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Brooktown High: Senior Year review

The PSP gets its first "I forgot how much I hated High School" simulation

But you quickly discover that your goal is a tough one because nobody makes sense, and there's a lot of other stuff that just seems broken. Loading screens are a constant drag, and you can only talk to other students in person before class on Monday morning - you can squeeze in maybe four conversations, tops. Then, the entire week zooms by in a cut scene and, if you've earned a person's phone number, you can call them on Saturday morning. That's it, and it's so weird we wonder if it was supposed to be different, but something went wrong.

Then again, not talking to people is sometimes good because there are about a zillion moments when the tone of your conversation choices is unclear - such as when you must decide between mentioning "blue hair" and "sausages," - one is an insult and one a compliment, but how can you tell which? Other times,your dialogue choices areout-and-out traps. For example, we had a discussion in which the only options were to either insult the girl or ask her out - one of which made her mad, the other of which forced us to cheat on our girlfriend - who immediately found out. This conversational minefield is compounded by the fact that Brooktown rations out only one saved game, so you can't just make a new save and try both choices.

Incidentally, one choice we're 99% sure you never get is that of an alternate lifestyle. Boy avatars can date girls and girl player characters can obviously date boys, but we couldn't find any way to initiate a same-sex relationship. It's not as if the conversation trees would need to change (you could just choose an orientation at the same time you pick your gender), or that there would be graphic depictions of PDA to potentially offend conservative folks - even kisses are replaced by video montages of roses blooming, rockets lifting off, and so on - so we're kind of at a loss with that one.

More Info

GenreStrategy
DescriptionJust like real high school romance, this clique-ish dating sim is too neurotic to last.
PlatformPSP
US censor ratingTeen
Release date22 May 2007 (US), (UK)