Thursday, June 20, 2019

Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package (NSW) Review

Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package launched a little bit ago on the Nintendo Switch, giving Nintendo players a taste of the Saints Row series for the first time. A Nintendo 3DS game was in development early in the system's life, but that game never did live to see the light of day. Now, after all this time, Saints Row is on a Nintendo platform, and here's the SuperPhillip Central review of the third installment's Switch version.

The Saints go marching in onto the Nintendo Switch.

Up until Saints Row: The Third, the Saints Row series and Rockstar's own Grand Theft Auto games took a slightly serious approach to the open world, crime story formula. With the third installment of Saints Row, developer Volition opted to diverge from the serious route, going with a decidedly zanier and more ridiculous approach. No longer was the series rooted in reality--quite the opposite, in fact. Now, Saints Row: The Third reaches the Nintendo Switch with all of its previous separate DLC included right on the cartridge with Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package. You get everything you could ever want out of Saints Row's third entry, including some added problems.

You play as the fully customizable leader of the Saints gang, who since Saints Row 2, are now a gang of fame, literal celebrities in crime. They have their own comic book, their own series of clothing stores, and even a sports drink! The city of Steelport is the new setting for Saints Row: The Third, and every gang in the area wants to dominate it for themselves--from a highly computer-literate gang of Goths to a gang of steroid-crazed Luchadores. 

When the Third Street Saints go marching in, you know things are about to go down.
Starting out in Saints Row: The Third, the Saints are at a disadvantage. Streets are full of unfriendly faces, and the Saints' claim to Steelport is limited at best--and that's putting it nicely. Through completing missions--both story-related and optional--as well as purchasing properties with hard-earned money, the Saints slowly can stake claim in more of Steelport. It's pretty cool to chart the Saints' progress of claiming Steelport, with the gang just having a meager crib to work with at first, and then by the end of the game being able to control all of the bustling metropolis. 

Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Apparently start a shootout with Steelport's finest!
Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package comes packed with content, as its secondary subtitle alludes. In the base game alone, there is plenty of activities to participate in and enjoy. There's, of course, the story-related missions, but there's also the immense lineup of side activities. I'm talking about activities where you destroy as much as possible on foot or in a friggin' tank, escorting a capable AI partner to their various drug deals, assassination missions, vehicle thefts, running into traffic to commit insurance fraud, destroying gang operations, finding money pallets, blow-up dolls, and drugs scatted around Steelport, and even an activity where you carefully drive around in a convertible with a very hungry tiger in the passenger seat. 

That laser beam is a bit too close for the leader of the Saints' liking.
Additionally, the DLC missions that come included in The Full Package feature three different side stories, such as following the trail of a cloned, hulking Johnny Gat, starring in a movie shoot with real life dangers, and participating in a murder-friendly game show where you perform dangerous tasks like rolling a giant ball of yarn while causing as much destruction as possible and blazing through the sky as you pass through rings and murder costumed mascots for money. 

Yes, those are zombies. (I told you this third installment got quite a bit zany.)
The Full Package on the Nintendo Switch offers two more modes for players as well--the game's version of a Horde mode ("cleverly" called Whored Mode), where you try to survive as many waves of enemies as possible, in addition to co-operative play for the campaign. The latter is available for online or local play, which requires each player to have their own Switch (unfortunately, there's no split-screen option to speak of). 

This luchador just got dunked on.
Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package received a "Day One" patch (I put that in quotation marks because the patch was delayed to a week after release), which made a buggy and near broken Nintendo Switch version of the game much more playable. I'm pleased with the overall quality of the game post-patch. The frame-rate is passable, but it can very much fluctuates in a noticeable manner at times--particularly when the action picks up and the screen is overloaded with enemies and explosions. The video capture function of the Switch for Saints Row: The Third is pretty useless as well, because it takes the footage of the game and turns it into a slide show frame-rate-wise. It's honestly much worse than what you have in the actual game.

Steelport has seen nicer nights, as evident by the billboard
 on the right not fully loading in until you approach it closely.
The controls of Saints Row: The Third work well enough save for one issue I've picked up on. Trying to sprint by holding down the R button doesn't always work. It seems eight times out of ten your character will actually starting running, but the other two times nothing will happen. It's pretty frustrating when you're at dangerously low health and the game won't register that you're hitting the sprint button. Other than that, vehicles take some getting used to and don't have the tightness of control that I would like--but that was an issue with the original Saints Row: The Third and not a new issue with this Switch version.

G...Gah. I-I'm sorry I called you "Baldy McSteroids."
In many ways, Saints Row: The Third is a product of its name, quite dated. This isn't just relegated to some design, presentation, or control-related features either. Perhaps now that I'm older and wiser, I find some of the humor and content in the game just reprehensible and juvenile when back when the original game released I found it amusing and entertaining. There are just flat out many moments in this Nintendo Switch run of Saints Row: The Third that I was just embarrassed and sometimes simply uncomfortable to be playing through them. 

And yes, those are guys in gimp gear pulling carriages in this chase sequence.
...No further comment.
That aside, as long as you know that Saints Row: The Third is very dated in many gameplay ways as well as some cultural aspects, you'll find that it's a really enjoyable GTA clone. It's one that's not afraid of having fun and not taking itself so seriously. (Though, again, some moments shine brighter than others.) With Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package, Nintendo Switch owners have a game that can fill that open world city-based void in the system's library--just so they also know that the level of polish and presentation isn't exactly of the highest caliber. Still, for the amount of off-the-wall fun one can get out of Saints Row's debut on a Nintendo system, The Full Package is worth taking to the streets of Steelport for, warts and all.

[SPC Says: B-]

No comments: