SummaryLiteral definition of GTA for kids.
StoryThe story is about a young boy named Jimmy Hopkins who has been expelled from every decent school in America. His mother, who, big surprise, hates him, has married a man Jimmy isn't very fond of...at all. Just when things can't get worse for him, he is sent to the infamous school of Bullworth Acadamy, "who's alumni are nothing arms dealer, drug addicts, and corporate lawyers. Real scum". And so it begins...
I thought the story was a decent interpretation of the intense, violent, and blood-filled mayhem that is Grand Theft Auto...just toned down for teens. In fact, the story here is, in some ways, better than the series it is based on. While no one will be dying (as far as I'm aware of), there is still a surprisingly deep story to be found in this game.
GameplayAs you could have guessed, the gameplay is very similar to the GTA games. However, some new elements are added here. For instance, rather than killing every person you see, you can get them weak enough to "humiliate" them, or bully them. This can range from slapping them to twisting their wrist. Some of them are very well thought out and amusing. You can also put them in trash bins, throw them at other people, and many other things.
The missions are pretty darn fun most of the time, and they range in the concept. Some make you pull pranks, some make you get things, and some are collect-the-item type of missions.
You can also get quite a range of weapons, including fire crackers, stink bombs, and the most dangerous weapon of all time: a rubber band ball!
Overall, the gameplay is very solid.
MusicThe music really sets the tone of everything. There is music all around you, even in normal circumstances. While I kind of prefer the quietness of the Grand Theft Auto series, this music is very nice to hear.
It also fits the situation very well. When walking around, it kind of seems like the stock music from Ren & Stimpy: Simple, catchy, and wonderful to hear. There are also different themes for fighting different people. The prefects and cops have 70's cop themes (you know, the cheesy jazz music), while nerds have a sort of techno beat. The music in the mission are also catchy.
ActingThe cast does a really good job of portraying their character. The nerds have that stereotypical "nerd" voice, while Greasers (Grease rejects) have tough guy, New York accents. The main cast also does well. The voice actor of Gary, a schizophrenic kid, has the perfect voice for someone who is about to crack on the spot if provoked too much, while Crabblesnitch, the principal, has a sort of arrogance in his voice. Russle, the "leader" of the bullies, has that dumb ape persona (he even pounds his fists on his chest once).
GraphicsNow, the PS2 was never known for having the best graphics in the world. However, the graphics here are actually pretty good. The amount of detail is pretty high, and *GASP*...the character models can move their fingers! Holy sh**!!! Normally, this isn't a big deal, but with GTA, their fingers never, ever moved. So this is, in a way, outstanding.
Other praisesI found this both sick and funny, but you are able to pinch a girl's butt. Well, when you do this on a little girl...yeaaaah...let's just say your in biiig trouble. Don't worry, I did that by accident. Speaking of girls, when you try to grab a girl, Jimmy gets kicked in the balls and squeals. As Slappy the Squirrel once said ,"Now THAT'S comedy!"
Also, in the English class, when I spelled "Sh**" with the letters, the teacher said, "You're quite feisty, aren't you?" That made me laugh pretty hard, really. Thanks Rockstar Vancouver, thanks.
Graphics...againI did say the graphics were good. However, like San Andreas, there were occasional texture mapping glitches. These were few and far between, and my PS2 is pretty old (but I ain't getting rid of it until it dies), but I still think I should note this.
Certain missionsMost of the mission were well thought out and fun to play. Some, on the other hand, were not nearly as grand. Yes, all R* games have fair share of bad and pointless missions, but this is only a minor complaint.
Rubber band ballDon't get me wrong. I love that utterly broken destroyer of a weapon. However, sometimes I hit a girl either accidentally or off a rebound. When I'm ready, it's no problem. But when I'm not, it's a big freaking problem.
The Bottom Line
Final thoughtsI have to say that this may be one of the most underrated games by Rockstar I've ever played. It's fun, creative, and interesting. Unfortunately, it didn't get nearly as much recognition as something like GTA 4 or San Andreas. Not to say it didn't sell, but it could of and should of gone further.
Recommended forFans of Rockstar or GTA.
People who like violence.
People who just want to have fun and laugh.
People who aren't quite old enough for GTA.