A Grand Theft Auto Clone No More. Is that Necessarily good?

For years, Saints Row has always been dubbed the clone of Grand Theft Auto . With an open world gameplay, a storyline that centers around a gang looking for total control, and senseless shooting with all kinds of weapons, it’s hard not to look at it that way.

However, SR:GofH seeks to finally put a wedge in between GTA and itself. In fact, it has already begun that process in Saints Row IV, which introduced superpowers to the main character. You can run and fly while travelling in the open world (Prototype, anyone?)

From SR4 onwards, you get to run at a speed that gives even The Flash a run for his money. Geddit? Run for his money?

Fast forward to SR:GofH. Instead of playing the Boss of the gang ‘The Saints’, you can now play any of the loyal and trusty lieutenants Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington.

The game starts with the Saints preparing a birthday party for Kinzie on the spaceship they acquired from the Zin (from the previous game). At the party, they play a game of Ouija Board, and unwittingly contact Satan who says the leader of the Saints will marry his daughter Jezebel. Satan drags the Boss down to Hell, and upon realization, Saints lieutenant Johnny Gat volunteers to go get them back, with Kinzie following on the argument that it’s her birthday.

SR:GofH still maintained the usual mixture of violence, humor and wackiness that were embodied in all of the previous games. Expect to fight while sitting in an armchair of miniguns while tossing imps at your enemies, who are basically demons with laser guns. Satan even breaks out into a musical at one point. This is definitely not a far cry from previous games when you had a dildo bat and a gun that shoots dubstep music.

This weapon allowed you to shoot at your enemies while playing dubstep music

Storyline was, however, short and slightly disappointing. Basically, you had to get Satan to notice you so as to help you find him. All this entailed was you doing side missions over and over again so as to fill up the ‘Rage Meter’ which triggered missions at specific points. The final boss fight was fittingly tough, but the entire game was nothing more than playing minigames on miniclips. Gameplay was disappointingly short.

The point as mentioned previously is that Saints Row has always been trying to differentiate itself from GTA. It started off by introducing a wacky mix into the whole street thug culture, but now it went so far as to destroy earth and use hell as the open world. Arguably, Saints Row reached it high point in SR2 and SR3, when the essence was still similar to GTA.

Could this be going too far? Should Saints Row stick to its roots of being a wacky GTA spinoff, or continue its path of differentiating itself as much as possible? Comment in the section below!

6 Things Neopets Taught Me Which No School Ever Did

The word ‘Neopets’ is probably nostalgic to everyone, especially those born in the 90s. It signalled the beginning of an era where you had to fight to use the telephone or the Internet and also the slow loading of images. Nonetheless, Neopets bore the significance of being life’s greatest tutor. Neopets actually had all of life’s greatest lessons implanted into it, even more than a school itself. You probably just never figured it out, since you were too busy was collecting free omelettes and chasing a Meerca’s tail. So 15 years down the road, here’s why Neopets could have been life’s greatest teacher.

Here are 6 things that Neopets taught me which no school ever did:

  1. You can get a job, but it does not end there

Get back here childhood!

The first main problem when you play Neopets is that you needed cash (Neopoints, in this case). This led to endless grinding sessions by playing games and trying to accumulate as much Neopoints as you can. However, you start to realize that there’s almost never enough Neopoints to allow you to have as much fun in the game. The smarter ones will start to do things like starting their own business and sell stuff, or to play in the stock market. This is actually a very important lesson in life right there. You can have fulfillment in a 9-5 job, but the money you earn from it will almost always never give you the fulfillment you want in life. Eventually you need to invest that money somewhere, either in the stock market or by starting your own business, so that you can have the financial freedom to truly do what you want in life.

  1. Haggle

An interesting concept back then was ‘haggling’, where you can ask for a lower price and there would be an algorithm which will determine whether your lower price goes through. While mostly a computer simulation, it creates a scenario where you actually can ask for a lower price and get away with it. Looking at it in a bigger picture, it goes to show that if you want something at a better rate, you got to fight for it.

  1. There are good cheap deals everyday. You just gotta find it first

Who could ever forget visiting this place everyday?

This is for the people who lament that life is unfair and that there are no opportunities. In Neopets, probably the most famous thing that everyone remembers is the everyday freebies. Everyday resets an instance where you can get free omelettes, codestones, etc. In the stops, there may be rare items being sold at random timings. In life, there will always be opportunities: Networking sessions with a potential new employer, a stock that is unevenly priced for a small period of time, a startup that is looking for interns, etc. In other light-hearted scenarios, there could be good deals around that can help you save some money. You just got to get off your couch and just look.  Rare opportunities only come to those who go out and find them

  1. Stock market

As mentioned, the only way to earn huge money was the stock market. While this post isn’t dedicated to talking about the huge potential a stock market can bring you, the point is to say that even a simple children’s game is teaching a child on to invest their money. Investing your money is probably a fundamental lesson every human should go through at least once, and yet schools are not advocating anything into teaching that. Neopets stock market gave a very brief insight on how a stock market works, and kids around the world managed to earn their riches simply by investing in it. This gives a good insight on how to manage your money at a very young age. Video games 1, schools 0.

  1. Supply and demand

Probably the greatest concept here was Supply and Demand. Rare items are priced extremely expensive while items you can get for free literally had zero value. While it may be intrinsic to some kids, there are some people who just do not understand the concept of demand and supply. Therefore, they learnt it the hard way, where their items will never get sold, or they could have earned much more. The point is that Supply and Demand is fundamental in life. If you’re selling something common, make sure its at a discount. These concepts are heavily embedded into the economy of Neopets, and every player would have at least a touch and go with that concept.

  1. Html Coding

This is probably the fun part. Back then, you were able to customize your profile page by adding some HTML codes that changed your background or added music. This was the ‘cool’ thing. Hell, this was what made you COOL. But in order to do that, you needed some background in HTML. Back then, I went on to learn some basic HTML just so I could put a huge Pikachu wallpaper on my profile. I went to learnt it on Google, which was another fundamental lesson.