The Fourth Street Despair


[UPDATE 8/26/21] Rest in peace Mike Watson (IdolNinja). After suffering from stage four cancer for some time over a year, he tragically passed on the day this post was written: August 25, 2021. I mention him briefly in this rash entry. And on second thought, it might be a better idea to take his word for it. Maybe a trailer is too little and the actual game will blow me away. We’ll just have to wait and see. That being said, enjoy reading an intentionally exaggerated and long-winded way of saying “this doesn’t look like Saints Row so it sucks.”

My original draft for this post was simply going to be an embed of the trailer with the word “No” under it. Then I decided not to, as I would be succumbing to laziness. My second draft for this post was about to go in-depth: I was gonna explain the similarities between the shown gangs and the original SR1/2 gangs (mostly the Vice Kings), I was gonna compare designs between the supposedly new characters and the old, and I was gonna try to find one last needle in the haystack that could revive my interest and make it seem as compelling as I thought it would be. But I don’t need to do any of that. It doesn’t take a fucking rocket scientist to figure out that the Saints Row reboot is a shallow attempt to build hype for what is, essentially, Saints Row 5.

I’m not gonna put the trailer here. If you wanna watch it, find it and watch it yourself. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Saints Row 1-4 story ended with Gat out of Hell:

“…for the first time since the lazy expansion Gat out of Hell that High Voltage shat out to end the series timeline early 2015 while Volition decided they hated having money with the way they marketed Agents of Mayhem.

It ended as we all assumed it would. Slapped together, no real consideration for the old fans besides jabs at trying to poke holes into old arcs instead of giving them the proper treatment they’ve required for the past 10+ years. Now, that on it’s own is not what I’m upset about. Or at least, not in this situation. The real issue here is how little this reboot seems to have moved past those 3 and 4 shenanigans.

The characters look ripped straight out of 4 (especially that awful digital helmet guy), the archetypes are near identical: strong independent woman who stands up not for her gang but for her “””friends””” and a few bizarro sitcom characters. Steve god damn Urkel tier, and that’s not even exaggeration. If you want me to shorten things, let’s just say it doesn’t even have any purple in it. The bottom line: this isn’t my Saint’s Row.

Even despite criticizing it so harshly, from the bottom of my heart, Saints Row 1 and to a lesser extent Saints Row 2 are some of my favorite video games. Warm, cozy blankets with enough fun sandbox and enough action drama to keep me engaged, even after half a dozen playthroughs. That being said, it’s pretty obvious I don’t wanna see the series end. I just want a different direction. All of us old-school Saints want that, too. But with Mike Watson (IdolNinja) suffering health issues for the past god-knows-how-long and leaving Volition entirely, the one savior we had that cared about us coots is gone.

I’m still going to buy the new Saints Row. I’ll comment on it and maybe even review it. Or, if it’s as bad as my anti-hope thinks it’ll be, I’ll critique it. But as is, it starts looking less and less tempting to keep getting my hopes up and I’m starting to feel like the only thing that brought me to the games was the community of loyal fans that had similar opinions as me and prayed for the same things I did. But with all that, I can’t imagine Saints Row cracking even top 10 in my favorite video game series. It likely doesn’t sound that impactful coming from me considering my small name and lack of building up that aforementioned top 10, but as I foreshadowed with today’s Jukebox entry: a lover once can no longer be a friend. Not after this much yearning.

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