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Scarface The World is Yours - WII - Review

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Posted by: jkdmedia

Review Rating 8.2 Great

When it was first released awhile ago on current-generation consoles as well as the PC, Scarface: The World Is Yours played like yet another Grand Theft Auto clone but it used a recognizable (and, in circles that include rap artists, much loved) movie franchise that is still considered one of Al Pacino’s best films since The Godfather films. Yet even with a memorable character and the right setting, the game was simply a flawed yet somewhat fun free-roaming action game with plenty of good lines. Yet thanks to the Wii Remote and the accompanying Nunchuk, the Wii version of Scarface: The World Is Yours makes our favorite bad guy all the more fun to play.

 

The game’s story (written by Blow screenwriter David McKenna) takes a What If approach to the storytelling and it pulls it off nicely despite the fact that the game never really reaches a truly cinematic ending. Here, Tony Montana finds himself in his Miami mansion taking out hired guns sent by major Bolivian drug lord Sosa but instead of getting a lethal shotgun blast to the back, Tony turns things around and manages a daring escape. Hiding out in an abandoned shack for several months, Tony - thirsty for revenge - finds himself planning his comeback and with all his assets taken away he intends on rebuilding his fallen empire little by little and putting an end to Sosa once and for all.

Of course, this means he has to reclaim his old business fronts from Miami’s other lowlife crime bosses like the Diaz Brothers, Gaspar Gomez and Nacho Contreras who took control of his operations and run different areas of the huge city that were once Montana turf. Like many of the Grand Theft Auto clones already available, Scarface allows you to freely travel anywhere within the map and take on main story missions or any of the side missions anyway you see fit. You’ll find yourself buying many of the store fronts in Miami, including your own mansion as well as Tony’s favorite nightspot, the Babylon Club. This means you’ll also have to clean areas like Coconut Grove and Little Havana of rival gangs that appear on the map.

Yet how does it play on the Wii, you must be asking yourselves? The game starts with a tutorial segment that recalls Tony Montana’s soldier training in 1970s Cuba. It is here that gamers are introduced to the controls and, much like any other Wii game, the controls start off a bit awkward at first and quickly becomes as natural as breathing. As I mentioned above, the game uses both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk attachment so you’ll be moving Tony with the Nunchuk’s analog stick while pointing him in the right direction with the Wii Remote. This makes aiming and moving a tad strange at first but as soon as you get into a fight you’ll see how well this control scheme actually works … especially when Tony goes into the first-person view during Rage (which instantly turns the Cuban “political refugee” into an unstoppable killing machine that doesn’t run out of bullets).

 

Depending on the type of control sensitivity you pick during the game, the Wii controls make for more precise shots when Tony uses any firearm during a fight. This is good seeing as the game allows you to freely target any specific body part like you can in the Xbox 360’s Saint’s Row or automatically target enemies when you just want to quickly eliminate them in the most sloppiest way possible. The Wii controls also make taunting a lot easier since it’s handled by tilting the Nunchuk towards you instead of awkwardly pressing a button while firing like in the PS2 and Xbox versions. When your Balls Meter fills up, Tony can go into Rage mode and this is done by simply shaking the Nunchuk. And when Tony picks up a chainsaw in the game, wielding it in the Wii version just feels so disturbingly satisfying here.

Like any GTA clone, you’ll also be driving around town and there are a healthy number of 1980 era specific vehicles to drive. Sure Tony can jack any vehicle that crosses his path but why hassle with the very fussy police when you can purchase vehicles complete with a driver/enforcer? If you buy a limo you can easily move from front to front instantly but if you buy a vehicle you plan on driving all you have to do is pick up the phone and your driver will deliver it. Driving in the game is handled well enough in this version of the game, albeit not as smoothly as the PS2 or Xbox version. I found that I crashed more in this version than the current-gen version of the game.

The rest of the game remains unchanged and this means many of the game’s flaws and other noticeable annoyances are back again. If a fight spills out on the street and the police catch a whiff of violence, good luck trying to escape them without getting killed. The taunting and coke-selling meter are still awkward features that will result in selling your “product” for less and getting ripped off at the bank when you’re looking for a decent interest rate on the money you earn throughout the game. The game’s biggest disappointment was the story missions and the lack of a real payoff at the end. The missions rarely offer much in terms of variety and the ability to play as Tony’s enforcer or the sexy femme fatale are wasted potential. Even the Pimp My Mansion and girlfriend collecting features don’t add much to the game.

 

Visually, Scarface looks slightly better on the Wii than the Xbox version of the game. The textures are just sharper and the character models just a wee bit better but not by very much. This Miami looks really good and you’ll instantly recognize various areas throughout the map. Still, the star of the game is Tony Montana and he’s rendered perfectly to the point that he looks a lot like Al Pacino. There’s some clipping issues here but nothing too bad.

And speaking of Al Pacino, his likeness is there but his voice isn’t but the sound-alike (who was, incidentally, chosen by Pacino himself) does a brilliant imitation. This is good news since Tony’s lines in the game are just so downright hilarious and a real highlight of the game. There are also a great number of celebrity voices in the game as well that range from impressive (James Woods, Tommy Chong and Richard Roundtree among others) to questionable (Jackass’ Bam Margera, Jason Mewes of Jay and Silent Bob fame and Maxim cover girl Vida Guerra). The music is another highlight in the game since it not only includes the original movie’s soundtrack but also licensed tunes from the likes of Johnny Cash to a number of salsa, rock and rap tunes.

Scarface: The World Is Yours for the Wii makes a better impression now that the Wii controls make the game all the more exciting to play despite the game’s many weak spots. With slightly better graphics than the current-generation versions as well as some unique gameplay mechanics that do work well, it’s Nintendo’s new console that gets the best version of this GTA clone that’s never low on outrageous moments and a real guilty pleasure worth the purchase price if you weren’t turned off by the game the first time around.

Review Scoring Details for Scarface: The World is Yours

Gameplay: 8.0
The Wii Remote and Nunchuk make for a better and far more entertaining way of playing this GTA-like game. While the gameplay has improved, the story missions don’t offer a lot of variety and there’s not too much you can do in this 1980s version of Miami. Tony said it best: Is this it? The game does capture the feel of the movie, though.

Graphics: 7.5
The Wii version is an improvement over the PS2 and, in a small way, the Xbox version of the game. The tighter visuals do make the city look a tad better and the character models look pretty good despite various “clones” that pop up often in the game. Still, the environments look so authentic you’ll find yourself enjoying the scenic route.

Sound: 9.0
The music is a highlight for anyone who loves country, rock, classic rap or great Cuban music. There’s an epic-sized cast of celebrities that provide a number of character voices but it’s Andre Sogliuzzo who steals the show with his great Tony impression. The profanity is excessive in the game so this is definitely an M rated game.

Difficulty: Medium
Some missions will have you starting over again thanks to the fact that you’ll be up against a great number of enemies at once. Some of the game’s driving missions are pretty hard but not too incredibly challenging and if you’re looking to go up against the police you might as well get ready to see the reloading screen again.

Concept: 8.0
The game shows no disrespect to the source material (little touches like Tony’s inability to kill innocent people is present) and the fact that this time we get a true likeness of Al Pacino (no unrecognizable stand-in like in The Godfather: The Game) means we get a true Scarface experience. The Wii controls make the game more fun.

Overall: 8.2
It’s funny what a good control scheme can do for a game and Scarface for the Wii definitely benefits from the Wii Remote and Nunchuk swinging action. While many of the weaknesses that held back the PS2 and Xbox version show up for this new version, the action just feels tighter and more entertaining on our little white box.

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