Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Saints Row 2

Go To

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Shogo Akuji - an idiot psychopath gang leader whose father has to come in and clean up his mess, or "Well Done, Son!" Guy who wants his father's respect in his own way? Even his attack on Gat and the Boss at Aisha's funeral was only after he crossed an apparent Despair Event Horizon when his father not only mourned the death of the man who basically replaced Shogo as a son to him, but mourned because it left him with no one but Shogo to call family.
    • Advertisement:
    • Dane Vogel, CEO of The Ultor Corporation - Corrupt Corporate Executive or Well-Intentioned Extremist? His Evil Plan was to arm the various ultra-violent gangs of Stilwater and sucker them into killing each other off. Then he could move in and turn the Wretched Hive into someplace people would actually want to live, making millions in real estate.
    • The Boss - An incredibly badass Sociopathic Hero who truly cares about their friends and would risk their life for them, or a cruel, just plain sociopath? Fan reactions are varied. It's telling that the Jerkassness was toned down for the subsequent games.
    • The Saints - The Saints as a gang were started to protect Saints Row from the waging gang war. However, many debate whether they are still true to such ideals.
      • By the second game, they've more or less crossed the Moral Event Horizon and became just as bad (if not worse) than the gangs they war against - pushing drugs, killing cops, pimping hoes, and taking over neighborhoods. To put it in the Boss' words: "This is our city; We can do whatever the fuck we want."
      "Don't you get it? The Saints didn't solve a goddamn thing. Drugs were still being pushed, innocent people were still getting killed...all we did was turn into Vice Kings that wore purple..." — Julius Little.
  • Advertisement:
  • Alt-itis: You can replay missions in the game, or go back and perform any number of side missions and diversions. Why is this important? As well as customizing your character's looks, you can also change their voice, and in game dialogue and reactions change depending on your choices, so the Boss can come across as aggressive, tender, or funny in the same scene, depending on how they look and sound.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper: For the most part, your recruitable AI buddies do a decent job at fighting alongside you... until they pick up an RPG. Then it's just a matter of time before they kill themselves (or you) with a rocket fired at somebody from point-blank range.
    • They also automatically try to shoot through Human Shields, which properly screws you in the fight with Veteran Child.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Honestly, all of them. In any given mission with a Boss Fight, the hardest part is going to be actually getting to the boss, past his waves of Mooks (and, in several levels, attack choppers with missiles and depth charges or more mooks filing in at random intervals during the fight). The lone exception is Veteran Child, and then only because he has Shaundi as a Human Shield, meaning you fail the mission automatically if she dies.
  • Advertisement:
  • Awesome Music: Literally a game with music for almost everybody, including genres spanning from Emo, to Gangsta Rap and early Trap Music, Indie Rock, Dance-Punk, New Wave, Metalcore, modern day Thrash Metal, and even classical.
  • Broken Base: A number of fans were not amused by the Boss' increased sociopathy.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Yes, some of Boss' actions in the sequel are pretty bad, but like the rest of the game, they're so over the top you can't help but laugh and/or cheer.
  • Demonic Spiders: Tornado attack helicopters. They have homing missiles that will destroy most vehicles in one hit and anything less formidable than a Bear APC in two. They are perfectly capable of firing said missiles at the Boss even when they aren't in a vehicle (such hits are universally fatal), and (even assuming you have a weapon capable of taking one down) you usually won't even be able to see the damn thing until it's already fired off at least one of them at you. As of this writing, there are five missions listed under That One Level on this page, and three of them are so designated because they involve being attacked by Tornadoes.
    • Any enemy in cars. They 'WILL NOT'' hesitate to run you over, sometimes several times in a row. And no matter what you do or how much you upgrade, you can always be killed by being knocked on the ground by a Brotherhood truck and shot by their buddies. Don't think you can hop in a car and get away either, because most of them are just as good a driver as you are. Feel like trying to go man to man with a carful of homies? Too bad, because they've got forty cars with at least two gunmen each.
    • Some missions will have enemy cars(police or otherwise) suicidally crash into yours in an attempt to run you off the road and even in an improved bear(which is tough but fairly slow), this can be incredibly obnoxious.
  • Even Better Sequel: The series pretty much just went from Grand Theft Auto clone to rollercoaster ride of gangbanging fun with an improved story, more to do and MANY more customisation options.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: When Jessica calls a radio show with a request for her and Maero's anniversary, the host says how they're gonna make it. Ay yup.
  • Game-Breaker: It's very easy to get a Bear, an armored vehicle with mounted minigun, early in the game, and mod it for extra durability and speed. This becomes an infinity+ 1 ride for the many situations it's available in.
    • It's pretty easy as soon as you finish the tutorial to go do the "FUZZ" missions and grab both the Kobra (read: Automatic Pistol) and unlimited ammo for it, effectively turning it into a Disc-One Nuke. It becomes even more of a Game Breaker once you're able to dual-wield them, mowing down anything but bosses in just a few shots.
  • Good Bad Bugs: Sometimes, in the final mission, "...And a Better Life," if you don't lift off in the helicopter and instead run around resolutely refusing to engage with the attack chopper that comes for you, said chopper will eventually just fly away and not be replaced with subsequent versions when you get back into your helicopter and attack the Phillips Building. Again, the effectiveness of this is hit-or-miss: sometimes, the choppers go away for the rest of the mission, sometimes only for a couple of minutes. Either way, a teeth-grindingly difficult level may be somewhat eased.
    • There's another bug where said helicopters may just blow themselves up in some manner.
  • Growing the Beard: The first game was an ultra-narmy ripoff of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The second game, while it still bites close to Rockstar's work, has much better gameplay (think San Andreas 2.0, compared to Grand Theft Auto IV's realism) and a very creative flow to its side missions, and watching your player character change from a generic avatar to an over-the-top Sociopathic Hero is very engaging.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Julius' statement at the end of his "Reason You Suck" Speech becomes more and more poignant as the series has worn on. All the power, fame and glory that the Boss enjoys (up to being elected President in IV) really is thanks to the fact that Julius saved their life on that street corner that night. Without him, they'd just have been another corpse in the endless gang wars of Stilwater.
      Julius: "You owe me, playa. If not for me, you'd have died on that street corner."
    • "Room Service", one of the missions of the Ronin story arc, involves you planting bombs in Kazuo's Japanese-styled penthouse, which is inside a building called "Tohoku Towers". While the game was released in 2008, the storyline takes place in 2011, the year the Tohoku region of Japan was torn apart by both an earthquake and tsunami
    • The game includes the song "Face Down" which includes the line "One day this world's going to end."
  • He's Just Hiding!: Some fans needed a lot of convincing that Aisha really did get decapitated. Despite the fact that Gat giving Shogo Akuji the chance to walk away from her burial service would be extremely out-of-character if he wasn't truly bereaved, and they also left in a brief view of her headless body. This seems to be a theme among some fans given the same can be said for Julius, Lin and even Shogo and his father. The latter vows revenge despite being impaled on a boat moments before it explodes and the former is buried alive.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Veteran Child constantly jokes about Generation X being the only one in Stilwater not owned by Ultor. After you kill Veteran Child, it gets bought out by Ultor and turned into Ultor FM.
      • This line when a caller says he wants her to pick a song for the friends he hates:
      Caller: "Uhh, what?"
    • One of the radio adverts features a fashion designer who is totally not Karl Lagerfeld, which becomes funnier when you remember Grand Theft Auto IV got the actual Karl Lagerfeld to play himself as a DJ in their game.
    • Maero telling the Boss to go to hell at the end of the last Brotherhood mission goes from being serious and dramatic to hilarious with the upcoming release of the new "Gat Out Of Hell" expansion for Saints Row IV where the Boss is kidnapped by Satan and actually goes to hell at the very beginning of the game.
    • The "Shaundi Intelligence Network" after The Situation actually apparently had one in a show that didn't debut until a year later!
    • The "Would You Rather" ad mentions BASE jumping and joining a fight league, both of which are in The Ballad of Gay Tony.
  • Ho Yay: The General and Mr. Sunshine. There is also The Boss and any of the lieutenants, depending on their gender.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Maero, if you approach him the first thing you do. At this point, his assessments are entirely correct; you just came out of a years-long coma and haven't proven you still have what it takes, he doesn't need protection to deal with you, the Saints are a has-been gang consisting of about three people, and you should be grateful he's willing to cut you in on anything at all. Of course, if you've done even a few missions, he is FAR off the bat.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Shogo Akuji to some fans. While he is an incompetent gang leader, all he wanted to do was impress his (even more so incompetent) father, who outright shows disdain for him. Same can be said for Maero throughout the Brotherhood storyline.
  • Memetic Loser: The Quasar is an SUV in the game that, while it is a well-performing car, is infamous for being very rare to find. In fact, it only spawns in two suburbs, Downtown and the Suburb Expansion, and usually only at nighttime.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Equip the detonator."Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: For the player character after the bonus mission. Before that point, you can easily convince yourself that you're doing it to stop the violence, return order to the streets, and potentially slow down or stop the drug trade. After the player murders Julius, though, it really sets in that your character does not care about any of this - the city is theirs, and they're going to keep it no matter what. And to top it all off, before you kill him, Julius basically tells you that you've become just as bad as the gangs you fought in the previous game, which is why he left the gang in the first place. Oh, and if you didn't do that, you throw a random bartender into gunfire and blow her corpse up to escape a SWAT team.
    • Julius arguably crossed the Moral Event Horizon as well when he blew up the boat that Boss was on, putting him/her in a coma for five years, after all that they did to save him. Troy asked for Julius to dismantle the Saints peacefully, but Julius took the violent way out without even a second thought.
      • It was the only way, so he argues. Considering the actions Boss gets up to in the sequel, not to mention the fact that they were a vigilante gang of sorts originally, he was dead on the money.
      • Considering how the Boss is characterized in 2, Julius was entirely justified in his actions. He was terrified that they (the Boss) was becoming a monster, and worse, a monster who (running parallel with the origin of the Vice Kings) would probably take control of the Saints from Julius, and thus have the entire city.
    • Dex also counts, as he decides to try and do both of them in.
    • Shogo Akuji crosses the Moral Event Horizon. Initially presented as a spoiled brat, Shogo wants to show his father that he can handle Boss after the Saints robbed his casino. He first orders Jyunichi to kidnap Aisha - who winds up killing her when she tries to warn Johnny and Boss. To make things worse, just to save face, he betrays Jyunichi in a fit of pique and tries to personally kill Boss and Gat at Aisha's funeral. He fails, and winds up being buried alive by Johnny and the Boss.
      • Likewise. Everything after "Deal with the Saints" was left up to Jyunichi, and Shogo only betrayed him to the Saints after his father all but removed Shogo from power and placed himself at the head of the Ronin with Jyunichi as his right hand.
    • The Brotherhood's crossing of the horizon is an interesting case. They kidnap Carlos, and chain him to the back of one of their trucks and drag him across town, face-first, which definitely gives you motivation to wipe them out. However, it's the main character who drew first blood by putting radioactive waste in Maero's tattoo and making him Two-Faced. Had he not pulled that little stunt, this could have never happened. Granted, Maero's offer was a terrible, terrible deal for the Saints, but still... Oh, and you avenge Carlos by kidnapping Jessica and locking her in the trunk of her car, driving the car to a monster truck rally that Maero is participating in, and park the car so that he unknowingly crushes his beloved girlfriend by landing on the trunk after a jump. And if that wasn't enough, the Boss shows up as soon as Maero gets out and tosses him Jessica's keys so that he can open the trunk and see her mangled corpse for himself, all while sneering "When you look in the trunk, just remember that you should have offered me more than 20 percent."
      • Boss cripples a tattoo artist's hand with fireworks, ruining his livelihood as a scrimshaw and a musician, even though he isn't involved with the Brotherhood in any way save being a scrimshaw. He even explicitly says that Maero doesn't tell him anything because he doesn't want his best friend to get mixed up in gang violence.
    • And so we have one from each gang there's DJ Veteran Child from the Sons of Samedi. He was already a talented, award-winning DJ, but because he wanted some good weed, he became one of the top members of the gang. He didn't seem all that violent initially (even confused), but was more than willing to remorselessly abuse and kill his ex-girlfriend, Shaundi as well as the Boss so he can save his own neck, or as Shaundi so succinctly puts it after Boss kills him.
      Shaundi My ex-boyfriend's a dick.
      • When you go and rescue Shaundi the various Sons will scream to kill the girl, further enforcing that of all the gangs they are the worst, and Shaundi's fears of them are very valid.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The sassy comments your "homies" make about your driving can get pretty damn irritating after a while, especially when they start bitching about how fast you're going while being chased all over Stilwater by gangsters, the FBI, and/or attack helicopters.
    • The constant "Woo-HOO!" yells made by strippers at your hideouts, particularly because they keep doing them as you're scrolling through any kind of menus. You'll want to toss a grenade in their direction as soon as you enter a crib, just to shut them up.
  • Narm Charm: Most of the Boss' actions in the second game are so over-the-top you shouldn't be able to take them seriously, but they are also so unflinchingly brutal that they manage to be effective nonetheless.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Carlos' death, and other Saints that have died even when Boss had nothing to do with it are laid at his\her feet a lot.
    • It is almost impossible to discuss the Boss without bringing up their more infamous actions, such as having Jessica kidnapped and crushed to death, and whether or not they count as a sociopath because of it. This caused The Third to make the Boss more Affably Evil in nature as well as poking fun at the Boss' previous nature in future games.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now has its own page.
  • One True Threesome: Female 2 seems to ship Boss/Pierce/Shaundi.
  • Player Punch: Aisha's murder during the Ronin arc, especially if you played the first one. The little... game... the Brotherhood plays with Carlos during their arc. Veteran Child taking Shaundi hostage during the Samedi arc. This game loves cleaning the player's clock.
    • Killing Julius in the hidden mission. Granted, The Boss had good reason but so did Julius for doing what he did. It's not like he was trying to kill The Boss after he woke back up either. The whole dialogue that transpires before you put a bullet in his head will probably make a lot of players feel a bit of Heel Realization.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The game was ported onto the PC by CD Projekt before they were known for well-polished games. The game suffered from enormous draw distance issues - try driving a regular car at top speed and one may almost immediately get stuck in an area that hasn't loaded yet. None of the DLCs made it to the PC, either. The controls (where keys can and will become sticky if held) and audio quality in this port is also really poor. Luckily, there are mods to fix many of these issues (Gentlemen of the Row is very popular) and improve the audio quality, but even the mods can't guarantee that the game will run on any particular set-up, with even high end hardware made years after the game's release didn't help.
    • The PC version was then ported to Linux, with the exact same problems as above.
      • However, during an 11th Anniversary stream for the game, October of 2019, Volition announced that they had found the source code that had been lost and are working on a large patch to try and turn the Porting Disaster into a Polished Port, fixing many performance issues and even adding the DLCs to the game. As the project is a two-man job working outside of office hours, time will tell if the Author's Saving Throw works.
    • The Xbox One version of the game for the most part is perfectly fine, but during many of the beginning missions, the game has a tendency to lag. Not to mention that without VSync turned on, character textures in cutscenes are infamous for looking quite strange.
  • Sacred Cow: The only entry in the Saints Row series that can't be criticized. Except for the poor PC port, that is.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The radio station "99.0 The Underground" is a college radio, so it has a limited range. Unfortunately, said range is incredibly tiny, with a clear signal only covering about a quarter of the map, making it impossible to listen to it on a consistent basis. Luckily, Scratch That sells the songs that play on the station, allowing you to create the playlist yourself.
    • Some of the NPCs comments can get highly annoying, but the ones that stand out are how much your character smells if you wear a particular outfit too often. While this is a means to get the player to change clothes often, this also means that you can't have any favorite outfits often as you can't seem to wash them in the game. It gets annoying being told that you stink and you can't change that in game.
    • Sidequests having six stages in them is tedious at best, especially for the more difficult ones such as the Heli Assault sidequest. The sequel did away with it from six to three, making it much more convenient.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: The first was noted for being a total GTA clone. Yet the second game got praised for doing it well, and taking some of the elements Up to Eleven.
  • Sequel Displacement: Number aside, the first game was given average reviews and is only available on one console. This game grew a ZZ Top beard and went multiplatform, thus expanding the fandom.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Julius. Did Troy really expect him not to be killed if he tried to convince The Boss, his protege, to stop? Though given the Boss just shrugged and let Troy off for being The Mole, it seems it was the fact that Julius personally betrayed him that offends the Boss. Troy also made up for this to an extent by keeping Boss on life support for 5 years and stopping the prison guards from regularly beating up Johnny.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Although SR1 got mostly decent reviews, it was generally regarded as "just another GTA clone", with an overall reception split between "This is a cheap GTA ripoff" and "This is a cheap GTA ripoff... but they made some improvements and it's actually not that bad." In contrast, the sequel has gained almost universal critical acclaim (Yahtzee ADORES AND LOVES it) and been regarded as not only far better than the original, but also a worthy rival to the GTA series by many. This was no doubt helped by the SR2 happening to take the batshit insane route at the same time GTA IV started to divide critics for taking a more restrained approach to the Wide Open Sandbox "crim sim".
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The theme of FUZZ sounds a lot like Bad Boys.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Though set in 2011, Saints Row 2's setting just screams 2007-2008, especially with the fashion, music and cultural references.
  • That One Level: Many of which involve either being forced to fly a helicopter or being attacked by helicopters (or both).
    • "Assault on Precint 31". Between the ridiculously uncooperative helicopter controls and the police copters spamming homing rockets, have fun.
      • This level has since been patched so you don't have to take the chopper and can leave via the front door. From there, you can steal an FBI van (or, better yet, a Bear) from the first wave of cops that come after you and drive (very, very quickly, if you couldn't get a Bear) to the nearest Forgive and Forget. If you can make it there without being blown up, you could walk the rest of the way to the mission marker and not have to worry.
    • "Bank Error In Your Favor". Is not the hardest mission there is, it's just that there are so many ways to botch it is not even funny. You have to drive to a bank, take your target hostage, drag her slooooooooowly to the top floor to have her deactivate the bank alarm, drag her slooooooooowly to the street (all the while shooting security guards and SWAT strike teams and making sure they don't get on your back), tuck her inside her car, then drive the car to the stadium about 15 blocks away. Now, did she get killed accidentally by the cops or your gang members in the crossfire? Restart at the bank door. Did you accidentally threw her or executed her because you pressed the wrong button? Restart at the bank door. Did the car get totalled during the chase? Restart at the bank door. That's right, the one mission that absolutely needs a checkpoint in a game otherwise filled with them doesn't have any. Oh, there's also a rare and juicy assassination target that has an habit of showing up during the chase, and stopping the car to take him down will get it totalled.
      • It appears like some patch made that mission a lot easier. Getting to the bank is a joke; there's no time limit, no notoriety, no cops. You could walk there if you wanted to. Once inside the bank and holding your target hostage, security guards, cops, and even SWAT won't fire at you even if you open fire. Killing the guards/cops inside the bank makes sure you won't have to worry about them when you're on the parking lot. And driving away from the bank to your destination isn't that hard, either. You're given a reasonably fast car, there are only a handful of SWAT blockades along the way, and except for the first quarter or so of the journey, you're driving on a practically straight four-lane road where it's easy to bypass said blockades and having enough room to not worry about the traffic. And the whole mission, including the two cutscenes at the start and end, including getting to the bank (assuming you're driving there and not walking) takes just a little over five minutes (played on normal difficulty).
    • "Salting the Earth...Again" from the Ultor side. You have to drive a car to a dock to pick up a boat to drive it to a yacht. Not too difficult? Once you get in the boat (which is a little speedboat), Ultor sends an attack helicopter with homing missiles after you. There's no way to make it through there and you just have to get lucky and hope his missiles miss, which is very unlikely. Sometimes, the copter will send the missiles early to taunt you. Worse when you die anywhere in the mission, it sends you back to the Saints Hideout, meaning you have to start EVERYTHING again.
      • Though it get's easier if you go on land again after manning the boat and shoot down the helicopter, before racing to the yacht. You'll still need some good steering and luck if another helicopter arrives on the seen.
    • From the Corporate Warfare DLC, there's "Corporate Meltdown," specifically the second half. You need to protect 3 trucks in a row by using an attack chopper. It is basically the same as Heli Assault (see below), but Heli Assault at least has the benefit of being optional. The helicopter has horrible controls, and can easily get stuck on the environment. While it looks like the trucks have a large health bar, all the enemies use rockets that eat through the trucks like starved lions. The enemy vans won't spawn until the truck gets close enough, and you can't stray too far away from the trucks either, so don't think you can take out the threats before the trucks are vulnerable. Sometimes the trucks will suddenly take huge chunks of damage, often enough to destroy them, even if there are no more enemies. Lastly, while there is a checkpoint after the first truck reaches its destination, failing to protect the third truck will send you back to the second.
    • The final mission, "...And a Better Life." Specifically, the part where you have to get in an attack helicopter and blast four targets you can barely see on the side of a building while avoiding getting blown out a sky by the other attack helicopters, which have guided missiles that can take out your helicopter in two hits (and which you also can't see). And naturally, as a nice kick in the gut, dying at any point during this segment of the mission will send your right back to the beginning of said segment.
    • Any mission in the Ronin storylight that requires sword fighting a boss. Mostly because it's tricky to determine the exactly move and timing to actually attack the enemy and not get thrown to to the ground, and attacking often ends badly for you. Made egregious by the fact you have all of your weapons, but are not allowed to use them and no reason is ever given. It's not like the boss believes in playing fair.
    • "One Man's Junk..." You are forced to fight the timer for the entire mission to get to a junk at the marina where a sword-fight is occurring. Despite the fact you can drive over there quickly enough from where you start, you are forced to go to a nearby dock and drive a jetski over there, which cues the respawning attack helicopter with depth charges to murder your ass. Once you get to shore you have to run through a maze of ronin and flaming boats to reach the boss fight(again on a time limit), and if you fall off the boats, you might as well restart from the checkpoint because there's no way to easily get back on the boats. Finally, once you get to the fight, your friend is defeated anyway and you HAVE to sword fight the boss, despite still having all your weapons. This is made worse by the fact the sword fighting in SR2 is very unforgiving and relies on precise timing.
    • "Reunion Tour", at least on the PC version simply for being absurdly broken. You have to escort Donnie to different trucks and stand next to him so that he will be intimidated in to planting bombs on them. The problem is, Donnie's AI breaks CONSTANTLY and there is no way to fix it without killing him. Unfortunately, his death fails you the mission unless you have a mod that allows you to revive him like an ally and he tends to get himself killed a lot anyway. Made worse by the fact that the whole reason you're doing this (to blow up Brotherhood cars) could all be done yourself. This is all made even more stupid because you end up having to destroy the hundreds of Brotherhood trucks that try to interfere with Donnie blowing up only a handful.
  • That One Sidequest: Three words: Blue Collar Achievement. For example, three more words: Tow Truck Diversion. Between the clunky, all-over-the-place steering, the time limit, the inability to fix your truck (the message "You can't visit here right now" when you try to go to Rim Jobs might as well be an image of a middle finger), and the fact that it doesn't save your progress (you blew up at Level 9? Tough shit! Back to start!) it's easily the most hated part of Saints 2, hell, maybe even the whole series. Though it is doable, just time consuming and very tedious. By far the most consistent way to do it without failing is to get some homies to follow you to the cars(wait until you get the ability to recruit at least two-preferably three homies) so they'll take out the enemies(if your homies take out enemies as opposed to you, it won't increase your wanted level) and also get in said cars and follow you back to Rim Jobs, then you only have to tow the cars a few feet(also make sure you buy all the upgrades for the truck so it can survive longer, though don't get too cocky and make sure to put a decent distance between the truck and the target cars so your homies don't accidentally shoot up the truck while they are fighting the enemies. Also don't be too reckless in traffic on your way back, there's no need to rush as the time limit generally isn't a factor so long as you don't get caught up dealing with enemies).
    • Heli Assault Level 6 has you flying a helicopter to defend a van through tightly packed skyscrapers and mazes of highways. The most annoying part is that bumping into something usually sends your helicopter bouncing off in the opposite direction at top speed, which usually means you're going to hit something else. Also, your rocket launchers can get knocked off, and the machine gun is nowhere near as effective. Last but not least, somehow, the rival gangs you are up against also have attack choppers, and you have no idea where they will come from until a missile just struck your tail. What's worse, you can only survive three hits max. There's at least three of them in level 6 (though granted, one of them concentrates only on the car).
      • More annoyingly, while your chopper can technically survive three missiles hits, more often than not one missile can send your chopper flipping (especially if you tried to dodge one by flying sideways). If your chopper is flipped upside down, it's over. There is no way to recover from that position but to see yourself crash and burn (or cancel the activity early).
      • And as a staple of your client always being an ungrateful moron, Pierce and Shaundi will always whine about you not protecting them, what are you doing in your chopper etc. as soon as they get the slightest amount of damage, even if they took the damage by hitting the wall themselves. They never acknowledge the fact that you just sent an enemy helicopter and two rival gang cars flying in smoldering wreck right in front of them.
      • Pierce in particular has an annoying tendency to drive through tunnels and underneath highways and railroads, blocking you from shooting any of the cars following him. Also, at one point in Level 5, he leaves the airport district just to drive around in a maze of buildings and then go back to the airport district to make his last stop. Meanwhile Shaundi's final heli assault mission has the player balancing taking out assault helicopters, the Ronin shooting down Shaundi in the streets, and the massive skyrise buildings.
      • The Trailer Park Heli Assault on Level 6 has a helicopter spawn after each stop (there are 6 stops, meaning there are 5 helicopters). More often than not, they are too high to shoot back at without abandoning Shaundi to die from the enemy cars. Also, every time you retry, you start so far away from Shaundi that she starts bitching that you must be flying the wrong way because you are taking so long to reach her.
    • But the most insulting part of this activity is that on the last stop, the game has the balls to spawn a car right next to Shaundi with a rocket launcher, meaning that if you're not careful, you can get blown up seconds before the activity actually fucking ends. God have mercy on the soul at Volition that had this sadistic idea.
    • Trail Blazing Levels 5 onward. Heli Assault may be annoying, but it is something that can be mastered by getting used to the chopper control and memorizing enemy Tornados spawning locations. Train Blazing, on the other hand, puts you at the complete mercy at the game's random number generator. You may train yourself to turn smoothly at every corner, memorizing every obstacle and rocket/barrel locations, but you will not win until the game decides to give you enough pedestrian and cars to hit along the way. Downtown level 5 and 6 in particular features long stretches of tunnel/parking lot/shopping mall where there is often literally nothing to hit.
    • Some might not even manage to get past the first part because of how goddamn jumpy the bike is and how narrow the dirt path is, often sending you off course and forcing you to restart. And the fact that hitting cars makes a huge explosion and smoke go right into your face, making anything hard to see just makes everything even worse, and don't even get me started on the game's frame rate issues that is obviously even worse if you're insane enough to play the PC version.
    • Nuclear Plant Mayhem levels 4-6. Those are sidequests you'd seriously want to tear your hair off, especially if playing under 'Hardcore' difficulty. Whether you succeed in them often depends on if the neighborhood they send you to has lots of small objects to blow up(I.E. fences), some neighborhoods have enough small objects to blow up to finish high levels very quickly(I.E. Frat Row), others simply don't have enough objects for you to be able to reach the required amount of damage(not without constantly blowing up passing cars anyways)
    • The Drug Dealing levels from 5 (if done at the Airport) onwards are practically luck based. Dealing against the Brotherhood are notably harder because they come armed in Compensators, which take amazing punishment.
    • Escort, in which you drive two people (who are having sex in the back seat) around the city while avoiding news vans, their significant others, and private investigators, is one of the most loathed activities in the series. 1: The damned news vans are inexplicably fast, come at you in numbers, and just torment you to no end. 2: Your clients will give you requests that range from killing targets, causing damage to other cars with your vehicle, and even driving halfway across the city to... the XXX theater, or some goddamned thing. All while you're trying to avoid those fucking news vans. 3: When they're not making sex noises, your clients won't stop whining at you. 4: It doesn't even make sense. If they're so damned worried about ending up on the news, why the fuck are they screwing in the backseat of a car that they're making drive all around the damn city?! If it sounds extremely frustrating and stupid, that's because it is.
    • Crowd Control from Level 4 and onward can be pretty frustrating too. Let's count the ways...
      • 1) For starters, you've got more aggressive fans that are armed with weapons, most of them wielding baseball bats, and since they errantly swing at the celebrity you're defending (which is who your are most likely going to be close to trying to defend), more likely than not you will take a hit and be sent to the ground and have to helplessly watch as the annoyance meter starts shooting up while your character has to take the time to get back to his feet, and by then, the meter will already be almost a third, if not halfway full the more fans that pile on. It gets worse when the fans start toting projectile weapons, and even worse when literally everyone not close to the celebrity is whipping out a gun and cutting your hard-earned victory unceremoniously short.
      • 2) You have literally nothing but your bare fists to defend the celeb you're assigned to. At least, that's what the game makes you think at first. You'll be desperately trying to swing your fists fan-ward and not realize that you may have picked up a baseball bat one of the patrons had dropped and not have even noticed. Once you whip out the bat, it's easier, sure, but you'll still be hard pressed to keep the celeb's tolerance down when the fans keep on coming in full force. And if you pick up a gun from a fan, don't use it at all. Period. You'll actually find it more difficult to keep fans at bay with just a pistol, and considering that the fans don't start dropping assault rifles and its ammo until very late into the activity, all you'll do is hurt your already fairly slim chances of winning.
      • 3) The celebrities themselves. Very much like the Escort example above, the celeb is most certainly not quiet and will bitch, moan and raise hell the moment all of the loony fans begin to converge and attack. This can get especially bad with the Hotel and Marina District's Level 5 celeb, since all she seems to do when the fans get close is scream to high heaven and get angry at you for trying to ward them off. It will want to make you plunge your fist into your TV screen. Either that or just shut the volume off.
      • 4) Finally, remember that you have to gain enough cash before time runs out. All of the big money makers require you to toss the fans into them, and for the first three levels it was manageable and you could easily make the required amount of cash on almost solely the throw points. By this point in the activity, fans will be coming in groups of three or four, and when you grab the last fan to toss him or her into the point you wanna hit, about four more replace the fallen ones and you gotta quickly toss your victim away before going back to deal with the aggravating fans. You'll eventually run out of time purely because you've had to beat in more heads with a baseball bat as opposed to mulching them in a jet engine or tossing them onto tracks. It may get to the point that you're gonna wanna grow your own annoyance meter and start going ballistic on everyone in-game.
    • Later levels of Snatch, especially the Downtown instance. Imagine, for a moment, that you're required to drive around one of the most crowded areas of the city while weaving in and out of rush hour traffic to pick up prostitutes from violent gangsters who will open fire the moment you try and take one of the girls. Said gangsters tend to have a habit of rushing your car as you wait for the prostitues to get in and yanking you out onto the street where their multiple companions open fire on you as you lie, helpless, on the ground. Then, assuming you actually manage to get all the prostitutes in the car and manage to get driving, you have all of these fantastic things to deal with.
    • Fight Club. Gang Up on the Human is in full effect (while a pair of enemies may fight each other, their health won't decrease), Regenerating Health is disabled meaning that you can't run around to heal up(but you can bring food items with you), you need to finish off opponents by doing Press X to Not Die, and if you get knocked down it's highly likely that you'll end up in a Cycle of Hurting where the mooks just keep knocking you down again and again.
    • The later levels of Insurance Fraud are pure pain incarnate, as it is by far the single most luck-based activity in the whole game. Succeeding depends entirely on having enough vehicles come at just the right pace in the bonus areas so that you can keep bouncing off them once you fill up your adrenaline meter and getting a huge bonus. Problem is more often then not you'll get to a bonus area and no cars will spawn for ages, wasting time and forcing you to either wait and gamble on cars showing up later or wasting more time driving to another bonus area and hoping you have better luck there. Also the mechanics for diving can be really wonky at times and take some serious getting used to, getting large combos is often tricky due to the difficulty of judging what the right angle to bounce off vehicles in mid-air to land on the next car is. Also when the cars do spawn they have a tendency to knock out into the air before you even get the chance to do the dive move, so you end up having to wait for your character to fall down and get back up which wastes even more time. Also you can get screwed over if the game decides to send you to a neighborhood that only has smaller cars(in some cases only motorcycles, which are pretty much useless for generating bonuses as they will rarely knock you into the air).
      • To make Insurance Fraud easier, it's best to ignore the bonus areas entirely and just go to the nearest highway. Highways always spawn plenty of cars to bounce off of, and once you've filled the adrenaline meter, with some practice you'll be able to pull off some lucrative combos. Of course, most players won't think to do this. This of course, presumes you're not doing the Downtown insurance fraud which likes to send you to the suburbs away from any highways in sight.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Saints Row 2 is seen as the best game in the series with its status as a Surprisingly Improved Sequel, how massive Stilwater is, the numerous side activities, its massive customization options, and for being Denser and Wackier than the competing Grand Theft Auto series. While the following games in the series are still seen as good in their own rights, many argue that it caused the Flanderization of the series' wackiness, made the missions and activities feel less fun, and the entire map being less diverse and adventurous.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • All Maero had to do was be a little more polite and argue his case a little better, and all of the Brotherhood arc could have been avoided, including the death of Carlos for the Boss, and Jessica and Matt for Maero. Even dumber if you've finished the Ronin and Sons of Samedi arcs first, where you're actually larger than his gang. Its like a lizard making a deal with a crocodile to catch a chicken, and offering a wing in return. It gets better. You'd think Maero would start taking the Saints a little more seriously after they blow up some of the Brotherhood's trucks, right? No, he gets mad at Donnie for doing it at all, which Matt calls him out for. The next time we see him, he's busy getting himself tattooed. When Jessica reminds him about the Saints, he gets pissed off. Then of course, after getting scarred, the one person Maero goes after is Carlos, the one that hardly did anything threatening (rather than the Boss) and who he has to know is close enough to the boss so that his torture and death will really piss him off. So what does Maero do to protect his best friend and girlfriend from retaliation? Absolutely nothing. Three guesses as to how it all turns out.
    • You could make a case for the Akuji family as well. Shogo's giving Jyunichi's position away to the Saints, arguably his gang's most capable man. Even though he wanted to prove he could lead the gang, show his father he was a man, and take out Johnny Gat himself, the attempts comes off as a Uriah Gambit that ends up failing spectacularly, cripples The Ronin past the point of no return, and results in his death. It doesn't help that immediately after Jyunichi's death, Kazuo, Shogo's father, who has taken over the Ronin, proceeds to pull Honor Before Reason and cuts his ties with Dane Vogel, the man who gave the Ronin protection from the authorities. This results in Vogel giving the Saints crucial intel on the Ronins' operations.
    • Veteran Child, who disobeys orders to kill Shaundi immediately to protect his gang, instead ending up taking her hostage and wastes time taunting the player and setting up a painfully obvious trap that doesn't work, all because he's stingy that she broke up with him ages ago. This is highlighted when after dealing with said trap, the boss calls Veteran Child back and instead of sounding arrogant and confident like he did previously, he sounds shocked and completely caught off guard that the boss is actually coming for him, showing he clearly didn't put much though into his plan. His death is when things really go from bad to worse for the Sons, as VC is the backbone of the gang's drug operation.
    • Jessica herself counts. After the Boss scars Maero's face with ink, she then kidnaps Carlos and then proceeds to brag to the Boss about how he will die during a phone conversation, knowing how much it would piss them off and how dangerous the Boss really is when they're angry. Despite this, however, she has no issue walking into a bank to make a deposit without any of the gang to protect her, and right in front of one of the Saints' top players, turning her into an easy target.
  • The Woobie: It's hard not to feel sorry for Donnie. After losing Lin in the previous game and still mourning her death, he's then forced at gunpoint by The Boss to betray Maero as part of a massive Cycle of Revenge that already isn't painting The Boss in a positive light.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: