After my original non-review received a sternly written letter from THQ's PR folk, The Mercury opted to take it down. Decrying a terrible game isn't worth it when you're liable to be sued for the whole thing, so I've been forced to remain mum on the subject.

Until now.

Saints Row 2 is essentially Grand Theft Auto's younger brother.

Sadly, SR2 is the younger brother who doesn't quite understand that he's a skinny Caucasian, and urges people to call him "J-Dizzle," while making constant, barely comprehended references to "smokin' blunts" and "slappin' bitches."

Unfortunately, even those of you saddled with the same depressing faux-gangsta bravado will find little to enjoy in the game. Where Grand Theft Auto 4 presents players with a deep, nuanced world full of Godfather-level thug dramatics, SR2 parrots the same ideals in what would be considered a parody if it wasn't almost certain that the developers are so damned serious about the whole thing.

Bugs abound: The game's physics are somewhere between driving a Cadillac on the surface of the moon and swimming in a pool of jelly, combat often ends in your foes awkwardly being blasted 30 feet into the air and half the missions I attempted ended in a mysteriously missing objective.

Even if you get past these major flaws, the game itself tends to run like shit. This is a console title, so it's not like my hardware wasn't up to snuff, but as I drove around the streets of Saints Row 2 the framerate often slumped or paused for half a second, making maneuvering with any finesse an exercise in slamming your respective genitalia in a sliding glass door.

Then again, it's not all bad. I did truly enjoy the Okkervil River song on the game's soundtrack.

(I suppose you were expecting me to continue my list of reasons why Saints Row 2 isn't terrible, huh? Sorry. That's all I could come up with. Avoid this shit like the plague.)