Game Description: For Niko Bellic, fresh off the boat from Europe, it is the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity. As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them and a living nightmare for those who don’t.
Liberty City is so dense with culture, from its varied architecture to its faux-internet websites and range of satirical television and radio programs, that it is easy to forget the boundaries the game has set and easier to get lost within it. The improvements on graphics, sound and design were always going to be a given though it is significant that the game controls are now adequate enough to foster a sense of empowerment in every shootout or cop chase.
Game Description: Retaining the wit and deep gameplay of the previously released PS2 Bully title, Bully: Scholarship Edition takes place in the fictional New England boarding school of Bullworth Academy and tells the story of 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins as he experiences the highs and lows of adjusting to a new school. Capturing the hilarity and awkwardness of adolescence perfectly, Bully: Scholarship Edition pulls the player into its cinematic and engrossing world set in the most vile and sadistic setting yet in a Rockstar videogame: the schoolyard. Laugh and cringe as you stand up to bullies, get picked on by teachers, play pranks on malicious kids, win or lose the girl, and ultimately learn to navigate the obstacles of the fictitious Bullworth Academy.
I attended what I would consider to be a pretty typical public high school. We had a wide range of personalities and social cliques. There were occasional fights and pranks and general instances of trouble making. A few of the teachers seemed a bit strange. But for the most part, the students were reasonably well behaved and the teachers were, by and large, competent and conscientious. In short, my high school was absolutely nothing like Bulworth Academy, the setting for Rockstar's Bully: Scholarship Edition.
Some of GTA4's problems can be attributed to the developers' desire to hold features over from previous incarnations, and the rest seem to be caused by the understandable lack of focus that results from attempting to create a truly epic game world. All of these problems are outweighed by what the game gets right, both in the superlative story it tells and the unprecedented freedom the multiplayer mode offers.
I wish I could talk about Manhunt 2 without addressing the endless debacle over its censorship. The press coverage of the game's AO rating, its near-cancellation, and eventual bowdlerized release has been so overpowering that it drowned out any discussion of the game's actual merits and flaws.
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