Saints Row: The Third - Genkibowl VII DLC Review
Having launched three months ago, Saints Row: The Third is now host to its first downloadable mission pack, Genkibowl VII. After delivering one of the most satisfyingly ridiculous experiences of 2011, developer Volition looks to add more life to its stellar open world crime fest. Genkibowl VII is the first of three downloadable mission packs due out this year, and it's certainly an ambitious little bag of extra content, even if it is over way too soon.
Genkibowl VII is exactly what it sounds like: It's a contest with different Genki-themed Activities to engage in, all of which are pretty crazy. There are four new Activities in total, and they're all fun to play. That said, three of the four are pretty much revamped versions of Activities already included in the main game. Admittedly, that's a bit disappointing, though that disappointment is likely to strike until after you've had fun playing Genki Bowl VII.
The first new Activity is Genki Apocalypse. Like the Super Ethical Reality Climax Activity seen throughout the city of Steelport, Genki Apocalypse tasks you with navigating through corridors and open rooms full of enemies, targets, and health. The same rules as the original game apply here. Shooting enemies, Ethical targets, and Money Shot targets will earn you cash toward your preset goal, while shooting Sad Panda targets will decrease your cash. Genki Apocalypse features a jungle theme, and there are shark-infested areas that you can toss your mascot enemies into. Considering Super Ethical Reality Climax is one of the best Activities in Saints Row: The Third, it should come as no surprise that Genki Apocalypse is the most enjoyable in the DLC.
Super Ethical PR Opportunity is the second Activity, and it's pretty much a revamp of the Escort side missions with one major change: This time you're driving Professor Genki around. Like Escort, Super Ethical PR Opportunity is fun, but it can be frustrating when enemy vehicles rush into you. At least you get to drive a car with flamethrowers, which you can unlock by completing the Activity.
Next up is Sexy Kitten Yarngasm. This Activity can be described as Tank Mayhem meets Katamari. Here you must roll a giant ball of yarn around the streets of Steelport, crushing cars, enemy vehicles, mascots, fences, and anything else that gets in your way. It's simple fun, but it adds a nice spin on the Tank Mayhem formula.
Sad Panda Skyblazing is the last Activity, and it's the most unique of the four. Your character dons a Sad Panda outfit and jumps out of a helicopter. While falling through the sky, you must guide your character through fire rings, bounce off of Ethical balloons, and land on rooftops to massacre mascots with a chainsaw. Sad Panda Skyblazing is easily the craziest of the new Activities, and the wacky music playing on as you fall freely fits with the insane nature of Saints Row: The Third.
Clearing each of the Activities unlocks new outfits, vehicles, and homies, and if you've been looking to add more to your Saints Row: The Third experience, Genkibowl VII certainly does the trick. Well, kind of. You see, the problem I had with this DLC is that it's over after about an hour. If you're trying to earn all of the Achievements / Trophies, it might take you a few more minutes, but that's about it. With only two instances of each of the four Activities, Genkibowl VII definitely feels light.
For seven bucks, you're getting what you pay for. After all, most games cost $60 anyway, so it just about evens out. I don't think Genkibowl VII should have already been included in Saints Row: The Third right from the get-go, because the theme of the Activities is pretty different from the various things there are to do in the main game. That said, I would have liked Volition to at least feature five instances for each new Activity.
Ultimately, Genkibowl VII gave me exactly what I wanted--more Saints Row: The Third. The $7 price tag is justifiable, and there's plenty of fun to be had, some cool unlockables, and more hilarious commentary during each Activity within this one-hour experience. Genkibowl VII isn't for everyone, but it is for those gamers who have a hankering for some more Saints Row: The Third.
[Reviewed on PlayStation 3]