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New Super Mario Bros. Wii To Include Official "Cheat" 275

phlack writes "Yahoo Games has an article describing a new mode in Nintendo's upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii that will allow the player to activate a 'demo' mode to get out of a hard situation. Nintendo plans on incorporating this into future games. Is this a good idea (to help relieve frustrations) or just sanctioned cheating?" They actually patented this system as well.
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New Super Mario Bros. Wii To Include Official "Cheat"

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  • by s1lverl0rd ( 1382241 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:02AM (#28387191) Homepage

    Winning by cheating just isn't the same as winning 'for real'.

    I may catch on with the casual gamers, though.

  • by Bluebottel ( 979854 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:05AM (#28387205)
    Getting rid of the stupid moments and rushing towards the fun ones. Hope they include a 'unlock-all-so-i-dont-have-to-just-to-play-the-whole-game' cheat as well.
    Way to many games assume that i want to grind 25 hours to get that tiny little game mode which just happens to be the most fun part of it all.
  • Great idea! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZmeiGorynych ( 1229722 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:15AM (#28387265)

    I want my games to be not very challenging but spectacular looking and amusing interactive movies, little more. Really hard intricate challenges is what work is for (well I'm lucky enough to have one of those).

    If other gamers want to derive a sense of achievement from really hard-to-master games, good for them - but with this, Nintendo is reaching another market, namely people like myself, who couldn't care less about whether it's 'cheating' or not because 'winning' is not the reason why they play games at all.

  • Both (Score:5, Insightful)

    by physicsphairy ( 720718 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:16AM (#28387267) Homepage

    Is this a good idea (to help relieve frustrations) or just sanctioned cheating?"

    Yes and yes. It does help who just want to see the next level and it does let people bypass the essential struggle of the game, thereby 'diminishing' the meaning of playing it.

    But, hey, you paid for the game, I say you should be able to access all of its content, regardless of your playing skill. I would never use the cheat option, but I'm not going to fret myself into a furor that elsewhere in the privacy of their own homes people are enjoying the game differently.

    (I will however mercilessly mock any of my friends who are less uber than me. :p )

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:23AM (#28387309)

    Extended frustration isn't good when playing videogames. Most people play them to either relax, have fun, or spend time with friends/family.

    I don't care about this Demo mode, because I won't use it. If someone actually has to use it, then I'm glad it enhanced their game experience. If someone is foolish enough to use it to get to the end quicker when they didn't have to... then thank goodness they'll never have enough patience to get good at the online games I play. :)

    +1 Insightful for you.

  • by JohnConnor ( 587121 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:26AM (#28387323) Homepage

    This is a good idea for the Wii. This platform is not supposed to be for hardcore gamers and the focus is more on the general public. Take myself as an example: I play the Wii but unlike my kids I don't have time to repeat a game sequence hundreds of times until I get it right. If I get stuck somewhere in a game I don't waste my time and I move on (read I drop this particlar game). I'm looking forward to be able to skip a frustrating part and get on with the rest of the game. I am not playing to get frustrated

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:39AM (#28387375)

    The need for such a feature at all is a design failure in itself though. A game can still be difficult and not frustrating because of it. Instead of this feature, Nintendo should be going back and looking at what they did wrong and fix that instead.

  • I like options (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phoenix ( 2762 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:40AM (#28387383)

    For the hard-core gamer I'm sure that this is considered the height of EVIL and is something of a hell-worthy trespass for them.

    However for the casual gamer (say someone who doesn't have the time required to develop the "Mad Skillz" needed to play these games) this is a godsend.

    There are games out there with very in-depth stories and as the game progresses and gets harder, many find that a particular section is flat-out beyond them and the only way they'll ever get to see the end of the story is to look up cheats, walkthroughs...or now this new system.

    There are times when I've asked someone to get me through one little annoying section that I've tried for hours to times even WITH the walkthrough. Being told how to do something is not the same as being able to do it with some of the "twitch" games out there where the solution involves precise timing that many hard-core and/or avid gamers develop. I get help with that "one" spot and I'll beat the rest of the game on my own in my own time.

    This is a good thing and it gives an option and a choice for the players. They can choose to beat the game on their own, or they can choose to get a little help. Let the game give these options and let the players decide. It's the best way.

  • Re:Both (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techtoad ( 1068024 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:42AM (#28387391) Homepage
    I agree with physicphairy, even though many users will see this "demo" option as a cheat option that will diminish the game, its a nice idea for those who choose to use it. There have been so many games I have played for weeks, got stuck on a single level and not played the game again for years due to bordem and frustration. What about those times you lose your game saves by accident and want to make a quick journey back to the stage you reached in the game?* I say this is a good idea, cheaters can use it to cheat, genuine players have the option to bypass a stage that ruins their gameplay experience. *Obviously, some games that are more involved with choices and "collectable" itmes may not be this straight forward, but hey, its better than having to go all the way back to the begging after losing your gamesaves!
  • Re:Both (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:42AM (#28387403)

    Is this a good idea (to help relieve frustrations) or just sanctioned cheating?"

    Yes and yes. It does help who just want to see the next level and it does let people bypass the essential struggle of the game, thereby 'diminishing' the meaning of playing it.

    But, hey, you paid for the game, I say you should be able to access all of its content, regardless of your playing skill. I would never use the cheat option, but I'm not going to fret myself into a furor that elsewhere in the privacy of their own homes people are enjoying the game differently.

    (I will however mercilessly mock any of my friends who are less uber than me. :p )

    Yes and yes. It does help who just want to see the next level and it does let people bypass the essential struggle of the game, thereby 'diminishing' the meaning of playing it.

    But, hey, you paid for the game, I say you should be able to access all of its content, regardless of your playing skill. I would never use the cheat option, but I'm not going to fret myself into a furor that elsewhere in the privacy of their own homes people are enjoying the game differently.

    How, in your opinion, does this concept extend into online play? People who "grief" in online games often say things such as "I paid $X for this, I can spend my time ruining everyone else' gameplay if I want to." Barring any Terms of Service violations, these people are often right. What does that do to the quality of the game, however? If a player can impede another player's enjoyment of a game that they both purchased, who's happiness should get preferentrial treatment?

    The second example are cheats (such as aimbots or wallhacks in first person shooters or drophacks, maphacks, and bots in rpgs/mmorpgs) often claim that "Well, I paid $X for this game, I can do whatever I want in it. It's just a game. You're a tryhard." I know several people who get a lot of enjoyment out of cheating in online games. By cheating, they are able to "see the next level" of the game and "bypass the essential struggle of the game". They paid for the game and online content, right? So they should "be able to access all of it's content, regardless of [their] skill".

    I agree with your sentiment. One pays for the game, they should have access to the content. I am interested in if you believe that your point of view is equally valid on online play.

  • by dr_wheel ( 671305 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:44AM (#28387415)

    ... especially for casual gamers and kids. I have a young daughter who loves the original SMB that I downloaded through the VC, but her frustration level can get to the point where she doesn't want to play it anymore. Something like this would be nice for her and casual gamers if implemented properly. But I also think they should also insert some sort of bonus ending or perk for players who don't need to cheat to win.

    Is it fair to give her an advantage when I didn't have one myself at her age? I think so. At least maybe she won't start throwing nintendo controllers across the goddamn room like I used to.

  • "cheating" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @06:45AM (#28387423) Homepage Journal

    When I'm competing against other humans, "cheating" is an appropriate term.

    In a single-player game, that I paid for, the interaction is between me and something owned by me. Its purpose is my entertainment. Challenge is part of that, but if I want to use an easy way, what could anyone possibly have against it? Seriously, that's like saying your favourite poet can only be read in candle light on a stormy night, because doing it any other way would ruin the atmosphere.

    No, "cheating" does not describe this at all. There's no party that is being cheated on, after all.

  • by pinkushun ( 1467193 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:27AM (#28387633) Journal
    But for the rest of us, temptation to try again and again (read:perfect the game) will feel crippled.
  • Re:Fantastic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zwei2stein ( 782480 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:30AM (#28387659) Homepage

    I would be worried myself rather than celebrating it.

    Game with 'easy way out' can make children expect something like that later in their life subconsciously and become frustrated.

    There is big deal made out of fact that most games expose children to very fast and very direct and simple reward-effort situations, that makes them less able to handle distant rewards.

    But again, kids were playing games before computers were around and Deferred gratification was there before computer games too.

  • The reds aren't "getting closer"; they're already here. Tetris, the greatest Commie plot ever to hit the video game industry, has been on Nintendo platforms for two decades.
  • by murdocj ( 543661 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:54AM (#28387793)

    Winning by cheating just isn't the same as winning 'for real'.

    True, but sometimes it's necessary to bypass some ridiculously hard part of a game. For example, in one WWII game (Medal of Honor?) I was stuck at this one point where I was in a town with a sniper. I tried everything I could to get the guy and he just kept nailing me. After hours of game time spread over a few weeks of realtime, I finally activated a god mode code and went outside and looked for him where a walkthru said he would be. Even with all that, he was hard to see. Once I nailed him, I switched off the cheat and enjoyed the rest of the game. If I hadn't done that, I would have simply given up.

    I recently have had an experienece in a game where I was really frustrated by the final battle. I looked it up and it turned out I simply wasn't strafing around that much, I was trying to use cover, which didn't work. That was cheating too, to get the strategy, but it's the same thing... I gave it a good try of many, many attempts and finally gave in and looked up a cheat.

    Ultimately, looking up a strategy or using a code isn't as satisfying as doing it on your own, but sometimes you just want to move on and see the rest of the game.

  • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:18AM (#28388015)

    Justin Bailey doesn't count and you know it.

    Why, exactly, shouldn't it? For that matter, Contra also had a cheat built-in. Or does that one "not count" too?

    There's nothing wrong with having cheats available, really. For players who want to just breeze through the game, it saves them frustration, and for players who want a challenge, they don't have to use it. Everyone wins.

  • by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:30AM (#28388121)
    If it ruins the game to use it, then don't use it. Problem solved. A cheat simply being there doesn't affect you in any way at all.
  • by Spatial ( 1235392 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @08:34AM (#28388159)
    Assuming it's a 2D platformer, I think one of the most elegant solutions would be alter the level layout after repeated failures, or if you're on your last life.

    It's what I'd do if I were making a platformer. It's really easy to implement and levels the playing field a bit. Perhaps literally!
  • by KillerBob ( 217953 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @09:11AM (#28388591)

    Part of the problem is that they need to find a balance between hardcore gamers and casual gamers. A level like he's describing from MoH would have me, a casual gamer (well, except for Warcrack) saying "fuck this" and finding a different game.

    Assuming I'd even pick up the game in the first place, which I probably wouldn't.

    The problem is that in order to appeal to the casual gamers, the game has to be easy enough that most hardcore gamers won't touch it. By adding the "demo" mode, they can make parts of the game very challenging, to appeal to the hardcore gamers, but can also give casual gamers the ability to avoid the frustrating and annoying content that presents too much challenge and commitment to keep a casual gamer interested.

  • Re:Fantastic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sesshomaru ( 173381 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @09:13AM (#28388627) Journal


    Help Me

    Heck, I'm 39, and after being killed by Rift Entities one too many times I decided to go to "Casual" mode in the Ghostbusters video game. You know why? Because I don't care anymore...

    This is because after a hard grueling day of work (or for a child, school), I don't want to come home to a hard/grueling video game, and never did.

    We challenge our kid by making sure she keeps her grades up, if she wants to play Cooking Mama in her free time, that's her own affair.

    I'll admit, I always thought it was dumb to play through a game on God mode from the very start. I knew kids who did it, and I didn't understand the point. I never thought it was bad to have God mode though.

    On the other hand, the games where I get to "that one boss" and give up in frustration, what do those teach a child? If life is too hard you can always give up?

  • by rjejr ( 921275 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @09:25AM (#28388789)

    Many games have a hard part that's too difficult to get through, so using this ocassionally doesn't seem so bad. I don't remember this much uproar when God of War let people play in "easy mode" after dieing a few times, and there are other games that do this as well.
    I would have liked this option in the Jak and Daxter series. In the first admittedly easy but very fun game there is a fish catching mini-game which has absolutey nothing to do with the rest of the gameplay. In Jak 2 there is a mission where you have to destroy 5 ships but I could never get more than 3, so I sold the game back, only to rent it again months later and finally beat it. There is also an on-rails level where you ave to destroy 40 jet-packed bad guys which was really hard. Again, that series is about having fun as I don't think there is a "Game Over" screen anywhere to be found, so if you can't actually lose, is it "cheating" to win?

  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Friday June 19, 2009 @09:29AM (#28388827) Homepage

    But what a 7 year old or someone who is 60 and has never played games finds frustrating may be pretty easy for a 30 year old who has played games off and on since they were a kid.

    This would allow the game to occasionally present a challenge to the 30 year old and give the 7/60 stuff to work against. If it's too hard, they can use it to "skip" that one moment.

    How many people here have had a brother/sister/friend get through a "hard part" of some game for them?

  • by socrplayr813 ( 1372733 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @10:31AM (#28389745)

    But I'm interested in the value of the the reward itself. I don't care about meaningless value attached to it because I worked for hours. While the sense of accomplishment is sometimes nice, I play for fun. If I want a sense of accomplishment, I'll do something that's actually meaningful.

  • by gbarules2999 ( 1440265 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @10:37AM (#28389837)

    You may find that the reward doesn't seem as valuable if you haven't had to spend 25 hours of your life working so hard just to get it.

    The above sentence is the dumbest comment on this story yet.

    It isn't a "reward." It's part of the game. Why do I have to play ten hours of a shitty single player to unlock a mode in Super Smash Bros.? Why are all of the good courses locked off until you sell your goddamn soul to the game?

    That's not rewarding, that's just annoying as hell. When I buy a game, I assume that I'd be getting everything important unlocked out of the box. Unfortunately, I have to "earn" it, which just pisses me off even further. I don't play games to "defeat" and "earn" things, and then go to my friends on the playground and brag about how I beat the hardest mode. I play games to unwind and enjoy myself.

  • by camg188 ( 932324 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @10:57AM (#28390123)
    "Winning by cheating just isn't the same as winning 'for real'." - lighten up, Francis.
    1. - A game is software. Good software gives you options and the more customizable, the better it is. God mode is just another option. If the user likes the option, it is good. This is no different than having adjustable difficulty level. If you don't like it, don't use it.
    2. - It's not cheating. It's users entertaining themselves. It would only be cheating if it was multiplayer and one of the players did it unbeknownst to the others
    3. - How is this news? God mode has been available in games since games have been made
    4. - It can be fun. Who hasn't played Unreal and messed around with god mode, playersonly, loaded, fly, ghost and summon?
  • by 10Neon ( 932006 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:02PM (#28391029)
    Some difficulty spikes, however, vary from player-to-player, and will crop up no matter how well the game is otherwise designed. For example, I have a tendency to get stuck in FPSs because I forget to go through some obvious door (I tend to go for the less-obvious doors first, since that's where they like to hide the health and ammo.) Other players, more attentive than I, wouldn't find any kind of difficulty spike, because the door is right there, and it's not fighting back. A "demo mode" would be useful in situations like this because, within seconds of activating it, it would basically tell me, "hey stupid, why not turn right instead of left at this intersection, for once?" In this case, it's not a matter of learning a new mechanic in order to continue, but remembering to use one that you've previously demonstrated mastery over (in my case, turning right.) Watching my casual-gamer sister play, I notice that most "spikes," for her, are things like this. Difficulty in gameplay is not always the result of the skill curve, so it would be reasonable to include a system that would allow players to move past parts of the game that they're getting stuck on, even in a game with a "perfect" skill curve, simply because players' do not apply their skills to each situation in a uniform manner.
  • by MasterOfMagic ( 151058 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:03PM (#28391045) Journal

    Holy totally missing the point!

    With nothing to aim for or look forward to, life gets boring pretty quickly.

    Imagine how much more enjoyment someone who had to work months/years to afford their car gets out of it than someone who was born into an incredibly rich family and has everything handed to them on a plate.

    It's. Just. A. Game.

    Here's what I look forward to: getting married, starting a family, being able to pay off my bills, a promotion, several more pranks from/to my friends, and so forth. Not getting 100% in Super Hyper Sequel Roster Update 2010 Mark IV.

    If you are the type of gamer that feels they must unlock and earn everything, that is perfectly fine. However, all gamers are not like you. I have a day job that's 8-10 hours a day. I have friends that want to go out into the real world for drinking, driving fast cars, golf, shooting, pranking, talking with girls, more than talking with girls, and generally being social while not being behind a headset or a controller. This leaves a small amount of time for me to play video games, and, consequently, cuts into my ability to unlock things.

    However, you'll note, that I paid the exact same amount of money for the game as you did. I bought the exact same content that you did. Our discs are likely identical at the bit level. I already worked to afford the game - I worked hard and saved my money to hand over for the disc. This is why a game that already has everything unlocked is not like getting an expensive car without working - I already worked to buy the game!

    If anything, having things locked without the option to put in a cheat code to unlock them is akin to working for years to buy that shiny new car, paying for it, driving it home, and finding out that until you've spent another $4,000, you can't go any faster than 45. Make the full unlock option be a cheat code, and then color the icon of the save to, say, red instead of blue. If you have a blue save, then you haven't unlocked everything with the code (and have done it through your hard work).

  • by murdocj ( 543661 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:17PM (#28391243)

    I would call you someone who doesn't have any empathy. You apparently can't conceive that someone might want to "play" in way that is different from the way you like to play. Some people like to play full out and backcountry ski down mountains, risking their lives every second. Others want to relax with a bit of solitaire or bejeweled. The level of challenge that you want in your "play" is by definition something personal. I've "played" by running marathons, so I know something about challenging myself, but I don't consider you to be apathetic if you haven't run a marathon.

  • by dzfoo ( 772245 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:45PM (#28391609)

    You have a very valid point, as do others who have said the same thing about other games. However, as also stated by other commenters, such highly difficult and frustrating parts are signs of a poorly design game.

    It's one thing to look online for "cheats" or walkthroughs to aid you in overcoming some unreasonably difficult part of an otherwise enjoyable game, which you already purchased; you probably couldn't tell such challenge was part of the game until you encountered it, and therefore had no recourse except that, or stop playing altogether and forfeit part of your investment in the game.

    It is another thing entirely to build this facility into the game itself--in essence making "cheating" part of the experience of playing, ab initio. At such, the game designer has little incentive in correcting his practice and invest resources into making a better gaming experience for the user. They are, to all intent and purposes, accepting as a matter of course that the game experience is going to irritate or frustrate you, and so it is easier to offer you a crutch or "cheat" than to actually improve it.


  • by dzfoo ( 772245 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:58PM (#28391833)

    Or you could complain to the game manufacturer about your experience, and if enough users do, they would probably listen to you and improve the gameplay on a sequel.

    This is pretty much what happened with Boom Blox for the Wii; the game was primarily a single player game with a "party mode" tacked on. Although innovative and fun, the single player game required you to go through repetitive stages in order to advance to other levels, and after a while it became boring. However, the "party mode" turned out to be the best of it, allowing you to play casually with friends in an interactive manner, though it was mostly a secondary or terciary feature of the original game.

    The support and review fora where filled with comments from users stating how fun it was to play in "party mode"--though you still had to finish each level in order to "unlock" the next, with a friend this wasn't such a necessity, as the challenge and fun of the multiplayer interaction made the selection of a particular level less important.

    And now a sequel is out, and what is it? It's essentially an expanded version of the "party mode" as a full-blown game. Designed from the start as a multiplayer party game, you do not need to grind in order to "unlock" every single level.

    Believe it or not, some game designers actually want to make games other people enjoy, so letting them know what works or doesn't is usually a good idea.


  • In the menu? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Riddler Sensei ( 979333 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @01:19PM (#28392079)
    Oh I always rather liked having a little hidden cheat code that you had to look up to activate. It was kind of charming in its own way. But is this just going to be straight up in the menu? "Start Demo Mode New Game"? That would seem a bit hokey.
  • Re:"cheating" (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @01:29PM (#28392235)

    I think it just needs to be clearly marked, the way game difficulties are*. If the douchebag wants to brag about beating it on legendary, thats up to him. You can still enjoy it all the same on beginner.

    * The problem of course being the auto-tuning games that just get easier and easier the more you fail. Which is fine too, I guess, if theres a good story they are telling. Theres just too much of a difference between a good story game and a good gameplay game, no one rule can rule them all.

    How boring would Tetris be if every time you made a mistake they gave you the perfect pieces to correct yourself?
    How pointless would Star Wars be if you could never get past the first act?

  • by TheSambassador ( 1134253 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @02:32PM (#28393141)
    You have a very narrow-minded view of games. Games are only about 2 things? Problem solving or competition? Really?

    Have you ever played a sandbox game? I don't think that me driving around in GTA aimlessly is either problem solving or competition. The bottom line is that games are supposed to be FUN. And as you yourself admitted, a person's sense of fun is subjective. If people find that they have fun "playing" some sort of weird autopilot version of a game, then I have no problme with it.
  • by mitbeaver ( 1205124 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:04PM (#28393695)
    Way I see it, I bought it, I should be able to do whatever I want with it. "Cheat" only applies when competing on uneven term, e.g. online play. Also a "Cheat" can just as easily be a quick fix to bypass a poorly play-tested or unbalanced portion of a game. Games are designed by people, not infallible game-creating Gods.
  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Friday June 19, 2009 @03:24PM (#28394031) Homepage

    Playing games is either about solving problems, competition, or both.

    I thought playing games was about having fun.

    You seem to confuse the means by which a goal can be achieved with the goal itself.

    Walking isn't about putting one leg in front of the other, it's about going somewhere.
    Eating isn't about moving your jaw and swallowing, it's about getting nutrition in your body.
    Gaming isn't about solving problems or competition, it's about having fun.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 19, 2009 @07:40PM (#28397449)

    However, as a semi-serious gamer (more than casual?) it makes me glad I got rid of my Wii when I did and picked up an Xbox 360.

    Why? I can understand the whole Wii is not for 'Hardcore Gamers' thing, but the Wii can coexist with the 360. It is not an either / or situation. The Wii has some good games that appeal to hardcore gamers. Smash Bros, Metroid, The Conduit, and Zelda are just some of the solid games / series that appeal to the hardcore gaming crowd. It is not a great selection compared to the 360/PS3/PC but it is worth it just for the exclusives.

    More power to Nintendo for carving out their niche, but I know that I do not want any part of that group.

    Sounds like elitism. What group are you talking about? Last time I checked, It was about the games, not the "status" gained from owning the system. This seems like the same BS I get because I use a macbook. "Oh, you are one of those mac people...I guess that makes you a yuppie-hipster-douchebag"

    Owning a Wii doesn't make you less of a gamer. It merely gives you another outlet for gaming.

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