Saints Row The Third "GenkiBowl VII" DLC
Developer: Volition
Publisher: THQ
Release date: January 17, 2012
Price: $7/Free With Season Pass

"GenkiBowl VII" is Saints Row 3's first foray into actual DLC, outside of costume and weapon packs, and it's far from ideal. If you're a fan of the game's irresponsible brand of insanity, you've run out of things to do, and you've got $7 to spare, go ahead and pick it up. Otherwise, your money might be better spent elsewhere.

The expansion is comprised mainly of four new, endlessly repeatable activity types, with some other bonuses (vehicles, phone-able "homies," outfits, etc.) thrown in as well. We break them down one by one on the next page.

 

APOCALYPSE GENKI

If you've already played through SR 3's campaign, you'll be familiar with the format this mission follows—you enter a maze-like arena and battle an army of furries on your way to the exit. You'll also collect better and better weapons as you progress, with a tougher enemy thrown in here and there to mix things up.

It's another episode of Professor Genki's prime time murder-fest, and though it's jungle-themed this time, it's really more of the same thing you can play without the DLC. There are new traps, though they amount to simple gouts of flame or electricity that spurt intermittently as you rush past them.

SUPER ETHICAL PR OPPORTUNITY

Although this one has the best name and the best new car (it's equipped with a multidirectional flamethrower), it really amounts to nothing more than the same driving escort mission you've been playing the whole game. Just like in the mission where the tiger sits in your passenger seat, Professor Genki hops in the back of his souped-out ride so you can drive him to a press conference and amuse him with some murder on the way.

I actually failed this one a couple times by not murdering people the right way—I didn't take out enough pedestrians, and Genki's rabid fans filled up his annoyance meter, forcing me to restart. As you run over more and more bystanders—your character all the while shouting lines like "That's what happens when you fight a Saint," which makes zero sense—the car starts to spout flames in four directions, which is awesome. We'd also be remiss not to note that our game froze once in the middle of this one.

SEXY KITTEN YARNGASM

Yarngasm is by far the least fun of the four new activities, and definitely the one that you'll never want to repeat. You take control of a giant ball of yarn and have to roll over cars and people until you've caused enough damage to sate the bloodlust of Genki and his viewers.

The yarn ball controls like it's rolling through sticky, coagulated blood (which it sort of is), and though you get four shockwave attacks to use throughout the activity, they're shockingly (ha) ineffective. It's a good thing the final activity is a lot more fun.

SAD PANDA SKYBLAZING

The fourth and final mission type is unlocked after the other three have been completed twice each, which shouldn't be too hard as long as you've got the patience to get through two rounds of the terrible "Yarngasm." If you've ever played the indie hit AAAaaaaAAAAaaaaaAAAAA! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, this will feel slightly familiar to you.

You're jammed into a panda suit and hurled from a helicopter, given almost supernatural control over your direction and speed, and tasked with steering yourself through fiery rings to rack up points. You can land on rooftops to take out furries (they keep calling them "mascots"—are they that afraid of offending real furries?) with a big 'ole chainsaw. If you lose too much altitude, there are balloons everywhere that will boost you up when you run into them. Though it can get frustrating, this is by far the most fun and unique of the four DLC activities.

SUPER CRAZY FUN EXTRAVAGANZA?

Completing each activity multiple times will eventually net you a new car (the flamethrower-equipped convertible), an ATV that looks like a mouse, three new homies to call for backup (Genki's hench-ladies Sexy Kitten, Sad Panda and Angry Tiger), some kitty masks that you'll never wear, another homie that rolls into battle with that giant yarn ball, and three more kitty-shaped vehicles.

We would have preferred a little more narrative, besides the commentary from GenkiBowl's obnoxious announcers. Of course, we're not playing SR 3 for the plot, and neither are you, so whatever. If "GenkiBowl VII" was a full-priced expansion, we wouldn't recommend it. But at only $7, it's certainly worth it if you're hurting for more to do in this already enormous game.