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Welcome to The Family : The Godfather : Blackhand Edition Review

In Wii on April 6, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Violence, Respect, Revenge, and a whole lota Wiimote air boxing. ‘Tis the life of a mobster in The Godfather : Blackhand Edition for Wii. You can skip ahead to the Final Verdict to get the overall idea how Godfather is but what you should do is read the full review. We wouldn’t want something bad to happen to anyone, right?

The Godfather is based on the famous movie of the same name. The story, vocals and visuals of the game portray well an old fashion mob-filled New York with all the revenge, betrayal and hate you need. Some of the game’s cut scenes truly feel cinematic and the voices in the game feel real and authentic (except for the main character, who’s voice feels, well, OK). The city itself and indoor locations look wonderful and most of the environments feel full of life. Even the innocent pedestrians have random conversations around you.

The story starts off with you, as a kid, seeing your dad die at the hand of mob members while you get re-comforted by Don Corleone. Flash forward, you’re now part of the Corleone mob. You can personalize the look of your character, mostly his face.

The game is designed to be open-ended. You can keep up with the story, do a favour for someone, kill someone on your hit list, or harass local shopkeepers currently protected by other mob families for a cut of their profits. After successfully convincing a shopkeeper in any of the numerous manors (completing a task for them, trashing their shop, beating them senseless), you get the chance to take over any possible hidden business they might be doing behind closed doors. All of this helps you get some money for yourself, after a healthy cut to the Corleones obviously. As you complete missions, among other things, you get respect that fills up your respect meter. When it’s full, you level up and get to choose to activate a certain skill or upgrade, like planting car bombs or regaining health. The story missions are varied and fun but they don’t last long, which is a pity.

On the plus side, the game has so many various elements to keep you occupied for some time. Killing members of rival families gains you vendetta with them. Too much and you’ll start a mob war with that family. You’ll have to bomb a business protected by that family or bribe an FBI agent to eliminate your vendetta with other families before the family you’re at war with bombs your businesses or the mob war timer on the screen runs out. While killing people will raise your heat with the cops and thus get you in trouble, you can bribe cops to make them help you kill anyone giving you a hard time. The optional missions requesting you to kill a certain person come with an extra objective : a certain way to kill your target, that, if completed correctly, will give you a big cash and respect bonus. If you need extra help during the game, you can buy the help of an other Corleone or, when the meter is full, call upon a group of Corleones at any time. Even with this, most of the game will become repetitive after you’re done the with most of the story missions.

Now, let’s talk controls. You move with the Nunchuck’s analogue stick, lock on with Z, adjust the camera with the Wiimote’s control pad, crouch or stay close to a wall with Minus, pause with 1 and get a quick view of your objectives with 2. When driving, you accelerate with B, brake with Z and do hard turns with C. If you have another Corleone in the car with you, Plus and Minus makes them shoot from the windows.

First off, let’s talk about shooting. When you target someone and press B, you shoot them. But with the amazing power of the sensor bar, while having someone selected with Z, you can aim at a certain part of the body, like the shoulder to disarm them or the knees to immobilize them. If need be and you can’t Z-lock your target, by pressing Plus, you can enter Free Aim mode which utilizes only the Wii pointing system to aim, no locking on. An annoyance about the game is the weapon change system. The weapon menu is activated with the C button. When C is selected, the 8 corners of the analogue stick each activate a different weapon (The control pad activates Molotovs, dynamites, bombs and that group of Corleones in this mode). It can be hard to aim for a specific weapon this way. Selecting C quickly takes out and hides your last weapon. If you don’t already have a weapon selected and you suddenly get attacked, you might not die but it’s not exactly fun getting shot at while selecting a weapon.

What about the motion controls? If you feel like getting your hands a bit dirtier, you can hide your gun and use your fists or a bat or other stick-like object. Lock-on to your enemy and star swinging the Wiimote and Nunchuck (Wiimote only with the stick-like objects). You can even grab people by having both Z and B selected, and slam people into things or throw them off rooftops. There are various moves you can learn about through the motion tutorials in the game’s pause screen. As with any motions controls, they don’t always respond, be it because of the software or because of your own excitement, but they do work well and are a nice addition to the game.

What’s not as fun is glitches. I’ve encountered three problems with The Godfather at this point. First, the game locked up during a fist fight. Second, I lost communication between my Wiimotes and my Wii during the game’s intro and had to re-sync them with the console. Third, the game somehow didn’t save a portion of my progression in a story mission, some favour missions I completed and a promotion I got but did save the fact I took over a couple of businesses. Although, the second time around the game did finally save everything.

Final Verdict

Glitches aside, The Godfather : Blackhand edition is a good game, especially for a movie licence. It’s a real shame that the story-driven portion of it is so short and that a lot of what’s left is repetitive with some variety. This isn’t to say what’s left isn’t fun. The game is made for those who love sucking ever last drop out of a game. For them, the game gets a “Buy” status. For others who are looking for a little fun (Maybe you want to try out a new game for the weekend), the game will also offer a good amount of entertainment as a rental. Either way, the game is a fun, open-ended experience and a good addition to the Wii’s library of titles.

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  1. If I had a dollar for every time I came here! Superb post!

  2. You have done it again! Amazing writing.

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