Saints Row: the third (xbox 360)


Spoilers ahead

Being a fortunate person I have been able to  extensively play Dead Island and Saints Row the third early. “An outrageous energetic time killer.”  Not meant to take itself too seriously while being a over the top thrill ride. Having friends who are game can be quite beneficial thus far it has given me the ability to play several new titles for free. A little off topic I think if gamer traded games amongst each other openly as a whole it would benefit the community; instead of wasting 40-80.00 dollars on a brand new copy why not borrow it from a fellow gamer?

Highlights

  • Comparison: Saints Row vs. Grand theft auto
  • Characters in-depth
  • Platinum edition: worth it?
  • Custom paradise: changing values from brow to iris
  • Professor Genki’s ethical climax

Without much observation a casual player may not see much difference between Saints Row  and the Grand theft auto franchise, but in fact both series have considerable differences. Grand theft auto factually follow rules of reality, historical/regional accuracy, law enforcement response and limitations based on physics. Whereas Saints Row loosely regards realism, police may respond to disturbances created through killing innocent citizens but mainly when the player hits a cop car. Within the universe of grand theft auto police pursue the player as they would in the real world and in a timely fashion. And unlike Saints Row a notoriety radius must be  outrun in order to escape the authorities. Spawning mechanics within Grand theft auto seems more deliberate in contrast to Saints Row. In an informal way endless re-spawning of enemies can indicate the task or objective has not been completed (SR). Reactions from NPC’s differ in the sense that citizen’s will become aggravated if pushed or bumped too much. Versus SR where pedestrians will hand signal obscenities, swear or dive to safety if the player tries to hit them with their car and run if the player shoots their firearms.

Pierce

Easily a useless character, whenever you need backup he never answers his phone, granted if he does instead of focusing on waves of Luchadores, Morning stars, Deckers or STAG all attention must be on keeping him alive. Its either protect Pierce or fail the mission point blank. At least Shaundi can hold her own, half the time I wanted to exclude his involvement entirely. Being utterly careless invited hoes into Third Street Saints headquarters carried a significant level of fault in allowing strippers to infiltrate disguised as ladies of the night who in reality where gun totting assassins. Having beaten the entire game, can say with strong convictions Pierce was often times a contributing factor to delaying progress and in countless cases prevented me from progressing. Whether there were not enough upgrades or if my style of confrontation was a bit more head on, does not detract from his problematic presence in-game.

Johnny Gat

Sexy, brazen and built like a linebacker he is a force to be reckoned with. As mentioned by commentators through the series he has survived and withstood attacks normal human being would not have been able to walk away from, let alone with as much style. His transformation for SR: 3 traded in his signature spiked two toned do for a slimmer muscular bod and slicked back hair. By level two players have been apprehended by law enforcement and are approached by the Syndicate. Unwilling to accept giving up a large percentage of profit and control Johnny retaliates. During a cut scene the protagonist and Shaundi contact Johnny via intercom after navigating the jumbo jets cargo hold. A highly suggestive break in communication promptly followed by a barrage of gunfire leads us to think he has been killed. However developers neither confirm nor deny these allegations instead make mention to Saints Row 4 [i]. While most player are convinced Johnny is dead, evident by several video tributes posted on YouTube, certain hopefuls myself including sincerely hold out for seeing him return.

Shaundi

For some odd reason or another Shaundi has become a sex  symbol within the Saints organization, well able to prove her title by being slapped on the cover of Playboy naked as Virtual Vixen as Miss December 2008 [ii]. Personally I felt Viola and Kiki DeWynter were far more attractive and seemed to be brand new faces representing Volition’s latest installment of sheer hyperactive madness. Being my third choice as a homie, Shaundi knows her way around weaponry and leaves me with little concern when pursuing a high profile situation. If she did not already portray herself as a promiscuous tease I might consider feeling empowered by such a heavy female hitter, but would rather stick with Viola or Kenzie in that department.

Oleg Kirrlov

Found in Phillipe Loren’s modern  tower of Babylon serving as a template for a monstrous cloning process, exclusively warranted by the Luchadores and Morning star factions. After being freed by the player he vows in aiding the third street saints so long as they oppose Phillipe, hinting  if not for their mutual hatred he could have become a dangerous adversary. Virtually unstoppable Oleg’s intellect and gentlemanly mannerisms are evident during cinematic cut scenes playing chess with Pierce. And despite at first having contempt for Viola DeWynter states “he always behaves like a gentleman” and says ladies first letting her take cover from STAG before himself and the protagonist. Should the player chose to destroy the Syndicates cloning facility this includes the research, leaves Oleg the only remaining brute. Whether or not Volition decides to make a continuation of brutes canon remains to be seen.

Angel

Stripped of his former glory as a pro wrestler Angel Lopez lost all will to reclaim his pride until the Saints dragged him from the jaws of death. Giving him initiative for revenge on Eddy aka Killbane, take back his mask and no longer be a broken man. Angel has a fearless outlook on life, balancing in-between intrepid and insane. But in a highly admirable way he enjoys a sense of liberty most people will never experience. He never backs down from a challenge even if it comes in the form of a fully aggravated teeth bearing tiger. If I were going to the gates of hell Angel De La Muerte is someone I would want by my side.

Zimos

While creators refer very fondly of him I find his lack of ethics detestable and his supposed “swagger” non existent [iii]. Naturally I frown upon human trafficking and while the protagonist destroys Morning Stars sex trade it is no more commendable for the Third Street Saints to be a lesser of two evils, it still perpetuates women being held against their will to earn profits they will never see, but are left with degradation, addictions and STD’s. I was angry with the fact that such an open world game would not allow a third option to refuse certain “financial prospects” in setting the girls from the ship containers free. In my blunt opinion he is “a bono fide pimp into all sorts of kink with the most annoying voice in history.”

Viola DeWynter

Graduate of Harvard University, renowned for her business management skills, but mostly for her calculating logic and “buxom figure” hidden underneath her black sweater & miniskirt. An archetypal femme fatale Viola initially serves as a  sub-primary antagonist and heiress alongside her sister to the Morning Star Empire. But soon after witnessing her sisters murder at the literal hands of Killbane and exacts vengeance in alliance with the Saints. While serving as an equitable Allie, Shaundi, Kenzie Kensington and Oleg have an understandable mistrust and dislike for her.

Kenzie Kensington

Described as a reclusive shut-in who trades technology for human interaction, former CIA intelligence and gifted hacker formers her bonds as thanks for being rescued from Matt Miller and his legion of Deckers. Kenzie fights along side the Saints but has alternate views of the world which sometimes cause clashes. Her goals are more honorable in certain respects, as she follows set protocols further nodding to her former occupation. While with the protagonist she implies technology can satisfy basic needs including intimacy. Not particularly socially suave she lacks tact to be able to interact with others.

Platinum Edition

Comparatively sold on amazon for nearly $80.00 from 100.00 and at Gamestop at full retail price [iv], but that’s to be expected. This package comes complete with

  • Exclusive Custom Molded Saints Row Headset
  • Professor Genki Hyper-Ordinary Pre-Order Pack
  • Man-A-Pult Car
  • “Octopuss Gun”
  • Genki Suit
  • Exclusive in-game soundtrack.
  • Saints Row: The Third game

Reviewers of the box set unofficially seem impressed with the goodies inside, but I find value versus compensation questionable. Most benefits are game fringe benefits, but was disappointed at how little trinkets were included. I would liked to have seen a headset fully game capable (able to be used for online co-op, wireless music transmitting and cellphone compatibility), vinyl figures, exclusive artwork much like Portal 2’s Collector’s edition guide’s [v] (now 17% off on valve’s store) and a distribution of limited quantity item only available to P.E. (Platinum Edition) owners. But instead all we get a pair of headphones that just play music, a flimsy cd, an extra mascot costume, Genki related car and pre-order pack which you could probably get cheaper if it was sold as a downloadable content and a slimy Octopus gun with an over priced copy of SR: T3. All in all Volition made an excellent game, but did not invest half as much time into creating a decent box set. Much like Sucker Punch’s disgraceful slapped together soundtrack and unnecessary re-releases of 3-d/High Definition video games and movies to rack in bucks for desperate industries. Overall I rate this special feature at a D-, you are better off requesting customized SR items on etsy.com or crafting something yourself.

Set Your values (slopes, crowns and nose bridges)

One beautiful option which sets SR apart from GTA bar none is customizable characters. From Devil May Cry’s video game hunk Dante to Rihanna SR’s initiation station can create it with proper manipulation and a ton of patience. The outlandishness adds to the appeal, almost like an American shooter flick. Chances are hitting fifteen targets in under a minute either means your Annie Oakley or in Hollywood land. As a constantly evolving market, gaming pushes the envelope every year spitting out new ideas and concepts all meant to enhance our game play and its maximum potential. Pairing up upgrades, subjective storyline with this intricate tool was genius and the only logical decision. What’s the point of having an open-world game without being able to dictate the look of the person you are going to have to control all day? Sloping forehead, droopy eyes, upturned chin, undefined jaw line? It is yours to pick.

Professor Genki‘s Super Ethical Climax

An epileptic’s worst nightmare and shooter fans pipe dream. If there ever were a visual representation of what is feels to have psychedelics in your system this odd ball game show would be it. Reminding me somewhat of Japanese television with strange challenges, rules and everything from left field. Gunning down mascots, evading traps and avoiding the pandas words barely describe how weird Professor Genki truly is. However it seems Steelport resident’s and criminal factions are drawn to this killing ground for one reason, cash. Collecting insurance fraud, operating a traveling escort service while avoiding paparazzi vans, finding crates of sex dolls and driving into the oncoming lanes in traffic are among several venues which earn sweet rewards. Without real method to the madness it is just a fun way to pass the time, even if the “cat girls” or Prof. Genki jumpsuit make absolutely no sense. [vi]

Soundtrack 10/10

Radio stations are setup much like GTA’s franchise and I have found a love for the classical station in particular. Tracks in-game and on the OST are a perfect blend which fit perfectly. Nothing about these selections seem out of place, in fact it is perfectly ideal.

Graphics 7/10

Pleasantly character models and cut scenes do not differ which is refreshing though the game engine appears older almost faithfully built off of its predecessor for SR 2, but does not disappoint me in any way. Although let it be noted visually it does not stun me.

Storyline 7/10

Not meant to be taken seriously, but left me with real emotions when face with having to save Shaundi and Viola over pursuing Killbane or witnessing Gat’s death in the second mission.

Voice acting 9.5/10

Quite realistic with appropriate emotional responses; dialogue was probably accurate to what a majority of adults use. I am a prude and did not appreciate all the sexual references, but give recognition to actors for producing excellent performances by bringing their pix-elated counterparts to life.

Developers 10/10

Honorable mention to THQ, Volition and companies dedicated to making this game changer, I expect to see great things from all parties in the future.

Overall reception of the game from my point of view; well worth renting, high replay value, few draw backs, wonderful improvisation on glitches and thoughtful execution of their entire project.


[i]. Halo.Bungie.org. Web. 29 Mar 2012

[ii].  User Ollie1980. “Shaundi Character.” Saints Row Wikia. Wikia, 27 Mar 2012. Web. 29 Mar 2012.

[iii].  User Axel909. “Zimos Character.” Saints Row Wikia. Wikia, 23 Mar 2012. Web. 29 Mar 2012

[iv]. No author. “Saints Row: The Third Platinum Edition.” Amazon.com, Amazon, 29 Mar 2012. Web. 29 Mar 2012.

[v]. Valve “Portal 2 Collectors Editon Guide.” store.valvesoftware.com, facebook, 29 Mar 2012. Web. Mar 29 2012.

[vi]. User542. “Genki Girls.” saintsrow.wikia.com, Wikia. 25 Mar 2012. Web. 29 Mar 2012.

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