Bully 2 Wish List

by Tim Turi on Jan 05, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Game Informer’s offices are teeming with Bully fans. Mention of the game results in shining eyes and mouths frothing with praise for Rockstar Vancouver’s charming adolescent romp. It’s been a little while since the composer of the original Bully’s groovy score, Shawn Lee, suggested that a sequel is on the horizon, and there’s been plenty of conjecture floating around regarding our hopes for the next chapter in academic antagonizing. Here’s what Bully 2 needs to do in order to be the sequel of our dreams.

Wouldn't it be cool if Bully 2 had...?

A New School

Much like Grand Theft Auto, it wasn’t Jimmy that defined Bully -- it was Bullworth Academy and the surrounding town. GTA has seen many protagonists, yet it’s the cities they take place in which truly make or break the sandbox experience. We don’t necessarily think Bully 2 needs to follow Jimmy, but the sequel must carry the familiar schoolyard feel of the first game.

Your first instinct may be that Bully 2 should follow Jimmy into college, but we dare you to recall Leisure Suit Larry. The idea of a beer-swilling, frisbee-playing Jimmy would forfeit all the nostalgic magic found in the high school setting. It doesn’t need to be Bullworth, it doesn’t need to be a private school, but it cannot be college.

Bully 2’s heroic antagonist should go to school in the city. The fictional New England town the first game took place in was terrific, but we relish the thought of defacing and running amok in a focused urban environment. More people, more underwear, more wedgies. Don’t mistake this with a cry for Liberty City’s vastness, however, as we still want the quality-over-quantity approach of the first game.

Expanded Exploration

Bullworth Academy was nestled among quaint suburban homes and a humble downtown in the first game, and we loved the freeing feeling of playing hooky to discover new areas. Wouldn’t it be cool if in Bully 2 you could enter any building or climb into the window of any house? Rockstar Vancouver could take advantage of a focused-in section of city by allowing players to really become lost in this surrogate world and stage elaborate pranks. We’d like to see a return to the hideouts in the first game, either via hidden treehouses or abandoned warehouses. Either way, we’ve been hard pressed to find a  game that comes close to matching Bully’s pure and simple sense of discovery.

Extra Credit

Going to class in Bully was a fun and rewarding experience, but we want even more dynamic lessons Players should be able to chose whether to doze through class, roughhouse, or be a good student. For example, paying attention during biology could win you the knowledge to utilize crowd-dispersing lab-mice, and goofing off could score you botched dissection-frogs filled with exploding digestive gas. Class minigames themselves need to be more complex, perhaps incorporating the plastic peripherals you have laying around for music class rhythm games. The first Bully made attending class feel leaps and bounds more constructive than real life school, but Bully 2 needs to make the learning even more engaging.

More Classroom Drama

Bully delivered engaging clique warfare in the first game, and it would be silly for Rockstar to ditch the rival stereotypes. Though Bully saw Jimmy striving for acceptance from the nerds, jocks, bullies, preppies, and greasers, all roads inevitably lead to the same conclusion. To improve on what’s been established, Bully 2 must incorporate branching paths leading to unique situations. If the sequel’s ruffian chooses to don a pocket protector and dedicate himself to the nerd cause, we should see exclusive plot points that warrant multiple playthroughs. What if poindexter Gilbert from Revenge of the Nerds had joined forces with the meat-headed Alpha Betas? We want to live the impossible.

Self-Improvement 101

Jimmy had to don letter jackets and stylish sweater vests to assimilate with his respective crews in Bully. In the sequel players should have the opportunity to further customize their persona. Expanding on the trophies Jimmy acquired in the first game, players should be able to choose posters or music to play in their sanctuaries. Ambitious bullies could mount squirt-guns to their bike handlebars and industrious nerds could equip their rides with rear oil-dispensers to create slicks for pursuers. These vehicular soup-ups should expand to golf-karts, go-karts, skateboards, mopeds, and if you’re feeling zany, a segway-turned-mobile potato gun turret.

More Clique

There needs to be more segmented student gangs. Nerds can be fragmented into music geeks, Dungeons & Dragons dorks, and even theater dweebs. The ill-fitting greasers must receive the boot and be replaced with something more current, like skaters. Opportunities to cause general mayhem will more readily present themselves as the student body becomes more varied.

In the sequel of our dreams, bullies who fancy themselves violent social butterflies will bounce between cliques and accrue thugs. Want a little bully lackey to kneel behind your victim so you can push them over like a chump? Done. How about a big jock to act as a bodyguard when things get hairy? You got it. Want a nerd to cheat off of in math class? Why not. We want to truly feel like the ruler of the roost in our next academic outing, and there’s no better way to achieve this than having a posse of loyal cohorts.

So, what do you want to see in Bully 2?