Since getting hacked a week ago I haven’t had a credit card to buy new games. Thus leaving me to dive back into my back catalog of random purchases through the years, some of which got little love. I found two such games the other day Bully: Scholarship Edition from Rockstar Games and The Bourne Conspiracy from High Moon Studios (the folks that brought us War for Cybertron) and published by now defunct Sierra. A lot has changed this generation so are these three or four year old games worth playing now? Let’s find out!
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Rockstar’s game that doesn’t feature mass murder is an interesting one. You play as Jimmy Hopkins a troublemaker who gets sent to Bullworth Academy and has to struggle to make it there. Previously I only played about 4 or so hours of it. Going back now and playing the first couple hours it holds up surprisingly well. Graphically it looks just alright. The writing and voice acting still really holds up and that’s where the game shines. There are some kind of wacky mission variations that feel like more PG 13 versions of GTA missions but they sell it well. Having just played some Persona 3 working on a class schedule and having to go to classes is something I’m fine with and can get pretty into. Bully does try to mix things up here by having each other be a different kind of minigame and of course give you a bonus for passing so there is plenty of incentive. Overall it’s one I may actually go back and beat if nothing else just to see where it goes. Diving back in a bit makes me hope that someday a Bully 2 could happen. Get on it Rockstar.
Is it still worth playing: Surprisingly yes, mainly for the story and the wackiness (ex. collect chocolates to make out with girls). The characters are well written and funny enough that you actually do want to continue playing.
The Bourne Conspiracy
High Moon is deep in the Transformers business now but before that they tried their hand at another licensed property in The Bourne Conspiracy. These venture away from those Matt Damon related movies and it has it’s own story. The story itself isn’t great but a couple hours in nothing bad. The thing that’s really interesting is the fact that Bourne has a lot of mechanics we see games now use all the time that I don’t really remember seeing that much before. There is a “Bourne Vision” (doesn’t really make sense why he has that but it’s exactly like detective vision) and a gauge that fills up that lets you do brutal takedowns (along with shooting takedowns as Splinter Cell Conviction adopted). The thing is the melee combat is super clunky and everytime to get up close to an enemy it becomes one on one melee and the camera just gets awful at a fixed angle when it comes to those sections. Driving works surprisingly well and the voice acting is pretty decent. A lot of things too are strung together from there with some decent quick time events. High Moon does a licensed game probably better than a lot of licensed games I’ve played since (Thor I’m looking in your direction). It would have been great to see them take another shot at this because I think a little more updated this could be a really good game, but I do think they do fine job with Transformers so it will be interesting to see if they use anything learned from this is any third person action games to come.
Is it still worth playing: Probably not really some interesting mechanics but there doesn’t seem to be enough to make a real standout anymore. It’s still not bad it’s better than most licensed games. But I would say jump on Transformers War for Cybertron to see some good High Moon action.