are also in this version, the main difference between the two is that this one looks great, but you can?t (of course) use the Wii?s cool motion-control fighting and dissecting rats? balls and whatnot.

I was taken through the ?Jealous Johnny? mission in the game. I remembered this well from the PS2 version; Jimmy has to stalk around the town (with the very cool, Twin Peaks-style soundtrack playing away in the background) taking pictures of Johnny?s two-timing slut of a girlfriend Lola, as she makes out with another guy. The better pictures you take, the quicker you are able to shop Lola to Johnny. Pretty much identical to the PS2 game, the 360 just looks and sounds loads better.

In terms of new missions, I then got to see another one of Jimmy?s capers called ?Miracle on Bullworth Street? in which you are tasked by ?Rudy the drunken Santa? with smashing up a rival Santa?s grotto, giving the elves a good kicking in the process. Mindless, glorious, hilarious violence. (Note to any Daily Mail hacks reading: this is not, I repeat not, going to encourage gamers to carry out mindless attacks on Santas or elves).

If you have yet to play Bully and you own a Wii or a 360 you need to pop the 7th March in your diary right now. Watch out for SPOnG?s full review later next month.
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