This was going to be separate from the “Web Weekly” series but I decided to cheat a little. After all, my subject today is available online. Back in 2006, I was an impressionable gamer of 14, still hooked on innocent enough games like Tekken, Tomb Raider and Kingdom Hearts…until one day when Canis Canem Edit (now known as Bully) fell into my lap via my sister. The game, from Rockstar Games, was met with controversy, as is expected from the company that had given us Grand Theft Auto. Adults everywhere were worried about content such as bullying, violence, foul language and later in the Scholarship Edition remake…bisexuality.
In simple terms, Bully is basically “GTA: Boarding School”, with a slingshot instead of an AK-47 and a skateboard instead of a stolen police car. Think Bart Simpson with a bit more bite. I will be the first to admit that I am in no way a fan of that signature GTA humour, that exploration of “manliness” masked in violence for violence sake featuring “hey let’s have a mission in a strip club” but Bully really appealed to me. Perhaps it was my affinity for cheesy American teen comedies that really drew me to the wicked spin on that fictional high school format. Not to mention the main antagonist Gary Smith is in my opinion one of the best written characters in gaming.
I began going to the gym properly in October of last year and the only thing more exciting than getting to wear new gym clothes, was picking out some music to work out to. I immediately gravitated towards the usual chart stuff but I grew bored of it quickly. My next big brain wave came in the form of trying to come up with some game soundtracks. Much game music pretty much fits the bill when you need something steady that will possibly make you feel like you’re running into battle as you try to not trip over yourself on the treadmill.
Much of the training I do happens in short bursts over period of time so I didn’t have much need for long pieces of music. That is when I fondly remembered the work of Shawn Lee on the Bully soundtrack. If you are not drawn in by Jimmy Hopkins and the cliques at Bullworth you will definitely find yourself falling in love with the game’s music. How could tracks written specifically for when Jimmy Hopkins needs to run away or fight not be perfect for the gym?
The soundtrack is a great listen to by itself also. The album which is available only on the US iTunes here, is a mix of many different music styles. You have the 80′s synth of the pieces pertaining to the nerds, the 70′s cop drama theme tune feel of the police pieces and some bass heavy rockabilly swing just for the greasers. I will link some of my favourite pieces below but I would encourage you ten times over to give the game a go. It is genuinely hilarious and although not the hardest game I have come across, the story is enough to keep your interest (it’s also super cheap…wink). If you want to check out more of Shawn Lee’s music you can find it on his official website.
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