Since Saints Row the Third is my personal game of the year, I was extremely excited to hear that new DLC wasn’t far off. Now that the first of a few mission packs have released, I jumped back into the game and was ready for some crazy scenarios, explosive missions, and hilarious writing. Genkibowl VII delivers in most of these areas, but it can never grab hold of one main draw of Saints Row the Third; the fun. While there are good times to be had with Genkibowl, they come few and far between mundane tasks and areas of missions with lack of polish.
When you first download the Genkibowl DLC, you go into your phone and choose the new mission that is listed. You are treated to a small cutscene where you are given a short synopsis of what Genkibowl is, and you meet the ESPN-like commentators that will be watching you as you go through the missions. These commentators are very forgetful, as is their dialogue. The writing was very well done in the main game, and the writing here definitely lacks that touch of humor that the main game kept moving, but it is nice having something to listen to while performing some repetitious and annoying missions.
Depending on your stance with the main game’s side missions, this Genkibowl DLC can be either fun or tedious. Three of the mission types are just re-skinned side missions from the main game, while there is only one new type of mission. The first mission you will come across is probably my favorite from the DLC, and that is Apocalypse Genki. You may remember this as Professor Genki’s other task of running through a gauntlet of insanity, while killing mascots. Apocalypse Genki puts a tropical spin on the mini-game and drops you into a jungle-like area with scenery substantially more varied than the warehouse look from the first Genki game.
The other two re-skins are Super Ethical PR Opportunity, which is an escort mission where you drive Professor Genki around, running over people to please him. The best (maybe the only good) thing to come out of this mission is the vehicle you drive him around in, which is added to your garage later. This classic convertible sports four flamethrowers that charge up after you run over enough people.
Sexy Kitten Yarngasm is by far my least favorite mission the game has ever put out. It is essentially tank mayhem, but isntead of a tank, you get to roll around in a giant ball of yarn. Now while this sounds pretty fun in theory, the execution is poor, due to the fact that the ball of yarn has tank controls and physics. Something about running into a building and your invisible treads trying to climb it doesn’t feel right when you should be bouncing off of it like a real ball of yarn would. Once again, though, you get some pretty cool items to use in the overworld after completing this mission enough times.
The new addition to the minigame lot is Sad Panda Skyblazing. In this mission, you wear a panda mascot outfit that enables a small amount of flight while skydiving, and you fly through rings, land on buildings to cut up other mascots with a chainsaw, and bounce off balloons to gain elevation. The controls take a little while getting used to, and I ran into some glitches where I wouldn’t be able to get into a cannon to launch myself back into the air. But other then that, this game is very fun, and fits well in the Saints Row universe. You get the Sad Panda suit as a wearable outfit in Steelport, but it does not give you the added flight maneuverability outside of the minigame.
If you really enjoyed your time with Saints Row the Third and want some new toys to play with while roaming Steelport, I recommend trying out this DLC. It’s certainly not for everyone, so think before you buy. There is enough content here to justify the purchase, but it is a matter of whether you were able to have fun with some of the weakest parts of the main game. The biggest disappointment, though, comes with the fact that there were some better mini-games in Saints Row 2 that they could have used instead of some re-skins of less popular games.