So I remember back in 2004 when San Andreas came out. I was way too young to play this but I heard a lot from the GTA series as a kid. It sucks really, you hear the hype, how Grand Theft Auto is changing things in the gaming industry but that damn ESRB system stopped you from getting in on the action.
Little did we know, Rockstar was already in the works of a more mild version of GTA that kids can play and 2 years later Bully was released on Playstation 2.
The best part... was that it was rated T.
Now for those who don't know, Bully revolves around a kid named Jimmy Hopkins, who's mom and
step-father dump him at a private boarding school called Bullworth Academy. This school is filled with the worst kids you'd ever meet in school and Jimmy has to climb through the ranks from nerds to preps, greasers to jocks. Hell even dropouts aren't safe when Jimmy Hopkins rolls through. Each chapter in the game is set to gain the overall respect of one crew, excluding somethings late game (which i wont spoil).
As you go progress you get various weapons and items that help you progress through the game, you can even get a go-kart!
I remember getting this game for $20 and I bought it all in quarters, that's how hyped I was to play Bully. And I wasn’t wrong, Bully is an awesome game, from the awesome missions to the funny dialogue it definitely sets itself apart from its GTA predecessors in many ways. Nobody dies in Bully, not even Gary the antagonist of the game doesn’t die in the final boss fight. There's no hookers or drugs. The game mostly centers around having mischief and fun. Wanna take a break from the game? Go to the carnival and play some mini-games. If that doesn’t suit you there's different arcade machines all around town you can play. There's bike races and if you're really feeling smart you can go to class and be the big brains in Bullworth.
Bully already had enough to offer on PS2 but just some 2 years later we got Bully: Scholarship Edition. This was a remastered edition for Xbox 360 and Wii with more missions, classes, characters, ulockable items and clothing. This version also has a 2-player mode where you and a friend can compete in various classes against each other. Good luck not cheating in English on that one. Scholarship Edition is the port I currently have and I like it better than Bully classic. I liked the new Santa character in New Coventry I thought it was hilarious and the miracle on Bullworth street where you beat up Santa's elves is just a classic. They also released Bully: Anniversary Edition 10 years after Bully classic was released, it's basically Bully on your phone and I want nothing to do with it.
Overall Bully did very well as a video game. It received very positive reviews by critics and fans, and as of March 12th, 2008 the PS2 version went on to sell 1.5 million copies. Scholarship Edition did pretty well for a remaster also. Bully's gaming community is also pretty big from fans to speedrunners alike. To this day there are still people studying Bully to find out more about their favorite boarding school. I myself am a huge fan of the game and I speedrun it currently. If you're looking for a game to stray your kids away from games like GTA get them Bully . Sure certain scenes get out of hand but its way better than what they'll be exposed to playing Vice City.
You can get ports of Bully anywhere from PS2 up to PS4. It's also on Steam but if you're on Windows 10 the game will crash and id basically unplayable.
I got scholarship edition through this wicked sale Rockstar was having and I got it for like 7 bucks. The games worth a lot more than that if you ask me but who am I to deny such a bargain. Don't believe me then go check it out for yourself. Alright guys this is Gamesmasher Jay with your retro pick! Make sure to check out the rest of the site for all sorts of great content.