I've never really been much of a fan of The Godfather world of criminal intrigue and family loyalty, but I'd heard the positive buzz on the new Wii-exclusive Blackhand Edition of last year's Godfather game and decided that when the review assignments for March came up I'd volunteer to take it on. I'm glad that I did. The Godfather: Blackhand Edition is the best game in the Grand Theft Auto genre that I've ever played, mostly thanks to the classy elements that outstrip the crude and vulgar world of Liberty City and the amazing motion controls. Don't miss my review of the game over at AMN.
The Blackhand Control system goes beyond just punches, however. Hold down the B button while locked on to an enemy to grab him by the collar. Now one can pull the remote and nunchuk towards oneself to perform a headbutt or swing the remote and nunchuk to the side to slam foes against nearby tables or walls. Up high on top of a building? Drag the enemy to the edge and flick the remote and nunchuk away to "accidentally" fling the hapless fellow over the side and down to the cold hard asphalt below. Need to dispatch someone quietly? Move the remote and nunchuk towards and away from each other several times to choke the life out of the enemy (ending with a sickening crunch of a neck snapping).
Blackhand was a pleasant surprise. I'd assumed that developer Electronic Arts had taken the easy way out yet again with another Wii port of an existing game that had motion controls shoehorned in as an afterthought (Need For Speed: Carbon, I'm looking at you). Instead I found an intriguing adventure that I actually plan to finish at some point. Snapping necks has never been so much fun.