Cheating’s Cheap Thrill – I Cannot Believe GameShark Erased My Gran Turismo Save

Oh no, six zombies, including two fat cops and a hooker, are backing Leon, the Raccoon Police Department’s newest and last member, into a corner of the under siege police station. Grabbing at his holster he draws his inadequate 9mm and pops off some shots into the incoming undead. Blood bursts and flows from the blooming chest wounds but the flesh-eating monsters are not falling down. Leon pulls off his last round and you press the O button for the inventory screen, no bullets left, only a knife and lighter at your disposal. Looks like it is time to hit the dreaded Reset button on the top of your Playstation. You have played this same scenario ten times now and you are losing hope that you can help Leon defeat the Umbrella hordes. Resident Evil 2 is earning its dusty grave under the TV along with all the other black CDs that you got stuck on and did not feel like starting over again. You could never earn your A license in Gran Turismo, defeat the enemy forces at "Golgorand Execution Site" in Final Fantasy Tactics or bring down Metal Gear Solid’s teleporting Ninja. Maybe I am just projecting.

If you suck at video games like I do, e.g., pressing X instead of O a second too late only to lose another game, then you feel the need to cheat. Cheating is an intense thrill that makes you feel smarter and superior to the games’ evil creators. Crack those codes and show those programmers who put the Spanish Inquisition to shame for the sake of gameplay what it is like to lose. In the past cheating on the Playstation has been an ordeal involving long key combinations achieved in the limited time period of a start-up screen. Now you can just plug in a little plastic box on the back of your Playstation and have access to unlimited cheats with InterAct’s GameShark. I arrived home with the Shark after redeeming my credit at a Chicago area Funcoland. I was itching to play Gran Turismo and drive the world’s highest performing cars like the Subaru Impreza Rally Edition. The GameShark takes over your Playstation allowing you to activate codes, edit your memory cards and view special image and sound data from the inserted game CD. Scrolling down the large list of games, I found GT and activated all the codes and started the game. The intro movie started to play with no sound, I checked the volume and RCA stereo connections and found everything in order. The cheat codes had worked with the pressing of Start and Select at the same time to award me with $16 M plus. Still, I refused to play the game with no sound and the game was unable to load my previously saved car and settings without my knowledge and I accidentally overwrote them. After some tweaking I got GT back to normal including the cheats and my dream cars. It completely opened up the game, giving me the freedom to race on any track with any car I wanted. I could not be happier.

Cheating does have its price. As an omnipotent Playstation god you grow tired of the little challenge that the game offers after you cheat. After I knew the all-weapon and level access code in Tomb Raider, I treated myself to one last game session and then never touched the game again later selling it. There is always the option to turn the cheats off but then you are back where you started with the extra frustration of knowing that you could be kicking butt if you had not let your gameplay habits go lax. Cheating is a dangerous road to follow and you should only pursue that path if you are ready for the cheap thrills and ultimate disappointment.

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