When a PS3 just isn't in the cards
In this latest Rockstar "free form" game for PS2, you are young Jimmy Hopkins, sent to Bullworth Academy by an unpleasant mother and arrogant stepfather. Before you have time to contemplate this, you're knee-deep in scheduled English, chemistry, art, shop, and gym classes.
As the misfit of the academy you'll be the target of preps, jocks, hypocritical teachers, and all the other obligatory cliques. Your character advances and takes on your personal strengths. Good English students establish insult comedy and backhanded compliments for defense, while loaner jocks get better at throwing things at people.
Jimmy rides karts, skateboards, tractors, bikes, and can leave graffiti tags, but Tony Hawk's been doing that for years. Long load times, infrequent saves, and lack of a multiplayer mode are big problems, too, perhaps due to lazy developers.
Originally Bully was called a "violence in the schools" game, but humor and teen angst more than fighting are the norm: no guns, knives, or blood. Teachers, however, misbehave and can be blackmailed as a consequence. Overall Bully is a great game if you are patient with the long loads of the slowly expanding Bullworth universe.
General advice to parents buying this game: Although kids have been pulling fire alarms, loosing marbles on stairs, and shooting bottle rockets at one another for a long time, you might think twice about this gift if your hellion tends to imitate video games.