Ranking the Radio Stations of Saints Row IV
Having an awesome soundtrack is key in solid game design, and can make or break the atmosphere that a particular game is trying to convey to the player. If a game’s soundtrack is subpar it can completely affect the experience, and sometimes ruin the feeling of escaping to a digital world. Some video games opt for completely original soundtracks, usually developed in-house, or with a professional composer, while others implement music from well known artists. The Saints Row series falls into the latter category, which is ideal for open world titles since they mostly aim at mimicking real life, albeit with extreme liberties, especially in Volition’s successful gang franchise.
Saints Row IV (SR4) released earlier this week, and it has been killing it on the review circuit. The introduction of superpowers and aliens takes the Saints franchise to new levels of absurdity, but many facets of the previous games remain in tact. One of these is the in-game radio stations that players are freely allowed to cycle through during gameplay (can create custom mixes as well.) Saints Row IV offers gamers 7 radio stations to flip through, each featuring their own style of music. Most the channels have shown up in the previous titles, but there is one new station to choose from in Saints Row IV called Mad Decent.
Each of the 7 available stations all work well when set to the zany gameplay action that this franchise is known for. Some fit certain situations better than others, but none of them have caused regret for flipping to them whilst playing. With that being said there are a few stations that I prefer, so like most things in gaming I thought it’d be righteous to rank the radio stations of Saints Row IV from worst to first.
May I present to you the rankings…
7. Klassic 102.4 (Classical Music And Literature)
This station is an easy choice to put in the last spot. Classical music has its place, and I don’t mind listening to it every once in a while. This is especially true when I’m under stress and ready to stab someone while driving. Unfortunately, the classical music motif just doesn’t fit too well in the SR4 universe for most situations. It comes in handy when you just feel like hopping around town for collectibles, or when you need a break from techno music, but when compared to the six other stations Klassic just doesn’t hold up to them.
6. Four 20 103.6 (Reggae And Dub)
I like reggae just as much as the next wannabe Rastafarian, but just like classical music, this Jamaican inspired genre just doesn’t seem to work in SR4. Once again its slow and relaxing beats just seem off when set to the fast paced moronic gameplay featured in the Saints franchise. If there were missions about smoking ganja, going on drug runs, or even killing hippies, this station would definitely be the perfect audio backdrop. It’s best left for late night gameplay sessions when you just need a break from the rapid beats of the other stations.
5. GenX 89 (Modern Rock)
Rock music is what I grew up on, but over the years the genre has lost its edge thanks to today’s hipster culture. GenX 89 features a few solid rock tracks, but most of them are forgettable. If it featured more hard rock and heavy metal it would be a much better station, but it still holds its own to the other channels. This station is best implemented during mini-boss fights, or large skirmishes, as it really amps up the on-screen action. The guitar shredding and bass beats compliment the over-the-top brutality that takes place in Saints Row IV perfectly. If GenX sported a better lineup of songs it could very well have earned a higher spot on this list.
4. KRhyme 95.4 (Hip Hop And Rap)
The Saints Row universe and rap go hand in hand, so KRhyme is definitely one of the better stations to tune into throughout the debauchery. The genre just seems to flow perfectly with the SR4 game world, and it brings some street to the table. This station definitely adds to the feeling of being a gang banger turned POTUS, and its slick tracks work well for any type of situation or mission. The Saints universe oozes hip hop/rap culture, so this station is definitely one of the better ones to listen to for long gameplay sessions.
3. K12 97.6 (Electronic)
Love it or hate it, but electronic music is here to stay, and will only become more prominent in our culture the further we etch our existence into time. K12’s techno beats are the perfect pick me up for those dull moments in life where you need a little jolt to get things going while playing SR4. Just like rap, techno music screams Saints Row. I’ve found that my legs also love K12’s offerings, because they can’t seem to stop shaking while the station is queued up. I also may or may not have gotten up and busted out some glow sticks mid-gameplay. K12 will definitely keep any electronic music fan bobbing their heads while trying to take back Earth from the Zin.
2. Mad Decent 106.9 (Rap Game Rave Killah)
Mad Decent is the only brand new channel to the Saints universe found in SR4, and it features an ideal mix of genres from some of the other channels. This is another station just like K12 that’s hard to not get into while playing the game. I’m not even sure what the “Rap Game Rave Killah” genre really is about, but I know my ears and body love it. It’s kind of like having a rave with rap music set to electronic beats, which just makes sense in SR4. This music is perfect for cruising the streets, hulk jumping for collectibles, or for just running through a crowd of pedestrians. If it weren’t for my sentimental attachment to 80’s and 90’s pop and rock music, Mad Decent would have easily taken the number one spot on this list.
1. The Mix 107.77 (80s And 90s Pop And Rock)
The main reason this channel has taken the top spot on this list is solely based on the fact that I grew up listening to most of the music showcased on it. The moment I heard Pharcyde’s “Oh Shit” I knew I’d be a regular listener. This channel oozes nostalgia every time I flip to it, and I can’t help but be reminded of my high-school and college years. It has a great mix of pop, hip hop, alternative rock, and other genres from the 80’s and 90’s that all late 20 and early 30 somethings will appreciate. Nearly every track causes my memory to recall a moment in my life, which is all you can ask of music in the first place. For this reason alone is why The Mix takes the top spot on this “Radio stations of Saints Row IV” list.
Saints Row IV boasts 7 unique radio stations all featuring unique genres and music. Some fit the game world better than others, but all of them are tolerable in certain situations. Just like different genres of video games, gamers surely have their musical preferences, so I don’t expect the world to agree with my rankings completely. Although, unless there’s a large pocket of classical music loving gamers out there that we don’t know about, I’d imagine most other SR4 players will agree with how this list played out. Feel free to chime in on the discussion by leaving a comment down below!
Saints Row IV is currently available for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 platforms.
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