Saints Row: The Third - GenkiBowl VII Review

Genkibowl VII, the name is far more grandiose than the DLC itself. Released during the time of year when the Super Bowl dominates the country's collective consciousness and borrowing its Roman numerical moniker to further solidify the referential connection, you might expect something big and overwhelmingly over-the-top considering the nature of Saints Row: The Third � and especially that of its mad scientist-feline hybrid Japanese game show host that lends his name to the DLC. What you actually do get is a collection of four new (sort of) types of side mission activities and two instances of each, sandwiched between a couple of short cutscenes.

The first activity is a rehash of the game show from the original game that has you running a gauntlet of murderous costumed mascots trying to score enough points so that the exit opens and you can leave with your life. This time around the game show has been given a jungle-theme and the difficulty has been increased, primarily because it can be hard to find the exit but also because the time limits have been made pretty tight. There are now deadly shark pools into which you can toss an unfortunate mascot; these pools are kind of cool but not worth the price of admission on their own. Frankly I found these levels on the whole to be more frustrating than fun, and the best part was when I cleared them and knew I wouldn't have to play them again.

The next activity is an escort mission that's pretty similar to the other escort missions in the game. In this case you're escorting Professor Genki himself while avoiding the news vans of the paparazzi. The goal is to max out Professor Genki's pleasure meter before filling his annoyance meter. He gets happier if you run over pedestrians or fulfill his demands to do things like kill mascots or destroy the other cars in traffic, and he grows annoyed if the news vans get too close. The fun factor on the two escort missions is about that of the other escort missions in the game, so your enjoyment of these will mirror how much you enjoyed the original escort missions.

Next up we have a pair of mayhem missions, but the tank has been replaced by a gigantic ball of yarn. I'm not really sure how your character is supposedly controlling the ball as it rolls down city streets crushing everything in its path, but I suppose the cat-yarn connection is supposed to be enough for you to go on. This activity is really a case of trying to stick a round ball of yarn into a square hole of a game engine; that is, it's pretty hard to control the yarn and you'll spend a lot of time trying to get it unstuck and rolling again. To me, these levels felt about as much fun as it would be to try to turn an RV around on a residential street using a multipoint turn. And no, I wouldn't find that to be too much fun.

Saints Row: The Third - GenkiBowl VII screenshot 3

Unfortunately, this isn't as fun as it looks...

Lastly we have a skydiving activity that has you dropping through the sky wearing a panda suit while trying to fly through rings and bounce off of balloons and ultimately trying to chainsaw to death a few mascots upon landing. Did you try the basejumping activity in the game? Remember how hard it was precisely control the parachute as you were coming in for a landing? Well, you had one thing to do during that activity, so imagine trying to accomplish a series of goals. And there you have panda skydiving.

The cost of Genkibowl VII isn't worth the quantity of gameplay you get for your money, and the quality of the gameplay isn't good enough to justify committing to a Season Pass at this point. I had a lot of fun with Saints Row: The Third, I expected more out of Professor Genki.

Final Rating: 50%. Professor Genki, your bowl is far from super.


Also reviewed on:
  •  · PlayStation 3 

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