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YMMV / Saints Row IV

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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: When the game was announced and revealed the whole alien invasion plot, many long time fans just deemed the series unsalvagable by this point. Granted Saints Row the Third was considered a decent game in it's own right, but the whole clones, lucador enemies and more lewd joke direction wasn't what many were hoping for in a Saint's Row sequel. So this direction certainly didn't sit well with many and people just figuring the developers having given up entirely. But once played, the tongue in cheek nature and over the top madness of the game quickly won over many. Ultimately it's considered one of the better entries in the franchise.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" playing when the Boss disarms the nuke. Succeed and s/he crashes into the Presidential chair of the White House before a Saints inspired dub remix of "Hail to the Chief" plays. And for the trifecta when you make up Saint President we get another remix that would have been good for the real 2016 election.
    • Hell, the entirety of the original soundtrack deserves notice. Can be found here.
    • They could not have picked a better time to play "The Touch".
    • What better theme for Johnny Gat's loyalty mission, celebrating his triumphant return, than Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back in Town".
    • At one point in Benjamin King's Loyalty Mission the Boss dances (or as Matt Miler calls it, having a seizure) to "Simply Irresistible". While dressed up as a stripper cowboy.
    • Full-on dubstep in the new 97.6 K12. Let the wub flow into you!
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    • Mad Decent fans, rejoice.
    • The main menu theme, a catchy remix of the main menu theme of The Third.
    • The track that plays when you're fighting a warden is pretty intense.
    • The music you get from the dubstep gun is pretty great. No wonder everyone starts dancing when you shoot it!
    • GOT MY PURPLE PURPLE WUBS MAN! Brought to you by Miracle of Sound.
    • With superpowers you might think there's no reason to visit Friendly Fire. You might want to think again.
    • "This Is How We Do It" serves as the music for the Dance Party Ending segment of the good ending. It also serves as a Curtain Call as all of the main characters, including ZINYAK, take turns dancing to the music.
    • The entirety of The Mix. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", "Song 2", "Insane in the Brain", "Unbelievable", "The Boys are Back in Town", "Lump", "Just a Friend", "What Is Love", there's so many amazing songs.
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    • During the Grand Finale, when the simulation is going batshit as the Boss and his crew overload it, a remix of Flux Pavillion's "Blow the Roof" plays. Blow the roof off the place, indeed!
    • The How the Saints Save Christmas DLC includes this rock remix of "12 Days of Christmas" during one of the missions.
    • From the game's original soundtrack, we have "King Me", the theme of Ben King's rescue mission. What better theme for fighting alongside Benjamin Motherfuckin' King?
    • Pierce and The Boss singing along to the radio once again, now it's Paula Abdul's Opposites Attract.
  • Best Level Ever: Saints of Rage. An Affectionate Parody of classic side scrolling Beat 'Em Ups. What makes it even better? It transports your character into the game, with their exact custom look and the outfit they had on, but in classic 2D low resolution.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The President's dance in Ben King's Loyalty mission.
    • During the mission to recruit CID, the A.I. suddenly says "FUKFUKFUKFUKFUKFUK" as he's being uploaded into a Control Interface Drone.
    Kinzie: That's... just part of the process.
    Boss: Apparently the sweary part of the process...
    Female!Boss 1: There's a potty mouth part of the process?
    • The entire ending of "Enter The Dominatrix", which makes zero sense and is poked at by all of the characters.
    Donnie: I'll just put it this way. It was too crazy ''for Saints Row''.
    • And then there's Rowdy Roddy Piper showing up for absolutely no story-related reason about 3/4 of the way through the game to beat the crap out of Keith David. It exists solely as a reference to the film They Live, In which Piper and David have an epic street fight.
  • Broken Base:
    • There is an absolutely massive split in the playerbase caused by the game's premise and focus on "crazier" weapons and powers: a large amount of people resent the game for turning away from its darker guns and gangsters roots, while an equally large amount are openly embracing the series' growing focus on over the top lunacy.
    • The Super Sprint and Super Jump powers, which are unlocked very early on, render most vehicles pointless, drastically altering the gameplay. And that's before any of the attacking Super Powers are unlocked. Needless to say, not everyone was keen on this drastic shift.
    • There's a minor one over whether Johnny Gat should've been brought back from the dead.
    • There's also one developing over the continued lack of resolution to the Dex storyline (the one mention not withstanding) particularly when they want to the effort of using plenty of other characters from the previous entries.
    • Smaller one compared to the other two; but the lack of a dedicated heavy metal station upset a few fans who really enjoyed the metal selections offered in previous games. Some, while they do lament the loss, can carry on with no problems.
  • Cargo Ship: Boss and a Mini-Mecha
    Boss You're beautiful!
    Kinzie Uh.. Thanks.
    Boss I was talking to the robot.
  • Catharsis Factor: In many ways. No need to worry about navigating those roads — just jump into the air and glide your way there. You don't need planes to get to high places — just jump or run your way up there. Massive groups of enemies is not a problem — just use a fireball, or lightning-charged enemy to mow them all down. And of course, you still have all the crazy vehicles and weapons to play with.
  • Crazy Awesome: Whether it's scarring a mobster with nuclear waste, leaping plane to plane without a parachute, or robbing a bank with the gang dressed as themselves, the plans only work because the Boss is crazy. There are only two ways to do things: the easy way and the awesome way. And in their own words, "since when have we done things the easy way?"
  • Demonic Spiders: Though not too hard to kill, the Marauders are completely invulnerable from the front, and they enjoy ignoring other characters and homing in on the player, making getting around them a hassle. In one mission, they fall from the sky, and can pin the player to one spot, making them even more of a nuisance. The easiest way to deal with them is to toss them into the water for a one-hit kill, but that just lets the game spawn another, to the point that they devolve into Goddamn Bats.
    • Murderbots soak up massive amounts of damage while spraying you with laser miniguns, usually spawn in groups, and crawl after you when their legs are blown off. It's even worse when CI Ds shield them.
  • Designated Villain: Whenever Julius gets brought up, people talk about him with the same amount of disgust usually reserved for bloodthirsty tyrants like Zinyak. Sure betraying the boss in the first game was a dick move, but you can't fault the guy's motivation at the time. Although the game seems to go with the he blew him up to save his skin interpretation.
  • Emotional Torque: The alien invasion trailer has numerous scenes that look like Mass Effect 3 gone gangster.
  • Even Better Sequel: For those who liked the series' changes to the more absurd, this is seen as this, with taking everything Up to Eleven, and providing many mechanic changes.
    • The game's storytelling is getting compared with the story heavy-hitters of 2013 The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite. Clearly an improvement over the previous games of the series and probably says something about Troy Baker.
    • Heck even folks who didn't like the new direction in the third game were won over. It helps that the humor scaled back the sex and toilet jokes and managed to do the story in a way that didn't take itself seriously.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Various combinations of Saints Row and Crackdown have spawned on the internet following the first gameplay demo showing The Boss has powers similar to Crackdown 2's wingsuit. Comparing these two is even more fitting after the developers stated in an interview that to improve the super powers you need to find collectibles hidden on roofs or kill enemies for credits.
    • The ship that the Saints use as their base of operations has no official name, but has been affectionately dubbed by the developers "The Nebuchadnormandy".
  • Foe Yay: Mocked by the Boss when dealing with Zinyak. "Are you trying to kill me or sleep with me?"
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • One of the developers said he didn't want Burt Reynolds to be dead in the Saints Row universe. Well, he apparently had no choice in the matter, because Reynolds dies in this game. Having your home planet explode will do that. Even sadder as of September 2018, as the real Burt is dead.
    • One of Roddy Piper's idle monologues ends with him realizing that he is dead along with everyone else on Earth. Real life Roddy Piper died in 2015.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • In a meta sense, the player is breaking the game to make it easier. Super jumps and super sprint are only the first such game breakers, making cars all but obsolete to get around.
    • Believe it or not, the Dubstep Gun. Not only does it fires Dubstep instead of bullets, if fully upgraded, it can kill everything it stands in its path, with the power of exploding wubs, making it into a continuous stream of explosions. Throw in Unlimited Ammo, and you can stroll through entire areas of the game with it. How strong? One or two good barrages can end a Warden, once you've used your powers to take down its shield.
    • The second Telekinesis element drains enemies of their health, meaning health can almost always be replenished fully in moments.
    • The Destructor tank can be added to your garage very early, can be summoned at any time, is Nigh Invulnerable, and shoots both rockets and lasers, making it ideal for both crowd control and precision-shooting. It is essentially the answer to any sort of ground-level combat, short of a warden fight.
    • The Explosive Deaths upgrade combined with the fire element for the blast power. With it, when any enemy who's on fire dies, they let out an explosion, setting everyone around them on fire. The explosive effect can chain, so one blast can clear a large group of enemies if they're close together.
      • On a similar note, the Explosive element from one of the DLCs, which pretty much make any fight with vehicles around a joke, as the Blast and Stomp will automatically explode vehicles when hit and the telekinesis power makes practically anything grabbed a grenade. Added with the above upgrade and entire waves of enemies can die with a single power.
    • Freeze Buff. Any enemy who gets too close is frozen and takes double damage. Even Wardens are rendered helpless against this buff and you can simply get in close (which normally would result in the Warden punching you across the block) and bash his head in with a melee weapon.
    • Bling Buff. Anyone nearby is frozen into a gold statue for quite a while. Killing them in this form drops tons of cache, and cache is vacuumed towards you while the buff is active. It only takes a few enemies to rack up 100 000 cache, and it works just as well on pedestrians.
    • The Tiny Pistol, despite its name, is an extremely powerful weapon that can cause a large explosion at whatever its pointed to, and can be used multiple times before it has to recharge. The only downsides are that recharging takes forever and its blasts cause the Boss to ragdoll as well, the later of which can be rectified by a high level upgrade. It can also be found early in the game if you know where to look. By shooting open a door in Let's Pretend, and going down to a room where it's waiting on a chair.
    • 'Merica, particularly once you unlock unlimited ammo. A dozen guns firing at once and either a flamethrower or a repeating rocket launcher? The closest thing to a downside is its recoil; hold down the trigger, and the only thing you need to worry about is blowing yourself up if you aim at the ground. Combine it with Buff, and you can take down a Warden in seconds.
  • Goddamned Bats
    • Zin soldiers on hoverbikes. They're the weakest vehicles in the Zin arsenal, and a well-placed freeze blast will always take them out unless they're insanely close to the ground. This doesn't stop them from hassling you with their rapid spawn in pairs and their ability to keep up with you in anything short of a jet.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Sometimes the Boss's model will lock in place but you can still move, making it look like the boss is hovering and sliding through the streets.
    • Sometimes the glass balls housing three clusters, which normally need to be thrown by telekinesis to break, will sometimes have the hitbox of the clusters outside the ball, which allows you to get them without breaking the ball.
    • You normally can't summon homies with your phone during plot-critical missions. For some reason, the three homies added by the Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? Pack DLC aren't affected by this limitation.
    • As in the previous title, it's possible to modify most otherwise non-customizable vehicles by taking a regular vehicle into a Rim Jobs, hovering over your vehicle of choice, then backing out. Not as big of a deal due to the game's lack of focus on vehicles, but it's still fun to create a Nigh Invulnerable tank and plow it through everything the Zin can throw at you.
    • Bugs with the radio stations will result in Gen X station indents and song previews occasionally play between songs on several other stations, most commonly K12.
  • Guide Dang It!: The How The Saints Saved Christmas DLC has multiple collection sidequests, but the game expects you to not only get them during the mission, but to get them with no map. Thanks. To clarify, they will show up on your minimap if you have the Collectible Finder upgrade, but that only helps if you already know where to look in general.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Go ahead and leave Josh hanging, and it will be the last thing you ever said to him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: A Running Gag in the previous game was that everyone (including the player) believes Loren to be French and making fun of him for it. Now, Female Boss 2 is French, implying she was mocking her own culture.
    • Not only that, but since the French and Belgians have some sort of a love/hate relationship, with both countries frequently making fun of each other, one can only imagine how vitriolic French Boss would have been to Loren had her voice option been available back then.
    • The joke behind having Nolan North as one of the voice options is that Nolan North is in every video game. Now that 2013 has passed you could probably make the same joke about Troy Baker... except that he already provides Male Voice 1 for the Boss.
    • Speaking of Troy Baker, Asha's Loyalty mission becomes this as well, considering that it's a giant Shout-Out to Metal Gear, and Baker is now voicing Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
    • Multiple times it is shown that Keith David would like to be President himself. In the Rick and Morty universe, Keith David gets to play the President of the United States.
  • Implied Love Interest: Some of the trailers seem to be pushing Boss/Kinzie.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: While still considered a lot of fun, one aspect about the game that was criticized was the lack of major challenge. This is mainly because, if the player does lots of side missions and collects clusters early, they can get lots of upgrades and gain a lot of XP before even leaving the simulation for the first time.
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: Another gripe some have with the game is that while the story and gameplay has changed, the setting and most of the art assets haven't. But as always, you mileage may vary.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, you have series purists who spout venom at the game for abandoning its serious gangland roots in favor of over-the-top comedy.
  • Love to Hate: Zinyak may be a right bastard who destroys the Earth and ruins Biz Markie, but he has plenty of fans for being a smart, convincing threat (moments of Bond Villain Stupidity aside), and even being pretty amusing at times.
  • Memetic Badass: Keith David, in-game. The other characters respect him so much that the Boss picked him to be his running mate, and Kinzie rescued him first.
    • And then there's Rowdy Roddy Piper, the man Keith David respects.
  • Memetic Mutation: Zinyak fucked with Biz Markie.
  • Misattributed Song: It's common for uninformed players to find that the first Dubstep Gun's tune is called "Polyhymnia" by Scout MacNiel. Word of God confirms that this is a mere imitator, since the song is actually "A Bass Renaissance" by Josh Powell.
  • Moral Event Horizon: While Zinyak has some Card-Carrying Villain traits, he is still pretty affable and amusing, and keeping the Boss alive is Bond Villain Stupidity at it's finest. This all makes him effortlessly blowing up the Earth even more jarring and a horrifying reminder of that he isn't as ineffectual as he seems.
  • Most Annoying Sound: CID's constant snarking whenever you make a mistake in one of the Rift activities gets grating very fast.
  • Narm Charm: Future!Shaundi from "How the Saints Save Christmas" is built on this. Her statements of how they're going to save Christmas and fix the future are delivered with such a gruff seriousness towards them that you can't help but think it's actually endearing to listen to.
    Santa Claus: Shaundi, dear? Can you be a good girl and stay here? If we don't make it, you have to tell the others.
    Future!Shaundi: I'm not leaving your side, Santa!
    Santa Claus: I need you to do this for me, Shaundi.
    Future!Shaundi!: What?! I've come too far to stop now! Do you know what I've been through? I've lost friends, compatriots, my arm!
    The Boss: And an eye.
    Future!Shaundi: Yes! And an eye! I can't just give you up, Santa.
  • Never Live It Down: Cyber-Julius laments this to Asha if you have both of them as homies.
    Asha: So, you're yet another name on the list of people who tried to kill the President, ay?
    Julius: Despite everything I've done with my life, apparently that's what I'm known for.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page now.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • The entire game seems to be based on the philosophy of making an entire game out of Saints Row: The Third's "HTTP://deckers.die" mission, which was one of the more universally well-liked parts of said game.
    • Everyone loved the super powers from The Trouble With Clones, so the development team brought back the super speed and added a bevy of new powers to play with.
    • The story and character choices seem to be taken from fan suggestions submitted in the official forums around the time the last game came out. Kinzie being the only major SR3 Saint to return is likely due to her being the most well received of the new crew, while Matt Miller joins the team, something more than one fan suggested (with Johnny even teasing the idea of the two being a couple, something fans ALSO suggested), along with the return of Shaundi's much-more liked SR2 persona and Johnny Gat, while also giving Shaundi some depth to explain why she changed so much and turn her into a Woobie. It also brings back digital clones of a number of dead characters and vehicles, something else fans suggested after the inclusion of cloning technology was added.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Though Zinyak isn't the type to spy on you in silence, every billboard, every road sign and store sign has a message directed at you.
  • Player Punch: You thought Gat's death in The Third was one? How about all of the Earth, every single quirky and memorable person the player has met save a small handful along with every fun location and cool hideout the player has owned, being blown to hell just for the sadistic glee it would provide the Big Bad? Almost everything that players have grown to love over nearly a decade of games reduced to burning space rock in a nanosecond? Especially Oleg and Josh, since you saw them in an amusing scene beforehand? Yeah, Zinyak is going to pay dearly for that.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Compared to her last appearance, Shaundi has gotten far more praise and approval than in the last game. Part of it may stem from making her Action Girl credentials more prominent, but it also uses a LOT of Character Development to explain her transition from Saints Row 2 to Saints Row: The Third then to Saints Row IV by juxtaposing Serious!Shaundi to Fun!Shaundi, eventually having the two reconcile their differences in Shaundi's Loyalty mission, and ultimately ending with Shaundi becoming less of a bitch than her last appearance.
  • Saved by the Fans: Johnny Gat. To the point a retcon confirmed He's Just Hiding!.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Not being able to change colors on about half the game's outfits is a minor, but nevertheless very annoying example.
    • Being unable to shoot in midair is annoying the first few times you try to do it. You at least have your super powers to fall back on, but it's still annoying.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off:
  • Special Effects Failure: Volition tried to cover up the lack of facial animation in real-time models by having characters stare intently at something, or nothing, and out in the simulation the 'thousand yard stare' is expected when alert for danger. But Pierce's conspicuously dead eyes gives it away when he faces the Boss for a personal chat while lounging. NPC faces are only animated in the cutscenes with full-detail models.
  • Spiritual Licensee:
    • It's essentially the closest we'll probably ever get to [PROTOTYPE] 3.
    • Even though it mocks a lot of elements from Bioware games, Saints Row IV winds up making for a pretty good Mass Effect game. Invasion of Earth from an unstoppable alien force, super powers, loyalty quests, romance options, inclusion of Keith David as your right hand man - it's all there.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The radios in the 50's simulation play a variant of Mister Sandman, while Kinzie's loyalty mission plays a song that is absolutely not "Johnny B. Goode".
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Shaundi being called out for her unlikable behavior by her past self is quite cathartic for those who hated SR3 Shaundi.
  • That One Achievement:
    • Fourth and Forty, achieved after playing for 40 hours. One playthrough will get you maybe 20. Not bad if you're planning to play it more than once, but otherwise prepare to grind if you want it.
    • The Challenge King. The player has to complete pretty much every side mission and activity to perfection, including all the frickin' ridiculous ones.
    • Get that Kid to a Psychologist, Dear Santa, and A World Without Christmas, from the "How The Saints Save Christmas" DLC. They're all obtained by completing their respective Collection Sidequest. What makes them annoying is that there's no indication of how many items are in each mission area, and you can only look for them when you're on the missions, and in the case of Get that Kid to a Psychologist they don't even show up on the minimap, so it becomes tedious quickly.
    • "Pounding the Pavement" and "I Am Become Death" are also very grindy. The former requires you to kill 150 aliens with the Stomp ability, while the latter requires you to kill 1000 aliens with superpowers. Much harder and more tedious than it sounds, because Stomp doesn't do a lot of damage even when fully upgraded and only "Alien Kills" count, not "Explosive Kills", which can be a problem after you upgrade your powers.
  • That One Boss:
    • When the time finally comes to fight Zinyak, you'll find that he's a major pain in the ass. Throughout the entire fight, he pilots a Humongous Mecha. In the first half of the fight, he flies about the arena, and is incredibly aggressive, leaving you little time to attack before having to dodge his attacks. When down to about 50% of his health, he hides behind a forcefield in the center of the arena, and the only way to damage him is to use telekinesis to throw explosive CIDs at him. When down to only a sliver of his HP, you're tasked with disabling the shield generators, all while Murderbots try to kill you. Even when your homies show up to provide a diversion, the Murderbots will still try to kill you. All the while, enemies won't drop health items, since you're in the real world, and your health takes a long time to start regenerating.
    • The boss from Asha's rescue mission may count also. Armed with only an SMG, you fight through Masako troops and Murderbots while avoiding his sniper rifle. A shot from said rifle takes a quarter of your life, even after upgrades. Said Murderbots carry either laser miniguns or mine launchers that also take off chunks of life at a time. On top of that, Asha has a tendency to need reviving every couple minutes, and if she dies it's a mission failure.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • The "Distance Traveled In Alien Vehicles" challenge. To complete it, you have to travel 2.5 million feet in an alien vehicle. Even when you're using the fastest alien vehicle, you're looking at several hours to go that far. This means you have to either forgo the use of your awesome speed powers during the game, or spend a while post-game grinding it out.
      • Thankfully, the devs patched this down to a more manageable 150,000 ft.
    • The Mind Over Murder activities, when playing on higher difficulties. The time limits are extremely stringent, so you have to perform almost flawlessly if you want the reach the gold target.
      • Made even worse with the Christmas themed version bundled with "How The Saints Saved Christmas" DLC. While the time limit is generous enough, this time, the targets move. The worst part is that the activity will randomly bug, causing you to not able to pick up items to be thrown or screw up the targets.
    • The TK Rift activities, if you don't have the Explosions - No Ragdoll upgrade. Getting blown over by an explosion knocks you over, wasting precious time and making your combo meter run down. The bombs come fast and frequently, so you have to constantly catch and release if you want to score high. Thank goodness there's only two instances.
    • Super-Powered freaking Fight Club. Especially the one with that guy who killed Gat's girlfriend. Nnnngh. Okay, timed mission? Yup. No Weapons? Yup. Several waves? Oh yes. The last wave (the boss) is this guy with an energy sword, and all of his minions have energy swords too. They all have sprint superpowers, and the boss himself also has super jump and if they so much as touch you, they shear off large amounts of life (even on Normal!) and cause you to stagger and they try to trap you so you can't move. It can take several fireballs to kill one, and your health does not regenerate in battle unless you kill someone and take the health item.
    • The Loyalty Mission for Johnny Gat starts out easy enough, but the second phase kicks the difficulty into high gear. There are a ton more enemies, including several rocket launchers and an invincible Murderbot, the arena is much smaller and tighter, making dodging hard, and in general its just far more chaotic. Let's just say that when the Boss makes Matt give him/her back their super powers for this section, you will need them.
    • Getting silver or gold on Speed Rift can be a pain, especially if you don't play a lot of Audiosurf.
    • Platforming Rift. Silver can be done with some practice, but there is only a tiny margin of error for getting gold, meaning you need to be ridiculously accurate and avoid wasting time.
    • Lampshaded (as with most things) in Enter the Dominatrix. Bringing up the "protect Shaundi while she visits the widget factory" mission earns a "gag" motion from Kinzie during the Confession Cam.
    • The on-foot Mayhem activities may be this for some, since they restrict you to only one method of destruction (such as a Black Hole Gun or Super Stomp) in each activity. If you like what the activity lets you use, then it's a pretty fun activity. If you don't, though, it can be a pain to get through. The Black Hole Gun activity is especially hated - Despite being one of the first Mayhem missions available, and being rated Easy, it's nearly impossible to get Gold on without upgrading the gun due to its extremely slow fire rate.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Boss becoming President could have easily been the plot of a game of its own. This game covers it and pretty much disposes of it in the space of two missions.
    • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Game Mechanic: Playing around with your Stock Superpowers is great fun - too bad most story missions disable them.


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