Virtual bargain bins

If you’re anything like me, you may have been consumed by mmorpg’s for some stretch of time over the last 9 years. If I think too carefully about it, it’s a little frightening to consider all the other PC games I’ve missed in that time span. I grew up playing all sorts of games, long before there was a hardcore/casual distinction, before platform wars…damn, now that I think about it, I grew up before you could do any kind of video gaming IN YOUR HOUSE. Christ, that’s depressing 🙂

Anyway, before I lapse any further into “barefoot, uphill, both ways” mumbling, back to my point about missing good games while absorbed with one mmorpg or another. It’s not like I’m unaware of other good games in the world. I read trade magazines, blogs, talk about games on discussion boards; I’m aware that I’m missing lots of interesting titles. And it bothers me a little, but ya know, you can’t tell an addict what they’re missing, right?

As I’m twelve-stepping away from mmorpg’s just a little bit, I’ve started to play more attention to my pile of shame. (Note: That’s not me on the GWJ site, nor do I post there, they just had a good Pile of Shame page when I googled for an explanatory link. The GWJ guys give good internet, though!). I’ve had some good experience with Steam in the past couple weeks, and I’ve spotted more games that are A) highly rated, B) reasonably priced, or even damn inexpensive, or C) something interesting from a historical perspective. Sometimes D) all of the above.

My Steam satisfaction got me wondering about Gametap. I’ve looked over their site a few times, intrigued by the $60 price for a one-year Gold games subscription. The games aren’t current, and some of them are ancient, but I think there’s more than enough meat in there to make $60 a solid investment. The Sam and Max Adventure episodes alone are almost worth the $60. Throw in a couple good-looking racing games (Dirt, Colin McRae Rally), Civilization IV (which I own, but I lost the CD Key, doh), Sid Meier’s Pirates, a couple Hitman titles, the Bioware RPG’s (I own the two Baldur’s Gate titles, but didn’t play Icewind Dale or Planescape: Torment, which I hear is the best of the four games), Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell titles, Homeworld 1 and 2, the Prince of Persia titles, some Thief titles, earlier Tony Hawk stuff…I could go on and on. Plus, there’s some excellent old school stuff, like X-Com UFO defense, which I haven’t seen in years. I don’t know if I could stand the graphics; I tried playing Fallout a while ago, and it was painful. I remember it being such a great game, it might be better to just remember it than to actually try and play it again 🙂

I’m not saying that I’m done with mmorpg’s, by any stretch. I’m still having fun in LOTRO, and I’m curious about upcoming titles too. I’m just also curious about so many of the games I’ve missed, and $60 sounds like a hell of a deal for access to so many titles. I think I’ll try something from their list of free games, to see how the service work. If it goes well, I’ll pony up the $60 and let y’all know how it goes.

Has anyone else tried Gametap? I’d love to hear what other people think about the service. I realize the game selections are completely subjective, and some people might either hate the titles they have available, or prefer to play current generation titles. If you haven’t tried it, does it sound like something that might be interesting to you? Or is it just me that’s intrigued, doing the male version of window shopping?

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