Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
06 January 2006
GameDAILY on GameTap: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Shorter version of GameDAILY's take on GameTap (by Dan Matkowsky):
I want every game ever made playing bug-free on my PC for less than $15 a month. And I want it now.
Good luck with that, buddy.

Look, I'm just as happy to beat up GameTap as anyone else, but Matkowsky throws a lot of criticism at things that are largely unavoidable while missing the biggest drawback of the GameTap service.

He complains about download times. As someone who's dealt with load times since the Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive, I can tell you there are worse things. (Those who dealt with the C2N tape drive are hardened even further. Poor souls.) And his PlayStation 2 Dual Shock controller didn't work with the PC version of Splinter Cell. Heavens!

Or the fact that not every game he wants is on GameTap already. If they were going to wait until they had everything, we'd be waiting forever. They've already got games you can't get elsewhere, for crying out loud, like Zaxxon. GameTap's value is in what they have, and isn't diminished by whatever random game from 15 years ago that you can't find anymore.

And I don't know what to make of his non-denial denial of ROM mongering. This bit strikes me as a bit of a wink-wink-nudge-nudge:
As you can see throughout this review, GameTap has some definite shortcomings, but if you're a parent who's absolutely jonesin' for some old school gaming and you want to stay on the straight and narrow, you don't have many legal options.

Oh, sure, you could drive around, searching for restaurants and bars that have a few old arcade cabinets collecting dust in the corner. Or you could head back to your favorite high school hangout to see if your initials are still at the top of the Frogger leader board. Strictly your call.

I'd rather point out that Frogger is available for about a dozen platforms, one of which you probably already own. And the games that he can't get? Here they are:

However, as much as I love Zaxxon, it would also be nice to see some of my other favorites like Star Wars, Tron, Track & Field, Time Pilot and Dragon's Lair.

Other than Zaxxon, which he got through GameTap, all of those games are available in emulated or (excellent) ported form legally. Just check here, here, or here. Granted, you have to shell out for the hardware and software, but that's how the world works, people.

Why isn't it obvious that some games simply demand a premium to play them? Isn't this true of other goods and services? Food, cars, furniture, even sporting events and theater performances. What's the disconnect here?

Finally, I think the huge, huge flaw in GameTap is never touched on in this GameDAILY piece: you can't buy the games through the service. It would be great to own a playable version of Zaxxon, but you have to pay GameTap for the privilege, and that's what really stinks about their service. I'd rather pay more and get a permanent copy that I own than have to shell out more money every month I want to get my Zaxxon fix.
--Matt Matthews at 13:54
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