Nostalgia Enabler

by Darius Kazemi on December 5, 2005

in know_your_history

Okay, so at the moment I am on a major nostalgia trip, due both to the fact that I did some cleaning in my office, and to the fact that I’ve been trying out GameTap.

Specifically I am listening to Dr. Octogonecologyst, the 1996 album by Dr. Octogon (aka Kool Keith) while playing Comix Zone, an action game from 1995. Both of these works share something in common: they are brilliant and flawed at the same time. Kool Keith’s seminal solo album is incredibly unique but weird to a fault, while Comix Zone, a game where you fight your way through a comic book, plays brilliantly to comic book tropes but in the end is conventional beat-em-up.

GameTap, on the other hand, is really pretty cool. It runs a sort of catch-all emulator on your computer and, if you pay a monthly fee, you get access to an already impressive yet ever-growing library of games. Notables I saw include Shining Force, Worms 2, Phantasy Star I/II/III, Bubble Bobble, Beyond Good & Evil, Cannon Fodder, Rainbow Six, Prince of Persia, and Heroes of Might and Magic III. To name just a few.

Technologically, the emulator is impressive (although I did experience a few problems with Worms Armageddon). I’m glad we finally have the technology to play basically any console game on the PC. And downloading each game is painless over broadband; there’s even entertaining Seinfeld-style movie clips starring classic video game characters.

I should also add that each game comes with “Bonus Material”, which is usually a number of fun facts about the game. Wait! Don’t cringe! These facts actually appear to be written, with great wit, by people who know something about video games. For instance, the Worms 2 bonus material notes that the game owes a debt to Scorched Earth. Way to know your history! That was an awesome touch.

But it looks like Worms 2 has downloaded. Gotta go!

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