Perhaps due to this experience, I felt Canis Canem Edit was a story first and a game second. While my brother thoroughly enjoyed playing the game, to me it was just a means to an end – something I would suffer through if necessary to continue the story. On the Wii though… Everything’s changed.
The implementation of the Wiimote and Nunchuk into this game means nobody will be content with sitting and watching – the story remains the same, but the way the controls meld with the gameplay make this impossible to put down. You punch right to punch with your right hand, punch left for the left hand. The grab moves work in a similar fashion – you grab with the Z button, but then you can either punch with your free hand or throw them with the hand holding them. Further still, the game adopts the light gun approach seen in other Wii games like Ghost Squad when using the slingshot – you point the business end at your enemy and fire. This is what the Wii was made for.
The addition of multiplayer to the mix means deciding who gets to play is simple. Whoever can empty a frog the fastest – from pinning down the legs all the way to removing its stomach – goes first. All the class mini-games in the game are available in multiplayer and they’re all great fun. In Biology you dissect animals, so you play a Trauma Centre type mini-game. In English you’re expanding your vocabulary, so you’re given a jumble of letters and challenged to get the most words from them. I can easily see a shameless cash-in based around the mini-games alone, though it’s not really Rockstar’s bag.
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The other additions mostly fit well with the original game. Biology is one of the new mini-games – all of them multiplayer - included in this version of the game. There’s also Geography, Music and Math. The extra costumes are fluff – just new collectables for completionists, while the extra missions and characters are integrated so seamlessly with the overall game you might not even notice their addition. Which is what you want from added content, really.
Bully looks like a typical Wii game – nothing spectacular, but not bad either. It looks cleaner than the PS2 version, but Bully isn’t about the graphics – when it released as CCE it had to compete with next-gen Xbox 360 games and it was still an amazing experience.
The game makes up for what it lacks in the looks department with how it sounds though. The nature of each character comes through in their voices as much as their words – the combination of a great story and great voice acting is a pleasant surprise… it’s usually one or the other.
The story is the stand-out feature of Bully. It revolves around the relationships between your typical stereotypes – Jocks, Nerds, and Greasers etc. – but it’s the individual characters within these groups which drives the story though. From your sociopath self-appointed best friend Gary to Johnny Vincent, the leader of the Greasers, all the characters are written in a manner that is sensible and realistic within the confines of the plot.
The setting of the game makes the characters even more endearing – almost everyone can relate to the schoolyard environment, and everyone remembers the cliques which would form within.
The starting half hour or so of the game is a tutorial – it walks you through the numerous elements in the game you need to focus on… Getting to class, running errands for friends, the basics on fighting and getting around all get covered early. From there the game really becomes a Grand Theft Auto-style experience – it’s up to you what you get done or where you go each day before you go to sleep.
With everything this game does right –multiplayer, the awesome use of the Wii controllers, an amazing story and the crisper, clearer graphics – Bully is a must buy. With Rockstar selling it at a budget price there’s even less question about whether you should pick it up.
If you own Canis Canem Edit on the PS2 it’s harder to say. It’s like a digitally remastered DVD of Star Wars. It’s still a fantastic movie, it looks a bit better and there are bonus features – so how much do you want to watch it again? If you want to see Bully in all its glory, get this game. After all, everyone’s seen Star Wars more than once, right?