JourneyThroughHell fails at keeping the reader interested a.k.a. a Saints Row 2 review.

Hello there, fellow Escapists. You might (highly unlikely) know me as that Russian guy who is an annoying MW fanbrat. What you probably don't know is that I love video game journalism, more specifically, reviewing.
I've written a couple of reviews here and there, most of them shamefully bad, however, some were actually pretty decent. I see people who review stuff here (Pimppeter2, HUBILUB and others). I am not trying to copy them nor compete with them since they're great reviewers... and I'm not.
This is one of my older reviews which I was really proud of. Looking back at it now, it's pretty bad. So, why put it up here? I dunno.
Without further bull... ado, Saints Row 2.

Although the first Saints Row was a pretty good game, it didn't get a lot of recognition - people considered it to be a straightforward GTA-ripoff like Scarface: The World Is Yours or Godfather: The Game. Of course, it added something new to the formula but this was not enough. After the release of GTA IV, Saints Row 2 had little chance to win on its field. However, the developers were not trying to do so.The main word that describes Saints Row 2 is "immature". The game is over-the-top, cheesy and brutal. Where GTA IV was serious and realistic, SR2 is downright crazy.
SR2 starts out with creating your character. The variety of options is pretty good and the outcome can be a pretty nice man (or a women, first time I've created one in a game). Our protege wakes up from a year-long coma and finds himself on a prison island. After breaking out you find out that the city doesn't belong to you anymore and your gang is destroyed, boo-hoo, how fucking original. So it's your job to return the city in the hands of its rightful owner. The story is clicheed but it is surprisingly amusing. The cutscenes are a work of art, the characters are great and the gangs are stereotypical to a point of hilarity. Strangely enough, some of the missions are really sad and dramatic.
Most of the missions are enjoyable and pretty original although they suffer from some common glitches. The boss fights are intense but they might be spoiled by a glitch or two. However, the glitches are not game killing and sometimes pretty amusing (or downright laughable). To play through the main storyline you have to earn levels of respect. This is mostly done by playing through the side activities. This is the point when SR2 goes completely insane. The activities are varied and rewarding. There is a fight club activity, a hitman contract, a total massive destruction of everything mission, a spraying-buildings-with-shit activity etc. Everything is cheesy and very, very violent. It is not very pleasant to be interrupted from the main storyline and forced to gain respect, however. After gaining respect from your newly-founded gang, you can take gang members with you to complete missions. However, your squadmates are idiots. They will get stuck, they will shoot you with a rocket launcher, they wil miss enemies completely and you will have to revive them constantly. Still, they can hijack a car and follow yours and protect you in some cases.
Many people like to compare SR2 to the juggernaut known as GTA IV. Although I think that those comparisons are idiotic, there are a couple of things both games could learn from each other. First of all, Rockstar Games, I don't know why do you hate checkpoints so much. GTA needs them. Imagine - you drive for 10 minutes to get to the action, get killed shortly afterwards and you have to drive again. Why? Why does it have to be that way? Driving is not a challenge. GTA IV brought the system of mission restarts but SR2 has checkpoints and that's much smarter. As for SR2, it could use the cover system.
Let's talk graphics. Well, this one could've been improved. The game doesn't look too good, but that doesn't really matter because it is not trying to surprise us with ground-shattering graphics. The design is okay, although some parts of the city seem repetitive.
The voice acting was good for me. The voice I have chosen was great and the voices of other characters were convincing enough. Although they could've made the dialogue for masculine and feminine main characters different. Some of it doesn't sound right because of this. As for the music, it is mostly rap. The rap tunes are surprisingly catchy. The other songs include some famous rock and disco tracks ("Take On Me" by A-Ha, for example) and there are some other genres represented such as electronics (or whatever it is called, I don't remember). The radio programmes are good but nowhere near the level of, yes, GTA IV talk shows.
In conclusion, SR2 is a great game. Its immature style and awesome side missions are very likeable and the story is pretty good. However, It could use some additional glitch-solving patches.

EDIT: Awaiting "What a wall of text" and "TL;DR" comments. Oh well.

Good review.

Haven't played the game; so I don't have much to add.
But great nontheless

TheNamlessGuy:
Good review.

Haven't played the game; so I don't have much to add.
But great nontheless

You serious?
Wow.
I feel honored.
Thanks, man.

Journeythroughhell:
You serious?
Wow.
I feel honored.
Thanks, man.

[sarcasm]No, I was totally sarcastic[/sarcasm]

I never joke about a review...

TheNamlessGuy:

Journeythroughhell:
You serious?
Wow.
I feel honored.
Thanks, man.

[sarcasm]No, I was totally sarcastic[/sarcasm]

I never joke about a review...

A double sarcasm? Owie.

Journeythroughhell:
A double sarcasm? Owie.

Two negatives take out each other, so no sarcasm, really

TheNamlessGuy:

Journeythroughhell:
A double sarcasm? Owie.

Two negatives take out each other, so no sarcasm, really

Yeah, I know.
That's what I meant.

I don't know if it was a bug with mine, but it looked and handled so appallingly bad that, had I bought a physical copy of it, I would've snapped the disc in 4, melted it and burned the box. I don't even get how one could play a game like the one I was playing which leads me to suspect some kind of glitch, by which I mean a console port beyond the realm of shit. The fucking awful dialog and crass taunts during character creation and the intro cutscene certainly didn't help either.

It might not completely deserve it, but Saints Row 2 is forever marked into my memory as the shittiest piece of shit (did I mention it's shit?) game I've ever played. Thank god I only lost 7$ for it.

/rant. Sorry 'bout that. I have to vent when I think of that game.

Not bad review, btw. Try to make clearly defined paragraphs, though (is what I'd suggest as an improvement).

Mr.Tea:
I don't know if it was a bug with mine, but it looked and handled so appallingly bad that, had I bought a physical copy of it, I would've snapped the disc in 4, melted it and burned the box. I don't even get how one could play a game like the one I was playing which leads me to suspect some kind of glitch, by which I mean a console port beyond the realm of shit. The fucking awful dialog and crass taunts during character creation and the intro cutscene certainly didn't help either.

It might not completely deserve it, but Saints Row 2 is forever marked into my memory as the shittiest piece of shit (did I mention it's shit?) game I've ever played. Thank god I only lost 7$ for it.

Wow.
You hate that game A LOT.

Journeythroughhell:

Wow.
You hate that game A LOT.

I really do. :P

I edited my post, but you sneaky ninja quoted it before I was done. That game just makes me have to vent haha.

Mr.Tea:

Journeythroughhell:

Wow.
You hate that game A LOT.

I really do. :P

I edited my post, but you sneaky ninja quoted it before I was done. That game just makes me have to vent haha.

I can fix it, if you like.

Not a bad review. It was quite detailed. And fortunately, I have played both Scarface (sold it) and Godfather (sold it, but have the intention of purchasing the Xbox 360 version), so I know well of how they're knockoffs of GTA (I own Vice City, but have also played III and beaten San Andreas).

I've actually been intrigued by this game for a while. Especially now that it's relatively cheap. I'm just not sure if the immature or crazy is right for me. The only game I have that's relatively close to crazy is Brutal Legend. Would you recommend it to someone who primarily plays serious games? (I.E. Bioshock, Arkham Asylum, Fallout 3)

InsomniJack:
Not a bad review. It was quite detailed. And fortunately, I have played both Scarface (sold it) and Godfather (sold it, but have the intention of purchasing the Xbox 360 version), so I know well of how they're knockoffs of GTA (I own Vice City, but have also played III and beaten San Andreas).

I've actually been intrigued by this game for a while. Especially now that it's relatively cheap. I'm just not sure if the immature or crazy is right for me. The only game I have that's relatively close to crazy is Brutal Legend. Would you recommend it to someone who primarily plays serious games? (I.E. Bioshock, Arkham Asylum, Fallout 3)

Well, the gameplay isn't to deep. Yet you own Vice City and San Andreas. And I belive that SR2 is closer to them than GTA IV.
Hmmm, I don't know. Do you like the concept? Did you like Scarface and Godfather?
Just to warn you, SR2 is not serious in any way.

I've played it, and... yeah. This is basically what it is. Well done, my friend.

Kollega:
I've played it, and... yeah. This is basically what it is. Well done, my friend.

Thanks.
Much appreciated.

Journeythroughhell:
Well, the gameplay isn't to deep. Yet you own Vice City and San Andreas. And I belive that SR2 is closer to them than GTA IV.
Hmmm, I don't know. Do you like the concept? Did you like Scarface and Godfather?
Just to warn you, SR2 is not serious in any way.

Is it? Huh. Well, that might not be too bad.

I don't own San Andreas, but I played a friend's copy and beat the game. But I wouldn't personally buy the game. One of the issues I had with San Andreas was just the overall story. On one hand, I liked the lengths that the game went to take a seemingly normal guy released from jail and make him a serious contender in the mob world. On the other... it was extremely hard for me to relate to the main character, or the hood, or anything else that happened. I'm more keen when it comes to dated gangs and criminal organizations.

I guess that's why I liked Vice City and The Godfather. I really liked The Godfather, but again, I think that has to do with my story preference on gangsters. But the gameplay handled itself very well. At least, the PS2 version did. I don't know what the 360 version will do. Scarface, on the other hand... well, it was a good concept, and it did a fair job in it's execution, but I found it a lot more frustrating than Godfather, or even the older GTAs. Especially the end of the game. That last level is brutal unless you have the aim and reflexes of Steven Seagall.

I guess what I worry about Saints Row 2 is that I might not get into the story enough to really invest in the game and it'll end up sitting on my shelf for a long time.

InsomniJack:

Journeythroughhell:
Well, the gameplay isn't to deep. Yet you own Vice City and San Andreas. And I belive that SR2 is closer to them than GTA IV.
Hmmm, I don't know. Do you like the concept? Did you like Scarface and Godfather?
Just to warn you, SR2 is not serious in any way.

Is it? Huh. Well, that might not be too bad.

I don't own San Andreas, but I played a friend's copy and beat the game. But I wouldn't personally buy the game. One of the issues I had with San Andreas was just the overall story. On one hand, I liked the lengths that the game went to take a seemingly normal guy released from jail and make him a serious contender in the mob world. On the other... it was extremely hard for me to relate to the main character, or the hood, or anything else that happened. I'm more keen when it comes to dated gangs and criminal organizations.

I guess that's why I liked Vice City and The Godfather. I really liked The Godfather, but again, I think that has to do with my story preference on gangsters. But the gameplay handled itself very well. At least, the PS2 version did. I don't know what the 360 version will do. Scarface, on the other hand... well, it was a good concept, and it did a fair job in it's execution, but I found it a lot more frustrating than Godfather, or even the older GTAs. Especially the end of the game. That last level is brutal unless you have the aim and reflexes of Steven Seagall.

I guess what I worry about Saints Row 2 is that I might not get into the story enough to really invest in the game and it'll end up sitting on my shelf for a long time.

The cutscenes are a work of art. Seriously... I really disliked the story in San Andreas but found myself deeply immersed into Saints Row 2.
If not SR2, I advise The Godfather 2. I like it a lot, it was unfairly bashed by some reviewers but it is a very nice game, if absolutely devoid of story.

 

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