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Monday, December 28, 2009

Got a Nintendo Wii for Christmas

Hey everybody, just fyi I just got a Nintendo Wii for Christmas, just a few days ago. I actually wasn't expecting this gift since i didn't aks for it (after all I do have an Xbox 360), but now I have both a Wii and and Xbox 360 and have 2 games for the Wii: Metroid Prime Trillogy as well as Wii Sports. I have been making an Xbox 360 fan site at http://www.xboxfreak.ws/, but now that I also have a Wii, I will probably talk about that system too, make honest comparisons between the two systems (before I got a Wii, I've only played it on display at game stores as well as friends' houses, usually Wii sports, but now it will be easier for me to review that system as well). The games have been fun so far, though you do have to stand when playing, which can take some getting used to as I am used to sitting down while playing on the Xbox and other systems. Stay tuned for my opinions about the wii in upcoming posts.

watch a gameplay video of the New Mario Bros game for the Wii

Currently, I am playing through the Metroid Prime trillogy, and will plan on posting a review of it once I have beaten the game, though I also got some new Xbox 360 games as well, namely Ghost Busters and Batman Arkam Asylum (so I will be switching off between the three games).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Top 5 best Halloween themed games I have played (under construction)

Image caption: Castlevainia Lamment of Innocents is one of the many chapters in the Castlevania Series, and in the castlevania series, you can expect to fight through hordes of ghosts, monsters, demons, goulish bosses (such as The Forgotten one in Castlevania LOI), and other nightmarish enemies throughout the series.

Ah, another Halloween is fast approaching (this year seems to be going by fast at least in my book), and with it comes all of the classic scares and thrills (i.e., pumkin patches, haunted houses, tricker treat for the kids, etc). In the video game realm, there are plenty of games out there that have some halloween themes. Of course in this blog post, I will post some games I think have some awesome halloween themes (based on the games I've played). Of course, you are free to agree or disagree with me .

Game #1 - Castlevania: Curse of Darkness and the Castlevania Series in General
(the current game I am playing through is Castlevania Lamment of Innocence by the way, which is a prequel to the mainline series)

If you are looking for a Halloween themed game, they do not get any more Halloweenish than the Castlevania series do. The castlevania series started back in the 1980s by Komnai, which is also the creator of the Contra Series, and in the castlevania universe, you usually play as one of the Belmonts (such as Simon Belmont in the original series, with the exception of CV 3, where you play as Trevor Belmont) and venture into Count Dracula's castle at Transylvania usually on a quest to defeat Dracula and his minions as well as saving loved ones from certain death (such as Richter Belmont saving Maria in Castlevania Dracula X). There are plenty of common themes in the castlevania series including: fighting through hoards of vampires, ghosts, demons, zombies, monsters, skeletons and other strange creatures throughout the levels in the series. in addition, there are plenty of equally terrifying boss fights. Some classic boss fights includes: A headless ghost you fight in Castlevania Dracula X, Legion in Curse of Darkness and similar variations in Harmony of Dissonence and Symphony of the night (Legion is that abomonible creature that you fight in some of the CV games that is made literrally by dead bodies and a hideous creature called Nucleous in the middle), a grim reaper called Death, ghosts, as well as sexy demon called Succubus in some games (you will get into an epic battle with her in both Symphony of the Night and Lamment of Innocence) to name a few. Another common theme is that the main villian is none other than Count Dracula (though not always as is the case as is the case in some of the newer titles like Lamment of Innocence and Arial of Sorrow, though Dracula's subtitute in those two games have similarities to Dracula, such as the ability to teleport), who usually shows up in 2 forms: 1) the human form and 2) the demonic/dragon form (the best fight in my book against Dracula is in Curse of Darkness where he has some personality in the first fight and does more than the usual teleportining as well as the second battle where you fight an oversized version of him in a demonic/gargoyle form).
Of course, there are plenty of other timeless classics in the CV series, such as the scene in Castlevania 64 in Level 3 where you go through this maze chasing after Malus (who is really Dracula in child form, though that does not get revealed till the end of the game provided that you don't fight Vincent just before you fight the imposter version of Dracula) and you have a Frankenstein Monster with a Chainsaw in his hand and 2 hellhound dogs chasing after you as you try to reach the exit in the maze (and their attacks are quite brutal to your guy's health). In the Xbox and PS2 versions, the game plays a bit like a movie too, complete with clipscenes, voice acting and all (such as the rivalry between Hector and Issac throughout the game, which ends in a fight to the death between the two towards the end of the game shortly before you fight Death and Count Dracula). One other timeless moment in the game I am aware of is the final showdown between Reinhardt Schneider and the real Count Dracula (aka Malus). First, Malus transforms into Dracula and after the usual first battle with hime (teleportation and all), you will fight a huge dragon version of him in a baron desert, and he does have quite an attude, launching nuclear bombs, fire and other deadly arsenal against Reinhardt throughout the battle. At the end of the battle, Dracula gets dragged into the underworld alive (creepy indeed). If you are looking for a pure halloween themed game, then the Castlevania Series is for you.
Game #2- Halloween town in Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2
Now, while the Kingdom Hearts series is not really a halloween classic (besides the fact that you fight through hordes of nightmarish creatures called the Heartless and Nobodies in KH2 as well as the huge boss fight between Sora and Malificent in KH1 where you fight her in the huge dragon form from Sleeping Beauty), Halloween town is perhaps the classic. Now, this is not to be confused with the halloween town from the Halloween Town series that usually show in October (this is Jack Skellington's Halloween town from the nightmare before christmas). You will play through this level at least once in Kingdom Hearts 1 and twice in KH 2. In both versions, you play through a huge halloween themed world where you fight through hordes of goulish heartless, play through an eerie world and go up against the evil Oogie Boogie (in KH 2, you will also fight The Experiment who gets corrupted perhaps by Organization 13 in the second trip to Halloween town). More will be added later

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New Xbox 360 Fan Site In the Works

Here is for those of you who love the Xbox 360: I have decided to create a new Microsoft Xbox 360 fan site. When complete, the site will contain these features:

- exclusive news and articles relating to Xbox 360

- learn about exclusive deals and special offers from related companies

- Get exclusive game reviews from games I've played

- get the scoop and commentaries on upcoming games

- and more

I hope to complete this site before the holiday season this year. You can check out my new site at http://www.xboxfreak.ws/. By the way, once the site is complete, this blog will be my official blog for the Xbox 360 fan site, considering that this blog is already about video games in general.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2 New Youtube videos

Here are 2 new youtube videos I posted on gaming:

Justin (my brother) Playing Call of Duty 4

Me playing GTA 4 (will post a bigger video in the future)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Top 10 Game Villians That Just Never give up

Image caption: Bowser just before Mario destroys the bridge Bowser is on sending him straight into the lava pit below for the nth time (which happens over 8 times in SMB 1, assuming you play through the entire game).

(spoiler alert: this blog post assumes that you have played through the games mentioned below and so if you haven't played through any of these games and want to be surprised, then don't read below, though most of these game series have been around for quite a while, and so I am assuming that most of you are familiar with these game series)

Ah, sometimes it can be said that one never knows when he/she has been beaten, and when it comes to many platform games, this can certainly be true. Over the years, in many different game series, all too familiar villians have appeared, including Bowser in the Mario Bros series, Dr. Eggman in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and the like. Of course, in many of these games assuming you play through them properly, the bad guy loses in the end, only to return in the sequel (up to his/her evil deeds once again). I guess the rationale for this pattern is that if the bad guy were to ever fully be defeated or go good, then the series would be over. Of course, that has happened before. In the Austin Powers Saga, for example, in the Gold Member, Dr Evil turns away from his wicked ways and turns to good, and obviously, we haven't seen any new Austin Powers Movies since, and same goes for the Star Wars Movies. In Return of the Jedi, Emperor Palpatine gets defeated, Darth Vader returns to the light side of the force (just before he dies unfortunately), and the empire gets dealt a huge blow by the rebel allience, and so far we haven't seen any new star wars movies that take place after Return of the Jedi (though the saga does not end with Return of the Jedi if you read the books or play the Star Wars themed games, since the bigger story is in the expanded universe (i.e., books, games, and comics). Anyways, here some noteworthy villians (note this post will be expanded over time):

1. Bowser in the Super Mario Bros series -

here is an epic battle between Mario and Bowser in SMW (super mario world). This is one of the many boss fights that Mario and Luigi will face throughout the Mario Bros. series (youtube video posted by NintendoCult)

if you have seen video games since the days of the original NES, I am sure that most of us have played through the Original Super Mario bros series at one time or another, and what more classic of a villian is there than the evil Bowser. Bowser is that evil dragon that is Mario's nemesis throughout most of the Super Mario series (though in the later games, there is also Wario along with Luigi's evil twin), and often plots to kidnap Mario's girlfriend, Princess Peach and take over the world. Unfortunately to Bower's dismay, Mario is pretty good when it comes to ruinning Bowser's evil schemes, and Bowser definately is a glutton for punishment at the hands of Mario. In the first game, Bowser falls into a lava pit that he probably inteded for Mario over 8 times, in SMB 3, he crashes do though the floor of the balcony of his castle trying to stomp Mario, loses his flying machine in SMW, gets egged to death by Yoshi in SMB World 2: Yoshi's Iland, and even gets hurled at bombs in SMB 64, and yet he always comes back in the sequel even more determined to defeat Mario and succeed in his evil plot only to get defeated once again.

2. Dr Robotnik (aka Eggman) in the Sonic the Hedgehog series

watch an epic battle between Sonic and Eggman in his Egg Viper (submitted by roylink on Youtube). The is one of the many battles that Sonic and Eggman will engage in throughout the series (and perhaps one of my favorites)

Famous quote from the Sonic the Hegehog comic series and some of the cartoon series - "I HATE THAT HEDGHOG!!!" (Dr. Robotnik)

Yes in just about all of the Sonic the Hedghog games, Sonic can almost always expect to fight his arch nemesis, Dr. Robotnik on various occasions in most if not all Sonic games as well as his diabolical creations as well (i.e., Chaos, Mecha Sonic, etc). Like many game series, there is usually an evil genius lurking around looking to cause trouble that only the hero(s) can beat, and what is a Sonic the Hedgehog game without a mad scientist, named Doctor Robotnik (also known as Eggman). Eggman has been in the series pretty much from the beginning and has a goal of taking over the world and turning everybody into mindless robots. Of course, there is one person that can stand in his way: Sonic the Hedgehog (along with his side kicks, Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Cream, Big, as well as the rest of the Sonic gang of course). Doctor Robotnik comes up with a diabolital scheme in each game (my favorite is probably Sonic 3 and Knuckles) where he builds hs infamous Death Egg (similar to the Death Star) and you have to blow up the Death Egg before Eggman can use it against Earth dwellers. Of course, if you play the games right, in the end Sonic and his pals manage to foil Eggman's schemes, sending Eggman back to the drawing board where he crafts a new and better plan, only to be defeated by Sonic once more.

Interestingly, in many of the newer games (starting with Sonic Adventure), his plan(s) ends up backfiring (as was the case in the Chaos Monster, who turns into Perfect Chaos at the end of Sonic Adventure, which leads to Sonic morphing into super sonic in order to defeat Perfect Chaos) and must turn to Sonic for help to undo the damage that his schemes have done. Even then, Eggman returns to his evil ways once again in the sequel.

3. Count Dracula in most Castlevania games -

watch an epic battle between Hector and Count Dracula from Castlevania Curse of Darkness. This was one of my favorite battles against Dracula and is one of the many times you will have to face him throughout the series.

If the phrase from South Park, "OMG, they killed Kenny", were to have meaning to any villian in the gaming industry, it would probably be Count Dracula from the Castlevania series. In fact, Count Dracula literaly even goes to h*** and back before facing the Belmont clan (though sometimes other people too, like Hector in Curse of Darkness as well as even his own son, Allucard in Symphony of the Night). Count Dracula is quite a character and is based on a real person from history (Vlad Thepes Dracula from Romania) and has inspired many stories and films in the horror story industry (even his RL castle at Transylvania is rumored to be haunted for real and has been investigated by various paranormal investigators, including the crew from the reality TV series, Most Haunted and you can watch the live episode where they investigated the castle at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTROwmxpj3o). Anyways, the Count Dracula legend has also inspired various games (such as Van Helsing, which was the movie and movie-game that came out several years ago) as well as the hit Castlevania Series, where Count Dracula is the main villian throughout the series (though he does not appear in every game as was the case for games like Lamment of Innocence and Arial of Sorrow). At first, Dracula was known as Matthias (as implied in Lamment of Innocence), and was one of Leon Belmont's closest friends (Leon the ancestor of Trevor Belmont and later Simon Belmont).

At the time, another evil vampire named, Walter was the evil genius who plotted to obtain the Crimson stone (a stone that gives Dracula his power and allows him to be resurrected after being defeated, you can learn more about the crimson stone at http://www.wikipedia.org/, search Castlevania Lamment of Innocence), turn Leon's wife, Sarah into a vampire and become the Dark Lord. Unfortunately for Leon, little did the hero know was that Matthias was secretly planning to become the dark lord as well and was using Leon, Walter, Sarah, and Zaccarias as a part of his plan. By the time Leon was able to defeat Walter, Sarah had been bitten by Walter (forcing Leon to kill her and use her soul to create the legendary vampire killer whip), Matthias had obtained the Crimson stone, and Death had been summoned to the scene where he finishes off Walter and obtains his soul to give to Matthias. Apparently, Matthias developed a hatred towards God (why someone would hate God is beyond me, after all, from a Christian standpoint, he is the Lord of this world and is the creator of all things) and vowed his revenge by becoming the dark lord (later known as Dracula), and tries to get Leon to join in his rebellion, but Leon refuses and Matthias sics Death on him before disappearing into the night (he even turns into a bat to imply that he is now Dracula). Leon manages to defeat Death, and thus the feud between the Belmont Clan and Dracula is born. Since then, Dracula had becomed the main villian in the series with the first big battle posibly being the one in Castlevania 3 with Trevor Belmont (I will need to verify that theory of course).

Of course, like just like Bowser and Robotnik, while Dracula is the evil genius in the Castlevania series, with is goal being to establish his dark lordship over the earth (just like the antichrist will attempt to do during the end times, only to be foiled by God himself) and launches countless of wicked plans to achieve his goal of world domination. Of course, the Belmonts (along with allies like Alucard) will constantly be a thorn in Dracula's side and they manage to foil Dracula's evil schemes and send him to the underworld, where Dracula plots his next evil scheme, be resurrected about 100 years later (sometimes sooner), only to be defeated once again. Dracula also comes with his usual henchmen including the grim reaper, named Death as well as hordes of ghostly, monsterous, and demonic foes that he uses to help carry out his dirty work and defeat the Belmonts (an allies) before they can defeat Dracula once again.

5. Doctor Wily in the Mega Man series

(info will be posted on him at a later date)

6. Sigma in the Mega Man X series

7. The heartless in the Kingdom hearts series

8. the Disney villians from the Kingdom hearts series

9. Vile from the Mega Man X series

10. (TBA)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Top 20 Best Boss Fights of all time

Image caption: In the Sonic the Hegehog series, you will fight the evil Dr. Robotnik (aka Eggman) on many different occassions and locations. In this picture, Sonic fights Eggman in a big battlemech in a final showdown in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Of course, depite Eggman's defeat, he returns many times and continues his pathetic attemps to take over the world.

I have played video games since the days when the regular Nintendo came out, and there are plenty of boss fights that I have been through. In this list, I will show off the biggest, baddest, and boss fights that I have done. Warning: this post contains spoilers, since this commentary assumes that you have played through the games I mention and have seen it. If you haven't played these games and want to be surprised, then don't read this post. Note: this blog is based on my own opinion, and so you are free to agree or disagree with me, and feel free to add your own experiences here in your comments. Also, this post will be added to over time.

1. Dr. Robotnik and Mecha Sonic in Sonic the Hedghog 2 -

at the end of Sonic 2 for the Sega Genisis, Sonic boards the Death Egg and first fights Metal Sonic (which is an epic battle), and later Dr. Robotnik in his big Mecha suit. The only downside to this final showdown is that unless if you were cheating, you will not have any rings in this level, and so one hit and you are dead (that can be somewhat frustrating if you had played through all 10 previous zones and are on your last continue and you die at Death Egg). When you fight Eggman, his only weakpoint is on the machines's body and you have to avoid the spikes or jet pack to hit him without getting killed. Eggman's most deadly attacks in this fight are the ones where he flies up, crashes down and tries to shoot you with his spiky arms (or bombs if you wind up behind him).

2. Ganondorf and Gannon in Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time

I recently beat the game, Zelda 64: Ocarina of time (I don't have a Game Cube, though I do have a N64, along with an Xbox/Xbox 360 and a PS2), and thought that the battle with Ganon and Ganondorf was pretty cool. First, Ganondorf has his own castle, and you have to fight your way through is castle to get through to him, and as you get closer to the boss door, you will hear Ganondorf playing his theme music (seems to be his signature theme). The battle is a 3 fold one. First, you fight him as Ganondor, and you are on top of the castle and so it can be easy to fall down, but to beat him, he will try to hit you with his energy spark shots, and you have to try to deflect them back at Ganondorf. Then he gets stunned, and you have a short window to hit him with a light arrow and beat the crap out of him. Eventually he goes down and taunts your guy before dying. After he dies, he tries to collapse the castle on you and you have to follow Zelda out of the castle under a 3 minute time limit. Once you leave the castle and after the castle collapses, you face Ganondorf again, and he turns into the evil Gannon, which is a cross between a demonic dragon and a pig, and he is pretty big. Although the battle is not too difficult, it is a pretty epic struggle, as you have to try to hit him on his tail, and he tries to whack you with his 2 big swords. Interstingly whenever Ganon hits you, Zelda screams, and eventually, when you have hit him enough, you get to finish him off by delivering a head blow with the Master Sword (you fight him with the biggorn sword at first), and when you beat him, he gets sent to the abyss and cures you, Zelda, and the Sages and vows his revenge before he disappears. Afterwards, Zelda sends Link back to his childhood time and the people around the world that Link met on his journey have a huge celebration in response to Link's victory.

3. Dracula - Castlevania Curse of Darkness

In most (if not all Castlevanie games), Dracula is the main villian that you fight at the end of most Castlevania (though in some of the newer ones, you will fight a different bad guy, such as Walter and Death in LOI, Graham in Ariel of Sorrow, etc), and of all Dracula fights, the one that I liked the most waas the one against Dracula in Curse of Darkness. Unlike other ones, Komnai gets a little creative on the fight with some interesting changes, such as the first form doing more than just telportin around the room and shooting fireballs, the battle is fully 3d with good graphics, and there are nifty cut scenes both before and after the fight. When you play the game as Hector, upon entering the Dracula's boss door at Dracula's castle, Hector tries to get on Dracula's good side, but Dracula simply accuses him as a traitor for aligning himself with the humans, and tries to kill Hector, and hence the battle begins. After the first form is defeated, Dracula morphs into this huge gargoyle like demon and you wind up on a plat form and Dracula charges at Hector, tries to splat him with his hands, shoots huge lasers at Hector, and even taunts Hector. Eventually, Dracula goes down and Hector saves the day.

4. Ursula in Kingdom Hearts (particularly her 2nd form) -

In the Kingdom of Hearts series, you play as a boy named Sora who gets swept into the Disney universe after the heartless strike his home world at Destiny Islands and getting separated separated from both Rikku and Kairi, and later pairs up with both Goofy and Donald not long after arriving in Tranvers city. While the Heartless and Ansem (also known as Xenhort, if have played Kingdom Hearts II) are the real villians in Kingdom Hearts I, classic Disney Villians (including Oogie Boogie, Captin Hook, Malificent, Usela, etc) lead by Malificent are the chief cronies of Ansem and as you play through the game, you will confront each of those Disney villians in quests at other worlds. When you visit Alantica, you enter the world of Ariel, the Little Mermaid, and the main villian you fight there is Ursela. The first part of the battle is not real spetacular, but the second part was awsome, since Ursela turns into a huge giantess and it almost feels as if she is one of the final bosses in the game. Of course, the second part is much more challenging than her first form as she has much more attacks, taunts you more and takes more hits to beat. Her only weak spot is her face, and you have to get close enough to hit her with your keyblade. Of course, she has quite a bit of attacks at her disposal, including energy
beams she shoots at you, trying to bite your head off, and plenty of other attacks.

5. Dr. Robotnik in Sonic and Knuckles (in the Death Egg / Doomsday Zone)

Of all of the Dr Robotnik fights in Sonic 3/Sonic and Knuckles, I though that the final confrontation with Dr Robotnik at the end of the Death Egg Zone wa the best. It was a pretty epic battle with multiple phases:

1) Dr Robotnik first uses this orb like badnik to try and kill you and to defeat the robot, you have to hit him with debris around the room that you can launch at it by using the gravity chambers.

2) The second phase is the real fight. After you beat Eggman's orb robot, he runs and gets in this huge battle mech (much bigger than the one in Sonic 2) and a huge battle occurs. First, Eggman tries to squash Sonic like a bug, and you have to defeat his fingers (that try to crush you) and Eggman in his battle suit is quite huge and stares at the player during this phase. After destroying Eggman's battle mech fingers, Eggman tries to chase sonic in his machine and to beat him, you have to hit Eggman's mech in the nose once and then hit the huge Emerald in Eggman's machine before shooting off a big laser, and after that phase, the mech gets destroyed and Eggman tries to flee in his Eggmobile, but the tables have turned and you simply chase eggman and whack him to death.

3) (this assumes that you have gotten all 7 chaos emeralds) After you have beaten Eggman's mech and all, you will go to the "Dooms Day Zone", where Eggman builds another Battlemech and tries to fly off with the master emerald, and Sonic morphs into Super Sonic (or hyper sonic if you got all of the chaos emerads in both Sonic 3 and the Sonic and Knuckles stages) and you get to destroy Eggman's ship and then chase after and defeat Eggman's reconstructed mech and bea the game.

(more details will be added to these following ones over time)
4. Xemnas in KOH 2
5. Sigma in Mega Man X4
6. Sigma in Mega Man X7
7. Vile in Mega Man X8
8. Super Shredder in TMNT 4
9. Darth Malak in Starwars Knights of the Old Republic
10. Bastilla in Star Wars KOTR
11. Malificent in KOH
12. Pete in KOH 2
13. Ansem in KOH
14. Sephiroth
15. Walter and Death in Castlevania Lamment of Innocence
16. Shack and Dracula in Castlevania Symphony of Darkness
17. Jack of Blades in Fable: The Lost Chapters
18. Red Falcon in Contra III
19. Perfect Chaos in Sonic Adventure
20. Seven Force in Gun Star Heroes

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Review of Bully for the Xbox 360

Ryan's Official Review of Bully, Scholarship Edition for the Xbox 360

Overview: Bully is a one of the kind game made by Rockstar and is quite similar to the Grand Theft Auto series. However, unlike GTA, in Bully, the game takes place at the Bullworth Academy, where you control this student called Johnny. Like GTA, you can do almost anything you want that you can't normally get away with in real life school, whether it is pulling the fire alarm, trying to skip classes, getting in fights on your first day of school, taking on multiple girl friends, etc. Of course, like the GTA universe, the prefects, cops, teachers, and staff members will try to bust you when you do stuff you should not do (such as skipping class, violating curfew, fighting, etc), and if you get caught, sometimes Johnny will be sent to the principal's office who gives Johnny detention by having him mow lawns or shoveling snow. Classes that Johnny takes are actually more like mini games. In band class, it is much like guitar hero, where you have to push the right buttons at the right time, in gym your guy usually has to either do wrestling or dodgeball, and in biology Johnny gets to dissect something (such as rats, toads, pigs, etc).

Besides classes, you will find that the game operates on a timer system, where hours will go buy in Johnny's world, and what goes on in Johnny's life depends on the time of day. From 9am to 4 pm, Johnny is expected to attend classes at school until he has completed all of the levels for them (you can try to skip classes, but watch out for prefects and other authority figures who will try to bust you when skipping). After 5 pm, Johnny can't be in the school building without the risk of getting busted for trespassing. Curfew begins at 11 pm, which means that prefects will try to bust Johnny for curfew violations if he is outside of the men's dorms any time after 11 (though it is not hard to hide from them or stay out of sight). And if Johnny is up past 2 am, he will pass out (if you are out in the open when that happens, he can get "robbed" in his sleep and lose stuff, such as money). Of course, besides the usual routine, you will progress through the game by completing all of the levels of the classes you attend (5 levels each), doing the story line missions, finding hidden objects, interacting with other students, and opening up new areas by progressing in the game.

Pros about the game:
- fun to play
- the GTA style of game play does mean that there is some twisted humor in the game (such as getting into mischief and trying to elude authority figures or trying to break the world record of detentions you can get).
- the content is not as offensive as the GTA series are (when you get in fights, the people you fight only get knocked out but do not die, for example)
- can be a good way to relive your high school career if you miss those days
- fun to play (and can get addicting after a while, like most GTA style games, as you can play it for hours on end and lose track of time while playing)
- get away doing that you can't normally get away with in school (i.e., pranks, truancy, getting in fights, hazing, etc), though you can get busted doin
g those things. For example, whenever you pull the fire alarm, the lady on the intercom will taunt Johnny

Negative aspects in the game:
- Like most GTA style games, Bully does have content that may be offensive to some (there were some controversies when the game was first released, for example)
- the game background music is pretty much the same most of the time in the game and can get annoying after a while. I know when I play this game, my brothers have gotten annoyed by the repetitive music. Of course, you can turn down the music volume if you want (which is what I did later in the game).
- the time system can be a nuisance at times, especially when you try doing missions. For example, if you do a story line mission either during class time or after curfew, you will have added an extra difficulty for yourself as you will have to complete the mission while watching out for authority figures at the same time who will try to bust you. Perhaps the easiest way to free up extra time for missions would be to try and beat all of the classes early in the game before attempting to do misssions, because then when you have completed all of the classes for that quater, you will not have to attend those classes any more, giving you plenty of extra time doing other stuff, including errands, story line missions, as well as side missions.
- the daily routine system can get boring to some (doing the same stuff each game day)
- some classes will be easier to pass than others, naturally.
- Like many GTA games, you will find that Jimmy is a too much of an errands boy, meaning that as you progress through the game, Jimmy will have many different bosses from cliches of people (i.e., nerds, preppies, jocks, etc) to look up to, and some of Jimmy's employers will have him do some really outrageous tasks. In one of the later missions, for example, you will have this manager by the name of Earnest (who is the leader of the nerds), and he will have you sabatoge a football game that the jocks are playing (which will result in the jocks hating on your guy as well as a boss fight against the leader of the jocks).

Tips and strategies when playing this game:

1. sometimes Jimmy will find himself in trouble with the authorities (i.e., prefects, cops, etc) and you will know when Jimmy is in trouble when Jimmy does something wrong and his trouble meter goes up, and typically the more trouble Jimmy causes, the higher it goes and the more the authority figures will pay attention to Jimmy. Also, for serious offenses (such as picking fights with kids, girls, and adults), your trouble meter will fill to the max and the prefects, officers or other authority figures will come upon you right away and bust you if they can. By the way, sometimes if you get busted often (by prefects or teachers, excludes cops), Jimmy can be sent to Dr Crabblesnich's (the school principal) office, and get detention (not before Dr Crabblesnitch chews Jimmy out about his deviant behaviors). There are 3 ways you can take on authority figures when they try to bust you: 1) run a way and hide (especially if you have a high wanted rating), 2) attack them head on (not recommended because then they can simply grab Jimmy, and when they do, Jimmy will be busted on the spot), or 3) if you must fight them, go to a high area where they can't grab you and knock them out with your slingshot or a similar weapon.

2. Even if you decide to make Jimmy into a nice guy, fights are inevitable. This is especially true as you progress through the game and do missions for one clique that pisses off another clique. The clique system is quite similar to the gang system in various GTA games (such as San Andreas), and you can see their respect meter under the stats page, and whenever a clique has a respect rating of 50% or less, they will try to attack Jimmy on sight. When fights do happen, watch out for prefects and other authority figures, because they will try to bust Jimmy if they see him fighting, and so there are 3 ways you can go about fighting: 1) running away, 2) take them head on (can be easier if you lure your would be attacker to a location where there are no authority figures close by and take them out that way), or 3) take them out quickly with a weapon (such as a slingshot, spud cannon, etc).

3. Consider completing the classes earlier in the game for 2 reasons: 1) many of them give you bonuses (such as extra fighting moves in PE classes, more health when you kiss girls, etc), and 2) they can be a nuisance when it comes to main story line missions (even easy missions can be harder than normal if it is during class time since authority figures will try to bust Jimmy for truancy, thus causing him to fail in the mission).

Characters of note in Bully:

1. Jimmy Hopkins - this is the game protaganost and will be the character you control throughout the game. Apparently prior to this game, Jimmy had been expelled at several other schools prior to Bullworth, and his parents are off on a cruise somewhere while Jimmy is at Bullworth (they are probably glad to get Jimmy out of their hair).

2. Gary Smith - Gary is actually the main villian in this game. At first, he is one of Jimmy's friends and Jimmy does do missions for him, but as you will see, eventually, Gary will show his true covers and become Jimmy's enemy. One thing worth noting is that after you complete chapter 1, Gary disappears from the game and does not resurface until chapter 5, with a diabolical scheme to get Jimmy expelled and take over the school (you will learn more about it while you play through the game).

3. Dr Crabblesnitch- Dr Crabblesnitch is the school principal at Bullworth and is one of the first people Jimmy encounters upon arriving at the school Afterwards, you will not see much of him until the last chapter in the game, unless you get Jimmy busted often on campus. Usually for every 3rd time Jimmy gets busted (provided that it is not class time or after dark), Jimmy will see Dr Crabblesnitch (who gives Jimmy detention for his deviant behavior).

4. Pete - He is one of Jimmy's side kicks in the game and does not belong to a particular clique.

Cliques in Bully

- Nerds: initially, these are Jimmy's allys and are the nerdy types of people you see on campus and are lead by a man name Earnest. They often hang out in the dorms, library, and in the academy.

- Bullys: these are the guys and gals that like to go around and pick on others on campus. Initially, they will go after Jimmy on occasion, but after you beat chapter 1 they will like you and you will not have to worry about them. They often hang around school and in the parking lot.

- Jocks - these are the sports players that hang out on the football fields and near gyms. Until chapter 4, they will be hostile towards Jimmy and attack him on site. One little secret, once you get towards the end of chapter 4 one of the cheerleaders will become Jimmy's unofficial girlfriend.,

- Preppies: these are the rich kids you will encounter near the Harrington house and in town. They will be hostile towards Jimmy until towards the end of chapter 2. They like to box, and so they can be tough fighters to beat up. The preppies are lead by Derby. One thing of note: Jimmy has a thing against rich kids in the game, hwich makes things a bit interesting.

- greasers: these are the grungie looking students that hang out near the parking lot and are lead by Johnny Vincent.

- prefects: these are the burly security guards you see around school and are there to enforce school rules. Piss one of them off, and they will try to bust you in a heart beat. Depending on the time of day, if you get busted by the prefects, they will either send you to class if you are caught truant, send you back to your dorm (if it is after hours), or either bust you and let you go or send you to the principal (who gives Jimmy detention). The only rule they don't really seem to enforce is the dress code. You can dress up as a total clown, for example, and while they do taunt Jimmy for not wearing his school uniform, they wil not try to bust him on that.

- school staff- these are some npcs you see on campus, including teachers, the lunch room lady, the resident dean in the girls dorm (they don't take kindly to male visitors in the girl's dorm), a school nurse (usually hangs out in the girl's dorm), as well as Dr. Crabblesnitch's secretary. They all pretty much act like prefects, and will make sure that Jimmy stays in line while at bullworth. If Jimmy gets in trouble with them, they will act like prefects and try to bust Jimmy, with the same results if he gets busted by the prefects.

- teachers- you will not see them outside of class time, but some of them have unique plots outside of class time (such as the English's teacher's drunkeness and crush on the art teacher, the band teacher needing Jimmy to perform at a Christmas Concert), as well as the math teacher's grudge against the english teacher.

- police: outside Bullworth, the police are the authority figures that aim to maintain law and order around town. Unlike authority figures on campus, they will not send you to the principal's office when busted but will either catch and release you at the police station, or send you back to bullworth if you are caught truant or violating curfew.

- kids, girls and adults - there are plenty of girls and kids around campus, and don't have much of a plot in the story. Unlike girls in real life, just about all of the girls have a crush (which is completely unreal in real life high school) on Jimmy and will kiss him if they can (especailly after you complete all of the art classes). One warning though: the saying "you are not supposed to hit a girl" certainly applies to Jimmy's life. If Jimmy decides to be mean to the girls or hit any of them, you can be assured that authority figures will come on you right away (instant max wanted rating) and bust you if they catch you instantly.

For more about the game, you can either try out the game yourself (I posted a referral link to the game via amazon towards the beginning of this blog entry), or learn more about it at http://www.gamefaqs.com/.

Overall stuff:

Game score card from 1 to 5 with 1 being the worst game ever and 5 being the best one ever:

Game play: 4
Fun factor: 3 (can get boring to some after a while)
Difficulty: 4
Controls: 2.5 (in band class, the poor controller sensitivity can make it difficult to pass that class, especially in the later stages when you have to press both triggers at the same time
Graphics: 5 (the game environment will certainly have you feel like you are actually in Johnny's world, with full interactions, being able to explore the world that Johnny is in and all).
Replay factor: 3 (because of the big plot in the game as well as lots of extra stuff, one probably will want to play through the game a second time to see if they missed something the first time, do things differnetly, etc. Bully does have some movie-like characteristics as well, loaded with clip scenes, interactivity between Johnny and other characters at Bullworth Academy, and all).
Sounds: 3 (the main game music is repetitive and can get old after a while).
Buy or rent: you should definitely buy the game, since like just about all modern day role playing games, it will definitely take a while to get through the entire game (I am a little more than 1/2 way through the game myself to strech a point).
Overall score: 4 out of 5

Want Bully? You can get it at http://astore.amazon.com/rjvideogamer-20/detail/B000WPXQSQ. You can also get a deluxe version of the game for PS2 at http://astore.amazon.com/rjvideogamer-20/detail/B000K2DE06, and/or the Nintendo Wii version of Bully at http://astore.amazon.com/rjvideogamer-20/detail/B000WQ1UME.

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- Rent Bully or a similar game via Gamefly (includes a FREE trial upon sign up):

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Welcome to my Video Game Blog

In this blogger series, I will post reviews of games, links to hot games, faqs, etc. I hope that you enjoy it. Someday, I plan to add some web pages on gaming, but, that will come some other time. I have an Xbox 360, Playstation 2, Xbox, N64, Genesis and regular nintendo.