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Author Topic: Gametap Revisited  (Read 7577 times)
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Kobra
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« on: September 05, 2006, 03:00:45 AM »

I was an original Gametap beta tester, and early subscriber. But I cancelled late last year due to the lack of titles I wanted to play.  Just recently I caught a press release that they passed 600 games, and quickly browsed their list to find a LOT of games I wanted to play. (contrary to their poor library last year) To make a long story short, I called them today and was offered a 3 month $19 deal.  I took them up on this offer, and quickly began downloading some games I missed out on or missed playing. (a couple Disciples 2 episodes, Kohan 2, Grandia II, etc)

Anyway, my point in all of this, during the download I watched their "Gametap TV" shit, and noticed that on Sept.7, they will be releasing Baldurs Gate 2, Icewind Dale + Expansions, Planescape Torment, Zork Grand Inquisitor, Medieval Conquest (Majesty clone).  I nearly busted a gut seeing these, as I missed them all except for Baldurs Gate 2!

Finally, I just noticed GameTap signed up exclusively to have the new upcoming Sam and Max games, and a revival of the cancelled Myst URU MMO.

http://www.telltalegames.com/samandmax

Anyone interested, might want to check out this 3 Months for $19 deal from Circuit City; (keeping in mind Sam and Max comes out this month too!)

http://tinyurl.com/m8ayz


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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2006, 03:38:52 AM »

Sam & Max will also be available straight from Telltale's site.  Which may be good if you don't feel like signing up for a recurring membership on GameTap considering the inevitable delays that will come along during this "season" of episodic releases. 
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2006, 03:42:06 AM »

Interesting, Gametap says they have the "Exclusive" on it now.

Anyway, point being, what a nice bonus perk to those that have Gametap anyway, I wasn't even expecting that.  thumbsup
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2006, 05:07:51 AM »

Gametap has the "exclusive" on Sam and Max for an undisclosed period of time and after that it will be available through Telltale's website.  I doubt the exclusivity period will be too long because Gametap doesn't allow membership outside of the US right now. 
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2006, 06:16:13 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on September 05, 2006, 05:07:51 AM

Gametap has the "exclusive" on Sam and Max for an undisclosed period of time and after that it will be available through Telltale's website.  I doubt the exclusivity period will be too long because Gametap doesn't allow membership outside of the US right now. 

I don't think it'll be exclusive, iirc
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2006, 12:50:43 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on September 05, 2006, 06:16:13 AM

I don't think it'll be exclusive, iirc

http://blog.wired.com/games/index.blog?entry_id=1545558

Quote from: From the Article
When it launches this October, Sam and Max is going to be exclusively distributed on the GameTap service -- for a little while, anyway. What this means is that you'll have to sign up for the $9.99/month all-you-can-eat buffet of gaming if you want to play. Eventually, you'll be able to buy and download the game permanently from Telltale's site, but they're staying mum on exactly how long GameTap's exclusivity period is going to last.

Quote from: From Emily the Telltale PR person in the comments section of that blog
It won't be too much later. Telltale realizes that international customers can't use GameTap. We'll be making an announcement about the timing of all this very soon.

Doesn't sound like the exclusivity will last long though. 
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2006, 09:58:29 PM »

I read about the Gametap exlusivity of Sam & Max in the a magazine and was extremely dissapointed.  I just want to buy the game, not subscribe to Gametap.  Hopefully you all are correct and it will be exclusive for a very brief time.  Unfortunately I'll be waiting.
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2006, 02:20:07 AM »

Over in the FAQ at the Sam & Max site and it specifically says:

Quote
Will I need a GameTap subscription to play Sam & Max?

Nope! We think GameTap is a great fit for Sam & Max, but we know that not everyone will subscribe. (Plus, right now GameTap isn't available in all parts of the world.) That's why every Sam & Max episode will be available on Telltale's website, as well as on GameTap.

It also says:

Quote
We've partnered with GameTap to distribute the first season of games and share in the general revelry. ...Season 1 will debut this fall at GameTap and on Telltale's site with short, punchy episodes released in rapid succession, each telling a self-contained story, all the while feeding into a grander season-wide arc.

I read that to mean that it will be available concurrently from both locations. 
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2006, 02:42:27 AM »

I wanted to post some followup on my Gametap experience thus far..  The good and the bad.

 thumbsup The client is vastly improved, supporting native LCD resolutions, as well as windowed mode, etc.
 thumbsup thumbsdown They support up to 7 additional members per account, unfortunately they now only allow 2 on per session. Whereas before, up to 3 people could be logged in per account.

 thumbsdown PC games aren't patched up to date, most are running their retail versions.  After calling tech support, it seems Gametap has no desire to keep up with patches  for example Kohan 2 was on 1.14, yet the current patch is 1.23. There is no way to patch a gametap version via external patching.  Also, this has the side effect of not allowing you to join multiplayer on the internet for MOST PC games since everyone else will have seperate versions!  In the case of some games, not having the updated versions means instability.

 thumbsup Tech support is fantastic.  You can ring them up at all hours of the night, and I recognized the voice of "Bill" from "TN" talking to him last year so they have staff retention and know the system.

 thumbsup Emulation for older games is FANTASTIC and essentially flawless.  Playing NeoGeo stuff was nice, Dos stuff worked perfectly.

 thumbsup thumbsdown Selection wise can be a mixed back depending on your taste.  If you don't like retro stuff, it probably isn't worth bothering to check out.  There are 190ish Windows titles, ranging from newer to old, to really old.  It is a GREAT vehicle to catch up on games you missed out on CHEAPLY.  But don't plan on playing the latest and greatest PC games here, they just aren't on the service.

 thumbsdown Compatibility issues with some titles.  Given most aren't patched up, many are older titles, newer hardware may just run into some issues with non-emulated Windows games.  Out of the 6 Windows games I tried so far, 2 didn't work right, I assume because they weren't compatible with newer drivers, or graphic cards.

Overall, it is a fun service, my kids really like it. I am getting into 2-3 games on it pretty heavily.  $6.33 per month over 3 months is chump change for the amount of gaming we'll likely get off it.  After the 3 months expires, I highly doubt we will renew, so I need to get business, and play.
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2006, 04:48:30 AM »

Quote
thumbsdown PC games aren't patched up to date, most are running their retail versions.  After calling tech support, it seems Gametap has no desire to keep up with patches  for example Kohan 2 was on 1.14, yet the current patch is 1.23. There is no way to patch a gametap version via external patching.  Also, this has the side effect of not allowing you to join multiplayer on the internet for MOST PC games since everyone else will have seperate versions!  In the case of some games, not having the updated versions means instability.
OUCH!  That is a major problem right there. frown

Quote
Overall, it is a fun service, my kids really like it. I am getting into 2-3 games on it pretty heavily.  $6.33 per month over 3 months is chump change for the amount of gaming we'll likely get off it.  After the 3 months expires, I highly doubt we will renew, so I need to get business, and play.
The price is pretty solid though.  Nice.
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2006, 01:49:05 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on September 06, 2006, 02:42:27 AM

thumbsdown PC games aren't patched up to date, most are running their retail versions.  After calling tech support, it seems Gametap has no desire to keep up with patches  for example Kohan 2 was on 1.14, yet the current patch is 1.23. There is no way to patch a gametap version via external patching.  Also, this has the side effect of not allowing you to join multiplayer on the internet for MOST PC games since everyone else will have seperate versions!  In the case of some games, not having the updated versions means instability.

That right there is a complete and utter deal breaker there. Not only are the games you download aren't patched and up to date, but you lose out on all multiplayer capability (short of against other Gametap users). A very dumb move, IMHO. But it's something to do with their software (and in keeping you from just making a working copy of the game you've downloaded without their service).
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2006, 01:58:20 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on September 06, 2006, 01:49:05 PM

Quote from: Kobra on September 06, 2006, 02:42:27 AM

thumbsdown PC games aren't patched up to date, most are running their retail versions.  After calling tech support, it seems Gametap has no desire to keep up with patches  for example Kohan 2 was on 1.14, yet the current patch is 1.23. There is no way to patch a gametap version via external patching.  Also, this has the side effect of not allowing you to join multiplayer on the internet for MOST PC games since everyone else will have seperate versions!  In the case of some games, not having the updated versions means instability.

That right there is a complete and utter deal breaker there. Not only are the games you download aren't patched and up to date, but you lose out on all multiplayer capability (short of against other Gametap users). A very dumb move, IMHO. But it's something to do with their software (and in keeping you from just making a working copy of the game you've downloaded without their service).

I don't think it's a developer issue as much as a Gametap issue.  I've had the same problem with games via Direct2Drive- since they use a different .exe, devs would have to compile a separate patch which doesn't seem to happen for whatever reason.  In the case of Gametap, with their older catalog, I'm sure that that none of the publishers particpating want to allocate actual dev resources to compile new patches for older games they've stopped supporting. 
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2006, 02:13:37 PM »

Exactly, here is the problem according to "Bill" at Gametap tech support.

Gametap uses a 2048-Bit Encryption System.  It downloads the games to your PC in the form of .DAT files.  When you hit to play a game, it speedily (usually 10-15 seconds) unencrypts the game and releases the content to run on your PC while Gametap monitors integrity.  So if you tab out, and kill gametap, it will kill the game process.  When you complete playing the game normally, it re-encrypts it back into tidy .dat files all nice and secure. For Emulated games, they are run into the gametap client emulation system.

I was told it takes a good bit of work to make each game work properly within their system and game publishers/developers only provide Gametap with release versions because each patch would require substantial work to make it compatible with Gametap each time a patch comes out.  Resources that they feel are better spent expanding the library, otherwise all they would be doing was coding in patches each week.

It should be noted, you CAN play Gametap PC games (not supported with their internal gametap multiplayer) over the lan, because you have the same version as the other guy on the lan.  But over the internet you are out of luck if the game has been patched (and most have).  Not a deal breaker since most of my play is lan based, and/or most of the GT games are SP anyway.  But certainly devalues the service to a large extent for me.
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2006, 07:34:46 PM »

Quote from: stiffler on September 05, 2006, 09:58:29 PM

I read about the Gametap exlusivity of Sam & Max in the a magazine and was extremely dissapointed.  I just want to buy the game, not subscribe to Gametap.  Hopefully you all are correct and it will be exclusive for a very brief time.  Unfortunately I'll be waiting.

Just announced- Sam & Max will be on Gametap Oct 17th, elsewhere on November 1st so it looks like the exclusive window is only about two weeks.
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2006, 09:10:46 PM »

Fantastic!  Still in the first month of my 3 month $19 trial.  thumbsup
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2006, 01:22:28 AM »

It'll be interesting to see what the price for the standalone (non-Gametap) versions is.  Given that they're only 1 1/2 hours or so long (I think) and you can get the whole Gametap service for $10/month or less, I can't imagine they can price them very high.
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2006, 01:43:58 AM »

The problem with buying them on Gametap is that once you quit the service you no longer have the game.  Personally, for something like Sam & Max I would rather pay a bit more and own the game to be replayed any time I want than have to keep up a subscription.  But if there are other games you are playing on Gametap anyway, it is definitely a great way to go. 

And I guess since this has become our little Sam & Max haven, Telltale released a press release with some more info about the game and a cool little teaser image.
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2006, 02:06:08 AM »

Once I beat a game that is linear, like Sam and Max, the chances of replay = 0.  So the Gametap option is perfect for me.

With that being said, a couple more things to update on Gametap;

 thumbsup Uninstaller works GREAT, 100% removal, even reg keys.

 thumbsdown Still minor stability issues with the client - although rare, I did manage to corrupt a video stream forcing reinstall.

 thumbsup You can backup games now so if you have to reinstall, it isn't a big deal.

 thumbsdown You cannot edit INI files for games.  Specifically, I wanted to enable cheats in Icewind Dale, you can't in gametap because you cannot add the cheats=1 line to the ini, and I wanted to see if I could increase the resolution.  The default for Icewind Dale is INTOLERABLE on my 19" LCD!
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2006, 12:03:02 AM »

The inability to patch games is killing GameTap for me.

I've had more "Issues" with GT than my kids, then today playing Tropico, my son crashed.  He reloaded, 10 minutes into a game, crashed again.  Several games that don't run for me under GT, I know they work fine on this PC because I can download the demos and have those run flawlessly.  I noticed GameTap stays in ram when the game is running, and keeps the game process secured, because if I tab out of the game, kill the game, Gametap recognizes this and re-encrypts it instantly.

My suspicion is, the encryption engine with gametap adds a layer of instability to operations.

Also, I will point out that the constant encryption/unencryption, and moving around of files, Gametap fragments your hard drive pretty rapidly.

I think I will cancel after the 3 months, at the very least, the 3-4 games I am playing heavily on it, will earn their money.  That and Sam and Max. ;-)

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« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2006, 03:28:16 AM »

Quote
I've had more "Issues" with GT than my kids
Taken out of context, there is a quote for ya.  slywink
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« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2006, 01:18:28 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on September 06, 2006, 02:42:27 AM

thumbsdown PC games aren't patched up to date, most are running their retail versions.  After calling tech support, it seems Gametap has no desire to keep up with patches  for example Kohan 2 was on 1.14, yet the current patch is 1.23. There is no way to patch a gametap version via external patching.  Also, this has the side effect of not allowing you to join multiplayer on the internet for MOST PC games since everyone else will have seperate versions!  In the case of some games, not having the updated versions means instability.

Glad I read this before I signed up.  That might be a deal-breaker for me.  Not so much the multiplayer, but the fact that there are too many games that require patch applications to simply work correctly.

The thing about the .ini files in Icewind Dale also gives me second thoughts.  IWD & PS:T are the two main reasons I want to sign up, but I like having cheat options available for when the game gets ridiculously hard (yeah, I'm a wuss).  Without those options available, I doubt I'd play it nearly as much.  Maybe I'll just see if I can pick them up on e-bay instead.
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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2006, 02:07:29 PM »

I have IWD and IWD2.  Got them in a trade years ago and never got around to playing them.  Guess I should install and play
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2006, 01:52:35 AM »

Games coming out on Gametap in 2 days;  (Adventure game week!)

Beyond Atlantis
Crystal Key 2
Curse of Atlantis
Darkfall: The Journal
Spelunx
The Last Express

Next week is "Toon" week.  The following week is "Strategy" week.. Rumor has it, the entire Command and Conquer series will appear, along with Cossacks and such.. I can't wait to see what is on tap.  Only a few more weeks for Sam and Max as well.
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« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2006, 06:12:17 PM »

Gametap has a special now to coincide with the upcoming release of Sam and Max on their service.

$4.95 a month!

Fantastic..
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« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2006, 07:10:30 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on October 12, 2006, 06:12:17 PM

Gametap has a special now to coincide with the upcoming release of Sam and Max on their service.

$4.95 a month!

Fantastic..

And in addition to the game, the cartoons will be on there too. biggrin 
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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2006, 07:21:48 PM »

So $34.95 for Sam and Max all episodes.  Or $59 for Gametap w/700+ games, Sam and Max AND Cartoons?

No brainer.

Edit: I just noticed, my wife will be VERY happy with GameTap.. They added Puzzle Games this week, like a Zuma type game and other stuff.  thumbsup
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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2006, 08:57:13 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on October 12, 2006, 06:12:17 PM

Gametap has a special now to coincide with the upcoming release of Sam and Max on their service.

$4.95 a month!

Fantastic..

Dammit... just when I think I'm out, they keep pulling me back in...
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« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2006, 09:09:56 PM »

http://www.gametap.com/home/bday/bday_landing.jsp
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« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2006, 03:00:15 AM »

For me it comes down to the fact that when I buy a game, especially something like the sequel to one of my favorite games of all time, I want the physical package in my hands so I can hug it and squeeze it and put a little dress on it. 

I would love to watch the Sam & Max cartoon series, but the voices in it are so wrong.  Ever so wrong. 

However, if you don't care about having the physical media and being able to play the game whenever you want in the future and/or have interest in the other games on GameTap then that is certainly a great deal. I know I saw a couple other games on there I wouldn't mind having access to.   
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« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2006, 09:47:55 PM »

Quote from: Kobra on October 12, 2006, 09:09:56 PM


That made the decision easier for me.  $5 a month is nothing for the amount of games you get.  Even if I only play for an hour a month, it's worth it.  Downloading now, should be on in a few minutes.

Retro gaming, here we come!   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2006, 10:55:53 PM »

Remember, each account can have up to 3 family members use it at the same time if I remember right.  So thats 3 of us here that use it for $4.95 a month.  I get that amount in gaming EASILY just from myself..  Last Express is what I have been playing off and on, and totally worth the $5 this month for me. ;-)  I've been messing with Beyond Good and Evil as well, fantastic game.

The wife is now addicted to Crabby.  My other son really loves the retro Neo Geo shit.  My oldest son really likes the RTS stuff like Celtic Kings, etc.

 thumbsup thumbsup
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« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2006, 06:42:34 AM »

Any news on whether gametap will ever be available to uk - it's starting to sound very good
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« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2006, 01:54:08 PM »

After spending a night with it, I must admit that I'm very impressed.  I ran into a few issues (Tony Hawk 3 wouldn't recognize the thumbsticks on my gamepad, Robotron 2084 had no movement controls, etc.), but overall, doing some classic gaming was an absolute blast.  There were a few arcade gems on there that I had completely forgotten about and that brought back some great gaming memories.  Legendary Wings, Rastan, Strider, Altered Beast (wise fwom your gwave!!), Golden Axe, Rampage (I probably spent an hour on this one alone).  Good stuff.  I do have to admit that it is a lot harder to control these games with a gamepad than with a joystick, and some of them just flat out don't work without the stick. 

Plus, when I get home from work today I'll have Worms:  Armageddon, Kohan II, Stronghold, Tropico II, Icewind Dale II, Midieval Conquest (a 'Majesty' clone), Age of Wonders:  Shadow Magic, Beyond Good & Evil, Pharoh, Cesar III, and Planescape:  Torment downloaded and ready to play.  I'd definately say I've gotten my money's worth already, and I've only had it a day.   icon_biggrin

It wasn't all roses, and I've got 2 minor complaints:

1.  It takes the regular games forever to download.  I've got a pretty fast cable connections, and most of the newer games were still taking upwards of 2.5 - 3 hours to download.  Seems like that's a really slow DL speed. 

2.  Many of the arcade games aren't set up to allow you to continue your game, so you only get to play the equivalent of one quarter's worth.  Rather frustrating.
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« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2006, 12:02:49 PM »

Quick question:  Is there a way to enable the gamepad for newer games?  I really want to replay Prince of Persia & Beyond Good & Evil, but I didn't see anyway to enable my Logitec gamepad for them.  I can't imagine playing either of those on the keyboard.
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« Reply #34 on: October 16, 2006, 01:22:20 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on October 16, 2006, 12:02:49 PM

Quick question:  Is there a way to enable the gamepad for newer games?  I really want to replay Prince of Persia & Beyond Good & Evil, but I didn't see anyway to enable my Logitec gamepad for them.  I can't imagine playing either of those on the keyboard.

I don't think Gametap adds that functionality - if it's not in the original game you won't be able to use a gamepad unless you use something like JoyToKey.
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« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2006, 02:08:22 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on October 14, 2006, 01:54:08 PM

2.  Many of the arcade games aren't set up to allow you to continue your game, so you only get to play the equivalent of one quarter's worth.  Rather frustrating.

Uh...talk about worthless. May I recommend Googling for MAME and your classic arcade titles and see what you can come up with? Odds are you'll be able to experience your favorite quarter-muncher properly that way.
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« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2006, 02:31:17 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 16, 2006, 02:08:22 PM

Quote from: Gratch on October 14, 2006, 01:54:08 PM

2.  Many of the arcade games aren't set up to allow you to continue your game, so you only get to play the equivalent of one quarter's worth.  Rather frustrating.

Uh...talk about worthless. May I recommend Googling for MAME and your classic arcade titles and see what you can come up with? Odds are you'll be able to experience your favorite quarter-muncher properly that way.

I never had a problem slapping "Enter" to put in more quarters in Gametap, at least not that I can think of.  Mame is ok, but I'd rather have them all in one interface and what not without the fuss.

My gaming ADD takes another downward spiral tonight at Midnight when Gametap puts Sam and Max online.
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« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2006, 03:04:39 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on October 14, 2006, 01:54:08 PM

1.  It takes the regular games forever to download.  I've got a pretty fast cable connections, and most of the newer games were still taking upwards of 2.5 - 3 hours to download.  Seems like that's a really slow DL speed. 

I noticed this too (with a 6mbps connection).  I ended up setting a bunch of games to download and then went to bed.  Games like Icewind Dale and Baldurs Gate stated they needed 2+ hours to download, while Sands of Time took 45 minutes (when I grabbed the Paraworld demo last night it took about 30 minutes for 1.2 gigs).

Needless to say I re-subbed this weekend with the buy 1 month get the next free deal for Sam & Max.  I can already see I'm not going to have time for it though....
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« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2006, 12:09:03 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on October 16, 2006, 02:08:22 PM

Quote from: Gratch on October 14, 2006, 01:54:08 PM

2.  Many of the arcade games aren't set up to allow you to continue your game, so you only get to play the equivalent of one quarter's worth.  Rather frustrating.

Uh...talk about worthless. May I recommend Googling for MAME and your classic arcade titles and see what you can come up with? Odds are you'll be able to experience your favorite quarter-muncher properly that way.

Kobra's right, I'm just an idiot.  For some reason, it takes 3-4 presses of the start button on the gamepad for the continue to register, so I thought it just wasn't working. 
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« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2006, 10:27:26 PM »

GREAT update today:

-  Sam & Max
-  Civ III
-  Farcry
-  Serious Sam I & II
-  Railroad Tychoon II Platinum
-  Rainbox Six 3 & Rogue Spear
-  Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4

  icon_biggrin icon_biggrin
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“My next great decision is just lying in wait.
The action might turn out to be the world's most grievous mistake."
- Bad Religion, Past is Dead
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