Saint´s Row 2 Discussion
October 6, 2008 - The game will feature no less than 11 radio stations this time around, boasting call names such as K12, Funk, Krunch, Underground, GenX, Krhyme, The Mix, Four20, The World, Klassic, and Ezzzy.
- We Are Rockstars" - Does It Offend You, Yeah?
- "Death Of A Moralist" - Daniel Mansury
- "Don and Sherri" - Matthew Dear
- "Give Me Every Little Thing" - Juan Maclean
- "North American Scum" - LCD Soundsystem
- "Sexy Results" - Death From Above
- "Special Effect" - TRS-80
- "Street Justice" - MSTRKRFT
- "Over and Over" - Hot Chip
- "Through The Hosiery" - Crystal Castles
- "Crossover Appeal" - Guns N Bombs
- "Love Fades" - Amnesty
- "Trespasser" - Bad Medicine
- "Gotta Get Your Love" - Chocolate Star
- "Keep Running" - Cliff Nyren
- "Drugs Ain't Cool" - Ebony Rhythm Band
- "Street Scene" - Leon Mitchison
- "You Can Be A Star" - Luther Davis Group
- "Wake Up Pt. 1 & 2" - Pure Essence
- "Look What You've Done To Me" - Sheila Skipworth
- "Funky In Here" - Dayton Sidewinders
- "Put A Smile On Time" - The Rhythm Machine
- "The Cissy's Thang" - The Soul Seven
- "Don't Get Discouraged" - UPC Allstars
- "Anthem" - Trivium
- "Bat Country" - Avenged Sevenfold
- "Colony of Birchmen" - Mastodon
- "Milk Lizard" - Dillinger Escape Plan
- "Nothing Left" - As I Lay Dying
- "Ghosts of Perdition" - Opeth
- "Stars" - Hum
- "Resurrection" - Chimaira
- "Unsung" - Helmet
- "What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse" - The Black
- "Dahlia Murder
- "Redneck" - Lamb Of God
- "Deadly Sinners" - 3 Inches Of Blood
- "Barnburner" - The Agony Scene
- "Woman" - Wolfmother
- "And She Would Darken…" - The Twilight Sad
- "Cheer It On" - Tokyo Police Club
- "Dead Friends" - The Saps
- "Don't Call It A Ghetto…" - Architects
- "Every Single Line Means Something" - Marnie Stern
- "For Real" - Okkervil River
- "Hazel Street" - Deerhunter
- "Here's Your Future" - The Thermals
- "Shoot The Runner" - Kasabian
- "Western Biographic" - Bound Stems
- "Call In The Debts" - South Street
- "Terror" - The Rakes
- "House Of Cards" - Shipwreck
- "Third Gear Scratch" - Shiner
- "All That I've Got" - The Used
- "Lying Is the Most Fun…" - Panic At The Disco
- "Rock And Roll Queen" - The Subways
- "Teenagers" - My Chemical Romance
- "Hate ( I Really Like You)" - Plain White T's
- "Hole In the Earth" - Deftones
- "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" - Jet
- "Knights" - Minus The Bear
- "Let Me In" - Hot Hot Heat
- "Makedamnsure" - Taking Back Sunday
- "Face Down" - Red Jump Suit Apparatus
- "Coat of Arms" - The Life And Times
- "What You Need" - Galactic
- "Misery Business" - Paramore
- Trick Me" - Kelis
- "One Thing aka 1 Thing" - Amerie featuring Eve
- "Tell Me Bout It" - Joss Stone
- "Fandango" - DJ Quik featuring B-Real
- "So Sick" - Ne Yo
- "Me & You" - Cassie
- "Hands Up" - Lloyd Banks
- "New York State of Mind" - Nas
- "Gangsta *****" - Apache
- "Sucker MCs" - Run DMC
- "Ridin In That" - Wale
- "Twinz" - Big Pun featuring Fat Joe
- "What A Thug About" - Beanie Sigel
- "Good Girl" - Chrisette Michelle
- "I Luv It " - Young Jeezy
- "Down Under" - Men At Work
- "Karma Chameleon" - Culture Club
- "Pretty In Pink" - Psychedelic Furs
- "Take On Me" - A-Ha
- "The Reflex" - Duran Duran
- "Don't You (Forget About Me)" - Simple Minds
- "Out of Touch" - Hall & Oats
- "Sister Christian" - Night Ranger
- "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" - Tears For Fears
- "Everybody's Working For The Weekend" - Loverboy
- "The Final Countdown" - Europe
- "Hey Boy" - Buju Banton
- "Stop the Fussing and Fighting" - Dennis Brown
- "Boom ShakA Tak" - Born Jamaicans
- "Who Am I?" - Beenie Man
- "Ganja Smuggling" - Eek-A-Mouse
- "Guns Out" - Ninjaman
- "Heads High" - Mr. Vegas
- "Here I Come" - Barrington Levy
- "Krazy" - Elephant Man
- "Picture This" - Vybz Cartel
- "Murder She Wrote" - Chaka Demus & Pliers
- "Over The Moor To Maggie" - Greg Knowles and Mike Taylor
- "El Viento En La Isla" - Liza Carbe and Jean Pierre Durand
- "Bangara Dance" - Ravi Shani
- "Zahrat El Sahra" - Roger Abaji
- "The Drunkard's Song" - Viktor Mastoridis
- "Schenkt's Ma Mal Was Boarisch" - Karl Barthel
- "Mountain Hut Landler" - Martin Beeler
- "Mandilatos" - Robin Jeffrey
- "Mambo De Fito" - Liza Carbe and Jean Pierre Durand
- "Hungarian Sundance" - Friedrich Sehl
- "Humours of Glen Dart" - Greg Knowles and Mike Taylor
- "Hot Nights" - John Leach
- "Gypsy Dance" - Laszlo Borteri
- "Good Morning Polka" - Jan Schneeberg
- "Friss A Rozsa" - Niko Radic
- "Emerald Jig" - Ian Clarke and Simon Painter
- "Drumjig" - Greg Knowles and MIke Taylor
- "Connaught Chase" - Gred Knowles and MIke Taylor
- "Cigany" - Niko Radic
- "Barasilian Fiesta" - Claudia Figueroa, Forbes
- "Hendersone, Tony Hinnigan, and Martin Taylor
- "Baidoushka" - Robin Jeffrey
- Coppelia Ballet Suite, Act 1, No. 1" - Leo Delibes
- "Water Music Suite No. 1 in F Major" - Handel
- "Sleeping Beauty Waltz" - Tchaikovsky
- "Nutcracker Suite" - Tchaikovsky
- "Hungarian Dance No. 5" - Brahms
- "Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba" - Handel
- "Brandenburg Concerto No. 3" - Bach
- "Concerto No. 4 in A" - Bach
- "Eine Cleine Nachtmusik" - Mozart
- "Four Seasons No. 1 - The Spring" - Vivaldi
- "Four Seasons No. 2 - The Summer" - Vivaldi
- "Haffner Serenade No. 7 in D Major" - Mozart
- "Moonlight Sonata (First Movement)" - Beethoven
- "Music for the Royal Fireworks" - Handel
- "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 - Anitra's Dance" - Grieg
- "Ride of the Valkyries" - Wagner
- "String Quartet in G Major - 2nd Movement" - Mozart
- "Symphony no. 40 - 1st Movement" - Mozart
- "Symphony no. 5 in C Minor - Allegro Con Brio" - Beethoven
- "Symphony no. 5 in C Minor - Allegro" - Beethoven
- "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" - Bach
- "Water Music Suite No. 1 in F Major - Overture" - Handel
- "Marriage of Figaro - Overture" - Mozart
- "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 - In The Hall of the Mountain King" - Grieg
- "Naughty But Nice" - Walt Rockman
- "Marvellous Singers Remix" - Marc Durst and Laurent Lombard
- "Love For Life" - Sammy Burdson and John Charles Fiddy
- "Kalamazoo Style" - Olivier Andres and Christian Seguret
- "Just Strolling Along" - Sammy Burdson and John Charles Fiddy
- "Coconuts" - Gerhard Narholz
- "Dancing On The Avenue" - John Cacavas
- "Dolce Vita" - Bruno Bertoli
- "Face To Face" - Sammy Burdson
- "A Girl Like You" - Norman Candler
- "Jarabe Tapatio" - Carlos Periguez
- "Tooba Boogie" - Otto Sieben
- "Walkie Talkie" - Gerhard Narholz
- "Whistle Happy" - Colin Baldry and Tom Kane
- "Tchoupa Twist" - Nicholas Folmer
- "A Sunny Day In Heidelberb" - Horst Jankowski
- "Swing Paname" - Angel Debarre
- "Stereo Cha Cha" - Umberto Pagnini
- "Colonie Celeste" - Jean-Jacques Perrey
- "A Cielito Lindo" - Carlos Periguez
- "Chanson Pour Toi" - Alfred Jack
- "Bossa Cubana" - Gerhard Narholz
- "Berg Und Tal" - Gerhard Narholz
- "Bachelor Samba" - Marc Durst
October 9, 2008 - The original Saints Row was one of the earliest attempts to replicate the popular GTA formula for next-gen consoles. Like the GTA games, Saints Row put the player in the shoes of a lowly criminal in a vast, open-ended city. This customizable character, known only as Boss, completed various missions for rival gangs and slowly earned the respect of the various residents of Stilwater. The game was particularly notable for its heavy use of celebrity voices for various characters.
Saints Row proved popular enough that it has inspired a sequel just over two years later. Saints Row 2 will follow closely in the footsteps of its predecessor. Once again, players take control of Boss, outfit him as they see fit, and work to regain control of the Third Street Saints. Once again, a variety of celebrities provide the voices for the game's characters, including many returning favorites and a few new faces.
The police chief of Stilwater, Troy finds himself in the unenviable position of having to stop the people that he once counted amongst his friends. Conflicted between duty and friendship, Troy walks a thin line between stopping and helping the Saints.
DJ Veteran Child
DJ Veteran Child is an absentminded lieutenant working for the Sons of Samedi. A DJ for one of Stilwater's radio stations, VC got involved with the SoS mostly because of the free drugs. However, the closer he gets to the gang's leadership the more he realizes that he has gotten in way over his head. A former boyfriend of Shaundi's, Veteran Child has the same stoner and laissez-fare attitude that she has.
A giant of a man, Maero embodies the spirit of The Brotherhood. He is aggressive, blunt, impressive to behold, and ultimately loyal to his makeshift family. While his temper often gets the better of him, his girlfriend Jessica always seems able to calm him down.
An id gone rampant, Shaundi is always on the prowl for the next good time. Laid back and fun-loving, Shaundi takes every problem thrown at her in stride (and often with a blunt in her hand). Her unflappable calm and easygoing nature often puts her at odds with the highly stressed Pierce.
Jessica is the loving and vicious girlfriend of Maero. A rich girl who ran off with her "lower class" boyfriend, Jessica gave up a life of comfort to be with her man. While not the power behind the throne, Jessica definitely has a strong say in the goings on of The Brotherhood. She is smart, *****y, and wicked.
Charismatic and crazy, Johnny Gat is The Player's second in command. Having just broken out of death row, Gat is eager to go out and stretch his legs in the most violent way possible. Currently dating Aisha (a rap singer who faked her death in SR1), Gat has started to mellow out ever so slightly and is beginning to become more domestic.
A slick PR man, Dane Vogel lives for wheeling and dealing. He's a shrewd and sly businessman who oozes with natural charm and charisma. The public face of the multi-million dollar Ultor Corporation (as well as associate director of special projects), Dane is a spin doctor of the highest order... he doesn't think he's smarter than everyone -- he knows he is.
The one time leader of the Third Street Saints, Julius has not been seen since the assassination of Alderman Hughes. However, his presence in the city is felt every time sometime visits the Stilwater Memorial Church.
Australia, October 9, 2008 - Grand Theft Auto IV, despite the hype, the technology and the maturity, was for some ultimately a mundane and even bland experience. Given a pedigree of games that allowed you to wreak bloody mayhem, commandeer ridiculous vehicles and gave you some very wacky and clever missions, GTA IV felt shockingly sparse to those hoping for San Andreas' free-for-all content. This has, intriguingly, left the door open to Volition's Saints Row 2 to fill in perceived gaps in Rockstar's game, taking gameplay and tone in an almost diametric direction to the delight of gamers who'd rather skydive from a chopper or spray feces across a neighbourhood.
That's Saints Row 2 -- possibly the most diverse sandbox action game available -- and one that is entirely aware at all times that it's coming in after Rockstar's heavyweight champion. Volition has benefited from years of other games that have come and gone, each contributing to the genre's gameplay bit by bit. Because of this, if GTA IV did a few key things extraordinarily well, then Saints Row 2 offers ten-fold the gameplay at the expense of refinement, bugs and structural originality.
To begin with, we'll try and keep spoilers to a minimum. The city of Stilwater is born again, largely demolished and rebuilt by the mysterious Ultor Corporation, with their monolithic skyscraper sitting at the edge of the CBD. You've just awoken from a coma (three years on your back's done nothing to your desire for revenge) and you're about to wind up at the top of the chain of command of the Stilwater Saints crew, eventually alongside a cast of entertaining thugs and hooligans. With the deepest customisation options for character creation I've come across, you could spend hours refining your character's physical characteristics. But venturing out into the world, you'll see how far the customisation goes; cars, tattoos, clothing, colours, gang dress sense, demeanour and much more. It really is your gang.
The fresh coat of paint and modern infrastructure hide gangs like this, and in them, figures who pull the strings in casinos, entertainment quarters, museums, the business and technology districts and the white picket fence suburbs. Suddenly, as in the first game, you have instant gang war structure -- five full gangs all vying for power and running simultaneously and five gangs that each must fall to the Saints across 45 territories dividing Stilwater. Progression, as you can imagine, is pretty clear-cut for the story missions; follow the newly implemented but very twitchy GPS system on your mini-map from key point to key point as each mission progresses.
Sure, sure -- this is how the genre has operated since the original GTA -- to what end does Saints Row 2 ask you to leg it across town from mission to mission?
Respect and money.
Everything in the game's activities ultimately point you towards these two things. With respect, which is earned through completing missions, performing crazy stunts, slick driving, killing and creativity, you can unlock more and more missions to play. With money, you can buy goods and services. Or servicing. From ladies. Or men, if you prefer. Working your way up the hierarchy is all well and good, but there's a lot more to Saints Row 2 than the core missions. Many are subtle-but-clever uses of vehicles or situations that the players find themselves in during the course of the game.
If a person is still seated in the back of the car, for example, a 'Hostage Diversion' activity is triggered, where you hold the poor sap to ransom as cops give chase. Others, such as drug trafficking, keep the action high as you plug a rival gang's cars and members as you escort a drug dealer from point to point. But it gets weirder from there.
You've probably read about our crippled-granny-sex encounter. That's nothing. The game prides itself on being completely morally bankrupt. Wanna dress all your female gang members in hookerware? Go for it. Wanna go streaking and create a public outcry? Why not? In the course of the game, you'll participate in 'FUZZ' missions that ask you to impersonate a cop on a COPS-style show that has you beating up minor offenders in creative ways on camera.
But the penny dropped when we had to spray lumpy brown turds all over a neighbourhood to lower property values for a particularly enterprising home-buyer. Is it sophisticated? No. Is it funny? Kind of. Is it a clear movement away from Grand Theft Auto's realism? You bet your backside. Lowbrow though it may be, this game ends up scoring more points for pushing open-world gameplay into new, strange directions than you might expect.
This is the way mission design goes in Saints Row 2, too; the game hands you an AR-50 machine gun with infinite grenades for no good reason. Later, you'll appear with a katana -- all your weapons mysteriously and temporarily removed -- for one showdown. You'll suddenly be told to leap off a balcony and fall seven storeys and activate your parachute that you didn't know you had as the building blows up around you. Others will see you in a flame-proof silver suit on the back of a quad-bike, setting people, cars and inanimate objects on fire for points. Why is this game so incoherent? Who knows -- it's a quirky cutscene-prefaced sideshow attraction, as is the Zombie Uprising minigame -- which honestly isn't that fun or that much of a selling point. It's just another point of difference and diversity and spectacle.
It's this spectacle that will ultimately turn you on or turn you off of Saints Row 2. Racing, killing, pimping, customising -- these are options you've had before, but they now feature a whole new set of slacks, with just enough depth to each to justify their inclusion.
This is significant. This is innovative within the genre.
If you want to go and spray some crap on a suburb while your buddy is flying a helicopter on the other side of the map, so be it. If you want to join in, you can -- a menu option will automatically offer you participation, which is thoughtful. If that same buddy wants to help you out with a story mission, you can quit by double-tapping down on the D-pad and quitting out of any mission you're in at any time to go and join them. If you want to break into 12-player multiplayer shootouts for money and rank, go for it. Everything is at your fingertips and it goes far deeper than in GTA IV.
Arguably, this is also the best way to experience Saints Row 2 -- a game that, by yourself, is far less amusing than it intends. You'll want to share the explosions, massive jumps, stupid-but-entertaining cutscenes, secret sex grottos, morbidly obese hookers, beanpole Goths, punks playing craps, cops beating up nude public love-makers and other oddities that populate this world.
By and large, Saints Row 2 has not seen a massive facelift from the original. It's not a pretty game; it lacks the textural quality and lighting effects of GTA IV and characters remain strangely waxy and Mattel-like, despite excellent muscle definition and skin movement. Some structures are beautifully ornate: the Key Plaza Station with its massive scale, fountains and glass archways; the multi-tiered casino, the shopping malls and boardwalks. Largely though, even with weather effects and better day and night time transitions, Stilwater is curiously cookie-cutter in areas.
The exception to the trend is on the face of the water, jetting along in a boat or on a jet ski. The rolling waves are a nice step forward for the series, bringing it in line with the rest of the industry and little more. Motion capture is used to great effect; it does add immensely to the cutscenes, which are fairly entertaining and well-scripted. Voice acting, with a few biggish-name drawcards like, ahem, Neil Patrick Harris, is consistently amusing. Lip-synching is pretty good too, but does regularly dissolve into fishlips and O-faces. Still, the effort is there -- as in most aspects of the game. It tries a lot, wears a lot of hats and succeeds partially in all areas.
Saints Row 2's niggles are small but numerous. The difficulty is far more forgiving than it should be, even on Normal. Because the AI is mostly retarded, you can fill up your shotgun ammunition, walk into a room and mostly take out every opponent with a single blast each. Your health bar recharges during moments of quiet, meaning that you can immediately back out of a room and wait ten seconds, refilling your gauge, and then finish off whoever is still standing. It's a shooting gallery and shooting galleries get very old very fast.
You know how I said that this game is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none? It's true. Things never quite feel tight enough -- car physics are pure arcade, helicopters lack finesse for landing or carrying people on the skis (as some missions require), the camera is too slow to rotate when doing tight turns, and your AI gang members frequently get stuck behind objects and end up either dying or getting left behind. While load transitions between indoors and outdoors are non-existent, that means interiors are sometimes very simplistic and blocky. Again, it's not a game to show off to your graphics-***** friends.
The game is a tad glitchy too; something that is the bane of large-scale efforts like this. It's very tricky to iron out bugs, and unfortunately our retail versions crashed four times in a well-ventilated room. We know it was the game freezing, since we could still access the console hub menu, despite frozen characters and blank screens. Hopefully this is an isolated handful of incidents, but time and forum members will tell.
Because the game hinges so much on gunplay, car chases and on-rails shootouts, this is usually excused with light humour -- the non-player characters comment on how much more fun it is to walk in the front door and open fire, rather than set up an elaborate and subtle plan. But the reality is, it's also a lot more straightforward for the level designers and programmers too. That means that waypoints on your mini-map inside buildings are very linear and you won't feel compelled to explore sparsely decorated rooms.
In this way, on the surface, Saints Row is an easy game to hate. Actually, I have a feeling that a lot of players and reviewers will write this game off for the sheer stupidity at play at all times. But to do so would be a big disservice to a game that tries hard to do a lot of things and show you a good time. Did we have a good time? Definitely (and that's the key, isn't it?) – but it's done with the same level of sophistication as a 16-bit beat-em-up at regular intervals, blended with dozens of minigame distractions and a well-designed city to play around in. So it's big dumb fun, Saints Row 2 isn't going to redefine any aspects of game design - but in doing so it does deliver on Volition's biggest promise: Saints Row 2 isn't Grand Theft Auto.
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