About two months ago I found myself in a bit of a video game slump. That desire to play a video game, yet not have to trudge through another campaign of something I've already done before. Well as I really have no desire to go buy anything new, that only left me with the option of indeed trudging through another campaign of something I've already done before.
My two choices were Scarface and The Godfather for the original Xbox. What you may notice right from the start is that these two games are both licensed titles, from movies that were both vastly better than their video game counterparts. But hey, when you're creating video games based on two of the best movies ever made, can video game media really do any justice to their namesake?
Now, the singlemost troublesome issue that I had with another play through of these games happened to be the opaque tinted glasses of nostalgia. I remember, quite fondly, sitting down of an evening and playing these games as I stretched out across the living room floor and sometimes even cuddled up to my Corgi. What I don't remember, however, are all the frustrating, brain aching moments when these games simply don't play by the rules. Not only do they not play by the rules, but they often glitched me into such a terrible position that it made continuing the game impossible.
After many, many, many, and I do mean many, tries, retries and varies stoppages for hours or even days, I managed to complete The Godfather, as well as get fairly deeply rooted within Scarface. I'm not going to go into great detail about the games, go check them out for yourself. Yes they frustrated me, but I also had a pretty good time once I finally relaxed and focused on the task that needed to be done.
Do these games do any justice to their movie namesakes? Absolutely not. In fact they had to alter the movie plot entirely for Scarface and say Tony survived the attack, lost everything and is now rebuilding his empire to take on Sosa and take him down. While in The Godfather, some unknown schmuck rises through the ranks, literally within in-game days depending on how fast you get things done, to become the Don. On a funny note, since Al Pacino's likeness was licensed for Scarface, they had to completely alter the look of Michael Corleone in The Godfather game. Neither character being voiced by Mr. Pacino.
These games could have been stand alone games with different themes, different titles and different characters, but instead they tied them to two of the most beloved and critically acclaimed movies of all time. Would they still be just as fun and frustrating of they were titled "Billy Bob the Coke Dealer" for Scarface and "Cheap New York Mafia Simulator" for The Godfather? I doubt it. I believe the only reason these games are fun at all weighs heavily on the titles they were licensed from. And that fact alone.