Is using strategy guides cheating?

drzoidbergmd

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Aug 14, 2008
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Most of the people I talk to berate me endlessly for looking at one section in a strategy guide, comparing it to using cheat codes. I don't think it is because strategy guides still require you to do everything properly while cheats just let you dick around to your heart's desire.
Does this have any merit?
 

Graustein

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Jun 15, 2008
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I wouldn't go so far as to calling it cheating, more a sign of weakness. I used to use them like mad, now I don't touch GameFAQs.
 

ImmortalItalian

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Oct 19, 2008
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I love doing things without strategy guides. Makes it more fun to find out things yourself without consulting a 50 lb book that tells you where every shotgun, robot and naked woman is and how every ceiling tile is placed.
 

Flying-Emu

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Oct 30, 2008
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I think it's an opinion sort of thing.
I personally prefer not using strategy guides, since it means I have to figure out everything myself, which is definitely harder than just peeking at a book.
Yes, you still have to "do everything properly", but it's really not that challenging when you look up the method for solving a puzzle.
It's more forgivable when its an FPS, for example, since you still have to have the reflexes required to "aim head shoot".
 

Caliostro

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Jan 23, 2008
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Well... Let's see... Is using something that tells you exactly what to do thus bypassing any hardship in the game cheating? I guess that's the definition of cheating yes.


That said, I do use "strategy guides" once in a while. Mostly to compensate for poor game design ("You have ONE chance to get this item, no way of knowing it exists, if you mess up once, you gotta start over again!" - as seen in Final Fantasy games) and/or "moon logic" developer syndrome ("How can you NOT understand a single fish floating in the water was a reference to Bertrand Russel and thus you had to put the cork in the broken kettle?!"- as seen in a considerably number of adventure games).
 

AceDiamond

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Jul 7, 2008
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If I am genuinely lost (which happens the most in adventure games due to the esoteric puzzles) I will use strategy guides. Otherwise I prefer working it out for myself.

Also FFVII necessitated a strategy guide in order for me to get Vincent.
 

ZeroMachine

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Oct 11, 2008
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I only resort to guides if I'm stuck and pissed off about it, which doesn't happen often, but I don't consider it cheating. It's basically meant to help push you in the right direction. If you buy a game with the guide and use the guide to... well... guide you through the whole entire game than not only is it pretty much cheating, it's kinda ruining the experience.
 

Gxas

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Sep 4, 2008
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Only after I have beaten a game and given up on 100%ing it alone do I use a walkthrough. I don't believe it is cheating. It is just another way to play.
 

MintyFreshBreathGuy

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Oct 10, 2008
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Hey I call it a cheat book but it's not like I care. If I'm lost or something on those lines then YEAH I'm gonna cheat. Besides some books come with interesting information which makes the game more interesting... sadly they usually don't but hey when they do I get happy.
 

the_tramp

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May 16, 2008
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I tend to play the game through once without strategy guides unless a big decision comes up in a game and I want to know what happens either way. The explode/defuse decision from Fallout 3 springs to mind for example.

However there are some games that are designed for the strategy guide to be bought alongside it. The Final Fantasy games are a prime example of this, take FFXII for example:
If you don't open something like 7 RANDOM boxes throughout the game then in the last box a really powerful spear appears after a certain point, at no point in the game does it tell up which boxes they are and you literally need to be externally told which ones not to open.
 

Not Good

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Sep 17, 2008
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honestly, the necessity of a strategy guide is both a measure of skill, and a measure of how tl;dr the game would be.
 

SinisterDeath

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Nov 6, 2006
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My use of Strategy guides are like this.

Games that are over 6 hours, along the lines of 20hours + (MGS4 for instance, and possibly highly puzzle based aka FF games).

I use the Strategy games only, and only if I get stuck.

I don't know about you, but when I play a game, Its highly frustrating spending 6 hours trying to get past hidden geometery to a magical doorway that doesn't actually exist. >_<
So when I get the slightest bit stuck (more then 5-10 minutes) I use the strategy guide to get me through it.

If I beat the game, and have the ambition to get 100% completion, I use the strategy guide, cause really, you'd have to be a masochist to get 100% completion in a game like MGS4 with out the guide.
 

Altorin

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May 16, 2008
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It's not cheating, but it can soil a good experience that you'd never know you'd have.
 

Seydaman

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Nov 21, 2008
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if used for a puzzle game it ruins the game because your not doing anything, just following instructions. while if it was a guide for like gun stats then w/e
 

Deadarm

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Sep 8, 2008
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I think they should be used as a last resort. That being said, I've only had to consult 3 of them ever Elder Scrolls 3 and its xpacks, Resident Evil for the order in which the animals are suppose to be and finally The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker only because it came with my game and I got totally lost once the triforce collection part came around.
 

CyberAkuma

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Nov 27, 2007
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Ugh, depends on the situation...

I sometimes use strategy-guides/cheats when I already did beat the level and I want to resume the game where I was.
I also use strategy guides when I want to forfil a task that requires NO skill what so ever and that is only time-consuming.

A good example is all those bloody Diamond-locations in Far Cry 2.
Finding all the bastards doesn't require any SKILL. It's just time consuming and I don't see it as cheating if using the guide then like I did.
There's way more difficult things to do in that game than hunting for stupid rocks.
 

Avatar Roku

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Jul 9, 2008
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Do you remember Yahtzee's explanation of "In case I need it later"? That's how I view this; a strategy guide is like an ultra-powerful weapon, on which I set an over all limit for each game depending on the difficulty of the first 1/2 hour or so. Like: "Oh, this seems tough, this game'll be a three-checker."

EDIT: The exception is on later play-throughs, when looking for things like Assassin's Creed's flags.