Bully Review (PS4)

If you’ve read my blog, Top 10 PS2 Games that Need to Come to the PS4, then you know that Bully was my number one pick. Do you know what game finally came to the PS4? That’s right, Bully. Do you know what game I picked up day one not really caring about the price? Right again, Bully. After so many years away from playing this game, here’s what I thought when I picked it up again and started on the PS4.

With this just being a port, there was no change at all to the story. You’ll play as Jimmy Hopkins, the new kid at Bullworth Academy. Jimmy was recently dumped at Bullworth Academy after his mother got married and decided that she needed a year long break from Jimmy, I mean a year long honeymoon with her new husband. Who cares about the kid when you just married a rich guy right? Jimmy arrives at Bullworth only to find that surprise the school is filled with bullies that don’t really like the new kid. Who would have known right? Me, that’s who. From firsthand experience I can tell you that being the new kid is not easy, it’s not exactly like the game, but it’s pretty damn close. Anyway, you’re here for a review not my own personal “new kid” experiences. Jimmy wants to put a stop to this and thinks that the only way he can is to become king of the school. How is he going to become king of the school? By beating the other bullies into submission, but lurking in the darkness is really the route of all this trouble and it’s up to Jimmy to ultimately put a stop to him and unite the school as a whole.

Hehehe: I don’t know why but every time I started the game and it came up with the PS2 logo, I just had to laugh. I also had to laugh when I went to save every time and it said that it was saving to my PS2 memory card. Oh the memory card, I had a bunch of them scattered around everywhere trying to find which one had the save game on it that I needed. Anyway this little bit of nostalgia brought me a few giggles along the way which made playing a little more fun.

I absolutely love playing this game. I don’t know what it is about it because the story, while interesting, is a little meh. The graphics are PS2 graphics which at the time of PS2 were revolutionary because people actually started to look like people, and the mechanics of the game at times are frustrating. But still, there’s so much love for this game that every time I play I become fully immersed in it and I have to do everything that the game has to offer. This is the game that makes going to school fun and believe me you’ll have to go to school when it comes to this game. Since this story does take place at Bullworth Academy, there are actual classes that Jimmy has to attend. I mean he could totally skip them, but then how would he discover new things? Each class gives him that little advantage that he’s going to need by the end of the game and each class also provides a semi-challenging mini game to go along with it. I think the nerd in me enjoys this game so much because of the school classes, but don’t tell anyone. Since this is a free roam game, you’re not limited to the school and be able to roam around the nearby towns causing mischief and mayhem no matter where you go. There’s just so much to do in this game that it’s crazy not to get hooked.

As I said before, the mechanics of this game are at times frustrating. Half of the time Jimmy doesn’t do what you want him to, the response time is delayed, or things just plain don’t work. This can lead to some controller breaking moments as you were supposed to give someone a wedgie but ended up shoving them and causing fight, or you’re trying to run somewhere and then Jimmy decides that instead he’s going to take a casual stroll. It’s not like the mission I was on had a time limit that I just missed because of this. When the game does work though, everything is smooth and flawless, it’s just shame that most of the time it doesn’t and there are a lot of issues that will go unresolved because it’s just a port. Then there’s also the part where sometimes this game will just crash on you. I can’t say this enough, SAVE YOUR GAME VERY OFTEN, because if not you’re going to end up losing a ton of data when you haven’t saved for two hours and then the game crashes and you have to go back to your last save. Not fun.

When playing this game you have to remember that these are late PS2, early PS3 graphics, so you really shouldn’t expect all that much. While the faces are a little better, the overall body shape and the hands of not only Jimmy but the people around are chunky and weird. These people have like, Lego hands, but that’s how things were with the PS2. What’s nice when playing this game is to see just how much graphics have evolved. When this game was first released these were like the best graphics ever and they showed just what would be coming for the PS3. I kind of feel the same way with the games that were released just before the PS4 was released, things started getting better showing off what the PS4 was going to be able to do. I will mention though that at times the graphics became really pixilated and blurry not making for a fun experience. The game shows a season change as you’ll play throughout the year and the worst part is during the winter. The winter was super blurry and at times I had no idea what I was supposed to be looking at.

Now for a part that got me excited, the trophies. Yes there are trophies for this game, which when you come to think about it is what everyone was looking for. Sure you could have downloaded Bully on your PS3 and played it like a PS2 game, but there were no trophies. In the PS4 version, there are a total of 38 trophies including a platinum trophy. How awesome is that? It’s also awesome that the trophies are super easy to get, especially if you’ve played this game back on the PS2 because this is stuff that you did then and you’re going to do again when you play on the PS4. There are some of those grinding trophies, but they aren’t bad and there really isn’t any reason why anyone shouldn’t be able to get the platinum on their first run through.

Because this game came out before the days of Multiplayer, this is a single player experience and I was totally fine with that.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ This game gives you the “new kid” experience if you’ve never had one, although the “new kid” experience in this case is mostly exaggerated in a video game kind of way but not totally off.
+ It’s impossible to get bored with this game because there are a ton of things to do. Go to class, do the missions, make some money doing side missions, run errands, play video games (yes, play video games inside of the video game), do whatever you want because this is a fully open world game.
+ If you played this on the PS2, you’ll love playing it on the PS4 as it has a lot of nostalgia moments. Memories…like the corners of my mind….misty water colored memories…of the way video games were.
+ Everyone wanted trophies for this game, and guess what you got them and they’re easy and fun to get.

What’s Not So Great:
Mechanics are frustrating and half the time won’t do what you want them to. Want to skateboard down the street in a straight line? Good luck because you’ll probably crash into something. Want to run somewhere? Yeah good luck with that too because you’ll probably end up walking halfway through.
The graphics are late PS2 early PS3 graphics which means that they aren’t the greatest if you’re playing them on the PS4. While this isn’t bad, the pixilation and overall blurriness at times was bad.
As a caution I would say to save as often as possible because the game is known to crash and you’ll lose whatever you didn’t save.

While this isn’t the best game I’ve ever played on the PS4, it was a game that I was waiting for that brought back a lot of memories, mostly memories of playing this game on the PS2, and that was fun for me. I enjoyed going back to a story that I knew and re-experiencing it because it had been so long since I last played (almost 10 years). If you never played this game before then it’ll probably be a hit or miss for you on whether you’ll like it or not. If like me, you loved this game on the PS2, then you’ll love it on the PS4 because it’s a game that you know even with all of its problems. This game is definitely worth the $14.99, but if you’re on the fence I’m sure it’ll go on sale before you know it.

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