140: Cheating My Way Through College

Cheating My Way Through College

"There was no denying that some games simply required a superhuman effort to finish. Take, for instance, the wicked enemy placement and numerous pits that litter most levels of the Ninja Gaiden series. ... Then there is Kid Icarus' killer level design, Mega Man's instant spike death and the one-hit-death syndrome in every old school shmup.

"One device forever changed the way I would play games ... the Game Genie. In the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, when game difficulty was brutal and cheap, the Game Genie was the ultimate ace in the hole. With it, I could tap every last bit of gameplay out of any game."

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I can agree with the personal cheating thing. Sometimes I had to grab the Game Genie just because I'd be so distraught by a certain level or just wanted to beat the crap out of things for a while without dying.

As for people who cheat with online games, I hope they get run over by the biggest truck possible and then eaten by scavengers. They literally make online game NOT FUN. I would go into more detail but I would rather not be in a bad mood the rest of the day.

Zoran Iovanovici:
Begging to be played, goading me to pick up the controller, starving for attention like a girl whose feelings are hurt because I promised I'd call her and take her out on the weekend only to leave her waiting for the phone to ring.

Oh dear...

Please, metaphors like this only serve to reinforce a stereotype that isn't true of most gamers and that we have been trying to get away from for a while. Having a book, game or film or whatever sitting on the side waiting to be enjoyed isn't really comparable to interacting with the opposite sex.

The rest I agree with. Some hate cheating, some don't. It isn't for anyone to say whether one persons way of enjoying an entertainment product is "right" or "wrong". If you choose to glean that enjoyment by arduously grinding through loads of difficult content for hours on end to garner a sense of achievement at the end of it, or if you do so by cheating to make it easier for yourself to see it all and still have enough time to make your tea, put a wash on and go meet your friends for a pint, it really isn't anyone else's business to comment.

Oh and as for the online game issue - my thoughts in a nutshell are: it's only a game there's no need to take it seriously. If someone cheats, so what? If winning is that important to them that they've resorted to giving themselves an unfair advantage to achieve it then by definition they're only really cheating themselves - cliché though that is, it's true.

Please, metaphors like this only serve to reinforce a stereotype that isn't true of most gamers and that we have been trying to get away from for a while. Having a book, game or film or whatever sitting on the side waiting to be enjoyed isn't really comparable to interacting with the opposite sex.

I think you're making too big a deal over it. I've seen such metaphors made in non-geeky articles and no one bitched about it. Plus, in this day and age, anyone that thinks gamers are stuck in their rooms never having contact with the opposite sex seriously needs to get outside themselves. And let's not forget, who is going to be reading an article like this anyway? Oh, that's right, gamers.

As for the topic, I still say games aren't getting shorter, though all the observations made of how games are easier are perfect examples of why it seems so. Mega Man 1 is actually a much shorter game than Gears of War. However, if you want to beat it, you first got to play through the game a hundred times just to memorize the levels, stages, patterns and nuances of all the enemies. That's where play time had come in.

I didn't really use cheating tools much as a kid. I used GameGenie once when I was young to play through all of Godzilla: Monster of Monsters on the NES in one night, and also to completely play through one of the early MegaMan games. After that, I was actually better at both games and was able to beat them on my own without GameGenie. I guess it was sort of a training method?

Honestly, I cheated for a while on games, but eventually I stopped, because gaming started to get boring. Now, the only games I cheat on are GTA games. As for online cheaters, the problem there is that once you have no way to beat the opponent, you cease to be able to have fun.

I actually miss the cheats and cheat devices of the past. As it becomes harder to cheat, more of us are at the whim of game designers who want to preserve the sanctity of their little world. Some of them seem to hate cheat codes for unbalancing what they've poured time and effort into balancing in the first place. This means, at least for me a decrease in fun. It's like getting a physical toy and being told, "You can only play with it this way. This is what I intended and any other use is not allowed."

Take, for example, the ridiculous love for unlocking that game designers seem to have. If you want to hide away silliness that doesn't affect gameplay like costumes and cinemas, fine. Go ahead and treat gamers like puppies who have to work for a reward. But locking up gameplay items like vehicles, weapons, and levels is just mean, particularly in multiplayer. How many times have you encountered this scenario?

1) You buy a game to play with your friends and excitedly invite everyone over the first night you've got free.
2) You pop in the game and discover that, though there are 20 levels and 42 cars, you and your friends can only play 5 of the levels with 5 of the cars until you unlock the rest...IN SINGLE PLAYER MODE.
3) You promise your friends next time they come over you'll have unlocked the "bonus" content.
4) You organize another get together and your friends find that all that time spent playing in single player mode has made you vastly better than them.

Congratulations, game designer! You've defeated the fun!

Ironmaus:

1) You buy a game to play with your friends and excitedly invite everyone over the first night you've got free.
2) You pop in the game and discover that, though there are 20 levels and 42 cars, you and your friends can only play 5 of the levels with 5 of the cars until you unlock the rest...IN SINGLE PLAYER MODE.
3) You promise your friends next time they come over you'll have unlocked the "bonus" content.
4) You organize another get together and your friends find that all that time spent playing in single player mode has made you vastly better than them.

Congratulations, game designer! You've defeated the fun!

How many times? Hmmm Ghost Recon, CoD4, Super Smash Bros (on the receiving end of that one...), and pretty much any other multiplayer game that requires things to be unlocked... horrible game design flaw.

Ironmaus:
How many times have you encountered this scenario?

1) You buy a game to play with your friends and excitedly invite everyone over the first night you've got free.
2) You pop in the game and discover that, though there are 20 levels and 42 cars, you and your friends can only play 5 of the levels with 5 of the cars until you unlock the rest...IN SINGLE PLAYER MODE.
3) You promise your friends next time they come over you'll have unlocked the "bonus" content.
4) You organize another get together and your friends find that all that time spent playing in single player mode has made you vastly better than them.

Congratulations, game designer! You've defeated the fun!

+1 Burnout

thats a good point, I hadn't considered cheating for unlockable content, i suppose that's fair enough when you want to play multiplayer straight away.

but for the most part, personally I don't like cheating. if whenever you encounter a challenge or hurdle that seems just too difficult to complete, you just cheat to get past it, it defeats the whole purpose. a challenge is there to test your skill, to train you, and when you overcome it, to give you the satisfaction of achievement. and such challenges are essentially what games are made of, usually they start easy and get increasingly more difficult, so removing the challenges removes the game, sure you may still have the story, but you may as well be watching a movie.

however cheating for fun I dont mind so much, once I've completed a game, or as long as I'm not progressing any by cheating. just to enjoy the game in a different way. GTA is a good example of this. If i'm bored I might spawn a tank and turn on the violent pedestrians cheat, get all weapons and ammo and the maximum wanted level to see how much carnage I can create. this doesnt increase my completion of the game, but is good for a laugh. then again, most of the cheats in GTA have been programmed in anyway, so is it really cheating at all?

there you go anyway, my 2c

You're not cheating anyone if you use a code in a single-player game. I've played the vast majority of Far Cry and Advent Rising on invulnerable, as I grew bored trying to get through specific choke points. I had other games I wanted to play, but I've never been one to abandon games halfway through. Of course, they don't have scores either for me to boast about, either.

Online gaming is multiplayer, which is when cheating is Bad.

With most games its an issue of a god code really. FPS for example. However I was surprised no one's mentioned RPGs yet. Some of these games are so good that you don't want to cheat on them. And sometimes you'd like to have some more fun with the game. A great example, Disgaea. My favorite cheat to use in that damned game was the infinate money cheat. Did it break the game? NO! And the exp cheats allowed you to unlock the bonus classes because it's a bit of a pain in the ass to level up to 60 in order to unlock the uber mage class, and then be forced to start out with a lvl 1 uber mage who can't fight until you grind him a few hundred thousand xp.

And what about japanese RPGs like Final Fantasty? Sure some are good enough to play through normally but they seem to love throwing in random crap that no one in their right mind can figure out. Like the Master materia in FF7 or that damned "don't open these specific chests" weapon in ff12.

At least one area where we can still cheat is pure and eternal. The PC. and really isn't that all that matters ^_^

Spinwhiz:
I can agree with the personal cheating thing. Sometimes I had to grab the Game Genie just because I'd be so distraught by a certain level or just wanted to beat the crap out of things for a while without dying.

As for people who cheat with online games, I hope they get run over by the biggest truck possible and then eaten by scavengers. They literally make online game NOT FUN. I would go into more detail but I would rather not be in a bad mood the rest of the day.

Amen. There were some games on Nintendo that we only beat because my friend brought his game genie over. But cheating online is lower than low. People who do that simply have no humanity, and are doing it for some dumb reason. So what if you have a 999,999 to 0 Kill-death ratio. It was all cheating. If I see anyone who has an honest 9-1 kill death ratio I am in awe. My friend who is insanely good at Halo, Star Wars Battlefront, and SOCOM only has a 2-1 kill death ratio. I respect his 2-1 more than I will ever respect a 100-1 or 50-0 kill streak. But no one cares what I think, and I don't blame them.

I think what is disappointing is simply the lack of cheat codes in a lot of games, or how you might discover them. Developers often enough develop cheats in some games, but if you don't have the internet you have no clue what it might be. The best sorts of cheats work with franchise games. Take Godzilla: Monster of Monsters on the NES. You input "Monster Zero" and you fight King Ghidora on the first stage. Input "Destroy All Monsters" one of the original films, and each map has every single monster on it. Basically you just input random movie titles or significant names and you get to unlock shit.

Either way, if the developers include cheats (that don't need to be unlocked themselves for Christ's sake), then they can have control as to what conditions those cheats are activated. It's a simple variable check. If playing a single player map, then turn on cheat conditions. If it's not a single player map, then cheat conditions aren't activated.

Ironically I'm reading this instead of studying...

Cheating is a way to extract all the juicy goodness from a coconut without having to break through it's hard outer shell.

Star Control 2 would have been the perfect game for me during my teen years where I could understand enough english to enjoy the humor and I had enough time to really hunt for rainbow worlds and resources to be able to eventually vanquish the ur-quan supremacy.

Instead, however, I found it at 20, when I was spending most of my time trying to make a living.

So I used a strategy guide with the most valuable worlds and secrets so that I was able to finish the game in just 48 hours. 48 Consecutive hours. I'm glad I'm still alive.

"starving for attention like a girl whose feelings are hurt because I promised I'd call her and take her out on the weekend only to leave her waiting for the phone to ring"?

I iterate my aliveness, which is no attempt at dialogue and must leave room for relief.

Aimee Mann, Amateur

 

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