Canis Canem Edit (Bully) PS2 Review - -

Gameplay 9.7
Graphics 8.9
Sound 8.0
Value 9.8
Distributor: Take2 Interactive
Review Date:
December 2005
Tory Favro


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Canis Canem Edit (Bully)

Welcome to Bullworth Academy, Jimmy Hopkins! Donít let education get in the way of having a good time! 

This title by Rockstar games continues the legacy of the Grand Theft Auto series, but this takes us to the mean streets ofÖ a school! Yes, thatís right, you are Jimmy Hopkins, expelled from multiple schools for being a bad ass and this is essentially your last chance, at Bullworth where discipline reigns supreme and around every corner is another group ready to whup you into submission. 

Since receiving the game to review I have played it constantly, every damn day in fact and once again Rockstar have provided a game that has so many random things you can do, it is easy to get lost in the gameworld and not even do the missions that are set out for you. Of course though the missions are what open the world to you and make you think about travelling further than the gates of the school. 

Now somewhere in development, the game got a name change from its working title ďBullyĒ to Canis Canem Edit which is dog eat dog. I think that this game is going to throw many players for a hook once you dig what the game is about as whilst you can act the way that it was portrayed that you would be playing it, the title has worked out to be another ball game altogether. I was tempted to write a bit of a spoiler here but I think that itís worth it to have the game smack you with it when you play. 

Needless to say, Jimmy is a tough kid and we get to see what he is made of in the game and the missions that you have to undertake will test you to the limits. For those of you expecting the violence of a GTA game, forget it. There is no blood that I saw playing the game and no deaths when Jimmy is fighting. If you can time it right though you can execute a ďbullyĒ move like spitting on your enemy or insulting them to the point that they run away. This is right when their health level is almost gone. 

Jimmy learns skills throughout the game that can be used to help him out, like advanced apologizing to get out of trouble for misdemeanors and the like. He also has to attend classes in the beginning, the successful completion of which will enhance shooting skills with his slingshot and other bits and pieces. Once you have completed 5 sessions of each class though, that eliminates the need to attend the lesson and you can just choose not to show up.

With other classes though, if you donít show up, the truant officers will be on the lookout for you so make sure you keep an eye on the map/radar provided which shows where they are looking. A fantastic thing about this game is that there is the most wonderful ambient soundtrack that reacts to what is going on in the game around you. If you are about to be attacked from behind, the music picks up to let you know itís coming so you can turn around and fight or if the music changes tune, then itís the cops so get running. 

Being caught by authority will result in being sent back to the school or dropped off at the police station. As you go through the game, depending on the circumstances you will eventually be able to get away from the cops some of the time, but certainly donít rely on it. 

As with other Rockstar games you will meet a host of interesting characters, both around the school and town. Even the generic characters that you run into every two seconds around the traps are pretty neat and hold onto their own idiosyncrasies. You have to win the trust of people and entire groups through your actions, and if I go too far in that direction then Iíll start spoiling the plot for you. 

Canis Canem Edit is totally a must buy game. By that I mean go and get it now, this instant. Itís clever, looks great, sounds great and will provide a bulk load of hours of game time. Even when you finish the game which should take forever, you are still going to be able to get around and just cause trouble as you feel like it. Open gaming worlds like this rock the house. 

Get it, Get it, Get it now. Did I say get it? 

Get it! You wonít be disappointed.


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