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How Bully turned me into a bully…in Bully

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Greetings, travellers. I tend to play most games in 30-40 minute bursts, merely to accommodate every big release in my busy life. By doing this, I can play GTA IV while simultaneously tackling Mass Effect on the 360, or Patapon on the PSP. This weekend, though, I took a slightly different tack. I played Bully for 16 hours in two days.

During this time, I did just about everything I could be arsed to do in the game, aside from the eternally irritating sidequests, like collecting cards, or tackling the naff Go-Kart races. I jumped from 25.64% to 84.96% in a single weekend. For me, that’s heavy playing, and it’s definitely had a negative effect on me.

Firstly, I actually started picking on a child in the game, such was my obsessive frustration at completing every objective. This child, named Pedro, will endlessly hassle Jimmy throughout the game, threatening to tell on him, as well as offering a number of dull errands that aren’t really worth the time. Pushing kids in bins, in the playground? Please. It takes forever, and prefects are everywhere; it’s really not worth $15.

At first, this never bothered me. There are plenty of characters that berate Jimmy; Algernon, for example, or any of the women when you wear Cargo pants. Still, this character is particularly grating, simply because his voice is so bloody grating.

Anyway, I actually started bullying him. No joke. When I’d ride by on a bicycle, I’d give give him a swift punch. When he’d challenge me with the afore-mentioned bin task, I’d lob a firecracker at him. When he says ‘Please don’t hurt me!’, I flush his head down the toilet!

With that madness in mind, I’m never playing a game for longer than 30 minutes again. On top of the bullying phase I went through, I dreamt I was being chased by angry prefects on Sunday night.

Bully, though? Fantastic game! Given its strong sales on the PS2 and 360, I’m hoping for a sequel that uses Rockstar’s RAGE engine.

Jimmy Hopkins at college? It could be amazing! Still, I have no bearing on the world, so I’ll just have to hope that Rockstar likes the game as much as I do.