I've never really been interested in the Saints Row games. To me, they always looked like GTA knock-offs. Not that that's a bad thing. I mean, I absolutely loved GTA5 on Xbox One. I played so many hours of that game. I explored and screwed around with it for weeks, eventually playing through the campaign when I was finally ready to stick to the story. It was great.
But alas, I no longer have my Xbox One. And we don't have GTA5 on Switch. Of course Rockstar and Nintendo haven't had the best relationship. They did port LA Noire to Switch, though I don't think it sold like hotcakes. And GTA5 and MGSV are left to be my two big Switch wish-list ports.
But I recently read through the book Wrestling With Pixels, which brought up an interesting story about Hulk Hogan playing a key role in Saints Row: The Third. Apparently, he plays a wrestler of bygone years - not unlike himself in real life. It sounded intriguing. And to be honest, this one was always on my back-back-burner, given that CheapyD is in it, and I've been a faithful listener of the CAGcast for well over decade now.
I've had a busy work week, though. I was on vacation last week, so now I'm playing catch-up, which means working after my daughter goes to bed, and cramming in some gaming before bed. Or rather, staying up later than I should so that I'm dragging the next day. But whatever.
So anyway, I'm only a couple hours into Saints Row: The Third, but I'm having a good time.
The opening mission was manic. It involved a bank heist gone wrong, lots of shooting, and dangling from a helicopter. Then I made my character, which I basically just modeled after my wife, because I'd prefer to look at a cute redhead when I'm mindlessly jacking cars and shooting waves of dudes.
The next mission was insane with literally free-falling from airplane to airplane. I can't even explain.
Then I went off and explored this city. And... it's good. It's not GTA5 good. It feels like a more budget version of Rockstar's world. But as the only option I have on Switch... I'm good with it. I've done a few missions, robbed some cars, went aimlessly driving, participated in a Hunger Games style gameshow, upgraded my skills, called CheapyD and just overall screwed around. Not unlike my time with GTA5.
So far, this game shows promise.
I've done a lot of weird stuff in this game. I've used tanks to rack up as much damage as I could in this city. I've fought along side a giant naked man. I've broken into an S&M club. It's like... grand thefting autos is pretty small potatoes here.
Look, Saints Row pretty much is a parody of GTA. It doesn't take itself even remotely seriously. It's dumb, sure. But it's dumb FUN for sure. It's like, even if this game is one big joke, the player is certainly in on the joke. Heck, you don't even name your charter. Instead, she's just referred to as Playa (or sometimes, "the boss"). It's all pretty self-aware, and I can dig that.
I realize this is broken record stuff, but if GTA5 was on Switch, I'd be playing that and probably wouldn't bother with Saints Row. But given that Saints Row is my only outlet for this kind of stupid open world on Switch, I have to say, it's a perfectly fine alternative. It's well made, idiotic, and completely insane. I'm treating it like a gaming sorbet, which is sometimes necessary. We don't always have the mental ability to play classic after classic. And as long as the sorbet is fun, then why not?