Reviewed: August 13, 2004
Type: Cheat Device
It has been said that “cheaters never prosper”, and I have always tended to agree. I has forever amazed me that a kid will race down to a game store, plunk down $50 on a new release, and then spend the next two hours looking online for invincibility cheat codes so they can brag at school the next morning about finishing the game in one night. As a reviewer – concerned about the quality of each gaming experience – it’s almost heartbreaking to see kids cheating themselves out of so many great gaming experiences.
Still, using cheats is more the norm than not in home gaming – in fact, the words “cheats” and “codes” consistently ranking near the top of the “most searched topics on the web” lists - so, it’s only natural that cheating mechanisms spring up to quench the insatiable thirst of the cheating/coding masses. In the case of this review, we are looking at Mad Catz’ Gameshark 2 Version 4.
Check out these features:
The Gameshark couldn’t be simpler to use – pop in the disc, navigate through the menus to pick the code, the disc drawer pops out, you replace the Gameshark with your game disc and you’re ready to game. You can also save to your memory card the codes and saves, or enter codes of your own from magazines or websites.
The Gameshark definitely has its niche – those who are inclined to cheat, or those who are stuck on a game level will certainly find something in the Gameshark that they like. However, in my web search to find some –any- information comparing Version 4 to the previous Version 3, a couple of issues are quite apparent:
First and foremost, gamers are complaining that there isn’t really anything noticeably new in Version 4 versus the previous Version 3 release, other than a new look, USB support (for USB keyboards and Sharkports) and a few extra preloaded codes. If, like myself, you are new to the Gameshark, this won’t make much difference. However, for the dedicated followers, the “v4” release was somewhat of a letdown – especially when you factor in that the Region Free DVD feature of Version 3 was completely removed.
Second, not all gamers seem to be successful in getting the codes to work on their machines – this may be due to operator error or ignorance, as Mad Catz guarantees their results – but some gamers are complaining that the Gameshark may be interfering with their online enabled Playstation 2’s and causing them to crash and/or lock. I myself did not have such a problem – all the codes I tried worked as purported. Still, there seems to be a large populace of gamers who are disappointed with their purchases.
To be frank, having this huge library of cheat codes and game saves is nice, but I cannot appreciate cheats and codes enough to justify the hefty price of $30. And knowing that this version actually has less features than the previous release makes it even less valuable. In my opinion – if you really want to cheat, look for Version 3 in the bargain bins. Version 4 is a bummer.