Bully - updated hands-on

The protect-the-nerds missions were pretty straightforward; in one, Jimmy runs bodyguard duty for a fat kid who's afraid to go to his locker alone, while in another he plays sniper (with a slingshot) to keep jocks from throwing eggs at a knock-kneed school-president candidate. But our favorite missions were the ones Jimmy's forced to pull by lanky geek queen Beatrice, which involve stealing back her science notes from a cheerleader's lockerand stealthing it into the teacher's lounge to grab her confiscated diary.

In between taking on missions and dodging the school's prefects (who, unlike GTA 's cops, can't easily be taken down or avoided), we also got offered a few mini-missions from random students who approached us. Depending on who's asking, these usually range from shy "please deliver this note for me" errands to less-adorable "please push three kids into lockers for me" tasks. You're free to ignore any of these, but a quick payday is always nice.

Of course, the best things in life are free - "best things" in this case meaning the flowers you can pick outside the girls' dorm. Offer these flowers to a girl you're friendly with, and you can get a kiss. And you want to get kissed, because a girl's kiss serves the same purpose in this game that body armor does in GTA, boosting your health past 100% and letting you take some bonus damage. These start out as simple pecks, but depending on how much progress you've made in art class (don't ask), they get more and more makey-outy, as well as more protective.

Another thing that's free? Jimmy's skateboard. You'll earn it in an early mission, and you can pull it out at any time to get around campus a lot faster. It's useful, but not as much as the jackable bikes and scooters you'll find in the surrounding town. But those don't show up until chapter two.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.