>Bully; Flatout

>This lead-up to GTA4’s release is killing me; nothing but crap for new releases. So while I’m bulldozing my way through Bully, I’m also catching up on some older titles via GameFly.

Flatout: Ultimate Carnage is a game I wanted to love; I was a fan of the original title on the Xbox and I was looking forward to the inevitable next-gen entry. In some ways, it’s great: it’s gorgeous, and even with 12 cars driving through dirt and running over piles of tires and debris, it always maintains a smooth frame rate. However, it’s also frustratingly difficult. I won my first few races pretty easily (and the rubber-band AI was actually pretty effective in carving out some exciting victories), and then, suddenly, I was getting my ass kicked left and right, and no amount of restarting (or car-tuning) made any discernible difference. Which sucks.

And as for Bully: I finished Chapter 2 last night. Probably 12-15 hours in at this point. What does it say about me that my main priority with this game was to make sure I attended and excelled in every class? At this point, though, I’m glad I’ve been so studious – it’s unlocked lots of useful skills. My biggest complaint in Bully is that the game clock moves at a tremendous rate, and I feel like there’s never any real time to explore or do anything, which somewhat defeats the purpose of playing in a sandbox. Each day in Bully, for me, goes something like this:

8:00: wake up, save game.
9:00: find class, do class.
11:30: save.
1:00: class.
3:30: save.
3:30-12:00 – jobs/missions/errands/exploration.

Which is, in some ways, what real life is like. Except that in Bully, one minute = one second, so each afternoon I feel like I only have time to do one or two things. With so many cops around, truancy is a dangerous option. This is why I feel compelled to complete all my classes, so that I don’t have to hang around the school.

Anyway. I’m not sure it will get me through until GTA4’s release, but it’ll have to do for now.