October 19, 2004

"Amped 2" Cheat Codes and Online

"Amped 2" was a pretty worthy successor to the original "Amped." It had better controls, Xbox Live play, a more varied soundtrack (including my favorite song from the soundtrack, "Harsh Light" by Helicopter Helicopter), and vastly improved graphics. However, one question gets asked a lot: Why lock out all of the cheat codes online?

This was one the most debated features in the game. There were three deciding factors. To start, the biggest draw of playing online was that you were playing as yourself. If your boarder was 0-point, you'd be playing as a 0-point online. If you had max spin, your boarder online would have max spin.

Second, the team was extremely anti-cheat. The team believed in reserving legend status for those who really busted their humps to beat the game, and wanted those people who dedicated a chunk of their life to have celebrity within the game itself.

Third, there were two seperate sets of character models. One set was high-detail, and was the model set that your character was rendered on the screen as. The second set was low-detail, and was what all other characters were rendered as.

There are cheat characters in the game. I'm doing this from memory, so please forgive me if I'm a little off. In order to see them, you have to log out of Xbox Live completely, then go into the Cheats menu option and enter their codes. My personal favorite is "MetalMaam" (case sensitive), although I know many others who like "FrostByte" (case sensitive). Then, select "Ride As Pro." The characters will appear in the list.

Now, there were some people at MGS SLC who were of the school of thought that these characters should be playable online. After all, they don't have weird physics associated with them. The cheat code merely unlocks them, it does not give that player any advantages. There were others who believed that since we were already locking people out of online play if they were using the physics cheat codes, like "MaxSkills" or "NoCollisions," then we should lock out ALL cheat codes.

The second team won, but not because of their argument. The art assets for "Amped 2" was running behind (a common occurance), and creating low-detail models of the cheat characters would have required additional art and test time that simply wasn't there.

By the way, just so you can see how rabidly anti-cheat the team was, enter the "ShowRewards" (case sensitive) cheat code, then look at the reward videos. You'll notice that there is still one video locked...the video for those who beat the Legend challenges. Good luck to those who want to try them. You'll need it.

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