Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Pajama Sam 4: The Wreckoning"

This weekend Jeff and Greg and I got together to tap our gaming roots, and play some of the titles that put us into the hobby. There are a number of sites that make this available (vNES, for instance) and emulators that make it easy, but we were using a subscription to GameTap. If you haven't tried out the service, you may want to give it a look, or at least cruise the list of free games that they make available without a subscription each week. It's definitely a compelling service.

While the number of titles is deceptively inflated by games like "Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning aren't so Frightening" and others of that ilk, and while there are no Nintendo consoles supported (or Sony, for that matter, leaving emulation the only viable option for access to those games), the list of old dos, arcade, Windows and especially Sega titles is fairly delicious. Especially if, like me, you broke your gaming chops on the Genesis rather than the SNES. We played Golden Axe and Final Fight, Street Fighter II Turbo and Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. It was altogether a good time. One of the benefits of the GameTap console is that it detects and integrates any controller you put into the computer, which made using my 360 controllers quite easy.

On my own time, I've been using my subscription to play the Sam and Max Episodes (Hilarious), as well as checking out some games that I am shamed to say I never got into, like Civ IV and Psychonauts. If you're a fan of old adventure games like the "So You Want to Be a Hero?" games and the King's Quest series, those are well represented as well.

I don't want to sound like a shill for GameTap, but it is a fairly solid service. There could definitely be some improvements to the way it's managed, like the inability to change the storage destination, and the gamepad integration is not always smooth (I had some trouble trying to play Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time with the 360 controller, though that could be the game's issue).

So if you get the chance, check it out, it may be something you would pay nine dollars a month for, and maybe it's just worth playing the free games.

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