Friday, October 21, 2011

Using Game Walkthroughs Is Cheating

Is case you are not aware I am a fan of video games.  I have owned every Nintendo home system, most of their portable ones and also an Xbox 360.  I have played and beaten countless games as a kid, as a teen and as an adult.  Games can tell a good story, they can bring friends together (like when me and my roomies played hours upon hours of Super Smash Bros Melee) and games can challenge you and make you think.

That is unless you use walkthroughs.

I’m proud to say that on my first play through of games I avoid hints as much as humanly possible.  I want to figure out things for myself, how to beat that boss, how to get to that area and how to find that item.  That’s the challenge, it’s the whole point of why the game makers make things hard to do.

Back in the day there was no internet to figure things out, but I found all the warp pipes in Super Mario Bros (and Mario Bros 2 and 3).  How? By hitting every hittable block and trying every bloody pipe I could get to.  Some things I learned from a friend but that’s coming together to discover and share information, I feel that is different than going to Google to look something up.

I just got Batman: Arkham City as I mentioned a couple of days ago on here.  It’s a game with a massive open area of Gotham city to explore and discover things in.  The Riddler has placed trophies and riddles throughout the city.  This element is one of the challenges of the game, can you find all the riddle answers? can you collect all the trophies and solve all the puzzles?  Now in the game there are certain guys placed around the city that you can come across and interrogate and some things will get marked on the map for you, that’s fine, it’s part of the game.  However this morning I saw that there is an app for your phone that will tell you the location of ALL the trophies and the solutions to all the puzzles and riddles!  Three days after the release of the game! Ridiculous!

Why spend $70 on a game and then use the internet to complete it?  I understand that people get stuck, I do as well, so far I’ve been stumped on a couple of solutions to get trophies in the game but I figure I just don’t have the upgrades to solve the problem yet.  I’ve got hours to put into the game still, it will come to me. 

When I get to the point that I’m so stuck on a key element of the game that I’m about to throw the controller yes I’ll look up something, for instance I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and early in the game I had to get across a gap, I tried every single thing that came to mind I was stuck on this one flipping jump for probably an hour (you had to climb and go through a series of rooms to get back to the jump, so every failed attempt meant about five minutes of work just to try again).  Finally instead of smashing the TV I looked it up, use the leaf as a parachute to float across – ugh.  Infallibly when I am that stuck the answer is something like that, staring me in the face the entire time, use a certain item this way – the sad part is I even knew you could use the leaf that way, but totally didn’t think of it.

Now to be fair, after I have beaten a game on my own I have used walkthroughs to unlock things or find other items on a second play through, my reasoning there however is that I have already beaten the game and found as much as I can find on my own, so at least I know I have done the main task the creators wanted me to do on my own.

I only know one person personally that is has Arkham City, I don’t know if he reads my blog.  But I challenge him and any others that come across here to complete their first play through without looking anything up.  If you get stuck, ask me maybe I’ll have figured that part out, and then if you do as me, I’ll know that there is someone I can ask when I get stuck.

Even Batman has Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Jim Gordon and Alfred to turn to for help.

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