At one point in the controversy industry antagonist, Jack Thompson, argued on G4's The Loop that Bully was a "Columbine Simulator," oblivious to the fact that the ultimate goal of the game is end bullying at Bullworth Academy -- the featured location in the game. While the sandbox nature of the game allows players to be just as much as an advocate against bullies as it allows them to be the ultimate poster child, the internal rules of the game harshly punishes picking on female characters or smaller children.
With the recent release of Bully: Scholarship Edition, gamers are treated to a HD upgrade of the controversial title -- or so they thought. Reports are swirling that multiple glitches and game freezing bugs are hindering the enjoyment of the hd-revamp. NeoGAF members have compiled a list of various sources to support the widespread issue.
In response, a horrified Rockstar pinned the issues on older Xbox 360 models and assures fans the issue was never caught during quality assurance tests and not the product of a quick release cash grab. The full statement from Rockstar's Sam Houser can be found after the jump.
The Xbox 360 plays host to three new games this week. We're not quite sure which one tops the list honestly. Army of Two is probably the most talked about recently. Given its rocky development cycle and the fact that there aren't any major reviews up yet, we're remaining cautious. Bully: Scholarship Edition also releases this week, marking the first time that Microsoft console owners will get a chance to try it out (now with achievements!). And then there's Major League Baseball 2K8, about which we haven't the foggiest. Anyone out there longing to pick up one of these this week?
- Army of Two
- Major League Baseball 2K8
- Bully Scholarship Edition
When released on the PS2, the UK version of Bully underwent a name change to Canis Canem Edit (that's "Dog Eat Dog" in latin) which was probably an effort by Rockstar to keep the controversy to a minimum. But this time around, the 360 and Wii version will forgo a latin name change and be called Bully: Scholarship Edition and that doesn't seem to sit well with anti-bully activists. And even though Bully is a rather tame game whose story doesn't specifically reward bullying, it's made by Rockstar and deals with touchy subject matter, so this kind of controversy is expected. It's controversy Rockstar is all too familiar with.
[Via Game Stooge]
We're pretty sure 360 owners will embrace what Bully has to offer, seeing that it received rather favorable praise last year and with the promise of additional content we can't help be somewhat Bully'ish. Get it? Bully'ish ... bull, bully ... yeah.
Rockstar has taken enormous heat the past few years, as evidenced by this recent petition signed by Wailing Mothers Against Playground Cruelty. One has to wonder if the accumulated bad press, not to mention the disaster brewed by a certain incident involving overly-warm Folgers, played a role in the company's sudden enthusiasm for competitive table tennis. Maybe Rockstar is eager to prove that they don't need mature content to capture our imagination. Or maybe they're just relieved that Hillary Clinton can't make Pong 360 an election year issue.
Far too many of us have praised the joys of classic arcade gameplay (and complained about the idiocy of edgy-for-edgy's-sake fare like True Crime: NYC) to prematurely bitch about a game that could turn out to be the King of Ping. That said, I would hate to see Rockstar trade in its bloody chainsaw for a pong paddle just to appease a few grandstanding pols and clueless parents. Somebody has to carry the torch for embedded sex and violence.
You can't help but think that Rockstar is a little less Billy Idol these days and a little more Drew Lachey.