Having bought a copy of Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, I must say that I do not see the rampant hate for the game. Though the difficulty spike has gotten incredibly obnoxious around the ice world, it’s still a mildly entertaining game. Course, this is only my first Ratchet game so I cannot feel the rage that everyone else feels.

But one thing does make me rage. Well, 2 if you include the massive amount of puzzles in the game.

Before being able to play the game, there is an option called “cheats” right above the create game option. However, I am unable to use it until I complete the game first.

It’s been kind of a habit as of late with western devs to include intentional cheats to help players along in the game. However, you must first attend to some pre-requisites before you can acquire them. Time Splitters is a prime example of needing to fufill conditions for cheats.

And I ask… why?

Western developers have this idiotic tendency to co-opt all the cool shit from pre 96 video games and turn them into easter eggs/cute shit that you have to earn. First off, why the fuck do I have to earn the right to cheat? Ratchet A4O has the most worthless cheat function because by then, I would have beaten the game and have further use for them, because it’s not a game I would want to go through a second time. Time Splitters, I could stomach because the games were enjoyable 90% of the time.

But in general, this is a stupid idea. The reason why they’re called cheats is because they’re not intended to be used in gameplay, period. Cheats are usually exploits that, through player experimentation and pushiness, help you demolish your enemies in ways never imagined. Yes, we had the Konami codes and SNK did intend for cheats in the American version of Ikari Warriors, and yes, if you get your ass kicked in KOF13, they will give you cheats to help you out. That’s the key term. “Help you out”. You use cheats when you are having trouble playing a game and want an easier time. What sense does it make to make them available after you’ve fulfilled certain requirements?

Lets say, for example, you’re playing Tekken Tag 2. Hypothetically, there is a cheating option that allows you to disable the blocking mechanism of the AI in Arcade, Ghost Battle, etc. But it is locked, and in order to unlock it, you must fulfill the condition of being at a high rank (lets say grand master), and you have to beat arcade mode on insane first, with those bosses being the outright pain that they are (more on that in a different post), this is a most grueling task just to prevent them from blocking. So after you’ve raised your blood pressure and risked a heart attack, you finally beat the mode and got your free cheat. You ask yourself “was it worth it?”

After you’ve gone through the bullshit, there’s no point to the cheats anymore. Cheats are supposed to be helping tools, not rewards. If you were capable of beating the cpu on very hard mode without the cheat, then you would see absolutely no use for it. You don’t need them anymore.

Cheating as a reward has always been a stupid idea, and it’s unfortunate that it’s gotten to the point that companies are now, through the power of fucking DLC, are actually charging money for you to use cheats. It isn’t enough that you have to jump through hoops to get them, now they want you to dig into your bank account for them.

Unintentional cheats are BETTER for the player because if they manage to discover them, it makes the player feel smart and clever. That same cheat could then be shared with others to make their gaming sessions easier. Look at Pokemon. Where the fuck would 90% of everyone without an internet connection be without Action Replay and GTS exploits? You’d be missing out on event pokemon that aren’t even worth it. Making the cheats something you earn takes power AWAY from the players and keeps it in the hands of the developers, and that is not a good thing. It tells the player that he or she is not allowed to find ways around their carefully planned traps and must go about it a single way. If you want an alternative, you have to go through the intended plan first.

What better way to suck the joy out of cheats than to withhold them until the player has experienced the game “the way it was meant to be played“.