The story is captivating, apart from getting cheesy when Jimmy delivers his "I'm the boss now!" speeches to the leaders of newly conquered cliques at the end of each chapter. But aside from that, Bully is a deep, addictive game that comes closer to replicating the high-school experience than any game before it. Bullworth Academy and the surrounding town make for a big, mostly seamless game world, which you'll be able to explore on foot or, eventually, using a skateboard (which can be whipped out anytime), bicycles, mopeds and even a lightning-fast go-kart.
Above: Jimmy carries an upgradeable slingshot that enables you to lock on to targets
The fights - which happen a lot, at least until you improve your standing with the cliques - go from being simple beatdowns to elaborate, visceral brawls as Jimmy learns new moves and combos. Nobody dies in Bully, but if you're just knocking out your opponents, you're missing half the fun. Grab a troublemaker by the lapels, and you can drag him over to a trash can, locker or toilet and end the fight with a quick shove. Or, if you've got a guy on the ropes, you can execute a finisher like an Indian burn or a big handful of phlegm to the face, and send him running.