I find absolutely zero shame in telling you all here today that I am a cheeser. I cheese whenever possible. Tactics? Strategy? No thanks. I'd rather hide behind a pillar and take potshots for half an hour than do things the "right way".
Hold up, dial it back. I know you like talking about food in all your pieces, Kate, but why are you talking about cheese, and what does this have to do with Nintendo? Did they just announce a new Labo kit made entirely of pre-sliced Jarlsberg?
Ah, apologies: let's have a wee etymology lesson first to set your mind at cheese. "Cheesing" is a term that has come to mean "defeating a boss/enemy/level in a video game with an unorthodox, easy method" — like standing in a spot where the enemy's attacks can't reach you, or using a character's items, moves, or animations to your advantage in a way unintended by the designers.
According to this Inverse article on the origin of the term, it comes from the late-1800s use of "cheesy" as something that is inferior, cheap, or unfair. Thus, "cheesy" strategies in a video game are considered lazy, unskilled, and shallow, especially in a competitive game, or a game that requires great skill to beat.
You'll often hear people asking a studio to "nerf" certain characters in competitive games which have been discovered to have some cheesy edge. To "nerf" means to basically take away that exploit, by, for example, reducing a character's range, or rebalancing their statistics to bring them back in line with other characters. It's a tricky business, but you don't want any one playable character to just be naturally better than another, right?
Some of you might know the term "cheesing" from Dark Souls, where a good cheese means find gaps in a boss' armour (so to speak; most of them wear "armour" in the same way my floor wears clothes) or exploit an unintended weakness, making battles that are supposed to be challenging into rather boring tests of patience and resolve.
An early example of this is in the very first Dark Souls game, where a gigantic dragon sits atop a bridge. You could try to run past him, and that's basically what the game wants you to do, since he's a big scary bastard — or you could stand at a very specific point, and shoot 200 or so arrows at his tail over the course of about 30 minutes, and get yourself an incredibly powerful sword for the early game. I did this. I am not ashamed. In my opinion, if it works, it's legitimate — and it doesn't diminish the achievements of anyone else who beat this scaly boi the old-fashioned way.
But the argument against cheesing continues. It's not right. It's not fair. It's not what the game's about. All of these are fair points, but I've personally never been a believer in policing how other people play games.
I've been playing Bloodborne slowly for about a year now, and I would have snapped the disk in half a long time ago if it weren't for the fact that I've figured out plenty of ways to play it the way I like. I spent a good few hours patiently grinding in the early game, making me way overpowered for the first few bosses. They were all probably expecting some weedy Victorian orphan to burst through their fogdoors, instead of this beefy hunter that spent the entire fight standing in a corner and flailing a saw around like they were trying to swat flies. By the time I got to the middle of the game, I was slicing bad guys in two before they'd even finished their "oh look! A hunter!" animation.
Bloodborne and Dark Souls are supposed to be about feeling weak and underpowered in the face of planet-sized monsters, I know. They're supposed to be about learning patterns and figuring out how to parry. But, you see, cheesing the occasional fight and grinding harder than my teeth at night is still a strategy — and it didn't stop me from also having to learn patterns and figure out how to parry. It just let me do it on my own time.
I really, really love Bloodborne. A large part of that is down to being able to play it my way. It's fun to fight the big, scary Snatchers in the Hypogean Gaol by standing on the stairs, just out of reach, hitting them with my big sword and then running away. If I were brave, I'd fight 'em out in the open, but I'd also probably die a lot — and, as an adult with many responsibilities, I don't have a lot of time for playing and replaying a game until I get it right. Also, as I've already said: cheesing is fun.
But, of course, as I've already mentioned — cheesing in a competitive game gives a player an unfair edge. I love to cheese when I'm on my own, but I wouldn't dream of cheesing in Smash Bros or Mario Kart unless I was looking to lose all my friends. There's a difference between taking a shortcut, being really good at combos, or using a particular character to your advantage, and using a cheesy strategy to become unbeatable. No one likes that guy!
So, what do you all think? Is cheesing acceptable, or is it a cheat's tactic? Does it make a difference whether it's in a solo game, or a multiplayer game? And most importantly: what is your favourite cheese?
If it doesn't belong to you, it's nacho cheese
I would honestly like to meet somebody who’s never cheesed at least one Souls boss. If it’s within the bounds of gameplay then sure, it’s your game that you’ve paid for so go wild! I have been known to cheese.... in queso emergencies.
cheatingcheesing is a legitimate strategy!
If it's a solo experience, I'm not about wasting my time, especially if the game is punishing. I'll cheese if I please.
After enough games with user created content, like Super Mario Maker, as well as games by newer devs that aren’t always clear what the intended method is...well, the cheese line has blurred for me. If achievable it’s within the game mechanics, it’s fair game in my opinion. Heck, there were a few shrines in BotW that I’m not even sure if what I did was the intended solution!
This holds true in competitive games. It’s not like hacking, where the player is giving themselves an advantage that others can’t achieve within the confines of the game. If something is unintended, it’s up to the developer to fix it, not the player to pretend it’s not there. And sometimes the cheese can become meta and ruin the game, but once again, players shouldn’t have the responsibility of ignoring strategies that actually work.
Don't get what that Sekiro tweet has to do with the article.
Cheating and cheesing aren't the same thing.
@nessisonett I’ve never cheesed a Souls boss, but I also barely played the series, I spent some time trying to get the feel of the controls and didn’t like them much. 😅
Nah, cheesing in solo games is boring. If a game is too hard I just put it down and come back later.
In terms of single player games, it doesn't actually mean anything. I mean, I prefer doing things the intended way in most single player games, but if it gets to the point I'm having less fun because of some annoying part of a game, I'll stop playing fair at some point.
Like last year, I replayed DKC2 and 100% all the normal levels for the first time (haven't ever beaten the secret levels...yet). Used the NSO save states and some playthroughs online to find the more annoying coins. Someday I'll replay it AGAIN most likely and try to re-find them by memory, but until then, I just wanna experience the secrets now. Because. SImilarly I cheated for beating the Yellow Devil in Megaman 1 (not the first time either!) However, I did eventually beat Yellow Devil legit so I'm fine with that.
I realize those aren't exactly the same things but they're the first ones that came to mind. But I did cheese the bosses in DBZ Legacy of Goku when I was a kid. Because that game was awful.
There's no wrong way to play.
Cheeseing has a standard if you cheese a boss in dark souls your not the worst gamer ever. But if you cheese in a game that is online and competitive that's where I draw the line.
Rarely on a first playthrough. But when I'm replaying a game, I will cheese it at every turn. Conversely, I always start at regular difficulty then increase it on replays, so my cheesing is usually accompanied by an overall harder experience.
Is spamming PK Fire online with Ness cheesing?
I feel like it depends on whether I came up with it or not. If, after getting my butt kicked by a boss for 20 battles straight, I figure out that I can just duck and fire at this spot and he'll never touch me, then I have just come up with a strategy, and I have earned my cheap victory.
@KateGray I demand a counterpoint article. Or an opposing viewpoint. I don't know your industry's terminology...
I'm of mixed opinion...as always. If it is a multiplayer game especially a fighting game. Take a walk off a short pier if you are a button masher/spammer....with weights on.
Single player I think that depends on the person. I consider grinding cheesing to a certain extent because you are exploiting the battle system to ultimately make the game easier. J-RPGs have since embraced that (seriously have you read the recent dragon quest guides...need a phd...and that's considering the series is known for being dense) but I feel it depends on what you get out of a game. Some people don't care, they just want end credits or achievements or whatever. But some want the feeling that the technical achievement brings. I am somewhere in the middle I think. I mod the heck out (usually visual mods, but still) of and use god mode for Elder Scrolls games, but prefer to master the system for action heavy games like sekiro or nioh or what not. Which makes the fact that I've yet to click with monster hunter somewhat ironic.
If it is single player, how you play is at the end of the day up to you. However don't expect others to pat you on the back if you discuss the game with them and you did something spamny/easy mode/whatever.
Also the system itself plays a role. Back when I played bioware games, I would pick easy after I realized that they, for me anyway, don't make fun combat systems. But Bayonetta or Devil May Cry or fighting games, games that are built around skill...I want to play those as intended.
I am solidly against users that demand a game with no easy difficulty have one though. You are telling devs you want a different game. Not every game is for every person. And that's ok.
I really can’t believe anyone actually cares how other people play solo games. Worry about how you stack up against your own purity standards, but I’m not required to legitimize them.
Nothing against it. But man, it's boring to play and play against.
I don't want to play against someone spamming fireballs as Ryu. It's not engaging and pretty selfish tbh. It's certainly nothing to be proud of.
I don't want to wait in a safe spot 3 minutes to time out a boss. Might as well use a cheat code. It's much quicker!
Whatever the videogame equivalent of the term 'sportsmanship' is, it's devoid of that. But if someone does cheese something, it can be fun if it's unintentional or last ditch!
I never understood why people get so upset when you cheese in a solo game; I am playing it not you, so why does it matter? There was one shrine in BoW I spent a decent hour trying where you need to use motion controls to guide a ball through a maze so I could get enough hearts to get the master sword and beat the other forms of Gannon and I just was like "imma turn the controller upside down so it's now a flat surface and flick it in" got it on the 3rd or fourth try. It made my time with the game that much better.
As long as it's not Mario kart or Smash etc go nuts. Cheese away; enjoy the game your way. If you enjoy using cheats, do it; if you like fighting lynels by climbing the walls of a colosseum and firing bombs at him do it. Don't let others tell you how to enjoy a single player game. Just don't be a gentle jerkward in multiplayer games.
I dont play video games competitively, but I do play some board games that way. And let me tell you - they do not go well with cheese. Nothing makes the experience more boring for me.
Huh I thought “cheesing” was just a Mario Maker term.
My preferred difficulty mode is IDDQD.
As a kid I proudly cheesed Zelda 2 last boss, Shadow Link.
@Diogmites it can be argued the yellow devil trick is an even earlier cheese
my preferred anor londo cheese is still "put on two greatshields and 'encourage' them to fall off the ledge"
In certain solo games for fun, or if breaking the game is a legitimate (or the only) way to enjoy the game in question, certainly, but generally I've found that overcoming the challenge is more rewarding.
Unpopular opinion: Cheese is disgusting. It tastes bad, it feels nasty in my mouth, and it can even smell bad! And don't get me started on the fact that its LITERALLY A LOAF OF MOLDY MILK
Anyway, I usually adjust my difficulty level based on how easy or hard I'm having it in a game. Make it challenging, but not throw my controller at the wall.
I wouldn’t consider myself a cheese whiz-ard, but I think it can be fun to figure out tricks in solo play (especially any time a particularly difficult level has you feeling bleu).
Edit: I enjoyed cheesing in Fenyx rising quite a bit. And that is one of my favorite subtitles ever
It’s situational, some people have no time to die, james bond for instance.
Generally it's acceptable. If you can beat the final boss by standing at the side of the screen and spamming the stab button, get infinite 1-ups with the Koopa shell trick, or fly over the level with the cape feather that's more an issue of flawed design on the developers' part (though Nintendo has deliberately implemented the Koopa shell trick into most subsequent 2D Mario games). It isn't the players' fault that they discovered a new way to win.
Cheesing was how I got through a lot of hotline Miami. Sit in one room and camp the doorway
I'm glad the anti-cheese snobs are no longer dominant (if they ever were).
Demon’s Souls on PS5 actually rewards you with a Trophy for cheesing one of the bosses.
Sorry, not sorry!
Agreed. As long as you have fun, anything goes. Me and a bunch of friends were playing Trine 2, barely enjoying ourselves due to the games wonky physics and half-baked platforming mechanics - but then we unlocked a weird arrow that slowed down time or something and started breaking the game, completing puzzles in weird ways - and was suddenly having a blast!
Surely cheesing is just being smarter way of finding legitimate ways to progress through a game? Good strategy is nothing to be ashamed of.
Not really a big issue for me. I was just sucked in by the sub heading. I have a concern about how this would impact dairy intolerant gamers.
I like the way you think Kate! 👍🏼
If you ask me, finding the most pungent, cheesiest way to beat bosses/tough stages is an art, and can actually make single-player games more fun.
When faced with the unknown in Dark Souls, Hollow Knight, or really any game with combat, I usually default to cheese first. Failing that, I’m grinding.
Cheese can be honorable and elegant.
But cheese against humans at your own risk! You can keep throwing Hadoukens and Spidey web-shots, but eventually someone will lay a righteous anti-cheese smackdown on you!
To brie, or not to brie. That is the question.
I play fair in multi-player games because I want everyone else to play fair.
But anything goes in single player titles. I have no issues with overleveling my party or doing every little side quest possible to get all the best gear and make the boss cry and beg for my mercy. In fact, I really enjoy doing that.
As for difficulty, I generally stick with default. But occasionally I'll raise or lower it if it really feels like the default is just too easy.
@ShadJV this right here. Especially in competitive games. The idea is to win, you normally win by getting an advantage over your opponent.
@GrailUK Defining cheesey play in fighting games can be difficult. Characters have differing game plans based on their moveset. You may not like Ryu shooting fireballs but he is probably disinclined to walk toward you and trade his advantage for yours.
@RetroXombi essentially. If I find my opponent struggles against a certain strategy, am I going to avoid doing that strategy to make it easier for them? Of course not, I’m trying to win. If I found something that gives me an advantage within the confines of the game... well, they better learn how to take advantage of that, too.
I’m not sure. Usually in fighting games I like to corner the opponent and perform a crazy combo. (Is that cheezing??). I find I can always get about 15% more damage that way.
Let’s see....in NBA Jam, I can always get away with a 3 pointer if it happens I have no opponent guarding me. I guess that’s cheezing. But sometimes when I’m ahead like by 10 points in the game, and then there’s one second left, everyone has given up, I like to dunk the basketball.
Hmm, I heard a lot about Dark Souls. I’m sure it’s justified in that game, with the insane difficulties that it has.
I wish there more options in the poll, bc for me I cheese games but I don't at the same time, It really depends on whats happening, and some times its just plane fun. I have never played a dark souls game so no comment on that.
@Zequio Heh, you better say it again! Right there with ya
If you actually, genuinely care what anyone else does with their copy of a video game, you need to rethink your life. But then, that goes for a lot of subjects.
I didn't know it was called cheesing (ha ha) and I was under the impression it was a legitimate tactic if you were struggling in a game or if you simply were too impatient at that given time. For me, it depends on the game and the situation but it is more than fine, in my opinion. As someone said, it is your game which you paid for. It doesn't diminish your love for gaming or anything like that.
If I was playing a Souls-like game, I think I would cheese considerably, by the way. So that kind of game is a good game to talk about regarding this.
Interesting article again. Thanks.
In "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" for the Game Boy Advance, if you play as Gandalf, you get to fight the Balrog. There is a specific spot near the upper-left corner of the room where the Balrog can't hit you, but you can hit it, allowing you to defeat the boss pretty easily.
Word of warning, though: be sure to move to the center of the room first to trigger a dialogue box before retreating to the corner. If you don't, the game will glitch out and you will be stuck in the boss room, and won't be able to advance to the next part of the game.
You feel free to play games your way, but personally, when I cheese something I feel no accomplishment whatsoever, and I renounce that victory and work until I beat it the "right" way.
The meme tweet is right, really. Hollow victories just feel meaningless, and no better than if you just used a credits warp glitch or used Super Guide on every level.
I rarely cheat. It's only if the boss is so hard and I won't to progress to the next step that I'll do it. Then I might go back and defeat it fairly anyway. I classify save-states and rewind features as cheating too. I'll also cheat in a game where the AI cheats. FIFA has been notorious over the years, so if it cheats (usually my tackles stop working and implausible shots score) then I'll retaliate and exploit hot-spots or other cheap ways to score.
Again, I just won't use them. I also play on the default or a medium difficulty. It depends on the game. I'm good at racing games so always will play on a medium difficulty. If I start a game that is proving too easy, I will quit and restart at a higher difficulty.
Taking advantage of poor boss design is not cheating. If you have not modded a game in any way or used save states to help you, the developer made the game this way and you beat it fair and square!
“like standing in a spot where the enemy's attacks can't reach you, or using a character's items, moves, or animations to your advantage in a way unintended by the designers”
Finding a spot in which the enemy can’t hit you is not cheesing!! That’s clever play surely? And the game is yours to play as you see fit. If you can play in a way the designers didn’t intend then it’s not a very well designed game. Cheesing is playing is gaming is enjoying. End of. I’m talking about solo play here.
There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's.
If you're beating my ass on any Street Fighter, I'm still going to go for the old jump kick in / force block / throw. Count on it.
I mean, if it's in the game it's valid... End of story
In Breath of the wild, my common strategy is climb a tree and drop lots of bombs until every enemy is dead.
It depends. If I find out the way to cheese the game myself, I feel clever and I deserve the victory. If someone else tells me how to cheese it, it feels like cheating.
Hey, you bought the game you play it however you want to and don't let anyone tell you that you can't. Sure there is a correct way, but I think cheesing means you are just thinking outside the box
Reminds me of the animal crossing time travel argument that's always going on. As long as you are not rubbing the stuff you got early in other people's faces, its all cool by me.
When it comes to multiplayer there's a bit of a grey area but I think if one person is doing it so will thousands of others and doing it will probably force the devs to patch whatever it is to make it fairer quicker. I remember the days of the godly tri-slosher in splatoon fondly.
Also I am not ashamed to play on easy, or start on normal and turn it down, i feel like higher difficulties are an arbitrary way to waste your time and heighten your blood pressure personally
o̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶y̶b̶e̶ ̶I̶ ̶n̶e̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶g̶i̶t̶ ̶g̶u̶d̶
Whoooo boy, I remember the absolute meltdown in the comments section of that PCG Sekiro article. Who could've guessed that there were so many fragile egos in the gamer community..?
Cheese land is my favourite track followed by Ribbon road
The fact the developers did not intend it should not matter - in my mind that’s the same as the enemy you are fighting not intending you to use your brain as well as your skills
Let people enjoy things however they want so long as they aren't hurting anyone. Gatekeeping is dumb.
You're kind of taking on five different topics at once here:
Cheese strats in a single player game:
I think if the devs left it in then it's fair game. They can occasionally lessen the sense of accomplishment but most of the time using a smart workaround to make a boss easier is just being strategic. Work smart not hard.
Using cheats in a single player game:
I almost never do this unless I've played the game to death and I've run out of 'legitimate' content. I definitely see the value for accessibility purposes though.
Difficulty settings in a single player game:
I usually start with the default as not every game is properly tested and balance for all it's difficulty modes. A well crafted hard mode with new obstacles and challenges is great, but a lazy hard mode with bullet sponge enemies or unforgiving checkpoints is tedious as hell. Again, great to have options for accessibility reasons.
Cheese strats in a multiplayer game:
If a strategy gives you an advantage in a multiplayer game you have to use it, otherwise you'll be steamrolled by the competition. If cheese starts are making the game less fun it's the devs job to patch them out, not the players job to abstain from using them.
Using cheats in a multiplayer game:
Fine when playing with friends if you've all agreed to it. Never do this when playing online with strangers though, you're ruining the game for everyone.
Yes, cheesing is perfectly fine. Particularly when paired with sausage, crackers and fresh fruit.
As far as cheesing in actual games, I'm perfectly alright with taking pot shots at enemies from a safer vantage point, e.g shooting fire from my magic wand at like-likes from the safety of the doorway.
Or using specific weapons and strategies to kill tough enemies/bosses.
Sometimes if a boss is in that sweet spot of difficulty, I'll go with them toe to toe, because it makes the fight more exciting.
Sometimes, I don't have the patience to chip away at them.
As far as competitive games like fighters go, I do sometimes spam certain moves, not because I'm lazy, but because its one of the few button combos I half-*** remember. I'm terrible at them no matter how hard I try, and I lose frequently anyway, I actually prefer to play fighters against the cpu.
Can I cheese something hard? you better believe I'm doing it 1000% of the time. zero purity conundrums here
How to defeat the Butcher in Diablo 1 without to Cheese him?
@Azuris Oh, man, I remember me and my friend getting REALLY scared when we saw heard the Butcher's "FRESH MEAT" for the first time and instantly got killed! (Granted, we were, like, 10 years old, haha).
But later I finished Diablo 1 fair and square, no cheesing!
I'm guilty of spawn camping on Call of Duty World at War local play. I don't feel good about it lol. That's about as cheesy as it gets.
Hi, just dropping in to say the pun in the subtitle is incredible.
Haha this Games still has a really scary Atmosphere.
Since you killed him "legal" , you are a true Heroe ;D
I set the difficulty to Hard not because I especially like a challenge but because I've been burned too many times on achievements or narrative points that you can't hit under normal difficulty. This started with Superman 64 20 years ago which wouldn't even let you progress to the end of the main story campaign on Normal difficulty (or Hard) and would just make you replay from scratch on a higher difficulty to see 2 more levels or something. Worst game ever, I did this once or twice but never finished because it really sucks being jerked around by the developers.
But I think on Shadows of the Empire there were special rewards for higher difficulty. In StarCraft II every campaign mission has one achievement you can only get on Hard. Sometimes the item drops are better--usually rare drop rates slightly higher--on hard. I don't go for the "You will die" difficult or any permadeath hardcore stuff but I can handle the bump up of 1 level. I can beat Mega Man II on difficult easily enough but I actually enjoy it on Normal more.
Also, I got that Drake sword in Dark Souls as described and it felt great. The sword stopped being useful like a level later and I had to upgrade (an epic quest) but sometimes cheesing and exploiting gets you more invested in the nuances of game mechanics. It's more immersive and strategic to think your way out of a problem. Depends on the cheese and the game. Ultimately I got every achievement in Dark Souls 1 and every spell/miracle/pyromancy and piece of equipment including those from the DLC and stuff which required you to play to New Game ++ to get, so I'm not really worried about cheesing a Black Knight or two in my early hours (out of 250+) hurting my street cred.
I don't like cheese in competitive games though. Nobody likes losing to the same thing match after match.
What matters is if the game is fun. If a boss is ridiculously hard to the point that it's not satisfying to fight (even if you lose) then it's not worth it. At that point I would say cheesing is ok.
No cheesing. Every time you lose, you'll get feta and feta.
If I've spent more than half an hour trying to take down some huge boss or another, and I find a way of cheesing past them, you'd better believe I'm bringing the cheese so I can move on and see the rest of the game I've paid for.
I usually don't cheese but I am not strictly against it. If I overall like a game but said game forces me to do something I consider boring and I can cheese my way out of it then I'll cheese my way out of it. But if I think the task is fun, fair and challenging, then I'll complete the legitimate way. Of course if I think the entire game is boring I won't even bother playing the game.
In real life, battle are won by cheesing.
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