HIGH SCHOOL DREAMS: Benny B

This week’s been a bit rough – I’m finishing up a senior thesis, recently presented at an undergraduate symposium, and have emigrated for the weekend for my brother’s wedding.

The rehearsal dinner just wrapped up and I have about 17 hours of free time until the big day, so I thought I’d take a break from terrible prose, heartbreaking videos, and addicting TV shows to catch up on my favorite dating sim.

Benny

Benny B

Stereotype: Bad boy/class clown

All the stuff I mentioned earlier? While true, the real reason I haven’t posted is because of Benny. I’m not sure what to say about him. It’s been a couple weeks since his playthrough and I still don’t know what to say.

AAAAAAAAAAAH!!

All of the confusing things about Benny can be summed up in his looks. At certain angles, he is legitimately terrifying. At others, he’s not bad-looking, but I’m still confused. Where did they find such a swarthy redhead? Is he a pirate? WHAT IS HAPPENING?

Benny’s personality is similar to that of Fred and George Weasley. Excuse me, just George Weasley. Fred is dead.

I can dig the slacker/class clown vibe to an extent. If a character falls on the class clown side of that equation, I find him enjoyable. Benny straddles the line between the two; a wise move on the game developers’ parts, as so often I find “laid-back” types unpleasant, if not repulsive.

What’s weird, though, is how the other characters react to Benny. I can understand why some people might have reservations about the player character dating a known “troublemaker.” What I don’t get are the implications that Benny is dangerous.

Is this a modern-day retelling of "Rebel Without a Cause"?
“YOU’RE TEARING ME APART!”

Benny is harmless. His worst pranks involve wearing bibs, stealing pants, and…okay, he does blow up all the school’s water fountains. And the player character helps him do it. That didn’t hit me until now.

One thing I can appreciate about Benny is that he is open about his regard for the player character. Really open. As in bordering on sexual harassment.

WHAT.
WHAT.

He’s open to the point of spreading G-rated lies about his dalliances with the player character. At prom. In front of Ryan Seacrest.

That's not even a little bit true!
That’s not even a little bit true!

Other than that, he’s not a bad guy. There’s an excellent subplot where he and the player character help Emily unmask her secret admirer. Plot twist: she has TWO secret admirers, and one of them is THIS GUY:

Why isn't he one of the options?
Can I go to prom with him!?

Benny’s storyline is quick. I scored a prom invitation in nine days–that’s almost unheard of. I’m disappointed there wasn’t more, but I enjoyed the gameplay.

There’s not much else I can say. My prom dress this time around was adorable. I got up to three flower petals of friendship with Emily–again, unheard of. The game shoehorned a lesson about stranger danger into the story.

Helpful.
Helpful.

For all his “bad boy” ways, Benny isn’t the most thrilling guy in the game. That being said, he’s not the worst. To justify my rating him higher than Eugene, all I have to say is: at least Benny doesn’t have low self-esteem.

Grade: B+

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