Thursday, April 30, 2015

Top 5 Most Entertaining Cheat Codes

(Originally posted on

Cheaters never prosper, so they say. Even so, cheat codes have always been a fun way to get more out of your video games, whether you've mastered the game, or you can't get past level one. I've never shied away from cheat codes. They're a great way to get more entertainment out of games that you just don't want to put down. On that note, here are my top 5 most entertaining cheat codes.

NOTE: I've intentionally ignored easy picks like the Konami Code, because first, it's way too obvious. And second, this is about having the most fun, not which codes are the most famous.

5. Resident Evil 2: Play as Tofu

The early Resident Evil games were made to be beaten over and over. After one or two playthroughs, many players can easily conquer the games in little more than two hours, if not less. Capcom definitely took advantage of this fact and gave expert players plenty of incentives to replay the game. Each game has plenty to unlock, so long as the player meets certain requirements. Many unlocks involve conquering the game 5+ times and within certain time requirements. Or with the fewest saves possible.

Unfortunately, some of us aren't that good. So, lucky for us, Capcom saw fit to include cheat codes in the Nintendo 64 port of Resident Evil 2. The cheat code below allows you to play through an alternate story as “Tofu.” That's right: an actual block of tofu. The food. With a knife. Words can’t do this cheat justice, so here’s an example:

The Code:

From the Load menu (N-64 only): Up, Down, Left, Right, Left, Left, Right, Right, L, R, C-Up, C-Left, C-Down, C-Right


4. GTA 3: Tank you very much
The game that revitalized the GTA series and, quite frankly, open world games as we know it, was riddled with fun cheat codes. Almost any fan of the game that you talk to will reminisce about the same memory: taking turns spawning a tank and storming the streets of Liberty City, seeing how long you can last until the cops mow you down. The controller changes hands, rinse and repeat.

It may be a very dated game by today's standards, and cheat codes in later sandbox games have definitely pushed the boundaries of fun and idiocy, but this will always be one of the fondest cheat code memories I'll ever have. Still one of the most fun to play, too.

The Code:

Spawn a Tank: Circle (6), R1, L2, L1, Triangle, Circle, Triangle


3. GTA V: I believe I can fly
If you get bored playing Grand Theft Auto V, chances are you play it too much. This game is jam packed with activities, varied locations, and an immense online mode that dwarfs the single player experience.

That said, this cheat combination will remind you just how fun (and beautifully crafted) this game is. Start out anywhere on the map by entering the "5 minute invincibility" cheat for full effect. Next, enter "Skyfall". You'll be warped to the top of the sky, and you can glide to your heart's content. It's a great way to get around the map too!

The Code(s):
Enter these cheat codes anywhere during gameplay:

5 Minute Invincibility:

Playstation 3 and 4: Right, X, Right, Left, Right, R1, Right, Left, X, Triangle
Xbox 360 and One: Right, A, Right, Left, Right, RB, Right, Left, A, Y

Playstation 3 and 4: L1, L2, R1, R2, Left, Right, Left, Right, L1, L2, R1, R2, Left, Right, Left, Right 

Xbox 360 and One: LB, LT, RB, RT, Left, Right, Left, Right, LB, LT, RB, RT, Left, Right, Left, Right

2. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: The Invisible Man/Woman
This hilarious bit of entertainment isn't so much a cheat code as it is a game exploit that was never fixed. The glitch allows the player to essentially make themselves totally invisible, rendering the guards completely ignorant of any actions you take. Makes the Gray Fox mask you worked so hard to obtain entirely useless.

The “cheat” itself specifically uses the item duplication glitch or, better explained, what you end up using it for. Sure, you could duplicate 1000 watermelons off a cliff…

…but why do that when you could stab guards, and watch them search in vain for the invisible assailant?

The Explanation (Code/Cheat):
Step 1: Obtain at least two copies of the same scroll. If you have more than two, that's the number of items that will be duplicated.
Step 2: In your inventory, click the scrolls once.
Step 3: Highlight, but DO NOT CLICK, the item to be duplicated, and drop it.
Step 4: Exit your inventory. The duplicated items will appear in front of you.
Step 5: Acquire a scroll of Invisibility, and a Grand Soul Gem.

Step 6: Duplicate the Grand Soul Gem, and use them to enchant any four pieces of clothing with Invisibility, and equip them. You will become 100% invisible, and guards won't notice anything you do. (You also won’t appear on screen at all)

And my #1 most entertaining cheat code is…

Saints Row 2: Madness in the streets
One of my favorite open world games to this day is still Saints Row 2. The game offers the player so much to do that you can easily spend countless hours taking over the city of Stillwater. After you win the day and the credits roll however, there's significantly less to do that you haven't already conquered.

Until you activate cheat codes.

Saints Row 2 offers some of the most enjoyable cheat codes in a sandbox game that I have yet to experience. There's one combination that guarantees a good time: by entering the cheat code "evil cars," the player suddenly becomes the target of every driver's pent up road rage. The whole world becomes one gigantic game of chicken, with no one budging.

Sound enticing enough to try? What about this: enter the code for "raining pedestrians," and watch the bodies rain. Literally. Want to combine laughs? Try this right after pedestrian rain: enter "heaven bound" and laugh as the bodies that rained from the sky hit the ground, and begin a slow ascension skyward.

There are plenty of other cheat codes to add that make this scenario even more fun, but be warned: adding too many cheats does tend to crash the game. If you're feeling gutsy, throw in "moon gravity" for some more fun!

The Code(s):
Pause the game, and go to the “phone.”
Type in the following numbers, and hit "send."
NOTE: This works on all consoles

You will need the “#” with each one.

Heaven Bound: #12
Raining Pedestrians: #20
Evil Cars: #16
Moon Gravity: #18

Source: GiantBomb

You can find countless Web sites and code books from NES to PS4. Everyone has their favorites, and these ones are mine. They may not be the best, or most helpful, but they’re definitely among the most enjoyable.

What about you? What cheat codes have made you laugh yourself to tears, or even just helped you beat a game you were struggling with?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WHERE'S MY SEQUEL?! - Freedom Fighters

I'M ALIVE!!! I promise! Sadly my weekly updates have gone by the wayside. Outside of work, my hobbies, exercise, etc. got a little stagnant, so the past few months have been super lazy. But I think it's time to shake off the winter ice and get right back into it!

I wanted to start with a new segment: Where's my sequel?!

(Originally posted on
In a market oversaturated with fourth, fifth, sixth entries in a franchise, and many series even becoming annual releases, it got me thinking: what about the best games from the previous generations that never got sequels, but absolutely deserved them? Many of them even set themselves up for a sequel. There's been one on my mind since I first played it back on 2003: Freedom Fighters.

Source: Wikipedia

If you're unfamiliar, Freedom Fighters is a third person squad based shooter for GameCube, Xbox, PS2, and PC. The story centered around Chris Stone, a New York plumber who takes up arms in the wake of a Soviet invasion of America. Think Mario meets Red Dawn meets Homefront, except fun. 

The core gameplay wasn't earth shattering; aim gun at bad guy, shoot, repeat. But where the game truly shined was the ability to command squads of up to twelve of your fellow New Yorkers across the battlefield. The player could individually tell them to attack, defend a point, or follow. Alternately, you could just send all twelve wildly into combat in a blaze of gunfire. Freedom Fighters also featured competitive multiplayer, allowing up to four players each to command up to six soldiers, in a capture-the-flag free for all.

So why a make a sequel?

SPOILER ALERT: At the end of the game...the good guys win. Shocker, I know. But even in the wake of their victory, Chris sits, disheartened by the knowledge that the Soviets will be back someday "...with bigger guns, and more soldiers."

More or less, the story wraps up nicely enough, but is easily open enough for a bigger war, or even a counter attack by America, with Chris leading the charge. But why haven't we seen a sequel yet? Well, it's certainly not for lack of interest. In 2010, when being interviewed about the upcoming release of Kane & Lynch 2, game director Karsten Lund was asked about a sequel, and simply stated, "No comment." Later, Io-Interactive stated in a tweet in July 2011 that "It's definitely something a lot of us are interested in doing. But right now, the focus is on Hitman: Absolution."

Source: Twitter

The pitch:

Maybe it's for the best that we haven't seen a sequel yet. If the past has shown us anything, it's that the PS2/Xbox/GC generation didn't allow for a massive amount of growth in terms of unique sequels. I'm no game developer, but given that I've beaten Freedom Fighters more times than I can count, here's what I believe we would need from the sequel.

1. Keep it third person, but don't make it a cover-based Gears of War clone.

Army of Two is very fun. In fact it's one of my favorite “couch co-op” game(s) in recent memory. But when I'm describing it, all I can say is "it plays exactly like Gears of War." Every shooter on the market now gets compared to one of the giants: Gears, CoD, or Halo. Freedom Fighters was made before the dawn of cover based shooting, and the sequel should stay that way.

Source: Shacknews

2. Focus on one feature instead of trying to change the genre.
This is somewhat similar to point one. Don't clone. But if you're going to innovate, do so with one key feature that really blows people away. Freedom Fighters kept bringing me back through the entire campaign, time and time again, because of the immense battles towards the end. Watching your soldiers slowly progress through the battlefield, entirely under your control, was extremely rewarding. But if you weren't into standing somewhere high and barking out orders, you still had the option to charge in yourself.

Here’s an idea that isn’t outright cloning: The player could have up to 12 soldiers follow them at a time (a la the original), but could also guide smaller squads of 1 to 6 soldiers, via a radio/map system, in real time. Inspiration could be drawn from the original Ghost Recon, in which the player could drop out to a map, and order Squad B to various points. Freedom Fighters 2 could use a similar mechanic, but utilizing a physical map, and not moving to a new screen, keeping the player engaged and in the moment.

Concept of what the player might see while ordering soldiers in-combat
(illustration courtesy of the author)

There were several games in the PS2/Xbox era that attempted to fuse FPS and RTS mechanics together, ultimately failing because they spread themselves much too thin. For Freedom Fighters 2 to avoid this, the features would need to be seamless, and logical. Having Chris kneel down, pull out a radio and a map gives the player more urgency to make good decisions quickly, and get right back into the action. 

3. Don't focus on online multiplayer. Keep it single-player focused.
There's no shortage of online shooters for those who are looking, so why crowd the market with a half-assed single player campaign, and a semi-decent online multiplayer? In the great words of Ron Swanson, “Don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.” Games like Halo and Gears of War have proven that in a multiplayer focused market, there's still room for story.

The PS3 exclusive M.A.G. had a great concept: Set the stage for a massive fight, where some players give the orders, and some do the fighting. But the concept can easily fall flat for a number of reasons. A game can promise 200+ player battles, but that doesn't mean you'll get that experience every time. With Chris being the protagonist, and everyone wanting to be the protagonist, who would be the one following orders as opposed to giving them? The concept of unique multiplayer beyond just shooting each other would be too hard to pull off without interfering with the single player story.

4. Keep it modern day, not near future.
Near future tech games are a growing trend. Everywhere you look there are mechs, drones, cloaking suits, and overcomplicated HUDs that serve to show how kick ass the future can be so long as we keep drinking our Mountain Dew and stuffing our faces with Dorito’s. Freedom Fighters is all about a ragtag group of rebels, fighting with whatever they could get their hands on. To make this sequel a near future tech-heavy Michael Bay movie would absolutely destroy the feeling of "Holy cow, this could actually happen!"


With the newest generation of game consoles in full swing, we're starting to see how powerful they can really be. It's time for that to be put to the test. Games have been able to pull off large scale battles before, but that has never been the key focus of a shooter. Freedom Fighters 2 could change the way single player shooters are seen, and blow us all away. It just needs to get made.