Be the Ball, Danny For Only 200 Microsoft Points!

For whatever reason , I decided that I needed a good old fashioned golf game for my XBOX 360. I was hearkening back to the good old days of playing Links on my MAC back in the 90s. Golf video games are important to me, a man who has played real golf once in his life and shot a respectable 85…on the front 9. After about a week of playing Tiger Woods PGA Tour I was somewhat shocked by what Microsoft was offering me as a player through XBOX live.

I wasn’t sure I really wanted to go out and blow $40-$60 on a Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, so I had picked up last year’s title Tiger Woods 08 figuring if I got my $15.00 worth out of it I would invest in the latest and greatest incarnation.

Tiger Woods 08 is actually a pretty damned nice golf simulation for what I’m used to. While it still has the standard “click meter” system that goes as far back as the earliest golf games I played, the current gen game gives you free swinging using the analog stick, which is the bees knees so to speak.

There’s a range of different play modes from tournaments, standard PGA tour schedules, challenge ladders or standard stroke play. All pretty nice.
You start the game by building a golfer from the ground up. Of course, I built myself a nice shapely young woman golfer. Nice snug white Capri pants and tight t-shirt. You know, the kind of thing that most 30-40 year old men still going through puberty are interested in.

You have a series of skills that go with your golfer : driving skill, putting skill, accuracy, and even luck. You pretty much start dead bottom on the skill chart for everything. As you play more rounds and achieve better results, the skills build in a very slow but consistent manner.

A couple of nights ago I noticed as I started up the game an option on the pre-loading screen an XBOX option for “Maxed Out Player” for 200 Microsoft points. What?

Yes, apparently, for the mere pittance of 200 Microsoft Points you can just get on XBOX marketplace and purchase your way to maxing out all the skills at 110%. I wavered for a moment. I had been busting ass to build the golfer and seeing the improvement in my game as I played on night to night.

What the hell, I always try to keep a small reserve of MS points on my account for just a tempting offer. So I did it. I maxed out my player with one click and a download that took about 5 seconds.

I understand there are plenty of people with the desire to cheat in a game. In my PC FPS days cheats were out there and waiting courtesy of coders and hackers galore (well below me. I’d rather get my ass kicked repeatedly than cheat online). But now we have sanctioned cheating directly from the company that makes my game console?

So you have an entire game that is built around practicing and improving your skills and you just make it all moot with one download that only costs a few measly bucks. I rebooted the title and there it was. I stepped up to the tee and prepared to take my first drive. I pounded it for 345 yards immediately unlocking a 20 point achievement.

I had just bought an achievement for 200 Microsoft points. My longest drive prior to the download was in the mid 200s or so.

I managed to get my first 18 hole stroke play under par that evening . The list goes on. There is still a challenge in the game, but this really sucks. Now that I’ve played with maxed skills, sure I could go back and create a new golpher to start from scratch, but who’d want to?

Sanctioned cheating for sale.

I’m pathetic for buying it , but what message is Microsoft and EA sending us by offering it for sale? I really expect the reaction to this to be that this kind of crap is available on XBLive all the time. If it is, I guess I’ve just missed it.