I didn’t like high school for a reason. Playing Brooktown High, the newest sim game from Konami, forcibly reminded me of all the reasons being a teenager royally bites. Style is everything, people are catty, rumors are spread, and dating is a Darwinian fight for survival.
In this one-player game you are the new student at the aforementioned Brooktown High School and you pretty much set your course by the two minute survey you take to start things off. You have to pigeonhole yourself as a jock, a pretty boy/girl, or a brainiac. Where you go from there is all about how well you kiss up to everyone and play into stereotypes. The best part? It can all be achieved in three or four hours of play.
The animation is strong for this type of game, with a large cast of characters and several locations, including many school dances and classrooms. That, though, is where the positives end.
No matter how you choose to play, you end up doing many of the same things over and over again and after thirty minutes it is exceedingly monotonous. You can only practice kissing in your bedroom so many times before you are ready to write off any romantic interludes all together. And in the mini-game “Boogie-Tron 5000,” which is similar to Dance Dance Revolution, there is only one song.
The biggest problems though, are several glitches which seem to have slipped by the game designers. When dating you are constantly reminded to call your significant other every night, but often times the conversations are word for word the same until the fifth or sixth phone call. One time that I played I had not even spoken to a particular girl yet (I was playing as a teenage boy), but when I called her we were listed as “going steady.” This made for bigger problems later on and is clearly a fault that needs to be worked out.
The most glaring issue is one of memory. If you do no have the PSP specific Sony-brand 256MB Memory Stick, you are out of luck and will not be able to save the game. I even tried using another Sony memory stick that fits that description but did not come with my PSP, and it wouldn’t save. Konami is asking people having problems to contact them. Learn more here: http://www.konami-data.com/support/
Problems aside, Brooktown High is one of those games that pulls you in and keeps you entertained…but only for the briefest of times.
Brooktown High is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Sexual Themes, Simulated Gambling, and Strong Language