Grab the Nunchuk and your balls in Scarface
One of the most profound and intense film characters of all time is Tony Montana, brought to life with aplomb by Al Pacino in Brian De Palma's ultraviolent film Scarface. Last fall, Vancouver's Radical Entertainment transformed the film into a raucous video game for the PS2 and Xbox that rewrote the ending of the film. In the game, Tony survives the film's final massacre, and the player, as Tony, must re-create the drug dealer's empire.
Not everyone was happy that the game's developers took liberties with the story. "It was a touchy subject with some of the hard-core fans," producer Geoff Thomas said, on the line from his Vancouver office. "But we felt that a game that rehashed the events of the movie would ultimately be unsatisfying for players. This game is all about being Tony Montana and living the corrupted American dream and infusing everything about Tony into what you do in the game."
Which, if you remember the movie, includes profanity in the extreme and gestures like crotch grabbing and flipping the bird. Imagine, then, how much fun it will be to play the newly released Wii version of Scarface with the Wii's motion-sensing controllers.
The Wii Remote and Nunchuk are used for firing weapons, driving vehicles, taunting people, and even chopping enemies to pieces with a chain saw. "What the Wii really brings to the table in terms of a gaming experience is the controls, how you interface with the game," Thomas explained.
So when you, as Tony Montana, are walking down the streets of Miami and someone insults you, all you need to do is give the screen the finger with the Nunchuk, and the on-screen Tony responds with a gesture of his own. Not to mention a stream of expletives.
"It feels more visceral and in tune with what you want to do," Thomas said. "You can shake your fist at somebody or flip them off, or you can even grab your balls if you want to and Tony will react accordingly."
And when wielding a chain saw in tribute to the iconic scene from the film, you'll be on your feet, swinging wildly. It's just a natural reaction, and it's something Thomas and his colleagues considered when coming up with the gestures.
"What we like about these gestures," he explained, "is that they feel contextual with the action. We wanted to make sure our gestures actually felt like it [the movement] was doing what you were doing on-screen."
Lest you think that having your arms up and extended for the entire 40 hours of game play means you'll need some training at the gym, Thomas assured me that isn't the case. "We designed the game to be played from the couch."