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Bully: Scholarship Edition on Game and Player

Bully: Scholarship Edition

Heather Richtmyre  //  March 18, 2008

Bully amuses.


y first thought on Bully: Scholarship Edition is simply "amusing." Hyper-exaggerated is another term that comes to mind, whether from a geek's monologue on roleplaying being the greatest art of man, or a prep commenting that he uses an English accent because he is insecure about being newly rich.

Grotius wrote about nerds.
Graphically, the game is realistic, though not especially "pretty." While playing, a family member told me that this was the first game she'd seen where the characters actually looked human. Though, many of them are not the proverbial shining examples of humanity. A dork with his fly open and underwear showing is not an attractive sight, no matter how high the resolution is. The various hairstyles available for the character of Jimmy Hopkins are an enjoyable, extraneous touch, and I will admit to spending too much time tweaking his outfit as well. For loading screens, the brightly colored cartoon style provided an enjoyable contrast to the grayer tones of the game as well. Overall, the only graphical flaw I noticed was the rendering of characters' blocky fingers during cut scenes, where hand motions were quite commonly used.

The controls were generally simple to understand, though I will admit to mashing the "X" Button quite commonly in fights. There are also some situations where mashing the "Y" Button on my controller was required to escape the prefects, which occasionally seemed to induce more button-mashing than was needed. Equipping various items caused me the most trouble amongst the controls. Suddenly pulling out a skateboard instead of a weapon while fighting in a confined space led only to my having to retry the fight. And, on the same note, throwing a stink bomb at the girl I wished to have Jimmy talk to does not result in a kiss or the health boost that comes from it.

For school, the game institutes a mini-game for each class. Most of these simply require hitting the proper buttons at the proper times, though shop class also requires rotation of the left stick. Rhythm is by no means an area of any skill for me, and therefore I failed most classes requiring such. The art class was my favorite mini-game, requiring simply that you expose areas of the picture without having your pencil broken by floating scissors. Photography with its timed picture-taking, and biology with the dissection projects were also ones that I found enjoyable. Word creation for the English mini-game, however, simply resulted in mental frustration. In any case, while these classes can be avoided, the rewards for some were quite useful. Namely: explosives.

The game does not necessarily
encourage overachieving.
I did have a couple glitches occur while playing the game. First, Jimmy was pushed through a wall, and became stuck, requiring me to restart the game and lose all unsaved progress. Second, the screen froze, and I had to restart my Xbox 360, which is an event that I cannot remember happening before on this console.

As I said at the beginning of the review, the game is amusing. One aspect of this is how the normal gaming activity of bashing most destructible objects open provides you with a warning that you're committing vandalism, and can get you busted if you're caught. But getting a pumpkin head option for a few acts of vandalism is too amusing to pass up. Or even sticking an annoying fellow student into a trash can, and then walking by a few days later to see them still struggling there.

The irony of the title juxtaposed against a loading screen statement to not bully, because such will get you in trouble, also amused me.

Overall, while there a few frustrating aspects to Bully: Scholarship Edition, I had great fun playing the game, whether providing escort service for an utter dork or running around delivering items while wearing a french-fry suit.

Bully: Scholarship Edition



Rockstar New England


Rockstar Games

NA Release

March 4, 2008


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Sense of humor
  • Graphic style
  • Use of mini-games


  • Occasional button-mashing
  • Rare glitches

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