posted November 08, 2006 12:00:00 AM CST | 18 comments

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It is a hip-hop rite of passage to own Brian De Palma’s Scarface in your DVD collection. But for those who are video game enthusiasts and found yourself upset when Tony Montana met his grisly fate -- Vivendi Games and Radical Entertainment pick up where De Palma’s film left off.

What has been deemed a Grand Theft Auto clone is only right in a few spots. As the player controls Montana as he rebuilds his fallen drug empire, you can employ some of the similar methods used in Grand Theft Auto. You can basically hijack any car that is being driven on the street and beat up any pedestrian that crosses your path. But the game does stay true to the movie, as Tony Montana doesn’t kill anyone who is not his enemy. That means no random kills. Who says that there isn’t any honor amongst thieves? Tony can make money several different ways, but during game play, the player will spend most of his or her time selling cocaine, wiping out gangs who reside in your territory, and buying exotic gifts that’ll increase your reputation.

As Tony rises from the ashes, he will make massive amounts of money from his drug runs and off of the bodies of dead gang bangers. But if Montana dies while ridin’ dirty, he loses his cash and drugs and starts again from scratch. He can go into any of the banks that are in Miami and launder his money (as well as save the game). Another interesting feature of the game is how you determine how much money the bank will take and how much you’ll be able to sell your drugs for. A meter will appear with various percentages (or dollar amount) and you’ll need to hold down the circle button and let off when it reaches a success zone at the end to get the lowest rate (or highest dollar amount). You’ll use this meter to intimidate the gangs around, talk your way past the police, sell grams of coke to dealers, and even disarm bombs.

Another good highlight is that if you hit the talk button, Tony will get into a conversation with random Miami residences. This is essential when just trying to pass time or trying to pick up one of those femme fatales who you’ll eventually take to your mansion. The missions in this game, provided by your partner, Felix, become redundant and the dialogue becomes flat midway through the game. This is not to say that it is not fun to go around and kill Nacho’s gang members with a chainsaw, but… you can only do it so many times.

As Tony gains respect, the people in Miami will know that Montana has a huge set of cajonés. Scarface has plenty of other enjoyable facets to the game. From purchasing cars, furniture, boats, and guns, you’re able to unlock more and more exotic items the further you get into the game. With Tony dead set on killing Sosa and reclaiming his title as the ’Caine of Miami, the player benefits during this ride of white girl, gun fights, and gang wars.

Weak-stomached players will not enjoy this flick-turned-video game. The profanity makes it well above adolescent-approval, as the “F” word gets used more times than they would during an all-day Quentin Tarantino movie marathon. One of the key points in the game (in an ironic way) is when Tony has to use a chainsaw to exact revenge on the Diaz Brothers gang.

This game is a must-have for anyone who loved the movie and for anyone who is just looking for a guilty pleasure. It’ll not only relieve the day’s stress, but it’ll live out any Scarface aficionado’s dream of revenge.

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