Genki Bowl VII

Tom Chick’s quick review of the Genki Bowl VII DLC for Saints Row: The Third has prompted me to write some thoughts I was saving for tomorrow.

He says:

The Genki Bowl DLC is weird for weird’s sake, and frankly, it’s not even that weird. A giant ball of rampaging pink yarn is just an immutable Katamari. The new pink catwomen homies are no stranger than the costumes you’ve probably been wearing all along. A pink convertible with mounted flamethrowers sure would be cool in a game without VTOL cycles, TRON tanks, and a moon buggy.

I want so much to disagree with this, but I have to say that I’m unfortunately disappointed with this first DLC pack in much the same way.

The Third was a great ride and definitely worth my money, and to support Volition for making it I dropped the money on the season pass for the DLC sight-unseen. But Genki Bowl VII is missing almost everything that I liked about the base game itself.

It’s a series of derivative diversions that aren’t as fun as the material that they are supposed to push to the next level of crazy.

Apocalypse Genki is a harder and more confusingly-laid-out version of Super Ethical Reality Climax. Super Ethical PR Opportunity is an Escort mission, just not as difficult or novel. Sexy Kitten Yarngasm is the Tank Mayhem diversion but without a cannon and with hangups on the world geometry. And Sad Panda Skyblazing—though a unique diversion that’s like nothing else in the game—is an exercise in frustration that’s over as soon as you figure it out.

The bonuses for completing these things aren’t even very interesting, especially if you are playing with a character that’s already reached the endgame. There’s little enjoyment to be had in running them co-op (though it does decrease the difficulty a bit). And there’s a moment in the closing cut scene where it’s blatantly obvious that they didn’t record lines with The Third‘s uniformly excellent voice talent.

I had high hopes for the DLC based on my experience with the base game—but it was such an over-the-top piece of performance art that perhaps anything they do at this point is going to fall short.