Can an ape work his way to the top of the school social pyramid?
Yes, and the journey is satisfying.
DO: Crack heads, kiss girls and uh…well, attend classes, and run from authority figures to be the big man on campus
TYPE: Third-person sandbox
PLATFORM: 360 (reviewed here) and Wii
MEAT: You play as Jimmy Hopkins—misfit, intellectual, romantic, mascot, leader, and above all, bully. There are four cliques in the school and they all hate each other. Your job is to unite the geeks, preps, greasers, and jocks under one banner—Jimmy’s. All the while, you have to go to classes and perform mini-games for clothing and skills upgrades. You can skip them as well. However, skipping and not being in dress code will land you a beatdown by the school’s prefects if caught. You’ll eventually get to wander all over the town that surrounds the school and be able to perform numerous missions and side quests in order to be the guy in charge of it all. Of course, someone else has the same idea. This has all been done before in 2006 on the PS2. Yep, this is a port with a couple of additions, including new game stopping glitches.
PERKS: excellent style and presentation, well paced, some great achievements for the whores, 20+ hours of play; mini-games are not lame—well, most are not; stellar voice acting (best I’ve ever seen, er, heard), excellent motion capture; superb dialogue; numerous LOL moments
SCREAMS: to have been better tested—the second time around (360 version—there is a patch, thankfully); some achievements are silly repetitive time sinks that you would not do in the general order of play; to have better controls in the mini games—timing is brutal on some; to have had an online or, better yet, co-op component; the main villain is a downer; buttonmashing traverses Billy faster but it offers no benefit the faster you mash; to have an auto-save feature (don’t ask)
VERDICT: Buy. Get it if you’ve never played the PS2 version.
I find it funny most professional reviewers don’t do this, but here’s my gamercard to show I completed the game.