My current studies, at the moment of writing this article, in college are to become a teacher. So, honestly, I was quite interested in this game. I was curious how they would address the problems of a bully. Knowing the developer, the first impression of this game is that this game actually gives bullying a “good vibe”. But let me explain in this article why I think the game is actually not even worth it. How they totally missed tons and tons of opportunities. If you follow me on my Twitter, you know that I tweeted out to Q that this game left me ‘meh’. In other words, I’m not extremely interested in beating this game. There are just too many flaws in this game that it isn’t even funny. And it’s an extreme shame, Rockstar Games are known for amazing games, but they failed on various parts in this game. I kinda feel like a real teacher now, sometimes repeating this same information but in different ways. Hah! Food for thought. Something my colleague teachers will understand. Anyway, while I do realize that I can possibly get hate on this article, I honestly only care about people who can say their opinion with respect. And I invite you to post a comment with your own thoughts on this article and or the game.
And I haven’t played yet.
I researched the problem, and I wasn’t the only one. The game has freezing issues at the start-up loading screen. I repeat, the start-up loading screen. Yeah, and I haven’t played the game yet. And we are off to a great start. And sorry Rockstar, you have no excuse! At the title screen it says “1,200”. Assuming this is your version number, this means most likely that you released 2 patches. Ignoring that issue is a shame.
Then the main menu, I seriously thought that I was going to pull my hair out. The main menu on the Steam version is terrible. It has an interesting design behind it, but it barely has any options you expect from the main menu. To configure most options, apart from video (If I recall correctly), have to be done when you loaded your save.
Sadly enough, the problems don’t stop there. The game can be played with an XBOX360 controller. And honestly, I recommend playing it with a controller. Why? Because the controls feel stiff and awkward. The controller’s controls are an improvement but not that much. And how can a big studio not program the recognition of the controller? I found this out in mid-game. So, I plugged in my controller and I have to reboot the game in order for it to work. And here is the fun part, when I unplugged it mid-game, the game didn’t react to keyboard input!
Nice try guys.
You can buy new clothes to wear instead of the uniform. I facepalmed hard right there. If you missed why, look up the definition of a school uniform. You have to wear that uniform and nothing else. Okay, it’s to rebel, I understand. But you easily get in trouble in real life if you break rules.
Now, the animation. Do I truly have to? Well, here we go then. The animation of this game is just awful. Please tell me when I can come out of hiding after the hoard of angry fanboys went by.
The game is riddled with animation problems. From twitching characters to people falling upwards, they got it all. As if this game has been thrown on Steam just to have some more cash. This game is pretty bad at hiding its issues. In cutscenes, you can see the issues popping up. In the cutscenes! I mean, come on. If you know your engine has issues, use movies like in the old days as cut scenes.
Another BIG issue I have to address is the sound. From the music to the sound effects. The music, honestly, is bland. I always listen to the game’s music when writing articles. It helps my brain to get into the mood and feel from the game. But the music is nothing special. I find it hard to even remember tunes from the game. While I can easily recognize many tracks of other games I played. But that might be because I didn’t hear everything yet.
And the sound effects, my lords. Are they bad! The sound of students stepping sounds like they clapped two coconut shells to each other. Or those old plastic pots with cords that you walked around with on the playing ground. It breaks the immersion quick. I had it happen often.
And don’t get my started about the students. They are loud and thanks to that you can barely hear what’s said in some cutscenes and what your reply was of a student you praised or said bad things too. Also, they sometimes give you awkward replies or the same one over and over again.
Is this game junk? Well, no not completely. The gameplay is somewhat interesting. But please, anything but the classes. While they could have showed the fascinating part of teaching they replaced the courses by simple mini-games. And English class is such a pain for a not native speaker. Trying to make words with the letters given. I had to struggle a lot. My native language isn’t English, it’s Dutch. So, that’s a spot where they missed something they could have done gameplay wise.
Anyway, I think I’m going to leave it here. I might play this game a bit more to research it, but that’s my current opinion on it. If you want to try it, know it didn’t talk in depth about the graphics, design, gameplay and control. That’s something for you to discover. But I warn my readers, think this one through before you buy it. You might be let down by the sheer unpolished elements in this game.