It could be said that we are currently living through what is arguably the greatest ever generation of video games and systems.
With stunning 4K graphics, the ability to take massive, open world games with us on the go, A-List actors lending their considerable talents to games with Hollywood-esque budgets, not to mention a robust and burgeoning Indie scene, we are truly in a purple patch.
However, it’s not all sunshine and daisies.
With the current moral panic around loot boxes refusing to quieten, and some truly predatory monetisation practices on show from more nefarious developers out there, one could be forgiven for casting a glance back at more innocent, straightforward times in gaming.
While many old-school titles were basic in design and virtually unplayable today, retro games and the systems on which we played them got a lot of things right, and are the foundations upon which we have built the industry we know today.
So the next time your nephew or annoying little cousin laughs at your beloved eight bit graphics or controllers with only three buttons, remind them of these awesome old-school video game features the industry seems to have abandoned or completely forgotten.
Now we’re not talking about modding the life out of Skyrim or exploiting the myriad glitches in Sonic Boom here, but the classic pause the game and enter a code style cheats.
In what was undoubtedly the first experience of actually breaking the rules some kids had ever had, you were never really a true gamer until you had held Select while turning on the power, or quickly pushed Up, Down, Up, Down, Left, Right, B on the main menu to achieve your unholy ends.
Such was the prevalence of cheats in eighties and nineties gaming that cheats were published in magazines, devices such as Action Replay (created specifically to allow players to cheat at games!) were sold on store shelves, and many games actually had a “Cheat Code” option on their main menu.
These days are sadly behind us, but with good reason.
After all, what use would a good old Level Select cheat be in a game like The Witcher or Breath of the Wild, where “Levels” as we knew them are no longer defined?
What good would the classic Infinite Lives cheat be in a game like Jedi Fallen Order when the result of suffering a defeat is merely the option to respawn at your last meditation spot?
Games are now seen as a true art-form, and not something to be sullied by cheap exploits.