With the introduction of downloadable content onto the console scene, fans have become somewhat jaded. For every great bit of DLC that simply can’t be passed up comes two more that leave us scratching our heads instead of reaching for our wallets. While new content is always appreciated, there needs to be parity with price and overall value of DLC, which translates to offering something worthwhile for gamers — especially since plunking down the initial $60 isn’t always easy, let alone the extra cash for content once a game is released.
Back in November, Volition released Saints Row: The Third, much to our approval. In fact, we really enjoyed our time in the mean, neon-lit city of Steelport and couldn’t get enough. Sure, the game wasn’t particularly deep, but that was forgivable because it was just so damn fun to play. So you’ll understand our disappointment when we downloaded the all new GenkiBowl VII DLC and found out that while it delivers a host of new modes, weapons, added wardrobe items and the like, it’s a rather shallow (and familiar) affair.
In fact, maybe “new modes” is a bit of a stretch, while GenkiBowl VII does offer up some wacky new games like “Sad Panda Skyblazing,” “Apocalypse Genki,” “Sexy Kitten Yarngasm,” and “Super Ethical PR Opportunity,” they are little more than variants on the already existing modes featured in the game.
Apocalypse Genki sees you fighting to survive in familiar Genki level fashion, only this time you have the ability to throw mascots into shark-infested waters. Otherwise it’s pretty much the same as before where the player must battle the onslaught of murderous mascots while dodging traps, nabbing cash, and busting caps.
Sexy Kitten Yarngasm pits you against the clock in a giant ball of yarn. You’re tasked with rolling over people, cars, and virtually everything else possible while you rack up the combo points, which in turn earns you the ability to use a shockwave that destroys everything nearby. If it sounds similar to the games existing mode, Tank Mayhem, that’s because it is. Apart from the absurdity and the name, Sexy Kitten Yarngasm plays just like Tank Mayhem. Substitute the tank for a giant ball of yarn and a tank cannon for shockwave and–well, you get the picture.
Super Ethical PR Opportunity fares a little better. Yes it’s a fun, white-knuckled, and murderous affair, but it too suffers too many similarities with the existing Escort activities. In place of chauffeuring and protecting industrious ladies of the night, you get to taxi around town and murder throngs of Genki’s annoying fans, which we suppose is one way to get out signing autographs (Bieber, don’t get any ideas). Of course the saving grace for this “new” mode is the addition of a new vehicle. This tricked-out Genkimobile features quadruple flamethrowers, and is yours to toy with once you finish the missions.
Perhaps the most stand-out mode of the new Saints Row: The Third DLC is the murdering mascot mayhem that is Sad Panda Skyblazing. This mode tasks you with getting in ‘tha choppa’ and throwing on a panda suit. While in the air you have to eliminate other mascots perched about the various rooftops; all while flying through flaming rings filling the sky. While it’s the most original mode on offer in GenkiBowl VII, it isn’t perfect. Controls can be a hassle, especially while trying to undertake your aerial assassinations.
If you bought the Season Pass for Saints Row: The Third you’re probably not too upset – especially with more content coming down the road. For fans that haven’t, GenkiBowl VII offers up a host of “new” modes and more of the same over-the-top entertainment that made us fall in love with game in the first place. The problem lies with just how similar a lot of the content here is. And the first DLC offering from Volition is great, we’re not sure it’s enough to compel gamers to delve into their pockets.
Genkibowl VII is included as part of the Saints Row Season Pass, and is available for 560 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live, and $6.99 on PlayStation Network and Steam.
(This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360 on a copy provided by THQ)