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YMMV: Saints Row: The Third
  • Author's Saving Throw: A small one (in the DLC), but still sweet. After the invasion of Steelport, the Boss encounters a diehard Johnny Gat fan who went so far as to clone him. It did not go according to plan. The next few missions revolve around trying to calm Tag (Johnny's clone) which includes Pierce dressing as Aisha in drag and singing her songs (it fails since Pierce is not really that good at imitating her)... plus another equally disturbing brute clone of Aisha (fails because Steelport's guard missiles the hell out of her). Finally, in a homage to King Kong, the Saints fight off the Steelport guard trying to kill Tag and talk him down. While it's clear Tag isn't Gat, the Boss is still eager to make up for the fact that s/he couldn't save their friend. And then they go to find a stripper pole.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The soundtrack for the game is greater, but two examples stand out for just how great they went with the times they were played: Joe Esposito's "You're The Best", played during Murderbrawl XXXI while fighting Luchadores off of Angel with a chainsaw; and Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero", an extended version of which played during Three Way during the race to either save Shaundi and Viola or stop Killbane.
    • A third is Kanye West's "Power". Not only does it introduce an early awesome moment, few songs are more fitting of the character.
    • In the mission "The Belgian Problem", chasing after Loren by falling after him on a giant steel ornament is awesome enough, but what really seals the deal? You do it while this rocks on in the background. The violins make it especially powerful.
    Oleg: There's no way to catch him.
    Boss: Fuck that.
    • Here are some suggestions from each returning radio:
      • 89.0 Generation X: Like some glitzy power pop? Then check out "Stupid Grin" by Dragonette. But if you like some garage rock stuff, then go listen to "Renegades" by Feeder and "Next Girl" by The Black Keys.
      • 95.4 KRhyme FM: Kanye West's "Power", and Tyler, The Creator's "Yonkers".
      • 97.6 K12 FM: From the scratchy synths of Benny Benassi's "Satisfaction", to the growling basses of "Woo Boost" by Rusko, to the head-bobbing-friendly "A City In Florida" by deadmau5, there's a lot of awesome tunes in this station.
      • 106.66 The Blood: Otep's "Rise Rebel Resist" is the go-to song if you want to kick some ass. But if you have a keen on the more Industrial Metal stuff, then check out "Suicide Jag" by Chemlab, "WWIII" by KMFDM or "Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin'-Geddon" by Marilyn Manson. But if you like Death Metal, then... You're at home in this station.
      • 107.77 The Mix: Joe Esposito's "You're The Best", Mötley Crüe's "Shout At the Devil". And what about "Epic"?
    • "What I Got". Not a good choice you say? How about if Boss sings it?
  • Best Boss Ever: Matt Miller's cyberform in the last Deckers mission. Its a huge dragon wielding a BFS that the Boss has to fight with just an arm cannon for the first few minutes of the battle. Matt uses all kinds of Interface Screw to try and slow them down, only for them to rip his wings off and counter all of his attacks. Then Kenzie copies the avatar for the Boss, giving them all of its powers in the process and the game sends out a few waves of Deckers for the player to test these new abilities on. Finally, the Boss gets the upper hand and completely wails on Matt before finishing him off and reducing him back to his weak human form.
    • Considering the other Boss fights in the game are dropping a ball on someone, a button pressing wrestling mini game, fighting a VTOL with slightly more health, throwing fart in a jars at someone and luring a rhino charging enemy into a set of explosives, Matt's fight really stands out as both exciting and interactive.
  • Best Level Ever: There are several contenders but it seems that http://deckers.die is one of the most often talked about. Mostly because if involves you going into a virtual world where you get a cool weapon, and there are plenty of gimmicks throughout the mission, including but not limited to a text adventure. And that' not even going into the boss, see Best Boss Ever above. Heck, the stage served as a major inspiration for the setting of Saints Row IV.
    • STAG Film, one of the possible final missions, which has you kicking the STAG out of Steelport for good. You take on the Daedalus (a humongous aircraft raiding the city in order to kill the Saints) and finally get to fight Cyrus Temple (albeit he's on a VTOL). After destroying some turrets you must land on the Daedalus and fight your way through hordes or STAG soldiers to certain spots to plant bombs.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The last mission of the "Save Shaundi" ending, "Gangstas in Space". It might qualify as a Gainax Ending as well.
  • Broken Base:
    • The big debate over Plot vs. HSQ. Some fans loved that the devs made it nonstop balls-to-the-wall. Others didn't like the fact that it came at the expense of the continuation of the plot from the second game.
    • The revelation that the Save Shaundi ending is canon. Supporters claim that it fits since gang loyalty is one of the defining traits of the Saints. Detractors claim it makes no sense since that ending's epilogue completely contradicts the game's Central Theme of the Saints breaking away from being corporate sellouts and going back to being a legitimate gang, how Killbane and Cyrus were legitimate challenges while Kia was a complete joke, and it makes the game long hyping of the Daedalus completely pointless.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Deconstructed with Shaundi. She feels this way about herself, and after Gat's death, can't forgive herself for being The Load when the all of the Saints needed to kick ass the most.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • All the Brutes, but the flamethrower variant really takes the cake because catching fire makes you stagger around uncontrollably, opening you to continued attack from other mooks or for the Brute to close into melee, locking you into a Cycle of Hurting.
    • Morning Star Snipers. Not only are they incredibly hard to shake off (and can take over half your health in a single shot), but they're the only Specialists that use vehicles; in this case, an armored attack chopper. So unless you have a sniper rifle of your own, a rocket launcher, or great aim with the explosive bullet .45 Shepherds, you're pretty much a sitting duck.
    • Above all, the Decker Specialists. While they have the lowest health of practically every enemy in the game, they make up for it with their Flash Step abilities, their ridiculous amount of damage and unlike the Morningstar and Luchadore specialists, they have a multitude of attacks such as a spinning attack from a certain other third-person shooter and their Shock Hammer which always ragdolls and hurts a player, regardless of upgrades. In ''HTTP://Deckers.Die'', they become even more frustrating by not only spawning in far greater numbers but combined with the effects in the level, such as forced lag, the specialists are known to wipe out players very easily, even when assisted by a co-op partner.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Matt Miller, before the next game made him an actual good guy.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The Ho Boat, wherein you take over a human trafficking operation, has received quite a bit of flak.
    • The dev team seems to acknowledged that this wasn't meant to be perceived as a good thing. The achievement asks if what you decided has left you "happy with yourself."
    • One mission has the Boss trying to get to Killbane by eliminating his opponents for a wrestling match. The first target is done away with by making it look like he's killed a number of people before killing himself. The unfunny part kicks in with several possible mentions of steroids and how people will blame the killings on roid rage.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Not a character, but the entire Decker gang is quite popular among the fans, mainly for their outfits, hideout, British accents and their challenging specialist. Special note goes to the Decker grunt outfit you can unlock in Kinzie's final assassination mission which is widely popular for various reasons. Simply put, there's a reason why almost the entirety of Saints Row IV resembles the final Deckers mission, and all of the superpowers are roundabout ways of giving you the powers of Decker lieutenants.
      • Also by extension Matt Miller is easily the most popular of the enemy gang leaders, especially among fangirls. He even comes back in Saints Row IV as an ally.
    • Professor Genki for various reasons.
    • Viola DeWynter
    • Kinzie Kensington, like Matt above, was also brought back for Saints Row IV for potentially this reason.
    • Zimos, to the point that many fans were pissed that he wasn't in Saints Row IV save for a cameo in the incredibly stupid Enter the Dominatrix DLC.
  • Game Breaker: Incendiary ammo for SMG. It instantly sets on fire everyone it hits. It continues to deal damage even if target is incapacitated, also enemies set on fire start running around making other enemies catch fire as well (except for Brutes, they attack as normal, but are still damaged by fire). It also functions as a Disk One Nuke, as its very easy to upgrade an SMG since it only requires spending around $40,000 and can be done before any mission in Steelport (with some money gathering). Since it's an SMG, it has high rate of fire, large magazine, large ammo reserve and, later in game, can be dual wielded. The only downside is that you can also catch fire, but much later, with your Respect level around 46 or 47, you can buy total immunity to fire damage, eliminating the only real downside of incendiary ammo.
    • While we're at it, you can buy immunity to a number of damage types, especially bullets. While you do need a really high Respect level (around 47 or 48) to even get the opportunity to buy it, the game is a cakewalk after that, save for the mission where you kidnap Josh Birk where it suddenly doesn't work, or anything that relies on keeping a vehicle intact, since you still die if it explodes before you get out. Yes, even with immunity to explosions.
      • The no-immunity to car explosions works both ways... Brutes are usually very resistant to explosions, able to take a couple of tank blasts to the face in normal mode. But blow up the car they're riding in...
    • To a lesser extent, the .45 Shepherd, once you pay a measly amount to bring it to Level 2 to make its fire rate not painfully slow, is quite a potent weapon at little cost, with very common ammunition, since one headshot is enough to down most mooks, it still hurts Specialists and Brutes quite a bit with said headshots, and can be dual-wielded much sooner than SMGs. By comparison, the KA-1 Kobra fires much faster initially, but deals noticeably less damage when even the mooks don't die from single headshots.
      • And when you upgrade the Shepherd all the way to Level 4 and obtain the exploding bullets, you find it's surprisingly effective at taking out vehicles, especially those pesky helicopters.
    • Oleg Kirrlov, once he's available as a homie after Act 1. You know how Brutes are a pain in the ass to fight? Now imagine having one on your team this time. Just try not to accidentally hit him (which can happen too easily if he charges at the same guy you're trying to kill), or else he'll leave and likely turn against you.
    • Get the Challenger tank delivery upgrade, and you can suddenly fend off entire armies of rival gang members without a sweat. Even Brutes become nothing to fear with its fast-firing main cannon and machine gun that's just as powerful as their miniguns, but never runs out of ammo. You can even turn standard Mayhem into Tank Mayhem with it and rack up the damage goal in no time!
    • The Reaper Drone and Airstrike. The Reaper Drone is unlocked during the Saints first mission in Steelport and can utterly destroy anything in the game with just a few hits. The only real downsides are its strict ammo limit and the fact Boss is left wide open while using it. The Airstrike isn't given to the player until about the halfway point in the game, but once they have it it makes outdoor missions MUCH easier. Best of all, it doesn't leave the Boss helpless while firing like the Reaper Drone does. Just aim, put the trigger, and run out of the attack radius. Even at the lowest level both these weapons wreak absolute destruction upon foot soldiers and unarmored vehicles, making gang operations and survival missions almost insultingly easy.
    • The D 4 TH Blossom SMG when fully upgraded, can depopulate vehicles with ridiculous ease, ignore the riot shields on some enemies, and at the same time does more damage per shot and shoots faster than the other SMG, the TEK Z-10. The only downside is that it shoots too fast and will likely run the player dry if they don't control themselves with ammo.
    • Believe it or not, the "Penetrator" and liberal use of the run/roll and special attack buttons means that a savvy player can roll, run or rampage on a group in no time. This is great when you have barely any ammo during survival and are just waiting to use the heavy stuff for the brutes (and this is only to kill them off quicker than the micro damage done by melee).
    • Some of the DLCs count:
      • The "Unlockable Pack" gives the player access to all rewards in the story regardless of choices made... right at the start of the game. This means that the player gets the Apocafists, Killbane's Mask, AND a STAG city takeover before STAG even shows up!
      • The "Bloodsucker Pack" gives the player bonuses to all cash AND respect earned which makes the early parts of the game insanely easy. It also changes the players Neck Snap move into a neck bite that fully restores their health, which means that as long as a mook (or even just a normal citizen) is nearby its pretty much impossible to run out of health. To top it all off this DLC is one of the cheapest avalible at only a couple bucks.
      • The "Invincible Pack" does this ON PURPOSE! All it adds are several cheat codes ranging from classics like godmode and unlimited clips all the way up to things like super Saints (stronger homies) and bigger explosions!
    • Level 4 Molotov Cocktails have the uncanny ability to one-shot most vehicles instantly, making them more like RPG rounds you can throw in an arc.
    • The larger vehicles like flatbeds and semis are usually fairly innocuous and innocent...unless they've been upgraded to have maximum durability, at which point activating the nitrous will cause enough vehicle damage to instantly take out other vehicles, turning them into short-lived tanks. Add in enhanced bumpers at they practically become rocket propelled bulldozers.
  • Genius Bonus: Josh Birk trying to convice Oleg that he knows what it's like to be a "soldier of the working man" because of an acting role he played? Funny on its own. The role Josh cites is Torvald Hemler? Hilarious.
  • Good Bad Bugs: It's possible to upgrade vehicles which are marked as unupgradable like police vehicles, AP Cs and unique vehicles, by driving a normal car into a Rim Jobs, highlight a special vehicle in the garage and cancel causing said vehicle to appear in the upgrade menu. This includes changing the color of the virtual X-2 cycle to something else, like red.
    • Upgrading the armor and frame on a tank (the Challenger or any of the Crusaders) with this makes them nearly indestructible, taking up to 30 minutes (yes, minutes) of continuous fire to even start showing damage.
    • Sometimes, picking up a De4th Blossom will result in the player being able to use the entire ammo supply without without having to reload.
    • You can get a Decker uniform in one of the assassination missions, but you are unable to customize it. However, there was a bug that involved changing the color of a line on a particular hat, thus changing the color of the line on the Decker uniform. This ended up patched down the line, though. You can customize the line color manually in the next game, though.
  • HSQ: One per mission as a goal set by the developers themselves.
  • He's Just Hiding: Johnny Gat. It didn't help that the developers left it ambiguous as to if he died or not. The Big Bad told the main characters that Gat was dead when Gat could've been chillin' somewhere.
    • Beating the game unlocks Zombie Gat. Make of that what you will.
      • And in the next game it turns out he really DID survive. Which... does not explain Zombie Gat.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • During an Idle Animation, Caucasian Female Boss will say she may go into politics once the conflict with the Syndicate was over. Guess what happens in the next game.
    • The news report following "Air Steelport" mentions that the explosions were not due to an alien invasion. Guess what.
    • Boss is, evidently, a Top Gun fan and has a huge crush on Burt Reynolds. Not only is Archer both of these Reynolds would later appear in the episode The Man From Jupiter.
  • It's Easy, so It Sucks: One major complaint was that the game could easily be beaten in a day if the player focused mainly on the storyline missions and ignored the sandbox elements entirely. What makes this especially noticeable is that previous games in the series were much more difficult even when set to casual. It really doesn't help that the third game is much shorter and has unlockables on par with legit cheat codes. Even if set to hardcore difficulty the game becomes a complete cakewalk after the first act when the player has much more resources and upgrades available.
    • However most of the game-breaking upgrades cannot be reasonably accessed until very late in-game. For example, all infinite-ammo and immunity to damage type requires at least level 46, which can only be reached if you complete almost all activities. While in the last game, several Game Breaker (such as infinite pistol ammo, immunity to falling and infinite sprint) can be gained very easily as early as the third storyline mission.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie:
    • Viola DeWynter after her sister was killed by Killbane
    • Jenny Jaros during the Gangsters in Space missions
  • Moral Event Horizon: Kia attempting to frame the Saints by making it look like they blew up the monument in the final mission.
  • Narm Charm: Intentional example in the later half of "Three Way", in which Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" will start playing as you go to either rescue Shaundi or kill Killbane.
  • As well as that, Pierce and the Boss singing "What I Got."
  • Player Punch: The game slugs you hard if you sacrifice Shaundi to go after Killbane.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Angel. A former wrestler who claims the Boss isn't tough enough to fight Killbane, even though they've dived into a 'plane, took on the army and won, and killed countless gangbangers. When Angel actually faces Killbane, he's thrown out of the ring, leaving the Boss fight him instead. The fact that, after making a big deal about simply killing him is pointless and beating him will be enough, he then pressures you into going after and killing him later, making you choose between killing him and saving Shaundi.
    • To some fans, Shaundi became this, despite being relatively popular in the previous game. New appearance, new personality, and new voice resulted in making her so unrecognizable and unlikable that many fans didn't even realize she was the same character until her name is mentioned. Being a Faux Action Girl likely didn't do her any favors either.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Homie hostility. You pretty much cannot use explosives around them. At all. Including your explosive pistol rounds. Even the damage caused by an exploding vehicle, as long as you are the one that caused the explosion, they will go hostile. Another problem is they get in your line of fire and/or be grabbed as a human shield all the time. And yes, saving them from being a human shield by using an electric grenade or flashbang will also turn them hostile. This is the main reason homies become almost useless in this game since you cannot keep them from going hostile for more than 5 seconds in any reasonable combat situation.
    • Being set on fire. Once on fire, your character will uncontrollably flail around, leaving you open to further attacks from enemies. Think you can set enemies on fire and do the same to them? Well, you can, but getting too close to them will also set you alight. Setting zombies on fire is generally a bad idea since, unlike humans, zombies don't stagger when set on fire and will keep coming after you. Since zombies always come in packs, setting one on fire can set the entire horde ablaze, creating a much bigger problem for you when they close in on you. While you can buy upgrades to reduce damage from fire, you can't stop the flailing around from being burned up until you get the fireproof ability that is unlocked near the level cap.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The existence of STAG seems out of proportion, until you remember the amount of force and power the Saints alone have, much less other gangs. They regularly cause mayhem on a scale Zombie bin Laden and the Islamic State would envy. You'd think the government would have stepped in much sooner.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some people aren't thrilled about Shaundi's new look, personality and new voice actor. When she was originally played by Eliza Dushku it's a big pair of heels to fill. Some would say Danielle Nicolet does a admirable job of portraying a more mature Shaundi, but they couldn't have gotten a similar voice actress and retained some of the character's personality? Some actually thought she was a new character at first until they realized she was 'the pothead chick with the dreads' from SR 2.
  • That One Achievement:
    • You're my Hero - getting all Challenges done - can be Unwinnable if you don't go for it early enough, and even then some can be hard to get.
    • The Johnnyguard in "The Trouble with Clones" DLC. You have to prevent Johnny Tag from taking any damage from the military. Oh, the first few phases might go okay, but just wait till you have to handle both the tanks and helicopters at the same time. And it doesn't help that between the Painfully Slow Projectile both you and your enemies are firing and how their attacks don't hurt Johnny... until they suddenly do... it can seem like you're going to make it only to suddenly notice the missing chunk of health. Time to return to checkpoint!
  • That One Level:
    • Zombie Attack. Infinitely respawning zombies that are randomly on fire or burst into flame when you get too close, which stun locks you, they'll grab onto you, attack in groups, when you cannot fight back every undead enemy for miles rushes in to attack, they're as fast as you can sprint, and you suddenly have next to no sprint ability regardless of how many upgrades you purchased beforehand. And when they run the best you can do is spray n pray because they are just too fast.
    • As well as being a Best Level Ever, HTTP://deckers.die can be this early on if you fight the enemies before your virtual body fully uploads, which gives you the gun needed. Also the part of the mission where you Matt forces lag on you, which causes you and the enemies to jump around the place at random. Worst part is that the enemies you have to fight are the Decker's specialists, which are dangerous enough with their Flash Step, but the lag makes it ridiculous.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Snatch. Possibly even moreso than Escort (see Saints Row 2 entry for why that one's so reviled), due to the hos you need to pick up sometimes getting hung up walking around the car instead of getting in the car while you have an entire army of gang members shooting at you. Even with a fully upgraded vehicle, it may not be durable enough to withstand all the bullets being thrown at you. Worse off, if you're not careful and stay parked too long trying to get one of the hos to get in the car already, an enemy gang member might pull you out of the car, causing them to exit and you losing even more valuable seconds trying to get them in the car in the first place and right the hell out of the group of gang members trying to kill you all.
    • A similar problem occurs with Trafficking. Even with a fully upgraded character, you can still run into issues not unlike Snatch. By the time you reach the hard and medium missions, it's not uncommon for you to have a conga-line of trucks with brutes and helicopters on your tail at all times. Add in the limited ammo and certain missions not giving you explosives and you got a mission that is much more frustrating than it should.
    • Heli Assault. Specifically, the ones with Kinzie. The Pierce missions aren't so bad, because you get a heavily armored, highly maneuverable gunship with homing missiles and a minigun, but the Kinzie missions give you a clunky, old POS with dumb missiles and a much less powerful machine gun...but don't reduce the number, toughness, or armaments of your opponents accordingly.
      • Although they're easier if you take advantage of the Macross Missile Massacre that the helicopter provides, which replaces homing missiles for the ability to spam the everliving hell out them. This makes it easier to hit something when you have about 12 heading for a general area. Also, while the machine gun may not be as powerful, but it is instant and takes about just as long to blow up a car from startup as the minigun does. This makes that helicopter more Difficult but Awesome than the one Perice has you use.
    • Kinzie's Trail Blazing missions can be annoying if you're not friends with the finicky motorcycle handling. Her constant snarking doesn't help.
  • Tear Jerker: Shaundi's possible death and aftermath.
  • Tough Act to Follow / Contested Sequel: Saints Row 2 was very well-liked and had a lot going for it. The majority of the complaints about Saints Row: The Third compare it to the second game; "the second game had more secret areas", "clothing customization was better", etc.

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