Gametap is cheap and easy, like a good whore should be

A few days ago, superstar editor and sometimes gastrointestinal specialist Aaron Linde said to me, “You know, I want to check out Myst Online: Uru Live and Gametap is having an introductory special where the first month is 99 cents.” I am a longtime Myst fan myself and even have been caught listening to the Riven soundtrack on occasion (translation: constantly), so this piqued my interest equally. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than crack. So it was then that we decided to forage bravely forward and waved our crisp George Washingtons in the air with wild abandon.

Hit the jump to see where our adventures lead us. 

We explored Uru’s mysterious landscapes for many hours and discovered it had many ups and downs, but overall we both liked the experience enough to try again. For those of you curious about the Uru experience, you can expect a more in depth synopsis later this week courtesy of Mr. Linde. It was a few hours later when we decided to take a break from Uru and start nosing around Gametap itself that we started to shit our figurative pants, so to speak.

I knew to expect games like Sam and Max and the rest of the Myst series. What neither of us knew was the eccentric selection of other games we would have to pick from for our downloading pleasure. I uttered shrieks of delight over such jewels as  Leather Goddesses of Phobos and Zork III, which I hadn’t touched since I’d been about 7 years old. Gametap has everything from Intellivision to the Sega Master System. When the Virtual Console was first released, it was something like this that I envisioned, not a roleplaying game with myself as a dog while Nintendo threw me copies of Ice Climber.

On the downside, Gametap’s multiplayer for older games suffers the same disease that prevents the Virtual Console from incorporating online multiplayer. Basically the platform assigns two player control over a network protocol and desperately hopes that the games sync up. As we all know, sometimes wanting something just isn’t enough to keep hope alive. Our attempt at Bubble Bobble yielded laggy play and laggier music. I know the soundtrack isn’t exactly Wagnerian Opera, but it’s kind of unnerving to listen to the bleeps all chopped up and out of order, no?

So all this thoughtful research merely begs the question: Is it worth the monthly fee? I suppose you’ll have to decide for yourself, but whether or not Gametap will win you over depends on what type of gamer you are in the first place. For gamers like Aaron and myself, having all these old school titles at our disposal is cause for an immediate money shot. Aaron, I guess you could fire it and I could live vicariously though you? On the other hand, the NES and Dreamcast categories are begging for more entries. I could go for some Maniac Mansion action, and for the love of all that is holy, will someone PLEASE put Nights into Dreams on one of these virtual services so I don’t have to buy the Sega Saturn for one game?

If you’re already a part of the Gametap crew and want to run with the robots, toss your username in the comments and we’ll add you and stomp on you Gradius style. 

 

Colette Bennett