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YMMV / Mafia II

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  • Anvilicious: The game can be pretty blatant about its moral stance on Mafia activities. Many characters you work with are repugnant, and you never get to enjoy the luxuries that crime affords for very long before something takes them away. The game can even be seen as a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story.
    • Of special note is the stance against drug-dealing. Just about every character associated with drugs dies at some point, with Vito being the sole exception perhaps because he only reluctantly agrees to deal drugs due to losing everything he had shortly before then. It's noteworthy that the only mob boss that doesn't die is Vinci, who has a strong distaste for drug-dealing unlike the other bosses.
  • Awesome Music: Aside from the licensed tracks, the actual score is excellent: sometimes pulse-pounding, and sometimes incredibly sad and haunting. Try the main theme, or the pause theme, which sounds like it was composed by Thomas Newman. The pause theme, in particular, sounded like as if it came off the Series of Unfortunate Events soundtrack, as it was reminiscent of The Baudelaire Orphans.
    • The licensed tracks are pretty good though, particularly the scripted ones (see Suspiciously Appropo Music)
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  • Contested Sequel: Given that Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven is a Cult Classic, this was pretty much a given. While it was liked well enough, many people criticized it for its unsympathetic characters, simplified gameplay and lack of Free Ride Mode, making it extremely short and without any real replay value.
  • Critical Research Failure: Whoever was in charge of music should've known that some of the licensed music wasn't even available in 1951.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: It can be hard to root for Vito to make his life a good living for him again, especially considering the fact that he happens to be a jerk who ended up in a gangster life.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: "The old game was a tribute to gangster movies, a romantic vision. Mafia II is grittier, real, a darker world, and the effects are based in reality." - Daniel Vávra, Writer and Director of Mafia explaining the decision to make the sequel Darker and Edgier.
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  • Ear Worm: A majority of the licensed songs are this, particularly the 1940s section. Try getting "Woogie Boogie Bugle Boy" and "Rum And Coca Cola" out of your head.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jimmy, the DLC's protagonist, is quite popular. It helps that, unlike Vito, he actually manages to get a good ending in his respective storyline.
  • Fountain of Memes: Joe Barbaro.
  • Fridge Horror: In Chapter 9 Vito gets covered in shit while sneaking into a meat factory via a sewer to find some mob associates. While sneaking around he takes cover behind dead pigs (while still covered in shit may I add.) to be shipped to the local grocers and quite possibly infecting some of Empire Bay's meat supply with E coli.
    • Human shit can't spread that, but still.
  • He's Just Hiding!: At the end of the game, it's heavily implied that Joe is killed. Of course, since we don't actually see the deed itself, a lot of people are convinced that Joe survives the events of the game, even though it was pretty clear that those guys weren't exactly taking him out for a nice night on the town.
    • However, Joe has proven himself both durable and able to win a fight, and considering that there were only two guys with him in the other car (one was the driver and one sat next to Joe), one could imagine that he could incapitate both fairly easy. At least he was armed when he entered the car...
    • According to Vito in Mafia III Joe managed to escape the hitman taking him in their car, and escaped to Chicago. Unfortunately, he was betrayed by the people he turned to for help, and was subsequently mutilated and murdered by them. Vito sends Lincoln Clay on a series of assassination jobs to take out the people responsible for it. However, despite Vito's story the game never truly confirms Joe whether Joe's alive or dead. Vito says he never found Joe's body and says he assumes Joe must be dead since he never got into contact with him. The biggest hint that Joe's still alive is at the end of the game, where Leo Gallante's driver briefly looks at the camera, and though he's in shadow, he looks near identical to Joe. So Joe may literally just be hiding.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: An early mission where you have to stack crates in the back of a truck for a lousy 10 bucks. The mission ends with you saying screw it and informing your boss that you come for a better job. The kicker? Now you're sent out the office to collect cash from all of the employees in the warehouse, collecting 10 dollars from each. In other words: if you had completed the job you got offered first, you would've spent a lot of time earning only 10 bucks, only to lose it immediately.
    • That becomes a Cerebus Callback later on, when it's revealed that Derek killed Vito's father, because he took exception to Derek's Bad Boss ways.
  • Historical In-Joke: While in prison, a black inmate will shout out during one of the boxing matches, "Fella's got as bout much chance as a brother runnin' for president!" note 
  • Hype Backlash: While the game has received generally positive reviews, many have criticized it for its relatively short length (around 10 hours) and lack of things to do outside of missions, as compared to other sandbox games (the fact that a lot of features were Dummied Out didn't really help). So a lot of people, who were expecting something along the lines of Grand Theft Auto Rocks The 1950s, were let down.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Quite a few reviewers complain that even with the Hard difficulty and Realistic driving modes on few missions offer any real challenge, especially compared to the unforgiving nature of the first game (look above).
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!
  • Narm: Settle down Vito, we know your hyped up on adrenaline, but shut up about the barber already.
  • Nintendo Hard: The Bomb Under the Seat mission in Joe's Adventures, to be specific. Expect a mother lode of irate players who bashed 2K for putting up an unbearable mission that involves driving a car to a specific location, all while under time pressure, traffic, winding roads and with the threat of a bomb exploding if you go too slow.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Many fans of the original Mafia dislike the game particularly because very few of the original staff were on its devteam, and most of them left during production.
  • Player Punch: For people who played the first game, Vito and Joe turning out to be the ones who killed Tommy Angelo was a shocking reveal.
  • Porting Disaster: Take 2 has apologized for making the PlayStation 3 version of Mafia II the least feature rich version, compared to the PC (which is the fullest experience) and Xbox 360 versions.
  • That One Level: The dockworker strike level. Enjoy the insanely bad checkpoints.
    • "Enemy of the State". You start off doing a stealth mission, which ends badly regardless of what you do. The entrance is swarming with cops and you have to escape the way you came in from, out of a bathroom window, likely with cops shooting at you the whole while. Wanted, you have to evade more police and get back to Henry. Oh, but what's this?! The tickets you stole expire at midnight! Hurry and deposit them at gas stations before the time limit ends. Said time limit continues even as your character has an unskippable conversation with the attendants. They won't talk to you if you are wanted, which you probably will be because you have to speed if you want to make it. Finally, as icing on the cake, you can't kill anyone or you forfeit a bonus.
      • You can turn off the alarm in the basement and get out of a window on the second floor.You also lose the bonus if you alarm the cops and not just killing anybody.
    • "In Loving Memory of Francesco Potenza". Not due to difficulty (it's the only chapter in the game to have no enemies) but becuase it's a long chapter with Checkpoint Starvation. You literally have only one autosave in the whole chapter, so you better have free time when you play it.
    • "Fix The Fixers" from the Betrayal of Jimmy DLC. Up until this point the difficulty of the Triad plotline missions have been tough, but forgiving. Here the difficulty ramps way up. You're tasked to kill three minibosses in a sprawling warehouse complex. Three guys with obscene amounts of health and plenty of backup. The regular Triad goons are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons rivaling your own arsenal, have pinpoint accuracy and can hit you from halfway across the area, and are posted around every corner and rooftop. Oh, and did I mention the obscene health on the minibosses? You'd better be good at scoring headshots, because these guys won't go down even after dumping a Tommy gun into them. For added fun, the cops will happily join in and the wanted meter will freak out, clearing inside the mission area one second, cops training their guns on you the next.
  • Vindicated by History: Compared to when the game was first released, the game has received more and more praise for its story, gameplay, and customization choices, even with the complaints about the game's sandbox-style map not really being used to its full potential. Not helped by the fact that many of those that played this title were disappointed by Mafia III, which lacked a lot of these features.


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