Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Saints Row 2 - Xbox 360
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on October 14, 2008
Saint's Row 2 is just about everything fans of the original could've asked for, and more! Right off the bat, you'll notice just how many improvements have been done over the original. You start off in a coma, and you're asked to either re-create your guy from the last game, or make someone new. And this time, you can have a girl play as Stilwater's legendary gangster! You can go around the 'Saint's Row' equivalent of Chicago as a male or female.

The character customizations have been far expanded, and rival that of another THQ franchise, The "WWE SmackDown! Vs. RAW" series. You can fine tune just about any facial feature to your liking, and once the game starts, you can buy your way up to owning cool clothes, which are far superior to the first game's clothing options. Even in Sloppy Seconds, you can customize color, material, and style of your clothing. Of course, keep in mind that Sloppy Seconds has some pretty awful clothes, too! I had my guy back in Saint's Purple in no time! The women's clothing is far less appealing though, although maybe I just haven't unlocked the hot Victoria's Secret wear, yet. The character cutomization truly is more advanced this time around, but a little bit of things irk me in the customization.

For example, you can't choose height once again in your character. In the first game, the Protagonist was way too short. About 5'6" or so. In this, he's kinda too tall. Maybe 6'1" or 6'2", but he (or she, as females have the same towering height as your men) completely towers over everyone else in town. Also, the body options are kinda weird. It's like, you can only choose a body "type" for them, like obese, or thin, and you can't fine tune things, like their stomach or chest. For women, their breasts are kind of too pointy. For men, their body shape is kind of odd, with big arms and a slightly disproportionate body (assuming your guy isn't an obese fellow). Some things are kind of too in-depth (like ear customization, for example. Who cares about ears?) While the body customizations could've been more expanded. Also, the "Personality" features aren't as in-depth as I was hoping for. Basically, you choose voice, walking style, compliment taunt, and insult taunts. The voices are basically White, Black, and Hispanic male and females. The White guy voice is British, probably because the game developers are also, British, and they wanted a local guy in there. I'm guessing most people will end up using the Black Male voice or White Female voice. The gender equality goes beyond your main character though, and also shows up in the gangs, too, as before, only about 10% of your enemies were female, as now it's about 40% of women in the enemy gangs. And it seems like the entire police force seems to made up of women, which is a little odd.

When you actually begin, you start off with a prison break, and get access to the newly expanded fighting system. While very simple to use, it's actually quite hard to master, and I like that. Basically, you can punch two different ways, do combos, and block. There's other things you can learn later too, like the new Human Shield option, where you can toss people acorss streets like they're only 10 pounds light. Of course, this is just for your basic fighting style. You'll learn new ways to brawl later in the game, as well! You also now also pick up inanimate objects like cinderblocks, trash cans, or virtually anything, and use them as makeshift fighting weapons. Your non-firearm weapons have greatly been expanded, and the variety of different melee weapons rivals that of San Andreas. However, in this game, you can make much cooler use of them! I stongly suggest once you hit the streets of new Stilwater, to find a Ronin gang member and steal his or her katana blade. That thing rocks! Both objects and newer melee attacks are also available in Grand Suck Auto IV, but Saint's Row 2 makes much better uses out of all of them! It's a complete no contest here in which game's are better. With weapons, all your favorites are back, and the annoying habit of constantly having to switch out guns for ammo to get different ones that have been taken off of your enemies is gone! Because now, we have dual-weilding, baby! Your guy or girl will be able to shoot out two Vice 9's, at once, now, and do it like the pro they are! Unlike San Andreas, you won't have to level up skill points to earn advanced weaponry weilding because the game assumes your guy is already a master of the firearms from the first game! I love how convient Volition are! They're willing to cut the crap (like having to swim miles to make it to shore) and just give you the fun gaming goodness you want from the get-go! When you deal with explosives, if you're too close to the blast, it'll blast out your character's ear drums and they'll be temporally deaf! It's a nice touch with really shows you how much explosives can mess your character up! Saint's Row 2 also gives you Autosaving, so if your game freezes on you or the power goes out, you can start off from the last mission or activity you completed. Autosaving at first doesn't seem to useful, but once an unexpected something DOES happen to you or your game, you'll be so glad it's there! I made it to Lv. 6 of Drug Trafficking and didn't save any of it when my 360 shut down on me. But with the Autosave feature, I was able to restart from the end of Lv. 5 and not lose a thing! It's such a great and convient feature to have!

Once again, you'll have to earn respect to do new missions, but the Activities now are a lot more fun, and many of the lame ones from the first game, except the stupid Insurance Fraud ones, which I've always hated, are gone. Activities are now divided by Diversions (the lesser, old Activities) and the true "Activities" now are the ones that take much longer time to complete, such as Chop Shop and Hit Man, which once again make a return. I hopped in a car with my girl and immeadially started a Drive-By activity on some Sons of Samedi. Now, in the Diversions, there are six levels instead of eight, and for some, you can continue up to each level without interuption. I didn't even know I was on Level 5 in Drive-By until I actually checked up the top of the screen. The new diversion activities are awesome. "vehicle Surfing" is tricky but fun, until you fall of the car, that is! In "Trail Blazing" you get to race to a checkpoint all while on fire, blowing up cars on impact and lighting people on fire, earning time. It's sort of a mix of Mayhem and Racing, and it's very fun. "Fuzz" is the Stilwater equivalent of Cops and you get to play as the all-around corrupt police officer, hurting people breaking the law, and getting good and violent footage for the TV show. By the further levels, it gets really fun and interesting, like stopping a Pirate-Ninja war! "Crowd Control" has you playing as a celebrity bodyguard, stopping mobs of crazy fans from hurting your client! Depending on the level, you can trhow people into chopper blades, toss them into attack dogs, crush them with a bulldozer, cram them into an airport security x-ray machine, or chuck em into an oncoming el train!

There are more ways to earn respect now, too. Inspired by the Balls Meter from the "Scarface: The World Is Yours" game, you can now earn respect by doing ballsy things that Tony Montana did in his game, like driving in the wrong lane of traffic and taunting bad people like cops and gang members, and also now pimps and hoes, who are now official "enemies", as well. The only thing missing is the ability to yell at people who crash into your car while driving. Just don't get TOO much respect before using it up on missions, though, as after Lv. 99, your respect is Infinite, and that sort takes all the fun out of it, having Infinite respect and all.

The new Stilwater is a much darker, depressing place than the old Stilwater, which is ironic considering that the old Stilwater was probably much more violent. It's about 50% larger, and the new places are less inviting to you than you'd think they'd be. They clearly don't like your kind around there. The new gangs have a bit more unity than the old ones did, and respect each other's territories, leaving the endangered Third Streets Saint's pretty much their only common enemy. Many parts of old Stilwater have been rebuilt by Ultor's multi-million dollar city renovation. With Ultor Corporation owning Stilwater and turning it into a bleak metropolis for the Upper Class and snobby, you'll have the incredible feeling of both familarity and newness, all at the same time. Some old, favorite neighborhoods will look familar, but will be dark, barren and full of bums and prostitutes. Others, such as the humble Saint's Row, have been completely taken over! Seems like at least 20 years of change since 2006, though, when our old familar Stilwater was Ultor-free. Only a few list of people actually return for the sequel, but luckly, it's all the ones you would want to see return, including your best pal, Johnny Gat. Also in Stilwater are the new gangs. They also follow the same trend of having a Drug gang, a street punk gang, and a Corporate Business gang. Taking the place of the Latin Los Carnales, the Caucasian Westside Rollerz, and the Black Vice Kings are the Haitian Sons of Samedi, the Caucasian Brotherhood of Stilwater, and The Asian Ronin. The fourth, "unofficial" gang are the Ultor Corporation, themselves, and they run pretty much everything in new Stilwater, including all of the police. The Ronin are probably the deadliest gang, as they all carry katana blades and chase after you on high speed motorcyles, which comes off as a lot more vicious and scary than the standard street car pursuits the other gangs do. I won't say too much, but there's a little bit of "Kill Bill" as you progress through the Ronin storyline. They're definitely the best to take on out of the three. The Brotherhood of Stilwater are basically just giant-sized bullies. They're all very large people with even bigger vechiles. They like violence just for the sake of it. The weakest gang has to be the Sons of Samedi. Bascially, all they do is sell "Loa Dust" (a kind of cocaine you smoke out of broken lightbulbs!) to college students. They're all very easy to take out and all of their vechiles are pretty weak. With these new gangs though, comes new vehicles, such as bikes, boats, and planes. They're all just about as cool, if not better than the selection in GTA: San Andreas. There are also plenty of new cars, including three new ones that put classics like the Zenith and the Attrazione to shame. Even though they're now a lot more common in a Stilwater that caters to the heartless and corporate republican Upper Class, you'll probably want the three new luxury/sport cars even more. They are the 'Hayate Z70', the Ronin's offical car, the 'Bezier', which is like a MUCH better Attrazione, and the 'Superiore', which is like a Lamborghini Countach. Just don't own more than two of each or else, you'll ruin their rareness of owning them.

The graphics, which I've yet to mention, are incredible compared to the old game, and yet, still have that Saint's Row "toony" look to them. They almost rival GTA IV in their beautiful lighting effects and such. Saint's Row 2 now, also like GTA IV, has the "blurring" effect of when you go too fast in a car or quickly turn the opposite way while running. The beauty of the new Saint's Row really makes you appreciate your 360. Name-brand artists are now featured for the music. No longer any obsure, underground third-rate Hip Hop stars. Arguably, it's a better sounding soundtrack than Grand Theft Auto IV (At least in the Hip Hop department, anyway). This time, when you listen to the radio, it actually sounds like you're listening to the *real* radio, thanks to the more mainstream artists and songs. The one thind thing that sucks though, is there's only about half the number of songs on this game compared to the original. There's also no more custom playlists, either. Instead, you get your own radio station to replace your old audio player. But at least the music is from people like 50 Cent, Nas, Fat Joe, Joss Stone, and Kelis. They're not my favorites, but I know people out there like them. Unfortunately, Aisha singles are still circulating around... not much we can do about that, though. And no, Saint's Row 2 doesn't allow you to go to the Cabaret for a nice Sunday evening out, or have your character watch TV while you're watching him watch TV!

Saint's Row 2 is a bigger, better, more FUN version of the original! I'd rate it about a 4.75 out of 5! *JUST* slightly short of perfection! There are some little problems still around, like the ragdoll physics of your character, and the fact that a six foot fall can still pretty much kill them. Also, don't expect EVERYTHING to be new and wonderful! But, would you really want the game to not have ANY shades of familiarity in it at all, anyway? If you liked Saint's Row the original, then it's virtually impossible to dislike Saint's Row 2! It's very, very easy to lose coutless hours in this game with all the fun, exciting, and crazy things you can do. It's the FUN game Grand Theft Auto IV failed to give us! There are tons of enhancements and new features in the game which will make it THE game you'll still be playing a year from now! (or at least, longer than you did with that Rockstar title!) This is a Don't Miss! Buy it! Buy it now! You won't regret it. I promise you.
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on October 19, 2008
The game says I'm 45% complete. I own 7/11 cribs and lots of cars... I've messed around extensively with the customization of the character, the cars & cribs. Below is my current impression of the game.

Pros:

* Customization of the characters, cars, your gang, and the cribs are awesome, even more extensive than SR1.

* Cruise control

* All sorts of real-time facial expressions.

* Peds aren't totally suicidal anymore (they don't readily jump into the street like SR1).

* Now there are motorcycles, helicopters & planes... and many more interesting vehicles. One I like is the "Bear" which you can steal from the police ~ it's an armored vehicle with a powerful machine gun on the top, and you can customize it =)

* Lots of fun things to do. Many of the old activities are still there, plus new ones.

* There are lots of interiors. The scope of the city, inside & out is impressive.

* Both a pro and a con ~ your character doesn't remove the body when killing someone and taking their car. Sometimes results in weird overlap... other times it just looks funny and realistic.

Cons:

* Cars disappear and appear right next you... so if you spot a car that you want to steal, don't take the camera view off of it, even if it's right next to you. SR1 also had psycho car pop in/out... and I was REALLY hoping they would fix that for this game, they didn't.

* Customization is completely buggy, it often doesn't save or view properly. That goes for both the cars & the character (especially the character).

* Physics in SR2, or should I say "physics" is terrible. Everything about it is unrealistic. Generally this doesn't affect the fun-factor, but it would be nice to have some realism.

* Anybody can pull you out of your car, even if you're going 20mph and you're flooring it.

* Car handling is like SR1 ~ unrealistic. For those that complained about GTA4's realistic driving, you'll be pleased with SR2's arcade style handling.

* Car damage is as unrealistic as SR1.

* I don't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure the police work exactly the same way - they know where you are no matter what, they can warp instantly, their cars are ridiculously fast, and the stars are removed by simply killing time (or going to Forgive & Forget).

* The game freezes (not often though). Save often.

... and a whole host of other bugs I won't bother mentioning. Some of them are huge, most small.

It's hard to compare this game to GTA4... I'd say it's more fun in the sense that there's more to do... but when it comes to technical issues this game is just sad. The thing that really bothers me is how cars disappear/appear so quickly and easily. That totally drives me nuts, especially when I spot a car that I want but I can't stop it immediately. Taking your eyes off of it means it's probably going to disappear.

I would recommend waiting till the price drops. This game is good (and better than SR1) but not $60 USD good.
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on October 27, 2008
Grand Theft Auto 4 (GTA 4) was gritty, had a good story but decided to make the gameplay more realistic. Realism doesn't always lead to fun. The mini games really sucked: darts, bowling, watching a caberet. How about being pestered by whiney friends that constantly called you on the phone asking that you hang out with them or lose their approval rating, was that fun? Realistic? Yes. Fun? No! And now GTA 4, just got slapped right across the mouth, with the release of Saints Row 2 (SR2)! Why would I say such a thing you ask.

Saints Row 2 is arcadey, has a more colorful graphic palette. And the characters look more cartoony. The gameplay is NOT realistic, but this is more of an advantage here. Below is a list of just SOME of the fun you can have and there is so much more to SR2:

Zombie uprising- this is a mini-game about killing waves of zombies, using mele weapons and fire arms. (This is similar to resident evil and even contains blood and gore, scary goodness).

Septic avenger- drive a septic truck, shoot sewage to devalue property, smother cops and laugh at pedestrains. (Funniest mini game in SR2)

Celebrity- be a bodyguard for celebrities as you try to protect them
against crazy fans, dispose of fanatics any way you wish! (I enjoyed throwing the fanatics into a jet engine and having them chopped up).

Fight club- fight against thugs or even prisoners in a ring to the death.
(If you ever watched Ultimate Fighting on t.v. you'll like this one).

Cat and mouse- simple deathmatch game between you and your co-op partner, one of you pilots an attack copter while the other tries to escape in a race car. (I thought this was a nice twist on killing your friend).

Fuzz- ever watch the t.v. show cops? You are playing as a cop busting criminals for fame and cash. (I always wanted to be a bad cop and abuse people, this fulfills my fantasy).

Trail Blazing- you wear a fire-proof suit and drive around on an ATV setting pedestrians and vehicles on fire to gain extra time on the clock. (The most chaotic and difficult race, because the explosions can disorient your direction, but oodles of fun.)

Ambulance Emt- you are paramedic and must revive injured victims before they die. (I liked helping the injured by using the analog sticks to electrically charge the shock paddles was fun).

Fire Truck- you are fireman, douse fires with a fire extinguisher. (driving the truck was difficult, but felt satisfying putting out those flames on burning objects and people caught in flames).

Taxi driver- pick up customers and drop them off at their desired destination, to earn time, money and a bonus. (fun and easy way to earn some extra cash, it becomes more challanging in later levels).

Tow Truck- Drive your tow truck and take away vehicles from their deadbeat owners for cash, time and bonus. (I enjoyed towing vehicles and having the owner come after me with a baseball bat, I shot him dead).

Ho-ing- have sex with prostitutes and help them achieve orgasms for the next level. (The weakest and stupidest of all the mini games, you use the analog stick in certain directions to pleasure her, the graphics only show the analog stick on screen followed with sound effects).

Base jumping- go the top of a tall building and then jump off, deploy a parachute and land on the designated area. (I always like jumping off stuff anyways, its also funny when you commit suicide because of the ragdoll physics).

Tagging- mark your gang territory by spray painting walls and earn respect points. (I enjoyed putting up my gang's graphics and enraging rival gang members and even the police).

Barnstorming- use and aircraft and fly through tricky areas without crashing (Very challanging and requires a skillful pilot).

Drive-by- earn money, points and respect for doing drive by shootings while cruising with your car, against rival gangs. (Saints Row was made for drive by shootings especially since your car now has cruise control).

Streaking- take off all of your clothes and run through the streets naked while trying to shock as many people as possible with your nudity. (I liked the reactions of pedestrians, they were varied when you ran past them, some: got mad or violent, others laughed, others were grossed out).

Store hold-up- rob stores at gun point and steal their cash, but get ready to shake off the cops. (Another good way to make some extra cash and becomes easier if you have homies help you rob the stores).

Hostage- carjack any innocent driver and the passanger will be held as a hostage, until they pay you the ransome money, trying to avoid cops at the same time. (Earn more money and laughs when the cars have multiple passangers).

Poker- go to a casino or video game machine and play the game of poker, with the cash you wager. (I don't know how to play poker, but to those of you whom do, you will like this).

Racing- you can race, with cars, motorcycles or even boats, trying to beat your best time. (And with the beautifully designed map, it makes it even more enjoyable).

Flashing- all you wear is a trench coat, but unsuspecting bystanders get shocked when you flash them your nude body. (Similar to streaking and just as funny).

Blackjack- go to a casino or video game machine to play the game of blackjack with the money you wager. (The game is fair and balanced, it doesn't seem to cheat you out of your cash).

Heli assualt- provide air support and pilot an attack copter, armed with a mini gun and homing rockets to protect your gangs against attackers. (Good action shooter, your partner can be the gunner).

And these are just some of the diversions you do when you are bored or want a break from the campaign missions. Most of them can be played co-op with a partner optionally. You still have the campaign missions, which sets you against four rival gangs, destroy their strongholds, buy real estate, do any of the various activites, buy weapons, steal any vehicle. Unlock perks and special bonuses And enjoy a excellently designed city that is huge and fun to explore. Gain power, respect, money and destroy your rivals!

Customize, the look of your character by choosing its gender, age, race and then create his/her facial features. Buy different styles of clothing in shops, dress ghetto, classy or sporty or wear outlandish costumes! Customize your vehicles by adding nitrous, or hydrolics, rims, spinners, spoilers, decals, change their colors and more! You'll spend hours exploring the customization features alone; it is very robust and easy to use.

Still not enough for you? Saint Row 2 also features online multiplayer modes such as: deathmatch, team deathmatch and strong arm modes! Saints Row 2 is the game that GTA should have been! If you like open world games, you should not hesitate to buy it! Don't expect "realism", just expect fun!

Pros:

+open world
+tons of side missions
+great campaign
+bloody and brutal
+duel wield weapons
+human shields
+intense action
+great vehicles
+excellent map design
+excellent story
+excellent multiplayer online
+excellent weapons
+excellent sound effects
+excellent music
+excellent voice-acting
+excellent controls
+unlock perks and bonuses
+tons of customizations
+play campaign co-op
+ragdoll physics

Cons:

-rare instances of game crashing
-minor collision detection problems
-minor graphical glitches
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VINE VOICEon November 8, 2008
As the title implies, I found certain things between this and the GTA series that made the game great, and few things between the two that made me want to grind my teeth down to nubs.

SR 2 picks up rather well after the end of the initial release. You, a Hispanic/African American/oddly hispanic looking but with a cockny accent, awake in a maximum sercurity prison after being blown up at the end of the first game. After an alarmingly easy prison break (I'd expected the tutorial levels to consist of cafeteria fights and an eventual guard bribe, or at least something to reestablish the background other than a 2 minute dissertation), your character proceeds to rebuild the 3rd street saints. You've apparently also had a significant amount of facial reconstruction, as its commented on by just about everyone, and also manages to help you free your best friend and head lieutenant after walking past 40-something cops and security guards.

This highlights my only real problem with the games, which is its storyline difficulty. Its far too easy. I expect games to increase in difficulty as they progress, and to a degree it does, but not enough to be more than barely noticeable. Story missions can all virtually be done on the frist try unless you happen to stumble by an exploding car. Your health regenerates if you manage to dodge enough bullets, and you can take more punishment than Robocop, despite having no kevlar or any armor, even on normal difficulty. The diversions and jobs however, more than make up for this. They all consist of 6 levels, the 3rd of which can be completed with 1-3 retries, and the 6th apparently can only be done by people who obsess over these kinds of games to a degree thats unhealthy. The difficulty is also variable, as enemies vanish and appear at random.

Despite this nit, which is a big one, this game is fantastic. The jobs are fun, and some of them could make a game on their own. A few will make you wince, nmely the one where you spray poo on everything that moves, but aside from, the side missions are almost more fun than the story missions. The story missions are also fantastic. While none so far have made my jaw drop, they are unique enough to not feel repetitive, they are well voice acted, and have a compelling storyline for each of the gangs, and a few you'll gleefully replay over and over, as the villians get theirs in rather entertaining ways (Case in point: "Get up." You'll know it once you reach it)

The customization is fantastic, and creative, though a few points are obscure, namely why some items are more stylish than others. The guns are entertaining, and a bit too easy to acquire. Items are cheap, so you won't have to grind for 10 hours to buy new gear or houses. The AI for enemies and your allies is vastly improved. All told, if this was made a little harder, and a little gritter, just a drop or two, this would've been 5-stars, and probably a top ten of all time.
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on November 9, 2008
A lot of people have waited a long time for this game, and the question, as with many others, was, will it live up to expectations/match the hype? For me, it does. There has been a lot written about "Saint's Row is a GTA ripoff," and things to that effect, but I have always seen it differently--I will try to explain what I mean in the course of this review. I was not really intending to write a review of GTA IV here, or a comparsion, but when you consider Saints Row 2, or the first game, for that matter, it's really difficult not to compare the two. I feel that they are all good games in their own right; I happen to prefer Saints Row 2, and will do my best to expain why.

Now, to the review: The original Saint's Row was the reason I purchased my 360-I had read all the previews and was so interested to play the game, I purchased a new console to do so (like I bought my PS2 so I could play Vice City). At the time most people disparaged the first Saints Row as a "GTA clone" or GTA ripoff," but, I didn't see it that way, in fact, to me Saints Row instroduced some things that I think GTA IV incorporated, so from my view, GTA IV is a Saints Row ripoff--for example some things Saints Row had first-

1. GPS
2. Cell phone interface, including easy access cheats
3. When you die you lose some money but NOT your weapons (thank god, finally)
4. NPC's look more liike people, than cartoon characters

But, that's just my view. I always have felt that, Saints Row is more "FUN" than the GTA games. The new Saints Row, even more so. The game begins with your character in the prison hospital; at this point you get to choose the gender and ethnicity of your character, and pick his/her voice. I'm just wondering how many guys made their character a female, and ran around in their underwear for awhile (I know I did, lol). The cut scenes can be very amusing, that way.

Anyway you make your character, then an NPC who is a 3rd St Saint, gets himself stabbed so he can get into the infirmary, and help you bust out of prison. The first "mission" involves you two fighting your way off the prison island, and getting back to town, which has changed a lot since you have been away. From here, gameplay is similar the to the first Saints Row-you do side missions of various types to build up your "respect" gauge, once your respect indicates at least "1x" you can then play missions and try to beat strongholds. You gain "respect" by completing the various levels of activities, killing cops, klling enemy gang members, and now, new features-you can gain respect by skillfull driving-coming close to other vehicles without crashing into them ("near miss") getting air, going on 2 wheels, driving on the wrong side of the street without being hit, etc. The cleaner the near miss, or longer you are on the wrong side, higher you fly etc, come more "stars"--sort of like "kudos" in the PGR games. This is cool!

Now, here's my main point. this is why in my opinon Saint's Row 2 is a better game than GTA IV. It's simply more fun. Now, GTA IV is a great game. But after awhile things about it get OLD-your "friends" nagging you all the time to hang out, and my LEAST favorite thing--all the damn "chase" missions--where you drive somewhere (usually way across town or, later, on another island), find a location, kill a bunch of people there, then, the final target escapes the area and you have to finish the mission by chasing him/her all the way BACK across town. After 5 or 6 of these you get SICK of it. In fact, just today I decided to play today, put the game in, and came across just a mission. I put quite a bit of time into GTA IV so that I could unlock all the islands, now, I just don't care about playing it that much anymore because I know I will be facing a couple more dozen "chase" missions. There are a couple in Saints Row 2, also, but not as many, and not as frustrating, to me, anyway.

Anyway, here is why I prefer Saints Row 2 to GTA IV: (and what's improved since Saints Row 1)

1. You can select your characters gender/appearance/voice, etc.
2. ALL AREAS OF THE CITY ARE UNLOCKED TO BEGIN. I have always HATED that in the GTA games, you are locked out of other areas of the city, sometimes till pretty deep in the game.
3. You generate money-once you have completed several story missions, and control a few areas of town, you are generating a couple of thousand dollars a day; then when you buy a couple of stores, another thousand or two; you can then buy clothes, weapons/ammo, etc
4.HITMAN and CHOP SHOP activities improved-now once you start a hitman or chop shop list, as you roam about the game will show you where the hitman target is (you dont have to have a specific weapon for them anymore, yay), and if you happen to jack a car that's wanted, the game will show a message "wanted by the chop shop" and draw you a GPS route to the chop shop. Cool! (and both are good ways to make easy money and a lot of respect).
5. New activites: You can now drive a taxi for fares, drive an ambulance as a medic (instead of just picking up groups of people you actually go on scene and do CPR, etc- and many other things, including driving a flaming ATV into things and people, driving a septic truck and spraying poop on things and people, and many, many others. Also old favorites, like SNATCH, ESCORT, DEMO DERBY, etc. are still there, in more locations.
6. The aiming system: Saints Row has no "auto aim" or "lock on," and I think this is BETTER. It does take some getting used to, after all the years of GTA, but the problem with GTA'a aiming, is it almost always "locks on" the wrong target. So while an enemy is pumping you full of shots, you are "locked on" to somebody else. Sucks. In Saints' Row, you "free aim," you have a gunsight on screen that changes size and shape, depending on the weapon equipped; when your shot will do damage the gunsight turns red; when you are aiming at a friendly, it turns to a green cross, telling you not to shoot. Easy. Once you get used to it, it really is better.
7. Retrying missions: If you fail a mission you can usually choose to restart from a checkpoint, if it's a mulitpart one. This eliminates a lot of driving.
8. Easy use of cheats: Like GTA IV, once you enter a cheat code into the phone, you can bring it up again and select it. This is nice; you don't have to remember it/key it in every time etc. To those that will say, "but that disables ome achievments" I don't care. Achievements are OK, but I'm not that invested in them; I don't care about getting 100% compeletion either; in games like this, I just want to play through the story missions enough to finish and get the ending.
9. The health system: One of my favorite things-if you are taking damage, take cover somehow, and gradually your health will regenerate. This can be helped by carrying food items. The game does not have "take cover" as such, but you can still crouch behind objects, go around corners etc. I still prefer this to the GTA health bar to 0- "wasted"

To give balance though, there are a few things I don't like that much:

1. Damage modeling on the cars-I agree this isn't so good...GTA IV does this better, no doubt. But I think the "spirits" of the game being different, vis. this game is for "fun" I can forgive that.
2. "Pushbacks" I didnt like these in the first game, and still dont. A "pushback" happens when, you get a cell phone call that an area your gang contols, is under attack from the gang you put out of there. You must then respond to that area, and repel the attackers--you win the "pushback" by killing from 5 to 12 "lieutenants' of the gang that are marked on the map. "Pushbacks" aren't especially difficult, just annoying because you are very outnumbered, and need to have max ammo for whatever weapons you are carrying. The good side of them is, once you've finished one, you have killed enough enemies to move your "resepct" up enough to do a new mission. The bad thing is due to the "numbers game" you will get killed a lot and have to retry. Two tips for this: always have plenty of ammo, and stay in the car as much as possible.
3. Flight controls. You can fly helicopters and various general aviaton planes. But the contols are awful. It is fun though.

Saints Row 2 is a great "sandbox" game. It's not GTA IV but it's really not rying to be. They are both good games for different reasons, but I can tell you, I will be playing this game a lot more, because it is FUN!
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on May 21, 2011
Wow, where do I begin, this game is amazing! I am a huge fan of San Andreas, I think it was the most complex game ever made, and I have been dying for a true sequel, (GTA IV is good, but can't compare), well this one I think takes the cake. So heres some things you can do in the game.

You can choose to be a boy or a girl (yay) any race, you customize everything, there face, body, clothes, their walk, the way they talk, taunts, everything. This game is action packed, you start out locked in a prision and escape spraying gunfire at anyone who gets in your way, thats a great way to start a game I think.

You ride around completing mission, just like in GTA, the game also has things called Activites, and theres plenty to do, you can go to a fight club and when money with each fight, you can be a bodyguard, you can get it on with some girls (thought they dont show it) You can sell drugs, you can even ride a four wheel engulfed in flames and just drive around causing destruction, for money! I wish that was a job in real life.

You get to own all kinds of property in this game, and you can spend money to pimp it out, you can turn a shack into mansion and have all your gang buddys hang out there. There is all kinds of car customization, you can customize the car to the style of your gang or whatever you want, you can even put spikes on the sides of the wheels that will flatten other peoples tires. You can actually buy weed and beer in this game and smoke and drink and get high, awesome! Also there's planes and helicopters to fly in this game just like in San Andreas but I don't think there's a jet-pack lol

In some ways this game is more complex than Sand Andreas, in some ways not. But overall this game is great and should have been GTA 4. It has tons of replay value and it can take you months to finish everything. If you like sandbox style games with mindless blooshed, check out Saint's Row 2.
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on March 16, 2014
Great item, my daughter just loves it. I purchased it for her birthday and she really enjoys it very much. The graphics are very good and she enjoys the story line. The character selection and modifications are wonderful. Will be looking for any new games along this line to purchase.
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on February 14, 2014
I enjoy playing this game. Its not for kids, but it has a good deal of extra stuff to do, even after you beat it.. If you are looking for 360 achievements this one might take a while as it is older, but there are still people out there playing it.
* The cars DO disappear in front of you, take your (game eyes) or real eyes off the one you want and its GONE.
* Don't fall too high up or you are DEAD, obviously, but this guy like the 1st SR does not like to fall.
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on April 8, 2013
Having played three before this one (not having been too impressed by the first Saints Row), this game felt unpolished and rushed. The first five minutes or so of this game are horrible, down to the graphics chugging at about 10 fps during a water/boat sequence. Once I got to the main land, I ejected the disc, and put it aside, mostly abandoned. I then went back and beat the first one, which I hadn't done, however enjoying the third in the series, I decided to give it another go. I guess it prepared me more for this sequel. Once out of the first five minutes, the graphics performance improves, there are more "distractions" in this edition than the first, and many of the power-ups you'd earn in the third one are here (available after completing those distractions). The story is OK, the graphics OK, the map is bigger than the first, however, similar enough to bring back that nostalgia - a sort of, see what they have done with the place since you've been gone.

This title ultimately paves the way for the very polished third in this series, and I recommend it if you need a time filler, or a fairly well achievement chore.
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on March 28, 2012
The Good: Super fun missions, great dialog and voice acting, huge open world, plenty of things to do

The Bad: Some technical issues, does redefine the genre, lame multi player

The sandbox or "open-ended gameplay" genre is actually the newest genre known to video games with a good seven years under it's belt, but not that many games have really proven the genre worthy. With Grand Theft Auto III being the daddy of this genre many games were failed mock-ups of GTA, many weren't even related, but still didn't do the genre justice. Saint's Row tried to push the genre once again a few years ago and didn't do such a great job, and was just shoved off as another GTA clone. Now that Saint's Row 2 has been out for awhile people kind of just stopped with blank expressions, while some roared and cheered with joy. Saints 2 really does push the genre and is a clear oppenent against Grand Theft Auto IV, but I'm not going to sit here and compare the two since Saints 2 deserves a seperate look.

The first thing you do when you enter the game is create your own character, and this is what really sets the game apart from others in the genre. You wake up from your coma in a jail hospital and bam you're in there changing your sex, picking your taunts (some are very vulgar), rearranging your face (you can do that in that outside of this too), picking hair, and even your voice. The options are deep and riddled with lots of ways to make your character unique and stand out from others online. Once you get out of this mode you are introduced to an easy to use tutorial that will show you how to control your character and I have to admit; the controls are wonderful. I never got frustrated with them and they are just so intuitive and easy to understand and remember. You start out with some melee training then you pick up a pistol and you discover you can zoom in via over the shoulder, jump around, and it all just feels nice and smooth. Once you hop into a car this doesn't change one bit since cars will turn on a dime and have the perfect feel to them (all 40 or so of them) and this makes driving around the city of Stilwater very pleasant.

The bulk of the game is about rivaling gangs through the story and I have to admit the story is riveting, gruesome, and very entertaining and never falters once. You see, since you were knocked out for two weeks all the gangs who hated you took their territory back and now you must gather your old friends, start the 3rd Street Saints up again and build your hideout up. In this hideout you can get your cash from the stores you purchased, change your gangs style (like 80's, hip-hip, pimps & hos that sort of things), change your weapon layout, and pimp out your crib. All of these are just nice subtle touches that THQ didn't really have to do, but they went that extra mile anyway.

Between these story missions you can go to different stores an buy food (health), jewelry or clothes to increase your respect, go to plastic surgeons to redo something on your character, buy cars, buy weapons, and the second half of the game: Play side missions.

These side missions are actually a blast and two I will talk about are Fuzz and Septic Avenger. Most of the side missions are scattered throughout your map (Stilwater is HUGE by the way) and they consists of events such as racing, celebrity protection, helicopter attack missions etc. All of these missions earn you respect so you can play story missions (each story mission takes one piece of your respect bar). Each mission gives you a time limit and a certain objective to complete, while some are wasy others are a pain in the @SS and can leave you screaming in frustration. Fuzz is a cop reality show where you drive around to designated crimes and kill them according to what your camera man says. Sometimes you'll have to use a chainsaw (camera angle a la Gears of War), use satchel charges on skateboarders etc. Fuzz is an addictive (like most missions) way to fill your respect bar and leaves many laughs as well (thanks to the amazing dialog THQ wrote for the game). Septic Avenger has you driving a septic trucks (yeah a poop truck) spraying fecal matter all over buildings to depreciate the value for certain clients. As you spray the buildings a red meter will drop and a cash amount will pop up bringing that much closer to your depreciation amount.

There are also some other smaller side missions like the taxi missions, hostage diversion in which you hijack a car and any passengers can be driven crazy (literally) until a ransom is given. You also have a streaker mission since you CAN walk around naked (blurred naughty bits of course) and streak in front of people for cash.

If you think the side missions sound fun don't forget those story missions. The game has amazing voice acting and clever dialog so it'll keep you wanting more and making you come back to see which gang member you're going to kill next. Not one missions is identical and you are blessed with a non repetitive mission based game that gives you many different places, and way to kill people throughout the entire game.

Now when it comes to nitpicking the game apart the graphics aren't up to par with most next-gen games (thanks a lot Gears of War 2!), there are serious slow down problems where the FPS will drop into the single digits some times, there are collision detection and clipping issues, some funky physic problems, but nothing that sandbox games haven't encountered before. The game is highly playable and you shouldn't let these small problems bother you. The last thing I need to mention is the fact that the game is gruesome and is more ballsy than GTA ever was. There are complete torture scenes, foul language, and running around naked a la Sims style is pretty far out there. The game is just hard hitting and in your face and that's exactly what a mature rated sandbox game needs.
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