|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Backbone||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 22, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
June 7, 2007 - Are you all done with High School or are you still there, trying to make it happen? Konami's new release Brooktown High gives you the opportunity to relive that experience and work your way to success. Lots of different games have been inspired by Will Wright's undeniable success "The Sims." This game will most likely remind you of The Sims as well, even though it has a life of its own.
Brooktown High helps you follow that ideal high school path where you go to school, become popular, get good grades, find a date, and finally go to the Senior Prom with the person you like or love. Wait! I forgot to mention shopping! They didn't really consider that teenagers might have other expectations and goals in mind; if you play Brooktown High, your goals are set - don't fail or else you'll be considered a loser. Good way to encourage kids! Or is it?
The game starts with a little questionnaire where you are asked about your personality, likes and dislikes, etc., including what kind of boy or gal you like, or what school subject you like best. You'll create your character by choosing from a small variety of faces, hair styles, color, etc. Once you're done, your character is launched right into Brooktown's senior year of High School. It turns out your family didn't want to keep you back in Ohio, so they sent you to Brooktown High so you can finish High School and get ready for college. Soon you'll meet the "girl-tutorial" that will give you the low down of what's going on and what you need to do in order to succeed.
Ok, so the first week of school just started. Wake up, change your clothes, go to school, meet people in the hallways, and choose the class you're going to take that week (art, science, physical ed., or French language). You don't really see what's going on in class; time goes by really quickly and at the end you'll see the class report. If you have a job or became the member of a club, that's where you'll go next. It will happen lightning-fast too, and soon you'll be waking up in your room on a bright Saturday morning. Time finally slows down and you can actually control your character again: why don't you buy some clothes and accessories online? How about changing your clothes again? Or maybe you want to sit down at your desk and study to improve your grades Those are your choices, you'll be trapped in the room for the whole weekend, which lasts about 40 seconds of your real time, and then it's back to Monday! Repeat the sequence over and over again; it's as simple as that.
As you build somewhat of a relationship with other characters, you can try and get a date with them, which will slightly change the routine. Also, small minigames will be unlocked so you can play in your bedroom. How about kissing practice? Teachers, cell phones, purses, and other various objects and people drop from the top of the screen. The cursor becomes a pair of lips, and by moving them over the different targets you'll earn points; use a spray when it gets stinky, so you don't catch bad breath! That's all there is to it. Funny, but what's the point? You're better off playing "21 Knickers" on your PC until you're left with just your underwear. Yes, that's another minigame Brooktown High includes; you know, just getting kids ready for college!
When you invite someone on a date, you can choose where to go: the dance, the beach, the park, a house party, the mall, etc. A star meter measures your popularity, and another meter will measure your relationship with the individuals you'll meet. If you have a good relationship with them you're likely to get that date, but don't try before because they'll just say no. Keep talking to them and have repetitive and meaningless conversations. That's the only way to get a date and do something different than what you did last week. And remember that a week in Brooktown High lasts about four minutes of your watch, so you'll be doing this a lot. Surprisingly, you can't shop at the mall. The computer in your room is the only choice, with a catalog that gets randomly updated with new clothes and accessories as you buy them.
I have to say that many facets of this game made me laugh, like when I got invited to the school dance (Yes! A weekend outside the dorm room!), and I forgot to change my character's clothes for a nice dress or something like that. The guy was so upset, he quickly told me to go away and the date was over! What the heck?