Monday, February 15, 2016

Hottest Gaming Cheat Devices of All Time!

Ah, the good old days. Remember what it was like to play a game, discover you needed a little help, and know you could resort to a bit of "assistance" to get yourself through a tough spot? Back in the old days, we didn't need to wait for mods or trainers to beat the system. We could beat the system literally with some occasionally underhanded methods. Back in the old days, we cheated with style.

Cheat Code Books and Magazines

Sometimes, we didn't even need extra peripherals. Back in those days, developers always put backdoors in their games. Which meant whenever you'd visit the electronics aisle, you'd see tons of magazines and books staring back at you (hey, Cheat Code Central used to help with that!). If you were born in the '80s or '90s and played games, odds are you had at least one book or magazine that promised 5,000 to 25,000 cheat codes!

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The Xploder, well, exists? It's a thing? Here's the problem with the Xploder products. While they have been around since the fifth generation of consoles and handhelds; have products that not only offer cheats, but sometimes even region unlocking; and still put out cheat products today - there's a good chance they won't work as planned. In the old days, you had a better chance of success, but now... well, it's seen better days. I mean, you were actually expected to pay for access to its official cheat database!

Passport and GB Hunter
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Cheat codes could be your passport to new areas of a game, but the N64 Passport got its name from its additional functionality. In addition to allowing people to cheat in N64 games, it allowed them to play games from different regions. It wasn't the best or longest-lived cheating device, but it worked well for what it was. Given the number of games that didn't get released outside of Japan, it was quite a godsend. But, there was a cheat device that was slightly superior. That somewhat better N64 option was the GB Hunter. Remember the SNES' Super Game Boy? The GB Hunter was that, only it also had a cheat device built into it.

Code Breaker

Code Breaker will always be one of my favorite cheat devices, perhaps because it was the least frustrating. It made it so you didn't have to continually enter the codes every time you wanted to play, fumbling through the onscreen keyboard with the directional pad. It was crisp, clear, and let you save codes on memory cards. You could even transfer codes from a flash drive or type them in with a USB keyboard. It was such a relief!

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The GameShark was both one of the first cheat devices and most enduring. Each one improved upon the last, providing codes to people from the fifth generation onward. You could search for codes mid-game, create codes, and use it as a memory card for game saves. The downside was the Shark Link, which was supposed to help you immediately get codes by connecting to a PC, but it never seemed to work right.

Action Replay
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I may catch some flack for ranking the Action Replay higher than the GameShark, but I believe it's justified. My reasoning being, the Action Replay is still around today. You can still buy one, in stores, and use it on the 3DS. It's been around since the third generation of systems, making it one of the oldest cheat devices. It offered cheats, save files, and you could even play Genesis games on your PlayStation 2 with the Action Replay Max. Plus, its computer-to-cheat device manager actually worked! Good times.

Game Genie
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The Game Genie was the alpha and, oddly enough, omega of video game cheating. It all started with that unwieldly, gold brick you had to strap onto a NES to enable codes. You were cool if you had a Game Genie, especially if you had one that worked! I went through two that didn't as a kid. If you had a NES, SNES, Game Boy, Genesis, or Game Gear, you could have the most fun. It's since been resurrected by Hyperkin for the seventh generation, allowing people to let a genie tweak their games and alter their saves again. The GameShark and Action Replay may have longer legacies, but Game Genie will always be first in our hearts.


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