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The Ultimate GameTap Guidebook
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 07, 2007   |   Episode 74 (Show Archive)  

   

With all the talk about Nintendo's Virtual Console and Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade, it's easy to forget about GameTap. For the past few years this Turner owned company has allowed PC gamers the opportunity to play some of the best arcade games of all time. And if that wasn't enough, GameTap is now starting to offer original programming (including brand new Sam & Max episodes) and brand new PC games (the recently Codemasters first-person shooter, Clive Barker's Jericho, was released day and date with the retail box version). But it's
the large collection of old school arcade and console games that we are interested in, which is why we are featuring GameTap in our weekly retro article, This Week in Defunct Games.

As a service to all of our readers, Defunct Games is proud to present The Ultimate GameTap Guidebook, a regularly updated page that gives you our read opinions about each and every one the free GameTap games. You read that right, each one of the games bellow is free for you to play ... you will not be asked to spend one penny to play these games. There are a lot of great games available to you for free, and I think that one glance will prove that this is a service that you need to sign up for. Best of all, as long as GameTap continues to update their roster with amazing retro games Defunct Games will be here to update the page. So check back every week to see what is new and worth playing. There has never been a better time to subscribe to GameTap and get in on all the fun. So check out the games below and start playing some games ... you know you want to!

LAST UPDATED: November 14, 2007

1941: COUNTER-ATTACK
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
Capcom's classic 1990 arcade game is easily one of the greatest 2D shooters of all time. If you can get over the historical inaccuracies you will find a solid action game.


BASEBALL STARS 2
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
While better than Super Baseball 2020, Baseball Stars 2 is still a bad playing version of America's pastime. You're better off just playing a real baseball game.


BLOODRAYNE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
This 2002 PlayStation 2 game was good for its time, but hasn't held up particularly well. Still, it's infinitely better than the atrocious Uwe Boll movie of the same name.


BUBBLE BOBBLE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
A genuine classic, Bubble Bobble is fun for both kids and adults alike. Sadly this was the only good game in the trilogy, so check this game out and ignore the sequels.


BUKU SUDOKU
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
If you're into Sudoku then there's nothing I can say that will keep you from having a good time with Buku Sudoku. Non-fans won't find anything here that will change their minds.


BUST-A-MOVE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
Not to be confused with Bust-A-Groove (the cool dancing PlayStation dancing game), Bust-A-Move is a highly addictive puzzle game. A fun time waster, even if better versions exist.


CANNON FODDER
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
Although this Genesis port isn't the best way to play the game, Cannon Fodder still proves to be an incredible game. You may be surprised at the amount of violence in this action game!


CAPTAIN COMMANDO
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
Although this Genesis port isn't the best way to play the game, Cannon Fodder still proves to be an incredible game. You may be surprised at the amount of violence in this action game!


COLIN MCRAE RALLY 2005
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
Maybe it's just us, but it's kind of hard to play this game without being reminded of the recent (and tragic) death of Colin McRae. Still a fun racing game, for what it's worth.


DARKSTALKERS: THE NIGHT WARRIORS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
While not the definitive game in the series, The Night Warriors is still worth checking out if you're one of those people who has grown tired of Street Fighter II.


DEFENDER
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
The classic 2D shooter. While it hasn't held up particularly well, it's important to go back and see what life was like before Gradius and R-Type.


DISCIPLES II: RISE OF THE ELVES
Review Coming Soon
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
While not quite a sequel, Disciples II: Rise of the Elves is a solid playing game that should keep fans of the series interested. Fun, but not without a few problems.


ELEVATOR ACTION
Review Coming Soon
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
This simple action game doesn't look like much, but it's a highly addictive game that you'll probably come back to time and time again. Definitely worth checking out.


FAST LANE BOWLING
Review Coming Soon
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
While not the worst bowling game on the shelves, Fast Lane Bowling is hampered with a lack of depth and clumsy controls. It's better to just wait for a better bowling game.


FINAL FIGHT
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
Even though it's an incredibly repetitive button masher, everybody loves Final Fight. There are better brawlers around, but you can't go wrong with Final Fight.


GHOSTS 'N GOBLINS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
The original Ghosts 'N Goblins hasn't held up as well as its sequels, but it's still fun to go back and check it out. And I bet you still won't be able to beat it!


GHOULS 'N GHOSTS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
One of the best 2D action games of all time, Ghouls 'N Ghosts has great graphics and even better weapons. It's still hard as hell, but it's one of the best games available on GameTap.


HITMAN: AGENT 47
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
If you can ignore the terrible casting choice for the upcoming Hitman movie, then you can probably have a good time playing this solid action game. Worth a look, if nothing else.


HITMAN 2
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
Agent 47 is back in this sequel that is largely the same as the first game. That's not a bad thing, since the first game was a lot of fun. Definitely worth checking out.


HITMAN: CONTRACTS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
To celebrate the impending release of the Hitman movie, GameTap is proud to offer another free Hitman game for you to play. While not as original, Contracts is still a solid game!


IKARI WARRIORS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
This classic SNK game was released long before the company decided to focus all of their attention on 2D fighting games. A forgotten gem that is definitely worth a look.


JAWS UNLEASHED
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Definitely Not
Want to know why this one year old action game is free on GameTap? Because it's one of the worst games of recent memory. Try your best to ignore this ugly pile of garbage.


JOUST
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
While I'm not a huge fan of the game, I certainly appreciate that Joust has its following. This is a simple game that is easy to pick up and play, but why it's fun has always been lost on me.


KING OF THE MONSTERS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
King of the Monsters is basically SNK's version of Rampage. The idea is sound (everybody likes the idea of Godzilla-like creatures fighting), but it's just not much fun to play.


LAST BLADE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
Aside from Samurai Shodown, Last Blade is easily the best fighting series on the Neo Geo. This original game is no slouch, so don't ignore this game for higher profile Neo Geo games.


LEGACY OF KAIN: BLOOD OMEN 2
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
With a strong story and solid graphics, this is one action/adventure game you should check out.


MEGA MAN: POWER BATTLE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
Remember the classic 8-bit Mega Man games that we grew up with? Well, The Power Battle is not that kind of game. While not the worst Mega Man game, this one isn't very good.


MERCS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
Capcom's all out shooter. MERCS is a great two-player game, but don't expect a very deep experience. At its best MERCS is nothing more than a mindless overhead shooter.


METAL SLUG
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
One of the best 2D sidescrollers for the Neo Geo. Metal Slug is a beautiful game with plenty of action and destruction. While this first game is fun, it's the sequels that everybody remembers.


MYST ONLINE: URU LIVE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
While I've always hated the Myst franchise, the developers of this online version have managed to remove most of the elements I could do without. Not bad, Uru Live is not for everybody.


NEO TURF MASTERS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
SNK's golf game is solid, but not nearly as good as what we're seeing on consoles these days. That's not to say you won't have fun, but Neo Turf Masters is definitely a limited experience.


RAINBOW ISLAND
Review Coming Soon
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? N/A
This Bubble Bobble sequel fails to retain the best elements from the Taito classic and instead focuses on characters we don't care for and lame puzzles. Skip Rainbow Island.


RAMPAGE
Review Coming Soon
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Probably Not
While there are plenty of people who have nothing but love for this old school beat-em-up, the repetitive nature doesn't serve this game well. Still, it's fun with two players.


REAL MYST 3D
Review Coming Soon
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Definitely Not
I probably shouldn't even comment on this Myst game. As somebody who hates the original Myst I say avoid it, but if you've never played it then check it out and see that I'm right.


RESTAURANT EMPIRE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
Restaurant Empire proves that opening a restaurant and keeping it going is hard to do. But I have a hunch that it's even harder than this interesting (albeit flawed) game.


ROOT BEER TAPPER
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
You can play this GameTap version of Root Beer Tapper for free or buy it on Xbox Live Arcade for $5. Either way, Root Beer Tapper is an addictive game full of replay value.


SAM & MAX: EPISODE 104
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
I would suggest gamers start at the first episode, but if you're only going to play one Sam & Max game then this is a good place to start. Definitely one of the better episodes from last season.


SAMURAI SHODOWN
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
Although I much prefer its sequel, Samurai Shodown is one of the best fighting games on the Neo Geo and a title that should not be missed. Definitely one game you should play.


SECOND SIGHT
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
There are a lot of great ideas in Second Sight, it's just a shame the game surrounding those ideas isn't better. This is still a fun game, but there's a lot of unused potential to be found in this game.


SENSIBLE SOCCER 2006
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
While not the best soccer game on the market, this cel-shaded sports game does a good job of recreating the fun and excitement of the sport ... assuming you like soccer.


SHOCK TROOPERS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
Like MERCS, Shock Troopers is an overhead action game where the object is to kill as many people as possible. Unlike MERCS, Shock Troopers feels generic and lacks charm.


SPACE INVADERS
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
One of Taito's biggest hits, and a game that influenced an entire generation of shooters. By today's standards Space Invaders is slow, but that shouldn't keep you from checking it out.


STREET FIGHTER II: CE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
It's easy for me to sit here and complain that it's not Street Fighter II Turbo; Champion Edition is still a worthwhile release that should demonstrate why this series was so popular.


THE KING OF FIGHTERS '95
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
This version of the popular King of Fighters series came before SNK decided to revise how the characters played (and even what they looked like). It's fun, but certainly not for everybody.


THE NEW ZEALAND STORY
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
This wacky 2D action game is bizarre and creative, but probably won't keep your attention for long. Still, it's fun to go back and see what Taito was doing in the years after Space Invaders.


TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
This recent Tomb Raider outing managed to make Lara Croft relevant again. This is an exciting (albeit short) adventure full of action and intrigue, not to mention great graphics.


TWILIGHT STAR SPRITES
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
This is one of SNK's rarest games on the Neo Geo and a must play for anybody that likes competitive 2D shooters. It's better to play it here for free than pay hundreds of dollars for it.


VAMPIRE SAVIOR
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
This Darkstalkers sequel rebalances the characters and adds a few interesting fighters to the mix. I would play this over the original, but truth be told they are both a lot of fun.


ZOO EMPIRE
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Give It A Try
This SimCity-style zoo game is interesting, but doesn't have the same appeal as Theme Park and other themed Sim games. Worth checking out, especially if you like micromanaging animals.


ZOO KEEPER
Read the Full Review
IS IT WORTH PLAYING? Without A Doubt
This interesting little puzzle game is good no matter what platform it's on. It's even better when you're playing it for free. It's not as good as other puzzlers, but still a lot of fun.


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