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In gaming, ‘Godfather II’ tops original

Movie sequels usually don’t live up to their predecessor.

“The Godfather II” is one of the few that comes close to matching the original, and some argue it’s even better than the first.

Electronic Arts released the video game version of “The Godfather II” in early April, hoping it would hold up against the 2006 release “The Godfather: The Game.”

But video games are the opposite of movies when it comes to sequels.

With advancements in technology creating better hardware, sequels often top the original.

EA Redwood Shores used the extended development time with the next generation consoles to produce a much more polished game than the original. The first came out in the early days of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Now, EA Redwood Shores has had more than two years with the next generation technology to produce a more complete game.

“The Godfather II” lets the gamer control Dominic, an underboss in the Corleone family, as he takes over following the death of the original game’s lead character, Don Aldo Trapani, in Cuba.

After escaping Havana with Michael Corleone, the only character in the game who doesn’t resemble the original actor, Dominic takes over Corleone family operations in New York.

While the game gives you the freedom to roam around the city — and later Miami and Havana — it places a premium on role-playing elements. Dominic must recruit mobsters for his family, each with a different specialty, to help control different rackets in each of the cities. Controlling rackets both hurts the competition and gives the Corleone family upgrades.

Each of the role-playing elements are displayed on a massive, interactive map called “Don’s View.” Through this feature, soldiers can be sent to bomb rivals’ crime rings or to protect the Corleone holdings.

The game can get repetitive, too often sending Dominic and his crew into a business where they can easily overtake the muscle on hand, thus controlling the racket.

The developers added some variety with a favor system. In order to receive favors or unlock special kill conditions for rivals, Dominic must fulfill a task first to gain the necessary information. This too, however, gets a little repetitive.

But the game offers more direction in terms of a story than the first game, and it does a good job of interweaving the film and the game into one experience.

One can argue all day about which of the two films is better, but “The Godfather II” game tops the original.