Bully: Scholarship Edition Impressions

We were given an introductory class in Bully: Scholarship Edition at Rockstar's London offices.

Bully, also known as Canis Canem Edit outside of the US, caused quite a bit of a stir when it was originally announced for PlayStation 2 back in 2005, but it was critically well-received when it finally made it to store shelves. Rockstar has confirmed that the updated Xbox 360 and Wii redux, due to debut on March 7 in Europe, will be called Bully: Scholarship Edition in both the US and Europe, suggesting that the opposition it originally faced has blown over. We sat down with Rockstar London to take a look at a number of single-player and multiplayer missions on both the Xbox 360 and Wii.

Set in the exclusive Bullworth Academy, Bully follows the story of new student Jimmy Hopkins, a juvenile delinquent with a history of violence. As you'd expect, it has all the hallmarks of a Rockstar game--a tongue-in-cheek storyline, plenty of action, mayhem and violence, an open environment, plenty of minigames, and its fair share of controversy. The primary story also remains unchanged from the original PlayStation 2 game.

Scholarship Edition includes all of the single-player missions from the original PS2 version plus an additional eight missions spread throughout the game. Online play hasn't been included (nor is downloadable content planned at this stage), but the PS2 version's existing offline multiplayer mode has been beefed up to include four new classes in math, music, biology, and geography.

We saw a demonstration of the Wii's new biology minigame, which pits Jimmy and his mate Gary in a mad rush against each other and the clock to dissect a random animal--which might be a fish, frog, rat, or even an alien.

The Wii Remote looked to work quite effectively in multiplayer. For dissection, players choose the magnifying glass using the Wii Remote to zoom into the eye, then select the scalpel to draw around the eye--in a dot-to-dot puzzle manner--to remove it and place in a Petri dish. Following this, you need to use the scalpel to cut open the skin and expose the internal organs; the more precise your surgical skills, the more points you'll earn. Once that's done, you'll need to remove the gills, liver, and stomach before the buzzer sounds. The Xbox 360 version has the same multiplayer games as the Wii but uses a combination of buttons to produce the same results.

Another clever use of the Wii Remote was demonstrated during the first chapter, titled "Making New Friends & Enemies." Jimmy has to change into his school uniform at the boys' dormitory, but encounters a group of thugs outside the dorm ready to jump him. Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, Jimmy can throw left- and right-hand punches at them, much like you would in Wii Sports Boxing. Once he has them beat, you can pull off a finishing "humiliation move," which in this case is a Chinese burn executed by twisting the controller the same way you would a forearm. There are multiple humiliation moves, and each one is executed by a different gesture with the Wii Remote.

A hilarious new mission, Miracle on Bullworth St., involves helping Rudy, the town's resident drunken Santa. Rudy claims another Santa is cashing in on his right to spread some Christmas cheer and enlists Jimmy's help to deal out some pain. Once you've located the impostor's winter wonderland, you'll need to take to it--and the elves--with your trusty baseball bat. During the Xbox 360 demonstration we saw, Jimmy even gave one of the pesky elves a wedgie. Once you've destroyed the candles, snowmen, presents, candy cane, and flimsy castle, you've successfully passed the mission. And as an added bonus, you'll find that the elf costume has been added to your wardrobe.

Graphically, the Xbox 360 version of the game is shaping up nicely. Mad Doc Software has given the game a dramatic facelift from the PS2 version, increasing the overall detail of the game, which includes lighting, shadows, and polygon count. However, Rockstar revealed that Bully: Scholarship Edition isn't running on Rockstar's Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), which powers such games as Table Tennis, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Instead, it makes use of an engine developed by Mad Doc. Special mention must also be given to the Wii version, developed by Rockstar Toronto. Although it's not as crisp and detailed as the Xbox 360 version, we were still impressed with how good it looked while still in development and on a 65-inch display.

In addition to new game modes and graphics, Rockstar has added new ambient background dialogue and music to the game. With new single-player missions and multiplayer games, as well as updated graphics, dialogue, and music, Bully: Scholarship Edition looks like it could attract a new audience with hours of next-generation juvenile mayhem on the Xbox 360 and Wii this March.

Written By

Former staff writer for GameSpot.co.uk, now marketing guy for a certain major online retailer....

Want the latest news about Bully: Scholarship Edition?

Bully: Scholarship Edition

Bully: Scholarship Edition

Follow

Discussion

187 comments
Weemanrulez
Weemanrulez

trust me its alot more fun on wii The boxing matches and general fightin is great fun coz i feel i'm actually doing something rather than pressin buttons so its highly recomended for the wii !

Treblemaka
Treblemaka

Gotta love it. I never got the original so i'll check it out.

ice-freezer
ice-freezer

this looks like it could be good but the graphics could be better

ninjarat
ninjarat

Hilary Clinton is gonna have a head fit!

zhevox
zhevox

that bully dude looks like a real jerk from my school, that guy's a pain in the @ss

cheese5000
cheese5000

beating up elves with a baseball bat..classic rockstar :)

fohammer67
fohammer67

anyone who is saying taht a remake is a bad move its pretty much the only way to add to the game on wii without nontendo making a dlc channel, x360 owners never got this so all im thinking is, are there enough extra missons and content to warrant another 50$ it should add at the least a quarter of what the original game had. with the way each of the source materials chapters ended i felt like "collect five stars(chapters) to fight the alien overlord (gary)

HumanoMexicano
HumanoMexicano

hassam7, it might be a remake but its like this everywhere... I mean look at what ps2+1 is got. A remake Ninja Gaiden...

wiimaster777
wiimaster777

i just can`t wait for this to come out!!!

hassam7
hassam7

this is not a sequal its just a remake with a little more to offer thats all. I have a Wii and was thinking of buying it but when I heard it is the same story and dialouge I decided not to. They should have made a proper new sequal instead of this. Since I already have it on my PS2 I won't waste 40$ on 8 levels, slightly better graphics and new minigames and controls, NO WAY I'M BUYING THIS!

iamjct212
iamjct212

I am really thinking about buying this game. It just smacks of something different.

zerokoolkw
zerokoolkw

I loved Bully on the PS2. I only wish this was a sequel and not a remake. As far as the Wii/360 discussion goes. Both excel at different things. If you want better graphics you go with the 360, if you want innovative gameplay you go with the Wii. It's a shame you have to chose. Definitely can't wait for this release though.

PuR3SkiLLZ3525
PuR3SkiLLZ3525

I agree with all of you- PS3 abd 360 have better graphics and are more serious consoles with better games for the better-than-average gamer, but i'm just making the point that you can't say that a console sucks. The Wii is innovative but sacrifices the quality. That doesn't mean it sucks.

silent_riku
silent_riku

spat69, very true... a next-gen buyer(gathering that this buyer is looking for good looking games) with the right mind would probably pick the 360 arcade over the Wii since... well no Pun intentionally intended but Wii doesn't really have any games that would intice a hardcore gamer to buy it... truly the Wii was built for the non-hardcore gamer(I'm not saying casual gamer cuz that would be a misunderstanding since i am a hardcore gamer but i can also be a casual gamer if i play solitaire) ok back to topic... i played it on my PS2 and I loved the game... you know Bully makes me wonder if Rockstar is preparing a sequel to this game that will be in the form of, firstly, Bully:College Life(crappy title but what I'm trying to say here is that Jimmy will be a college student in this one) and then the next sequel could be... hahaha... GTA V with Jimmy Hopkins all grown up... hihihihi...

juggleJUGGLER
juggleJUGGLER

im getting this as soon as it comes out. the original was one of a kind.

gifteddie
gifteddie

I loved Bully for ps2. I might get it again for the 360

spat69
spat69

PuR3SkiLLZ3525, no offense but the wii isnt that well priced, its been around $280 since it came out and the Xbox 360 arcade which has better graphics more and better games is only 20-30 dollars more.

PuR3SkiLLZ3525
PuR3SkiLLZ3525

hitman498, have you ever played a Wii? The Wii is brilliantly priced with possibly more interactive gameplay than Xbox 360 or PS3, but with sacrificed graphics. In my eyes, all the current consoles are brilliant, but with unique style to each of them, so you can't say that any of them suck.

hitman498
hitman498

To say something the PS3 and 360 is better than the Wii because I want more than Scarface I want something that actually is better and reasonably priced thats not the Wii because the Wii SUCKS!!!!!

matty_sen
matty_sen

i completed this once is it worth buying it again? plus the 360 graphics dont look very juiced

TallicaFan2005
TallicaFan2005

I rented and didn't really like it on the PS2 (I felt the story was really corny), but I'll probably give it another try on the 360.

p1ttj
p1ttj

PS3 version not the PS2 version if you are unfortunate enough to have been done by Sony's ridiculous tactic of removing backwards compatability. Not wishing to start a fanboy war (me being neither a fanboy or indeed being 12 years old having to justify that my purchase is the best) but until Sony produce a well priced console that will allow me to play my modicum of PS2 games on it (without wasting space in my AV cabinet or TV inputs) then I can't see the point in buying one. Back on topic, I reckon this looks good. Will be intrested to see what comparison/benefits between Wii controls and 360 looks is before choosing platform to buy it on.

sun_spirit
sun_spirit

I've already completed the PS2 version, some of the Wii features sound pretty cool, but may have to get this again for 360 for the looks!

gateybakes245
gateybakes245

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SpeedMan72
SpeedMan72

yeah never got the ps2 verison, might give this a try.

SpeedMan72
SpeedMan72

yeah never got the ps2 verison, might give this a try.

Jimmyjojon
Jimmyjojon

for only 8 missions, i dont think its something ill need to buy again. but it was a very fun game.

smitoraj2008
smitoraj2008

Only 8 new missions? I don't think I'm going to buy the game again unless there is a lower price.

Arkk_Angel
Arkk_Angel

Looks like another to add to my collection! But there's so many games that I want!

bobtheflounder
bobtheflounder

Missed the PS2 version of this game but this gives me a good reason to go pick it up now.

makemerich777
makemerich777

I don't think I'll repurchase it for only 8 new missions, but anyone who hasn't bought it yet should definitely give Bully a shot.

Razzi65
Razzi65

ps2 version was awesome... not so much new stuff.. but still intresting..

BontraXenderKyl
BontraXenderKyl

sounds good....but again---GUYS....it's just Rockstar, what can newlly happen

fhf22
fhf22

Can't wait to give some Chinese Burns *gets Wii remotes and starts twisting* OH YEAH!

jjr10
jjr10

Sounds awesome.

nate1222
nate1222

Yet another good reason to have a XBox360. The Wii version sounds awesome. Nintendo is starting to get some real grade A franchises. Kudos to Rockstar for hooking Wii owners up.

magic_dragon
magic_dragon

"Finally bully in hd, played bully on the ps2, it will be fun to play it again this time in hd!!" Exactly my thoughts.

Acyberexile
Acyberexile

Hope the controls will be cool for Wii. If so, this goes to my list of games to buy.

ryan-man
ryan-man

Finally bully in hd, played bully on the ps2, it will be fun to play it again this time in hd!!

Gorilla97
Gorilla97

this is sounding great. i rented Bully on PS2 shortly after it came out, but didn't really get a chance to play it, because i was so into the world of the Xbox 360. i loved what i played of it, though. now with more missions, better graphics and sound ~ i'm so sold on getting this game.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

cool, I always like the facelift thing, hopefully the X360 version will look great

tigerfan1993
tigerfan1993

Meh, doesnt sound too different from the PS2 version IMO.