Ok, not quite finished with this game yet, but I had a moment of realization that I felt like sharing.

For those of you not familiar with Saints Row 2 it was basically Grand Theft Auto if those games didn't take themselves so seriously. You're stealing cars, committing crimes, trying to deal with rival gangs, etc., but it's all sort of tongue-in-cheek because in between drive-bys and fights over territory you're doing things like lacing the rival gang's tattoo ink with radioactive material and doing side missions like driving a septic truck to spray down areas with human waste to lower property values. There's streaking side missions and ho-ing diversions and driving an ATV around while you're on fire, and it's just wacky, crazy fun.

So I start playing Saints Row 3, and after the first couple hours I'm like, yeah, I'm definitely having fun, but this is basically just more of the same. I mean, they tweaked a few things, made some stuff better, added a couple of side missions (the Professor Genki stuff is awesome), and of course it's a new city with new weird gangs and shit. So it wasn't exactly the same, but it seemed to be fundamentally the same stuff all over again. Not worse, but not really pushing out much either.

So that was the idea I had in my head from that point on, fun, but still just the same ol', same ol'. I barely even noticed when things started changing. It was a gradual process, but bit by bit things got a little stranger, a little crazier, a little more fun until I'm driving a Tron-ish light cycle through what looks like one of the chaos emerald side levels from Sonic 2 , and I start to think, "Ok, this is different., and I like it."

That, however, wasn't the moment that I mentioned at the beginning. No, that came some time later when the game had taken even crazier turns. At one point I'm flying through the sky on a jet-powered hover-bike and bashing zombies with a giant, floppy, dildo-shaped baseball bat called The Penetrator , and it occurred to me how insanely wrong that first thought was. I was just like, this is fucking awesome.

So basically, really fun crazy game. Play it.