Canis Canem Edit Game Navigating The Schoolyard


Somewhere hidden in the Rockstar Bully controversy (officially Canis Canem Edit in the UK) is a game. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Bully is much more than a game – something much more outrageous – but it’s really just another free Action title. The fact that these are the creators of GTA and that it has a title that begs to be torn apart by anyone who rejects video games as a form of pleasure has simply made people work for nothing.

You play as Jimmy, a teenager who is taken to a boarding school while his mother and stepfather go on vacation for a year. It looks like a small, straight bruise with a small, thick waist and a face that only a mother could like. Yes, he looks like your stereotypical school bully, but when he leaves, he’s not the revolting bad boy his image (or Jack Thompson) suggests.

One of the first children you meet is Garry, a really annoying bully who lives in the same dorm as you. But you have only endured it for so long, and soon this rather weak friendship is over and you move on to other things. The scenario is not as implicit, but interesting little things appear everywhere, Jimmy goes from one activity to another and shows about as much Commitment to something as most children. Bully is about to survive as a new child, and it’s going very well.

The main area is Bullworth Academy, The school where you will attend classes. During a morning and afternoon session, you must go to class, because the absenteeism of teachers and prefects is frowned upon. These lessons are essentially small mini-games whose difficulty increases from one lesson to the next, and success earns you rewards in a number of areas, such as increased Luck in checkers. If you are just playing outside of class and you get caught by a prefect, you will be taken to class without any real punishment, but if you get caught during a Mission, you will fail.

The missions are divided into subcategories, so that you get a number of main progression missions, money-generating missions and auxiliary missions in which you help a student in need. At first, these will take place on the school grounds, but quite early in the game, the whole city is open. They will perform largely the same activities as the search for objects and their return, the protection of people or the delivery of documents on a paper lathe. However, it continues to be fun and there is enough humor in each to keep the game fresh until the end.

As a school, there are many other students wandering around, and each one has its own personality. Jimmy can talk to any of them and choose, good or bad, or even make a Move. Girls love gifts, and as soon as you get into their good books, you can give them a peck, which will also serve as a way to restore health. Each stereotypical school group is represented, with Nerds, Jocks, Preppies and greasers forming the four different social circles of the game. Nerds are obviously supported by everyone, so it’s the students who tend to get help from you – they will pay for your services, so it’s worth it.

Just as GTA has a coveted level, Bully has a problem counter. When you hit a child, steal a bicycle, throw a stink in the air, enter the girls’ dorm or do anything that is perceived as mean, your problem counter fills up. The more it is filled, the more attention authority figures pay to it, so that all the prefects, teachers or police officers (in town) come to hunt them down. If you get caught, you have a Chance to free yourself, but you will be caught again and sent back to where you should be. Hiding in bins, lockers, or just out of sight will reduce your trouble meter, but Hell for leather in your dorm room or other backup locations (others will open up as you progress) will also work.

Bully’s reputation grew out of what bullies are known for, and of course there’s a lot of bullying involved. I’m sure some groups will condemn it, but it’s really not as bad as it seems. You can hit people, humiliate people, throw objects, hit people with your slingshot and generally do the things that children do. The action system is remarkably simple and the projectile weapons can be aligned automatically or manually without much effort. There are no weapons, No machetes, no explosion (which does real damage) and there is no execute. Of course, kicking a man while he is on the ground is not pleasant, but the people who strike you first deserve everything they have.

Part of Bully’s charm is the simplicity of everything. You might fail the strange mission, but most people should realize that working in the game is fun and is not an action against AI cheating or inexpensive tactics. The game world is not huge by Rockstar standards, but it is more than big enough for a child, and environments like the fairgrounds are so wonderfully designed that you will want to come back again and again-whether you have a date and are trying to impress or you are just trying out the rides and the map is just as great, with easy-to-understand markers, and since the game world is not too big, it never takes too long to get from one place to another – and you can always take a Bus back to school.

With the new generation really approaching us now, free roaming games on PlayStation 2 seem a bit difficult, but Bully really pushes the system to its limits. Some areas are superbly detailed, and although they are a little foggy (even inside), the frame rate is solid and each character is full of individuality. There are no licensed songs to listen to, which is a bit surprising, but the dynamic soundtrack does a great job, and the dubbing is really great and sounds incredibly natural.

Bully is a surprisingly simple game and quite tame by Rockstar standards, but that’s part of its charm. The feeling of greatness that you see in San Andreas is not there, but Bully has a sense of uniqueness. They will take care to return to their dorm after curfew and forget to buy flowers for the girl they love before school starts. It’s a fun experience from start to finish (something that will take many hours) and, like many modern games are a complete task to master, a breath of fresh air.

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