Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The World is Mine

I have a Scarface chip in my brain. I think it rivals the Star Wars chip. I know my Scarface. Scarface is where I am at. The stuff is brilliant. Pacino delivered a character to us via an Oliver Stone script that makes a hell of a lot of sense to me. DePalma directed a film that rivals his entire syllabus. The film was supposed to be rated X but they made the MPAA step back, because why? BALLS, MANG.

The thing about Tony Montana is that he just doesn't care. I have romanticized this to a point, but there is no way that someone could actually live their life this way without eventually taking a shotgun blast to the back. Tony didn't care and he swooped his boss' woman. He didn't care and he shot Mel the cop in the gut. He didn't care and he blasted his homeboy after he realized that homie had married his sister. He didn't care and inhaled a catastrophic amount of cocaine before taking on an entire army. It is a beautiful thing, this not caring stuff. It is all about doing it your way. Frank Sinatra was a pansy BTW.

I have the DVD. I have the soundtrack. I have 3 different Scarface t-shirts. I throw S-face movie quotes into conversations with people who have no idea what I am talking about. I have soaked myself in the Scarface lore, and if you know anything about me, you should know that much.

Furthermore, if you have listened to any rap music in the past 20 years, you must realize the effect it has had on the hip-hop community. As a hip-hop community member who is currently boycotting the hip-hop community, I still feel Scarface. Scarface is not the reason why the hip-hop community sucks. Some serious Scarface meditation by the community might actually bring me back into their commercialized sold-out, unoriginal fold. But hey, that is a different rant for a different blog. A blog I will entitle "FOK HIP-HOP." Look for it.

So imagine my fear and trepidation when the video game was announced. Imagine how quickly I dismissed it when I read that Pacino wanted nothing to do with the project. Imagine how I chortled to myself when I read the rumour that it was Pacino's driver who was bringing the Montana vocal pipery to the project. There was no way in hell that I was going to play this game.
Remember Monopoly? Remember "Bank error in your favor, collect ten bucks?" Well, the next paragraph is going to demonstrate my change of heart.

I bought an MP3 player at Circuit City 3 years ago. I got the protection warranty on it. Every year the thing craps out and I mail it back to Circuit City and they send me a gift card for about a hundred bucks. I turn around and buy a new MP3 player with it, and I get another protection warranty. Then the thing exhales its pathetic spirit after about 9 months of hard livin'. I send it back. I have done this same thing with these people 3 times now. So basically, they are holding my 100 dollars and I am paying a 14 dollar a year rental fee. This year they messed up like Mel though. They sent me a cheque and a gift card. The cheque was for a hundred bucks. The gift card was for a hundred-thirty. The cheque went straight to the MP3 player. The 130 went right back into Circuit City. It was throwaway cash. I walked up the DVD aisle. I saw nothing that I want to own. I've got my Snakes on a Plane, I mean really...wassap? I walked up the CD aisles. There isn't a new CD out there that I can justify spending 10-15 dollars of free money on. Then I went up the video game aisle. Scarface was there. $49.99. Throwaway money is what it was, and I threw it at the video game. Bank error in my favor, collect Scarface.

So, I went home and fired up the PS2. This is what I saw:

This intro right here has been done by people who actually give a damn. It is obvious that the people behind this thing respect the film as much if not more than I do. I almost cried at the sheer beauty and loving, painstaking translation of the key scenes in this new intro. These are people who get the picture.

And now I am lost.

Yeah, the standard review online for the game says that Tommy Vercetti is pissed that he has been ripped off so hard. Gameplay does resemble the modern GTA franchise. However, there is something that Tommy needs to get into his thick head: He wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Tony Montana. Tony Montana is the only character in the pop culture lexicon with the balls to step to Vercetti and to step as blatantly as he has. Tony>Tommy. This is a cold fact. I challenge the hardest GTA fan on this subject. The GTA landscape is built on Tony's blood-soaked streets. Back in Vice City, I thought it was dope that my save house was the hotel where Tony shoots that fool in the face on the street. Sheeeit, I thought it was cool that you could roll around in a jacked car listening to the Scarface OST. But hey, that was an homage. Why not put Tony on that street? Why not listen to the OST because you are TONY FOKKING MONTANA? Peeaaace, fool. Tommy Vercetti can step off.

This game has balls and teeth. Tony is now taking Miami back, by force. The more cocky he takes down his enemies, the more balls he has. The more balls he has, the sooner you can trigger the all out BLIND RAGE which is basically going into DOOM VIEW (1st player) and blowing the hell out of everything. Blind rage is where you found Tony at the end of the original movie. Indestructable and talking mad shit.

Ok, I know you are saying "But Tony took a shotgun blast at the end of the movie! Fok this notion!" Good call Padawan. There is a piece of artistic lisence used here. You have the opportunity to turn around and blow the sunglasses off of the shotgun wielding punk who hung Omar from the helicopter. YOu do this and then you get to work. You lose it all, and you have to work hard to get it back. You have to grease cops. You have to step to Gaspar Gomez and the Diaz brothers. You have to follow a new script. It is a genius little ditty. It is work. It is fun. The quotes that this Pacino impersonator drops are on-point. He references being sick of octopus. He references ice-cream. He uses the entire arsenal and he uses it well.

The cheats for the game (similar to GTA again) make some of the missions easier to do. Who came up with the word "cheats" anyway? This is a crime game. This is what you have to do to get to the top. First I have to make the money. Then I will get the power. But I still have to make that money. I have to kill and threaten and extort. If I can't make it that way, then I will type in the FPATCH and get my balls meter to the top and go sell sperm at the lend-a-sperm bank. I have to claw my way to the top of Miami, and I will use the weaponry that the game gives me to do it. I will exploit any other angles that are there to exploit. This is a game about crime. This isn't about being a rule-following gamer. I was walking through this store the other night and started talking shit to this guy who told me to calm down. he had the nerve to tell me that I should try yoga. I pushed his ass over right then and there. Why? Because Tony has balls, mang. This is the next level. Tommy Vercetti had balls, and Ray Liotta talked a lot of shit to get him there but he was always missing somehow. With Tony, you know what you have to do. You know how ugly it is going to be, and you know you want to do it.

I'm selling cocaine. I am beating drug dealers. I am talking mad shit every time I hit the circle button. I am in the middle of a turf war right now that is going to require that I punch in cheat after cheat after cheat just to make it to the bank and launder my cash. If I don't get there in time, I will die and the words YOU FUCKED UP will drip across the screen. I am having fun. I am hearing more profanity than I hear and conjur on any Merlot-soaked evening with Matt.

The world is mine, and I am taking it down. The game is brilliant, just like the movie before it.