Tag Archives: Steelport

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.

The Daedalus is simply no match for the leader of The Saints

I continue to play clean-up in Saints Row: The Third, incremental bit by incremental bit, and since I will be away from the ol’ Xbox 360 for a few days I figured I’d put some quality time into Steelport last night.

Just crossed the twenty-six hour mark, according to my save file, and there’s still plenty to do in terms of side activities and challenges. But I am crossing items off my imaginary to-do list, which has all been made ten times easier thanks to completely leveling up my transgendered hero and unlocking perks wherein he/she has unlimited ammo, can sprint forever, and can’t take damage. Here, proof of my doings:

Tune In, Drop Off (20G): Completed all instances of Trafficking.

Life of the Party (20G): 100% of Collectibles found. Drugs, Sex, Cash, and Celebrity… What else is there?

Love/Hate Relationship (10G): Taunted/Complimented 50 gang members, are you a fighter or a lover?

Mr. Fury Would Be Proud (30G): Completed Act 3 in one way.

Again, I censored that last Achievement so as not to spoil y’all on what actually happens. Unless the Achievement’s very name is spoilery, but I can’t tell. No idea who this Mr. Fury is and how he relates to the Saints Row franchise, but maybe I just haven’t been paying attention or something. However, as an editor and a lover of words and reading and interpreting things to no end, I find it interesting that the Gangstas…In Space! ending, wherein you save your friend’s life over hunting down the main villain, uses the phrase “in another way,” implying that the true and main way to complete the game is by letting your friend die and taking out he who threatened all you stood for. I guess I did them out of order. Oh well.

However, whenever I have a choice to save someone’s life in a videogame, I save them. Or try as much as possible. In Chrono Trigger, I did not challenge Magus to another duel, letting him join my party. In Dragon Age: Origins, I rescued Sten from his cage, even if I ended up never using him combat. In Mass Effect, I made my choices and saved who I could. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I tried and tried and tried to save a certain someone, but kept failing due to my lack of skills and ammo from a stealth-focused playthrough, but I promised myself that I will go back and try again, because she’s worth saving. But yeah, I like saving people. Stick close to me, and you’ll probably be okay.

And so it was not to my liking to complete Saints Row: The Third this way, but it had to happen. I was curious what kind of effect it would have, and I have to say that it was more fun storming a crazy battleship in the sky then going to Mars and filming a faux movie. Unfortunately, that fun came at a cost. There’s now one less homie to phone in during my times of trouble.

You can relax for a bit, Steelport. Don’t have to worry about some crazy green-haired, silver-skinned woman-man going on a shooting spree right now. But I’ll be back soon, I promise.

Activities from Saints Row: The Third in order of fun

Last night, as I continued to chip away at slowly conquering all of Steelport in Saints Row: The Third, as well as earn that Achievement for playing for at least thirty hours, I finished off another activity fully, earning this little prize with a funny name:

Porkchop Sandwiches (20G): Completed all instances of Trail Blazing.

At around 83% completion and a logged 23 hours, I’ve now done all instances of three activities: Guardian Angel, Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax, and Trail Blazing. The first one is completed by just playing the story as there is only two instances of it, and the other two had six instances each, but were ones that I actually enjoyed playing, meaning I sought them out. The other seven activities are…eh, not terribly entertaining. And some are just downright difficult, and it’s always frustrating to get to the very end of an activity and fail by some small mistake.

And so, because I’m in the mood for a list, here’s what I think are the best activities in Saints Row: The Third, from most fun to least fun:

  • Professor Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax – It’s a gameshow, wherein you run around, shot mascots, and dodge fire/shock traps. When you’ve earned enough points, the exit opens up. It’s quick, tense, and padded with colorful commentary.
  • Trail Blazing – Riding around on a deadly quad, hitting checkpoints, as well as innocent civilians and vehicles for bonus time. When stuff starts exploding, it’s just pure chaos.
  • Mayhem – You get a time limit and a bunch of deadly toys to hit a threshold of damage points. I’ve tried this one instance of it over and over, but I keep dying at the very end. Me thinks I need to wait until I have unlocked the “take no damage” perks.
  • Tank Mayhem – Like Mayhem, but you’re in a tank. One might think this would be more fun than generic mayhem, but it’s just way too easy to rack up points in a tank. You don’t even have to look at the screen to win.
  • Guardian Angel – Watching over a friend with either a sniper rifle or rocket launcher. I’m not the best sniper that ever sniped so this wasn’t a stellar session.
  • Escort – This comes in two forms: tiger and non-tiger. You basically have to drive someone or some animal around, keeping them calm while every car tries to sideswipe you.
  • Snatch – Rescuing hookers. I couldn’t figure out how to get them to get into my car. They just stood there.
  • Trafficking – You ride around as the passenger as your ally drives to and fro to take care of some business. Just protect them for as long as you can. Need “unlimited ammo” and “instant reload” perks to make this much easier.
  • Heli Assault – Helicopter controls are the worst. It’s like controlling a balloon of swooshing water. I hate it, and end up hitting my homie’s car more often than not with tossed rockets.
  • Insurance Fraud – Throw yourself into traffic and earn points by bouncing off cars. It’d be nice if there was actually traffic to throw yourself into, but every time I get to a “hot spot” it is devoid of automotive life. Meh.

I think  my next sit-down with Saints Row: The Third will be spent on getting the remainder of the collectibles–there’s like 10 left–and wiping out some more gangs. Eventually, I’ll get back to these activities. Yes, even the non-fun ones. It’s the completionist in me. At least this is all helping me get closer to the 30 hours Achievement. See, the silver lining. Sigh.