Friday, 20 September 2013

Game Hackers Hack Me Off!

Recently during my online gaming activities it has come to my attention, and sheer annoyance, at the amount of game hackers that dwell out there in the land of cyberspace. I'm not a young pup, so I am fully aware of the trials and tribulations of online gaming when it comes to hackers, and certainly no stranger to getting a 'jailbreaker' in my game. Many a time in my teenage years of playing Quake and Command & Conquer: Red Alert, I have been faced which such individuals. In the case of the latter, a notable mention would be a rival army landing in my base equipped with an APC and 10 Tanya's on board. This was friggin' ridiculous, especially considering the skirmish was only 10 minutes in. The usual method of dealing with this was to perform a soft reset, and enter into another room, hoping that another clever-clogs hacker wasn't there to take the utmost piss. The situation with Quake was handled in a more, should I say, direct method. The best example would be that of an internet cafe environment, (remember them?) with a networked game of Quake deathmatch (Yeaaah!). 7 of us were in that very cafe, and one user was blatantly using the G.O.D cheat (near invincibility) shamelessly right under the nose of his combatants. After a cheeky plan of trapping him with a CCTV camera had come to fruition, the entire populous of the cafe ousted him forthwith. One of the guys, a rather heavily built burly teen who was quite aggravated by this cheating administered several blows to this weedy nerd, even asking his mate to hold his beer while he did it. Best part though, as it was all calming down, my very own brother, who was acting as a peacemaker choose to forgo these morals and gave the hacker a final thump on the bonce upon his exit. This last whack culminated in him never returning to the cafe. Situation resolved, we returned to the incessantness' of killing each other with bazookas. I don't condone violence outside of gaming, but well, he had it coming.

Of course, we all know nowadays the problem with trolls; friendless, purile and furiously masturbating guys (yes, it's mostly always guys!) that sit behind the protection of a screen bullying, luring and baiting regular internet users just to 'get a kick out of it'. Well documented and sometimes tragic news stories have been reported about this. Deeply sad and pathetic people yes, but these are not game hackers. In fact, I admire hackers to some respect, but in my view there are 2 classes of game hacker. Firstly, you have the ones who hack the game to extend the lifespan and depth of the game. These people tend to create new items, routes, rooms or tracks, make items more powerful or available, change the game parameters to make thing more interesting such as colour pallet and so on. They also share these unofficial updates with other gamers. What they DON'T do it ruin and spoil the game for everybody else in a session. Good hackers don't give themselves all the advantages, merely create a new way of playing the game for all involved. Normally this is amusing and different for a short while, so why not? However, there are other types of hackers with lax morality, which I have had the misfortune to recently chance upon, DO ruin the game for others. Disrupting the fun, the escapism and most importantly the competitiveness. I reference Mario Kart Wii, which I have been playing extensively of late. The goal of online play is to reach a high score of VR points in a fair manner, based off your skill and dexterity with the game. Losing a race makes you lose points, so if you feel you have been cheated by a hacker, you therefore quit the session. This doesn't sit well at all. In fact, it downright pisses me off and raises several questions about their mischievous activities. Below is typical example of one such clever-clogs who thinks it is fun. He may say in his comments that this is only a video game, but it still makes him a cheat, ruining the fun for other players. Shame on you sir!

Why do they do this? I can only assume they are not as good at a particular game as they would have hoped, and cheat to win in order to gain a sense of achievement and satisfaction. But, as any REAL gamer will tell you, what achievement has been made? What satisfaction does this bring? They are cheating due to their own shortcomings and clearly can't accept the fact they can't get any better. This happens in gaming. In my time, I have been frustrated to the max in beating my friends at certain games, trying all sorts of things to attain a higher level of skill, but sometimes this doesn't work, and I have to accept that I am not as good as them. Yes, I have smashed the odd controller, threw a console or two, but I still don't cheat my opponent. Cheating would remove any self-gratification; I wouldn't have beaten them without cheating. I know this sounds very idealist and moralistic in a world of scammers, liars and con-artists, but I feel it's in the unwritten gamers code to play on a level field. You reap what you put in, use the games parameters well, learn the tricks programmed to be found, and at the end of the day, practice. Some games you may not prevail with, others you will, but hacking a game just to cause havoc and destroy another persons online gaming session is a simply crap thing to do. All the while, the hacker sitting aside their box of Kleenex, giggling maniacally at their own self-determined sense of cleverness having outwitted everybody in a gaming room via a hack. But no, they haven't. They are just a weaseling old-skool cheat that have not achieved nothing except piss off several true gamers and give themselves a shitty reputation in the process. Rubbish. 

So, if you are adorned with the talents to hack games, then I implore you to use it for a better and noble cause. For instance, don't make the game easier. Make it harder for all including yourself. What possible sense of satisfaction could you get from that by making it easy for you? Surely the point of a game is to beat it fairly, learning the skills it takes to succeed in the process. I mean, why on earth would you buy a game and complete it with hacks and cheats in a day or so? Waste of money right? Use the life of the game to naturally learn how to beat it, that ultimately creates a proper feeling the achievement and self-adulation, not to mention value for money. Now, I'm not whiter than white, I have cheated on games in the past, but I always have had that feeling not actually completing it for real, like I have missed out on the elation of real gaming fulfillment. Using a line of code or device like an Action Replay was fun for about 20 minutes, after which is gets boring and dull. This is when I return to a game, and complete it correctly, and let me tell you, that produces a greater sense of video game happiness. So, in conclusion to this rant, my message to the devilish game hackers out there is that you are missing out on a lot of good feeling, belittling the natural endorphin that make us feel joyous about gaming, and not only that, you are passing this onto other gamers. In short, play fairly, because if you don't, you are the true losers.

Rant over!

The Pixel Empire

It's been a while since I last blogged, but the Pixel Empire has continued on going from strength to strength. Many retro and modern game reviews have been added, plus a commentary on game remakes, a Wip3out Pixel Duel and yet another exclusive developer interview. We are awesome, it's as simple as that! We have also been taking requests of late, a couple of these reviews are already up. So, if you have a game you would like reviewed, drop us a line at our Twitter, Facebook or email us directly. Remember our motto: All Games, All Eras, In Context. Just to see what you have been missing, here are a few links to our latest material. Enjoy.

Selected Game Reviews: Ski or Die on the NES, Spec Ops: The Line on Xbox360, Blackthorne on 32x, WWE '13 on Xbox360, Rapid Racer on PS1, System Shock 2 on PCMario Kart DS on DS and Mario Kart Wii on the Nintendo Wii.

Features: Pixel Q & A with Neil McKenna, Retro Remake Rethink and Wip3out Hi-Score Duel.

And Finally...

As any readers of The Pixel Empire, my Twitter and this very blog will know, I have quested myself to collect the entire game library of the ill-fated and unfairly forgotten Amstrad GX4000. Yes, a pointless and unfruitful task many of you may mutter, but it is one of 'my things'. Recently purchased my 15th game, so will now take this opportunity to list the games I still require, if by your are chancing this blog and have them for sale. A shot in the dark I know, but as the old saying goes; nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here are the titles I still wish to acquire. If by some miraculous circumstance you have one to sell, please contact me via this blog or my Twitter @novabug . Thanks muchly!

Amstrad GX4000 cartridges still needed - Plotting, Pinball Magic, Mystical, Panza Kick Boxing, Copter 271, Tin Tin On The Moon, Dick Tracy, Wild Streets, Chase HQ2, Enforcer, Skeet Shoot (With Phazer light gun). 

I know the last 3 are as rare of golden diamond-encrusted rocking-horse shit, but hey, a guys' gotta try eh?

Bug... 'Out!