Now that the cat is out of the bag, I have no problem reminding you that Saints Row: The Third was my Game of the Year for 2011. Even with the bugs and glitches (I still can’t access the Call in VTOL option), it was thrilling fun from the moment I started through the completion of both endings. I had sucked the marrow from the game’s bones, completing ever side mission and nabbing every collectible. To say that I wanted more was an understatement.
With the release of the GenkiBowl VII DLC, THQ and Volition have kicked off the major DLC for the game and, depending on what you liked about the core Saints Row: The Third experience will determine whether this is worth buying. As you might expect from the name and description, GenkiBowl VII focuses on the half-man, half-cat, half-mascot game show dictator, Professor Genki. This time he’s brought along his lovely female assistants: Sad Panda, Sexy Kitten and Angry Tiger. Each of the four has contributed a new side mission type, each of which has two installments.
Apocalypse Super Ethical Reality Climax (SERC) is an amped up version of the original SERC, with a new jungle theme and shark-infested waters.
Super Ethical PR Opportunity takes cues from the prostitute escort missions. You’ll pick up Genki and drive him around while avoiding annoying fans. The goal is to fill his “Pleased” meter before he becomes too annoyed with the fans. This is accomplished by running over pedestrians. Murder time, fun time! Run over enough and you’ll earn the right to use the Genkimobile’s flamethrowers. As in the escort missions, you’ll have objectives pop up: cause damage to other cars, burn pedestrians with the flamethrowers, etc.
Things start to become a bit more varied with Sexy Kitten Yarngasm. These are most similar to the Tank Mayhem missions, except you control a giant ball of yarn as you race against time to reach the damage goal. The yarn ball can also be used to send out a shockwave to build your combo faster, though there are limited discharges available.
Finally, Sad Panda Skyblazing is the freshest of the bunch. In an aerodynamic panda suit, you’ll need to fly through rings, bounce off balloons (both ethical and unethical) to rocket higher and land on roofs to wipe out terrified mascots with a chainsaw. It’s a lot of fun and the commentary shines the brightest during these missions.
The DLC is packed with 10 new achievements/trophies (totaling 100 gamerscore for Xbox 360 players); new vehicles like the Verminator and the Genkimobile; four new homies, including all three of the Genki Girls; a bunch of new costumes and the ability to call in Sexy Kitten’s giant ball of yarn.
I had a great time with the missions aside from the Super Ethical PR Opportunity jobs, but I recognize that this DLC isn’t for everyone. There’s no denying that the DLC is short; the eight missions go by very quickly. If you didn’t like the side missions and don’t care about homies, special vehicles or outfits, you might want to let this one pass you by. If you’re like me, though, and simply crave more of the Steelport crazy, you could do a lot worse than GenkiBowl VII.
The humor is intact, the voice acting and commentary are top notch and the mascots die bloody deaths. All hail Genki!
Review copy of the game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.