Cheat Codes for Life

Zack Huffman offers advice on when to release a videogame, whether gamers need to play Final Fantasy, and more.

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On the date of August 24th, 2005, I was caught with my pants down in front of a cop car that had been set on fire, while holding a book of matches in one hand and a tank of gasoline in the other. As part of my community service, I’ve been ordered to bestow my vast knowledge upon the gaming masses.

Dear Zack,

Now that the Crocodile Hunter has finally been handed the great GAME OVER, how soon is too soon before my game “When Animals Attack!!!” can be released (I mean, we don’t show the full coverage of him being chomped just little pieces)?

– Listless and Waiting

There is no doubt in my mind that, by the end of 2006, New Grounds will have hosted at least 20 different games centered around the theme of Steve Irwin’s untimely demise.  Almost all of them will be so awful that they compel players to maniacally stab their girlfriends, if they weren’t all so terribly alone.


It’s hard to say when it’s too soon for a videogame to be released. Capcom managed to score a hit with the 2003 release of Need for Speed: Paris Nights, featuring Princess Diana as an unlockable character after you complete “Smash ’em Up” mode.

Meanwhile, Rockstar lost tons of cash on last year’s failed Grand Theft Holocaust, which proved to be almost as big a flop as the ill-fated E.T. game for Atari 2600.

My only advice is that you stick to Flash for your game, since that seems to be the appropriate choice for shitty games centered around a single unfunny gag.


Dear Zack,


I was confronted at a recent gaming con by this girl who said I’m a lesser gamer for never having played Final Fantasy. I told her about all the different games I have played, but it was no use. Is she right? Is it wrong that I’ve never played a single Final Fantasy game?


Radical Dreamer

Dear Radical Dreamer,

I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that this girl is absolutely right; Final Fantasy has long been a staple for any self-respecting gamer’s collection. It’s certainly the best RPG on the NES, especially if you consider the over-rated Dragon Warrior and Ultima series. Final Fantasy is not only responsible for saving Squaresoft from bankruptcy, but also for serving as the inspiration for a very mediocre movie that nerds with no taste love, and one terribly shitty movie that was responsible for the death of my former column, Oh, The Humanity!.

The good news is that there are only three entries in the Final Fantasy series that have any relevance, and two of which are easily obtained from any variety of ROM sites. In order of importance, they are: the original Final Fantasy for the NES, Final Fantasy III for the SNES, and Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation. Gaming street-cred aside, I recommend any of the three, as they are all good games.


If you really aren’t interested enough to try any of the games, don’t worry. Being a “lesser gamer” just means you’re more likely to get laid.


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About the Contributor

From 2005 to 2007

Zack Huffman is a former staff member from GameCola's early days as a monthly email newsletter.

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