Vault Game Review – Saint’s Row: Gat Out of Hell

Saint’s Row: Gat Out of Hell was not my first go around with the Saint’s Row series.  I started with the third entry of the series.  I was not a fan.  I never felt like a badass.  I was given the impression I was a meat shield.  So, I ended up not passing on the series.  When Gat Out of Hell was a PS Plus free title for July 2016, I gave the series another go.  I enjoyed the heck out of the game.  Since then, I have gotten my hands on Saint’s Row IV, I am more of a fan of this series for my sandbox title of choice.

 

Taking place after the events of Saint’s Row IV, the Saints play around with a Ouija board at a birthday party for Kinzie.  They contact Satan, who abducts the President (your character in Saint’s Row IV).  Now, Gat and Kinzie must go to Hell to free the President.

 

In Hell, you play as either Gat or Kinzie.  With the help of Shakespeare, Blackbeard, Vlad the Impaler, and the DeWynter twins, the wedding between the President and Satan’s daughter, Jezebel, must be stopped.  The game builds up to the climatic encounter between Kinzie/Gat with Satan.

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Not since Red Dead Redemption have I played a sandbox game that doesn’t come off as overwhelming.  Grand Theft Auto, recent Far Cry entries, Watch Dogs, and Assassin’s Creed have too much stuff to do.  There is so much filler.  Yet, Red Dead managed to have the right balance of side stuff to do with a great main campaign.  Gat Out of Hell, for a DLC game in execution, has quite a lot to do, but not so much that I’m lost as to what to do next.

 

The game looks great.  The design of the world is morbid, but eye-catching.  The character models are rich in detail.  The controls are solid.  It is easy to play and the controls to fly are far better than I’ve seen in a game like Lego Marvel Superheroes, where the flying was cumbersome.

 

The audio is a treat, but does have a hint of desolation.  The voice acting and the musical cut scene are fantastic.  But, this lacks the rich soundscape of Saint’s Rown III and IV.  I’m sure getting the rights to music for Gat Out of Hell might have been a non-priority due to the brevity of the entry.  Still, some tracks would have been a nice addition.

 

This is a game that I highly enjoyed and am now a fan of the Saint’s Row series.  I am looking forward to upcoming Agents of Mayhem coming next year.  If you missed out on this game previously like I did, I recommend Gat Out of Hell.

 

-M

Brief Look @ A Boy and his Blob (PS4)

A Boy and his Blob was originally released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989.  It was an ambitious title, a little bit of open world with part exploring, part puzzle.  You had to experiment with jelly beans and engage in trial and error.  Originally, you didn’t know the effect of the jellybeans until you used them on the blob.  The effect would only be hinted by the first letter of the flavor (Licorice = Ladder, Tangerine = Trampoline).  This was a thinking man’s video game.

 

Fast forward to 2009 with WayForward, who created an update reboot of the game for the Nintendo Wii.  In June of this year, the WayForward reboot made its way to the PSN.  This is not the game I remember from the NES classic.

You play as a boy on the planet of Blobolonia.  He must defeat forces of evil with the help of a jelly bean-eating blob.  By dethroning the evil emperor, order can be restored to the planet.

 

This is a platform title akin to Super Mario Bros with some of the puzzle elements of the original game.  With the blob, you can transform him to navigate the environment.  It’s a linear experience, and there lies the biggest problem with the game.  Gone is the exploring of the original game, gone is the experimentation.  There is the trial and error, but nowhere near to the same degree of the original.

 

The game looks good.  The game sounds good.  The controls are easy to pick up.  While these details are pivotal for a video game, they fail to deliver on what made the original game work.  The game doesn’t challenge the player like the original.

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My experience with WayForward has been limited.  The only other game I played was DuckTales Remastered.  Going back to it now, I liked the music and it was great to hear the original voice actors return.  But, it has poor pacing and is very linear – lacking the exploratory elements of the original.  I fear a pattern with WayForward updating classic video games.

 

I bought the game for a reduced price, and that still made me feel like I didn’t get what I paid for.  When I see A Boy and his Blob as the title, I think of an exploring heavy, puzzle game.  Thankfully, the original game is available on the Nintendo Virtual Console and numerous emulators.  But, this game from WayForward is just not worth it if you want to experience A Boy and his Blob as it should be.

 

-M