Image by THQ-Games via FlickrThe original "Saints Row" is best described as a gang simulator... Think GTA3, but with a gang, and you're about right. Defend your "hood" against rival gangs. The mobile version is extremely bad as the sprites are way too small, and it's just a bunch of "Fedex" missions... basically, go there and do something, go somewhere and do something else (deliver things, kill people, get money, never changes). SR2 tries to open things up a bit, but I am afraid the result is about the same.
In SR2, the sprites are bigger, and the game now plays a bit more like one of Gameloft's 2D games, such as American Gangster. You can actually see things on the screen. You are also given a bit more freedom. For example, average pedestrians on the street can be robbed, and you'll play a bit of a minigame (keep the arrow pointing at the frowning face) to maximize the payout. However, regular police patrols are about the city, and police don't appreciate you committing crimes in their view, causing accidents, running them over, sideswiping their car, and so on. The only way to get them off your tail is to lay low for a while, or drive through a "Forgive and Forget" (i.e. a paint shop where your car's repainted).
You'll need firepower, but switching weapons is tedious, requiring you to go into your status screen, then weapons, then select, then press EQUIP. You have to redo this every time you enter a new territory, as somehow you're reset to your basic knife when you go into another zone.
What's worse, the game has no 'save spots'. If you fail a mission, you lose all money gained during the mission, and ALL weapons except the knife. It doesn't matter if you have to do three or four things to finish the mission... Just fail the last thing and you have to start ALL over.
For example, one of the first missions you need to pick up a "friend" who will help you bomb two of your rival faction's vans. So you go pick up this friend. Except this friend insist that your car is too lame, he wants to ride "in style". So you walk around the city looking for a car to jack, but police ain't too fond of you jacking cars. So finally you got a car, then you drive the guy across the zone, go to ammo shop to pick up some C4, then drive to the first van, plant bomb, second van, plant bomb... Except both vans are guarded by gangs, who'll start shooting, and cops are patrolling as well. If you go down (and you will likely as you ARE outnumbered, and you may have forgot to equip gun as weapon), you have to go ALL THE WAY BACK to "go try to pick up friend". That's like 10 minutes wasted!
And the missions are pretty dumb, basically. There's no "cover", no "skill" in shooting" (basically, have bigger gun than the other guy so you can kill him faster). The freedom is illusory, as you must complete missions to advance the plot. Robbing pedestrians just allow you to buy more ammo for the gun.
Overall rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Graphics are better, sprites are bigger, city looks livelier
Cons: Same boring "Fedex" gameplay, stupid fight
About This Place
First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?