Tag Archives: Saints Row: The Third

Fending off an alien invasion as the POTUS in Saints Row IV

saints row 4 gd early impressions

Saints Row: The Third was a game I expected to severely dislike, but really enjoyed and even found myself going back to long after completing it to wrap up all its challenges and Achievements, as well simply goof around in. That said, I felt like I had my fill and so I didn’t immediately jump on Saints Row IV when it fell from outer space back in August 2013. I held out, using my limited and sporadic superpower of seeing the future, knowing that Microsoft was going to put up a digital copy of it for free for Gold members in April 2016. Strangely, I started playing it and Sunset Overdrive almost simultaneously, but found a simulated Steelport much more fun and enjoyable to explore.

Shortly after the final events of Saints Row: The Third, The Boss and some of his pals–I played that game as a male character, in case you forgot–are called upon to assist MI-6 agent Asha Odekar in infiltrating a Middle Eastern compound. This is to assassinate former STAG leader Cyrus Temple and prevent a nuclear missile strike against Washington D.C. You know, action movie stuff. The Boss manages to kill Cyrus with ease, but is unable to stop the launch of a nuclear missile. Taking matters into his own hands, he climbs aboard the missile and disarms it in the sky, earning America’s unwavering adoration to the point of being elected the President of the United States. Many years later, aliens show up, abduct all his friends, vaporize the planet, and keep The Boss trapped inside a simulation of Steelport. How rude.

Here’s the truth: Saints Row IV is basically Saints Row: The Third, but with superpowers. I’m totally okay with that. You no longer need to drive cars because you can leap over buildings in a single jump and then glide across districts. Don’t worry; you can still listen to the radio because it is now simply in your head. Mission icons that are on the opposite side of the map take just a minute or so to reach, thanks to super sprinting and the ability to climb up walls. Glitches are par for the course, though there were a few times where the game froze on me and I was unsure it was deliberate or not. It usually wasn’t. But yeah, it’s Saints Row: The Third, but speedier, punchier, and even more zany thanks to there being very few rules inside a simulated environment.

The plot is basically about The Boss gathering up his or her friends, leveling them up to be the best and most bad-ass companions possible, and then taking on Zinyak. I won’t lie and say a part of it didn’t remind me of Suikoden‘s progression towards a grand castle and army. A lot of the missions carry over from Saints Row: The Third though there are a few new ones, like using a UFO to destroy people and the environment for points, as well as high-speed races on foot through the city. A majority of the game’s main missions are constructed in a way to limit the amount of superhero powers you can use, and there’s even throwbacks to things like Metal Gear Solid and side-scrolling brawlers like Streets of Rage. Alas, both of these sections are relatively short and exist only to be jokey.

I’ve beaten Saints Row IV and am now in “clean up” mode, going after a handful of Achievements and whatever challenges seem possible. Those gold medals for races? Nope, not going to happen. Taunting 50 aliens? Eh, unlikely. However, I totally can get X number of kills with specific guns as that’s merely a matter of rinsing and repeating. Plus, there’s an Achievement for spending 40 hours in digital Steelport, and I’m probably only like 10 hours away from that benchmark. So, works in progress. The only thing I’m not looking forward to is grinding out the Dubstep Gun challenge, as dubstep is more like dumbstep. Thank you, thank you. No, please, no autographs.

Just recently, Volition announced its newest game, which is called Agents of M.A.Y.H.E.M. It’s an open world action adventure title set in the city of Seoul, starring a bunch of unique Super Agents from all over the world. I can’t help but see some striking similarities between it and Saints Row IV, though I think having a superhero-powered game on a newer, more powerful console is a wiser option these days. Saints Row IV definitely chugged and dropped to a very low framerate on the Xbox 360 when trying to do some super super sprinting or when there was a bunch of chaos happening thanks to black holes and explosions. Hopefully I’ll be done with digital Steelport by the time Seoul needs saving.

2016 Game Review Haiku, #37 – Saints Row IV

2015 gd games completed saints row iv

Earth is gone, POTUS
Out for revenge on Zinyak
Superpowers help

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

Finished up everything in Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row the Third final blog post

Back in May 2012, y’know, two years ago, I polished off the last of the assassination targets in Saints Row: The Third as I pursued completing that game fully to 100%. And by fully, I mean doing everything there is to do in the main vanilla game–I never ended up buying any of the DLC due to less-than-stellar reviews–and that includes a bunch of small things that, more or less, equate to grinding. Thankfully, fun grinding. Here, let me list what I still had on my saintly to-do list:

  • Complete all 30 vehicle theft targets
  • Complete all 41 challenges
  • Start the game over and complete Act 1 in a different way

Well, I’m happy to report that I finally, y’know, two years later, finished off all of these goals. Now, truthfully, it did not take me two straight years to do this, as I ended up playing Saints Row: The Third again sporadically, but when I did get back into it, it was for a good while.

I first focused on the vehicle theft targets, squeezing one or two in during my lunch hour whenever I did get around to turning on the ol’ Xbox 360. These missions were made much easier thanks to being able to use your avatar’s cell phone to wipe either the cop alertness or the gang alertness after you steal the car. This makes driving it back to the chop shop a breeze as nobody is now chasing you and you can cruise to the location in style, blasting anything but talk radio. But it takes some decent amount of in-game time to respawn the two wipes, so I’d usually just goof around for a bit or go after another goal while waiting. Stealing the army vehicles was probably the toughest, as the helicopters would get shot down before I could make the call, thus me wasting the opportunity.

The 41 challenges…by the time Saints Row: The Third was over, I’d say I had almost half of them completed. Many, like grenade kills, cars destroyed, and hoods found get unlocked easily by just playing the game. Other challenges, like streaking and robbing stores, I didn’t even know you could do, but were easy enough to polish off once I got the hang of it. And then there were the ones that just required grinding, doing them over and over and over: hostages taken, gang members taunted, vehicle surfing time, EMUs destroyed, and survival missions. Thankfully, the game is just fun from top to bottom and, due to all upgrades purchased, it is nearly impossible for the main character to die, so you can just go ape-shit with grenades and rocket launchers. The only damper was having to wait five minutes for your cell phone to ring to start a new survival mission, especially knowing you had like fifteen more to do after it; I guess I shouldn’t have ignored it so much during the main campaign, but, like real life me, I’m hesitant to pick up a phone when I don’t recognize the caller.

Starting the game over and burning through the first main missions of Act 1 again takes around an hour or so, and it’s still a blast. I forgot how many big and goofy moments are there early on, like parachuting into the penthouse. I decided to play as a woman this time around, and I noticed a few lines of dialogue had changed to specifically reference this. Anyways, at the end of Act 1, you get a choice to blow up a tower or save it by driving the bomb away. In my original playthrough, I protected the tower, but this time I let it crumble to dust and ruin, and listen to the sweet sound of the last Achievement popping. Well, the last one I can get without dipping into the unnecessary DLC. If I still had that list in the right sidebar, you’d totally see a green star next to its name.

So, Saints Row: The Third is a very good grieving game. It is a game you can lose yourself in without dedicating too much time or emotion, and it makes for a great slice of distraction. Want to just cause chaos with the cops for minutes on end? Go for it. Want to see how many people you can knee in the nuts in a row? Go for it. Ever try taking out a tank with a chainsaw? I have. Last year, after Ryan Davis passed away, I remember Jeff Gerstmann talking on one of the Bombcasts a little bit about replaying Saints Row: The Third with cheats turned on, just goofing around and not having a care about the consequences. It’s such an easy game to get into and play, and I’m thankful to have it in my collection.

Well, I’ve squeezed every last purple-colored drop out of Saints Row: The Third, deleted my save data, and put the game back on the shelf where it will sit untouched for, likely, the rest of my existence. Honestly, it’s more like a pile near my game shelf. But either way, it’s done, and I’m done with it. Had a fantastic time with it over the last few years, but I’m not moving on to Saints Row IV any time soon as I have plenty of other different games asking for my attention. Not sure what will hit that sweet spot next…

Achievements of the Week – The Professional Third and 30 Kill Screen Edition

I missed out on doing Achievements of the Week last week as I was away on business. Actually, I was in New York City to sell comics with my wife and friends at MoCCA Festival 2012, which is technically a business venture of our own, one intermingled with pleasure as comics sure are dang fun. It just always sounds so much more professional to say “on business” versus “selling comic books,” and I strive to come across professional, day in, day out. Hmm…okay, that’s not true. I just wanted some harmony to exist between these words I type and an Achievement I unlocked in Trials Evolution, which you’ll see in a sec. The things I do for syncrisis…

So, this is another grab at playing catch up. Four games get covered, with two of them limelighting the Achievements you get for completing the games. Mmm. I really do like completing games. It’s a good goal to currently have as I have a huge backlog of stuff unfinished or even untouched and not a lot of exciting titles coming out in the near future. Yeah, I’m not counting Game of Thrones: The Game as exciting. But that sense of satisfaction and seeing something all the way through is rewarding on its own.

Right, let’s go.

From Fez…


Warp zone (15G): Like folding a sheet of paper.


Kill screen (25G): Visited the Visitors.

Yeah, I beat the game. I saw its ending. I sat there confused and smiled at a certain part. I started New Game+. I still don’t really understand everything though I do think about cubes and shapes and what they ultimately mean in life a lot more these days.

From Trials Evolution…


The Professional (30G): Successfully complete the single player career.


Extreme Prejudice (20G): Complete any Extreme track.

Don’t ask me how I got this. Honestly, I don’t remember. I must have completed one of the extreme tracks in a wild fever, eyes unblinking, hands moving with speed and skill, the track falling apart as I vroom vroomed forward, a monster making its way to victory.

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Hero of Skyrim (30G): Capture Solitude or Windhelm

The realm is nearly all mine. Also, I talked about the Achievement for obtaining 100,000 gold over here.

From Saints Row: The Third…


Third and 30 (40G): Played SR3 for 30+ hours, why stop now!?

Got this during my lunchbreak today. More specifically, I got this after I left the game on in the background and went and did the dishes and drank some iced tea. Talk about skills.

So, how have the last two weeks been for you and your ol’ Xbox 360? Tell me about an Achievement you’ve gotten recently. If not, I might not get out bed tomorrow from lack of love–and yeah, that’d be your fault. So, please, be kind. Share with the world your victories. I’ve already done my part.

Achievements of the Week – The Debunked Mr. Oddjob Smells Funny Edition

Last edition of Achievements of the Week was all about Saints Row: The Third. That makes sense to me, but I do aim for variety throughout the week despite my limited hours, and so I am pleased to announce that this week’s entry is about Saints Row: The Thirdand Rage. Hmm. So, two games is better than one. Maybe I’ll cover three next week as I am itching to play a little more Mass Effect 2, what with that newest space romp hitting stores a few days ago and everyone talking about it like there’s no tomorrow. Spoiler: there’s a tomorrow.

All right. Let’s get this non-televised show on the road.

From Saints Row: The Third…


Flash the Pan (10G): Destroyed all Gang Operations.

With the F-69 VTOL, this was easy clean-up work, though it did take me some time to figure out there was one gang operation on the roof of a tall building.


Your Backseat Smells Funny (20G): Completed all instances of Escort.

There, there. Nice, tiger. Calm, tiger.


Bright Lights, Big City (80G): Completed all City Takeover, Steelport is yours!

From Rage…


Passive Aggressive (30G): Get 3 kills with a single Sentry Bot

I love the name of this Achievement as it describes me and my play style perfectly.


Debunked (10G): Complete Shrouded Bunker in the Campaign


Mr. Oddjob (40G): Complete 5 Job Board Quests in one play-through

I have now crossed the 29,000 Gamerscore checkmark, with a perfect 30,000 definitely in sight. Less than 1,000 points to go. As I’m wont to do, I’m going to try to hit that number on the spot, so watch from afar as I creep closer and closer and pay even more attention to the number of points each Achievement gives me. Oh yeah, it’s gonna be wild.

What have y’all been up to? Want to share any cool Achievements from Mass Effect 3? If so, you know where to do it. Psst. Right below here.

Achievements of the Week – The Who Loves the American Dream Edition

Due to some recent traveling, I was unable to do an Achievements of the Week post two times in a row. Which is fine, actually, as during those car- and con-laden days I was most definitely not gaming on my Xbox 360, but rather standing behind a table and selling copies of my bad comics to curious onlookers. With that said, today’s entry is going to be a little lean on variety as all I’ve really played on the ol’ Xbox 360 over the past twenty-one days is Saints Row: The Third–and in short spurts at that. Usually while waiting for water to boil for tea or Ramen. Sure, I’ve dabbled in a lot of Steam games as of late, but I don’t think I am going to include those ones much in these weekly roundups.

Okay, here we go with the purple pics then.

From Saints Row: The Third…


The American Dream (10G): Pimped out 10 vehicles.


Who Loves Ya Baby (10G): Killed 50 brutes, they just wanted hugs you jerk!


Hanging With Mr. Pierce (25G): Took control of the entire Downtown district for the Saints.

There’s a couple more, but that’s good enough for now. Besides, I kinda already covered them right over here.

This weekend is all about comics and scripting and getting my car registered in Pennsylvania, but I am sure I will sneak away for some gaming time. I mean, I’m about an hour and a half away from the Achievement that you get for playing Saints Row: The Third for at least thirty hours. Oh boy. I can do it.

What are your Achievement goals this week? Trying to finish up Mass Effect 2 in preparation for Mass Effect 3? If so, I’m jealous. I will probably finish my Mass Effect 2 playthrough by early 2056 at this rate. Well, let me know.

2012 Game Review Haiku, #1 – Saints Row: The Third

Insane saint, no rules
Shootin’, drivin’, fallin’ down
Happy as tiger

For all the games I complete in 2012, instead of wasting time writing a review made up of points and thoughts I’ve probably already expressed here in various posts at Grinding Down, I’m instead just going to write a haiku about it. So there.