BRR: Saints Row: The Third – DLC

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Hello there, it’s Saints Row month, but it will end with a piece about Fez next Sunday, and enjoy these mini-reviews on the Saints Row DLC.

Side mini-review of Genki Bowl VII:
As for the first DLC pack, Genki Bowl VII, I thought it was another brief peak in the game’s quality.  While the mini-games are reused, and there are only two instances of each, the four activities in the game are solid at the very least.  The first Activity, Apocalypse Genki, is just the normal SERC Genki game from the main game, but there are now sharks, and sharks make everything better.  The next activity has you driving with the professor himself, giving him an erection by running over pedestrians, and killing enough of them to get a four-way flamethrower.  It is the escort activity, but it’s been given both a furry scientist whose giant foam head is his actual head, and the childish bloodlust that this game shines in.  This is followed by another clone of Mayhem, except now you are controlling a giant ball of yarn and blowing shit up by rolling over it.  Need I say more? 

 The final activity is Sad Panda Skyblazing.  You are a flying sad panda, who needs to pop giant balloons with your fuzzy belly and fly through rings like the game wants to remind people of Superman 64.  And go down to rooftops and slice up mascots with a chainsaw, and leave by firing yourself out of a cannon.  This is all made even more enjoyable by the commentators from the Main game’s SERC, who, alongside a new co-commentator, describe the sheer awesomeness of these Activities.  This pack may seem like everything good about Saints Row: The Third, and it pretty much is, but it only lasted me about 90 minutes.  While I will eventually return to replay these side missions, I don’t think that you should breeze through a game that you bought for $7 in less than two hours.  

Side mini-review of Gangstas in Space:
The next DLC pack features a series of story driven missions about the Gangstas in Space film that was hinted at during one of the endings of the main game.  However, these missions are average at best.  Sure, they introduce new characters and laser weapons, but there is just not a lot of variety.  All you do is run and gun, drive whilst blowing things up, go through a shooting range where you see some TV show props, and maybe some references.  

It also feels too tame, with the most insane point being one where a new companion of yours takes a prop spaceship with fully functional lasers and rams it into the main antagonist of this DLC.  There is a scene in which the Protagonist sees a prop that looks like that yellow mech suit from Aliens, to which their eyes gleam with joy.  Only for your new companion to point out that it is not real and there will be no giant robot battling.  There is also some especially lazy writing that is based around the idea that the Protagonist cannot act, meaning that the voice actors need to exaggerate that fact for the entirety of this pack, which is only about 70 or so minutes.  

I also must ask whether this is tied in with the ending mission of the main game, because the plot appears to be nothing like the first one.  I understand saving space by using mostly city maps, but I think that I’m just bummed about the lack of a gravity manipulation room.  It’s that kind of stuff that makes Saints Row shine, not this bland story of a dickish director who is as funny as an actual film snob, so good job at making me want to see a character hospitalized.  

If you really need another Saints Row fix, you are far too impatient, since you got an entire game about 5 months ago.  But you should look elsewhere, this is a prime example of what does not work in Saints Row: The Third.  Bad writing, wooden characters, an unwanted tameness, and just the same gameplay that we saw in the main game, but we cannot go back and play it, since they removed the mission replay option.  In short, you know your DLC Mission pack is bad if the best thing I can say about it is the fact that you can dress up your crew as slutty aliens.

Side mini-review of The Trouble with Clones:
As a massive release date hike, the final announced DLC pack for Saints Row: The Third, except for this one, which may or may not be real  //Nope, it is real, and it sounds amazing//,  was released in March 2012 as opposed to the original date of Winter 2012.  Now this could mean one of many things right from the get go.  Either Volition underestimated their staff’s speed, the DLC’s length, or they just want to forget about the year of DLC and make a complete edition to get that other million people who held off on the title.  But back to the DLC at hand, the story focuses on an embarrassingly generic nerd character who probably wore a retainer to sound “nerdier”.  I could go into a talk about how this is a disgusting oversimplification that would alienate a large portion of the fanbase, because you are inadvertently mocking the majority of people who would play Saints Row: The Third.  Since I’m sure they are like me and consider themselves nerds to a certain extent, but I’m just going to ignore it and focus on the actual plot.  

As the title implies, this episode has the Saints, well just the Protagonist and Pierce, fighting against troublesome clones, as in a mix between a Brute and Johnny Gat, and a female Brute from the Gangstas in Space DLC and Aisha, the pop idol from the first two games.  You are tasked with taking down the hybrid of a man who killed about 5% of a city, and a 8-foot tall muscle bound giant.  During this you are given a gun that shoots bees, an upgraded RPG, and witness Pierce dressing in drag while singing Aisha’s songs.  Along with something that I have wanted since the first hour of the game, a Radioactive version of the Saints abortion causing energy drink, Saints Flow.  This may be considered a spoiler, but it’s the best selling point of this DLC, the fact that you can launch Hadokens at helicopters, run at 55 mph, and punch Brutes while comic style sound effect balloons pop up.  It was a much needed sequence after the whole Gangstas in Space pack left me Blue Balled, and it was in a commercial within the game, so everybody wanted to mess around with it.  

Other than that it’s more missions that range from mediocre to pretty damn fun.  Although, there should be some kind of code that says when you use something as a weapon in a sandbox game, you should be able to use that anywhere.  I say this since the gun that shoots bees, and the Magical can of Saints Flow are not accessible outside of the mission, wish are thankfully replayable, but only after you replay through the ones before them, because a level select screen is really tough to make.  I understand how there are story specific choices in the game, but you could remove the second option, forcing you to redo your original one, it couldn’t be that hard.  

In the end, I’d say that Saints Row: The Third was a disappointment.  I was very hyped up for this game, and I was used to the improvements made from Saints Row 1 to Saints Row 2, but there are too many things about this game that feel phoned in.  From an fairly lacking main game, and some overall average DLC that was supposed to expand the main game, but it only did so by a total of 4 hours for me.  Meaning that I spent $10 for an average 4 hour long expansion pack, and I still feel like I did not get my money’s worth, even though I got it for half off.  Let’s just hope that Volition will make another pack where you’re, say, fighting against giant alien mascots of space beverages while exploring space hell in a convertible hovercraft with a turret for a backseat.  And your driving with a trio of Zombies to save Zombie Gat’s Girlfriend from a Cthulhu-like space rapper.  After defeating the squid monster, you and the Saints throw an 80’s style concert, only to have it broken up by Burt Reynolds riding a space whale.  You then need to fist fight Burt Reynolds, who is revealed to be your Father, while on top of a whale that’s going through the Universe at the speed of sound.  And to defeat Burt Reynolds, you must throw him into the sun, which causes worldwide radiation, which kills half the population, and gives the Saints and a few rival gang members and adolescents super powers.  Which leads to the best sandbox game ever, one where you are a customizable new protagonist with 12 unique sets of powers that you can alter between at Image As Designed, the plastic surgery clinic.  Sorry, that’s just me thinking about what Saints Row 4 could be, and how it could be the best sandbox game ever, but I’m autistic, my options hold as much weight as air.//Technically I am autistic, because my school and teachers said so, I may need to get tested again, but I want to use this cushion to my advantage, because I am horrible like that.  I do suppose that last sentence can demonstrate my lack of empathy, but I am really just hit or miss with Asper- Why the hell am I talking about this?  I want to plug the crap out of Saints Row: The Third – Enter the Dominatrix, which will get its own post when I see some gameplay.  However, it is Saints Row with super powers, which sounds really bad, since where do you got from there?  But it is Saints Row, with super powers!

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