The Godfather: Black Hand Edition
EA's stab at the sandbox genre attracted generally positive reviews in its current gen and Xbox 360 incarnations (check out Kristan's review for the full low-down), but for all of its positive qualities, the Godfather is a mere enforcer when compared to the full Don-level experience offered by the likes of the Grand Theft Auto games and, latterly, Crackdown.
While most of the gameplay flaws inherent in the previous versions are still there in this new version, there are a number of factors that may make this far more appealing to the average Wii owner. For a start, the Black Hand edition has all of the enhancements of the new PS3 "Don Edition" - such as an additional 30 story mode missions, additional cars, weapons, and mob tactics. Also of note is an intelligently-conceived Wiimote control method that enhances an already decent combat system and improves on it. Wii Sports-style boxing techniques are the centrepiece of hand-to-hand combat (though the throttling is fun too) while an IR-based free targeting solution adds greatly to the gunplay - useful for headshots, kneecappings and disarming enemies.
Graphically there's little here that would trouble the PlayStation 2, and the game's cityscapes are plagued with polygon-tearing and oodles of pop-up most noticeable while driving. However, most of the time is spent on foot and the character models, interiors and in-game animations are pretty good, with the game engine-generated cut-scenes showing off decent levels of detail. The game is also fully 480p and widescreen compatible - something that really makes a difference.
Of course, for EA, The Godfather's key advantage is that it's the only sandbox game in town and with few publishers keen to port their next-gen wares to Wii, it's a state of affairs unlikely to change. So it's just as well that this is generally a decent, well-thought out and enjoyable conversion.
7 / 10