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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 12, 2003

In video games, cheaters may not be caught

By Heather Newman
Knight Ridder News Service

Cheaters prosper — at least when it comes to video games.

"Action Replay"gives you an entire CD full of video-game cheat codes.
This occurred to me as I was screaming down the oceanfront in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" in a cop car, with a SWAT van in pursuit, helicopter hovering overhead and bullets pinging through my windshield.

Typically in this situation, my poor character is toast. Not that I feel too sorry for him, the villainous lawbreaker, but it does interfere with my ability to complete vigilante missions in the pursuit of justice if I'm being pummeled by those also working for justice.

But this time, they could shoot my guy as much as they liked without giving me a scratch. Come to think of it, I could run that police car into any barrier I came across without giving it a scratch, either.

Ain't cheating grand?

Cheat codes — like the ones that protected me and my vehicle from injury in VC — are becoming so common in video games that instructions for using them are often listed right in the main menu.

I used two new products this week that were devoted to almost nothing but letting you use cheat codes with ease: Mad Catz' "GameShark2 Version 3" ($39.99, www.gameshark.com) and Datel's "Action Replay" ($39.99, www.codejunkies.com). They're CDs loaded with the codes. You pick the enhancements you want, pop in the game disc, and off you go.

"GameShark" has a more professional setup plus the advantage of having saved games for some titles. But "Action Replay" packs in the codes, offering options in some of the most popular titles that "GameShark" can't match. Both offer the ability to manage your PlayStation 2 memory cards, getting rid of unused files and compressing others, which is worth the price of admission.

In both cases, don't hold me responsible for the boredom when you realize you can have almost anything you want in your favorite games without a challenge. I said cheaters prosper, not remain pleased.