After spending so much time talking about their ambitious downloadable content plans for Saints Row: The Third, THQ has finally delivered on their promises. Unfortunately, what we're given is a disappointing mess of new and old content with no real purpose. This is not the way Johnny Gat would have wanted it.
Presented as a televised sporting event (complete with color commentary and suspiciously familiar music), Genkibowl VII is really nothing more than an excuse to package four brand new mini-games into one overpriced download. Gamers hoping for a continuation of the story (or really any narrative at all) will be disappointed, while everybody else will be left scratching their head wondering why it cost seven dollars.
You know you're in for something bad the moment Genkibowl VII gets under way. The first thing you do is play two more "episodes" of the Genki TV show. Just like before, your goal is to run through a labyrinthine studio shooting mascot characters until you have enough money to exit. The look of the studio has changed, but the basic gameplay remains the same. You still get extra points for head shots, dodging traps and shooting certain pop-up signs. If you've played through Saints Row: The Third, then the two stages of Apocalypse Genki are going to feel excruciatingly familiar.
The good news is that the rest of the remaining activities feel decidedly fresher. The most exciting is Sexy Kitten Yarngasm, a game in which players roll a gigantic ball of yarn through the streets of Steelport running over cars, gang members, a mouse and anything else that gets in the way. The idea is to earn as many points in a short amount of time, a goal that will have you bumping, jumping and destroying everything you can see. It's a fun activity that reminds me of the wackiness of Katamari Damacy.
In Sad Panda Skyblazing we play a mascot who flies through flaming hoops and fights bad guys on the roofs of skyscrapers. Yup, that's it. This mini game is short and feels like a reject from the newest Pilotwings game. The fighting element adds a bit of flavor, but this dredges up all of the bad memories of skydiving challenges game developers seem to think are fun. They're not, and this quickie mini game conclusively proves that.
The final new game has you picking up Genki himself and driving him all around town. Mr. Genki likes seeing people die, but hates being seen by overzealous fans. This is a variation on a mode already found in Saints Row: The Third, only this version involves less sex in the back seat. You have to do this event twice before moving on, which seems to be a common thread between all four of these mini-games.
When everything is added up, there are only eight short missions to complete. Even if you fail on every single one of those events, this DLC clocks in at less than an hour. Completing the missions opens up new vehicles, characters and outfits, but that's about the only reward you get for paying the staggering seven dollars. There simply isn't enough content here to warrant that kind of price.
I'm sure there are Saints Row fans that have been clamoring for more optional mini-games to master, but I am not one of those people. What I loved about the game was the over-the-top story and crazy missions full of exciting new ideas. Don't expect any of that in this overpriced content dump. At best Genkibowl VII is an easy way to earn a few achievement points, at worst it leaves a bad taste in my mouth about Saints Row: The Third.