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Sam and Max Hit the Road 69

Gamasutra reports on the unveiling of the 'GameTap Originals' publishing label, a brand led by the anticipated episodic revival of Sam and Max. The game is now available both via the GameTap service, and at the TellTale site. From the article: "Sam & Max: Episode 1, which launches today exclusively on GameTap, as well as the upcoming Myst Online: Uru Live, are two examples of franchises that GameTap has co-published and helped bring back to life. While nothing specific was announced regarding upcoming franchises set to debut as part of the new GameTap Original label, representatives did note that it will be used to identify soon to be announced episodic games based on renowned TV and film franchises. Finally, supporting its new GameTap Original label, GameTap will be the premiere sponsor of the 9th Annual Independent Games Festival, held in conjunction with the 2007 Game Developers Conference to celebrate the innovation and creativity of independent game developers." Chris Kohler, over at Game|Life, has a short review of the first three hours of content.
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Sam and Max Hit the Road

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  • Eurogamer review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jboost ( 960475 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @02:41PM (#16474827)
    Eurogamer [eurogamer.net] reviewed it.

    Culture Shock is the loving update we dreamed of. It's the kind of game you want to be playing when your friends and family walk in the room, if only to demonstrate that there are videogames out there that aren't just about killing things and smashing cars (even if, yes, you can actually do both in this, albeit in typically slapstick fashion). Even the jazz licks of the soundtrack make you want to turn up the volume in celebration. You want the whole world to know that people still make games like this - ones that not only make you laugh, but everyone else too.

    Can't wait to play it!
    • No mod points so I'll just add my weight to the Eurogamer review-loving. The review impressed me enough that I plan to pay for the full season one package once it's available on Telltale's website. You save some money and Telltale get all the cash now and can use it to fund more episodes.
      • by toriver ( 11308 )
        Not to mention that the Gametap "exclusive" early release is USELESS to us Europeans anyway. It's Telltale or Steam for the purchase come Nobember 1st.
  • FYI For Non-US Folk (Score:4, Informative)

    by jhembruff ( 996103 ) <jhembruff@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @02:54PM (#16475053) Homepage
    Not sure how old this news is... but it appears that people not living in the US can finally start using Gametap.
    • by Fr33z0r ( 621949 )
      Are you sure? I loved the first game and went to check this out just now, but all I got on the site was a "Sorry, GameTap is only available in the United States" :/
      • by fov ( 992665 )
        They expanded the service into Canada starting today. It's not available anywhere else yet.
  • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @02:59PM (#16475147) Homepage Journal
    I used to have trepidations about online distribution schemes like Steam because I feared I would never really own the product. I've since warmed up to Steam but Gametap is where I draw the line. I can't wrap my head around the idea (yet) of playing games only while paying a subscription fee. Sure, lots of people do this in MMOGs like WoW but those aren't my cup of tea either. Even Guild Wars, which is a MMORPG with no monthly fee, will feel like a bargain in terms of bucks per playtime by the time it dries up.

    I love Sam and Max enough to buy Season 1 for $35 as soon as it's released retail.
    • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @03:13PM (#16475375) Homepage Journal
      Same here. Not only is it the principle of the thing, but to continue to use Sam and Max as an example, I still have my copy of the first game. I loved it then, and I still play it now. Assuming this game is as good as it should be, I want to be sure that I'll be able to play it in 15 years on whatever the future equivalent to ScummVM [scummvm.org] is.
    • I agree. I do pay a monthly fee for WoW, but even though I have only played the game for two months I find it harder and harder to justify the cost. I also have owned Guild Wars since its release and while I don't play it regularly, I am comfortable with having it on my hard drive as I pay no monthly fees. Besides, Gametap seems to have a bunch of older games. Most of which I can get in anthologies for my PSP. Only about $30-$40 a pop and I don't have to worry about a subscription. I miss games like S
    • I know alot of people do call it one, but guildwars isn't a mmorpg. Its not massively multiplayer, you play with fewer people than in counterstrike. Its just like diablo 2, its certainly online, but you are just playing little 8 player instanced missions.

      From the official site [guildwars.com]:
      "Rather than labeling Guild Wars an MMORPG, we prefer to call it a CORPG"

    • Gametap

      Or given their business model, is it perhaps "Gametrap"? ;-)
    • by elmegil ( 12001 ) *
      So wait and buy the DVD once it's available. Or can't you be bothered to read the telltale games faq [telltalegames.com] (scroll down most of the way)?
      • Doy? I said I was going to buy the entire season when it is available retail. I've been following this game for years and I know very well when and where it will be sold. Can't you be bothered to read what you just replied to?
  • Nice... (Score:2, Interesting)

    This is great news. It's good to see that people are still making games like this. After the death (hiatus, I still hope) of series such as King's Quest, Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island and the like, I had pretty much given up on PC games...

    Now for another Grim Fandango game...
    • I agree Grim Fandango was awesome, but I think it was wrapped up with "Manny" Calavera and "Meche" Colomar on the Number Nine. :-)
      Actually, as great as the game was, equally great was the ending. I'm not sure I'd like to see a sequel of that game.
  • Er, wasn't Uru Live cancelled before the game was even released? I beta tested Uru but IIRC the retail release was offline only....
    • Oh snap, now I see.. brought *back* to life...!!
      • Uru is currently on Gametap, and the online portion is being released "by the holidays". A way to access Uru Live without Gametap will also be released, but it will likely be cheaper to sign up for the $5/month plan Gametap is currently offering, as I don't see Uru Live standalone being any cheaper.
        • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
          Correct. In fact, they have said that the Uru Live 'alternate entry method' will cost as much as a Gametap subscription. Why would you pay that? Because Gametap is only US and CA, and if you want to play from another country, you're stuck for it.

          Personally, if Uru Live couldn't make it with Ubi and Cyan at $15/month, I don't see how it can survive at $10/mo (or $5/mo if you take the special) under any company at all. Unless they plan to have an initial launch and then never update it... Would suck if t
          • Gametap is run by the Turner companies and they have a lot of money to throw around. If you really wanted to play Uru Live the current special that is good until Sunday is the way to go. You'll pay $60 for the year which would have brought you 4 months of gameplay from the Ubisoft/Cyan price point. It's true that the game might not launch until December but that's still 10 months of play and you get access to all of the other Gametap titles which has a decent, not awesome, but decent selection of Adventu
            • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
              Thank you for noting that Uru Live may not start for a couple months... Somehow, that had slipped by me. I have been considering paying the reduced fee as I would have paid the $15/mo for Uru Live, if they were going to keep up regular content.

              I'm still very shakey on how much 'new' content will be released and on what schedule, but with all the other titles to mess with also, it's a pretty good deal. Especially with the new (also questionable) Sam & Max episodes... Gotta try it and see.
  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @03:52PM (#16475991) Homepage Journal
    Another game we'll have to skip, I guess.

    Aside from the office, Windows lock-in is all about games. Am I the only one who thinks it's insane to keep a 2nd computer with a different OS only to play some games? Even if you dual-boot, that means you have to pay 200$US (or whatever the price is) to buy and install a different OS only to play games? How about the maintenance of that OS, given that it's Windows we're talking about?

    We need some kind of "Universal Game engine" that runs on any platform, kinda like Java (in spirit) but that doesn't suck. Most of the older AGI/SCI games from Sierra and SCUMM games from LucasArts, for exemple, can run on any platform, all you need is an interpreter/engine program. There's even people making such engines for the GBA and PDAs these days.
    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @03:56PM (#16476045) Homepage Journal
      Well, there is this small note at the bottom of the requirements page:
      "GameTap is also currently unavailable for download on Apple Macintosh systems but will be available at a later date so please be sure to check back often."

      I guess there's hope after all.
    • How about using parallels [parallels.com]?...
      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )
        That still means no native support and I have to buy Parallels too. Not to mention that I'm on a Mac mini G4, on which Parallels won't work. Given the price of OS X vs the price of a Mac mini, I will only upgrade once Leopard is released.
        • I may be wrong but didn't I hear that Apple was going to start to focus more of games. I also think I heard that they may create some kind of native direct X support allowing mac users to play windows games natively. It would be initially possible with the shift to Intel based computers.
    • by brkello ( 642429 )
      Uhh, I would hope you are the only one to think it was insane. Listen, if you want to have the most access to games, you run Windows. Dual-booting isn't a big deal and you can probably find a friend to "lend" you a copy. I admire that you haven't gone down that route and actually buy your products, though. But what you are complaining about is about like complaining that you can't stick your PSP discs in a DS. If you want PSP games, get a PSP. If you want DS games, get a DS.

      Can these things be port
    • This was a huge conundrum to me as well, however, there has been a huge movement, with Telltale also involved to get their games on the Wii. It was fairly recently announced (3-4 weeks ago) that Nintendo took notice, and agreed to give Telltale a complete Wii dev kit. I'd say the odds are now very good that the new Sam&Max will show up on the Wii. This solved my problem completely.

      I know this isn't the answer you are looking for, and I understand. But my compromise since switching to a Mac recent

      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )
        I do already have a Wii on pre-order (funny how a lot of Mac users are also Nintendo gamers... quality above quantity?), and it's nice to know we'll have Sam & Max on the Wii too.

        As for the PS3 price being the same as a Mac mini on sale, you're close enough. In Canada, the 20GB PS3 will be 500$CAD and the 60GB will be 600$CAD. The Mac mini is 600$CAD here. Except that the 20GB PS3 is usable, unlike the core model of the Xbox 360 (can't install FF XI on it, for example).

        One month and one day until the Re
        • Of course we haven't really heard anything on how Sam & Max will show up on the Wii. It may be released as the "Season" on Disc later on, but I'm still hoping for it to be released on VC for Download to SD cards.

          I'd definately agree on the quality over quantity. Zelda: TP all the way.

          • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )
            While I'll most probably get Zelda: TP myself, I'm more of a Metroid fan. Can't wait for Prime 3! Finally a good ("natural"?) way to control the movements and the aiming!

            A bit off-topic of our discussion, but Metroid Prime 2 in progressive mode is 480p right? Well, if the Wii has the same resolution in pixels but the graphics are 3 times better in quality (without dropping the framerate) then I'll be more than happy.

            On a last note, I find it funny that the Xbox 360 was supposedly made for 480p but now Micro
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by swordgeek ( 112599 )
      "Am I the only one who thinks it's insane to keep a 2nd computer with a different OS only to play some games?"

      Maybe, maybe not.

      The reality of the market is that games are written for Windows. If games are that important to you, then you run Windows. If Linux or MacOS or Solaris are that important to you, then you run that instead. If they're both important, then you run both. Your decision to make, not anybody else's.
    • Maybe a OS X / Linux interpreter for this game will also be released after a while. It's not like a cross platform SCUMM interpreter to run LucasArts game existed from the start anywyay.
    • I can't let the java slam slide. :)

      Check out the lightweight java game library (LWJGL) - it powers pretty impressive commercial games like Tribal Trouble [tribaltrouble.com] and Bang Howdy [banghowdy.com]. They work great on the three OSes you mention, have attractive 3d interfaces and are fast and more stable than many windows games I've played (CC:Generals comes to mind - same genre, but for me crashed about 50% of the games I played). Maybe they're not as gorgeous as something like Source can provide, but I think they show that Java ca

  • In looking at GameTap's website it looks like they have a free trial... does that cover playing Sam and Max? I can't check right now because I'm using Linux...

    Also... to anyone out there that subscribes.... is there set number of months that you have to subscribe for? Or can you just get the first month for $10 and play Sam and Max and then cancel? Again... they won't even let me look at the subscription plans while in Linux... sigh.

    Friedmud
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cjb909 ( 838363 )
      While you have an active subscription (through a free trial, or just a one month deal), you have access to all of their games. So yes, you could play Sam and Max, and then ditch the free trial, or cancel your subscription.
    • The subscription is something like most MMO's out there (at least the ones I've played) where you can buy 1 month at a time and cancel anytime (presumably you'd keep access until the end of the month you cancel in). The rate is $9.95/month and goes down to $6.95/month if you buy for a whole year (+/- $1.00), you can buy it in smaller increments as well. Also another nice thing, and my sister's birthday present, is that you can create additionaly logins for family and friends, which can be logged in at the
  • I would love to play this next to Grim Fandango, Sam & Max was the best thing to come out of Lucas Games. I see no point in gametap though, $20 a month to maybe spend an hour getting nostalgic is not worth it IMHO. I kept all my old consoles and most of my games anyway so if I'm really feeling old school I plug one of them in. Anyone know if they plan on releasing an actual purchasable version once the episodes are all available?
    • It's a GameTap exclusive for a limited time, I believe. After that, you can buy it standalone (online, I think, although maybe also in stores).
      • Ah sorry, missed the line about the first episode being available on the developers site later.
        I just hope they package the whole thing together when its done.
        • Telltale Games (the developer) is releasing each chapter on either site 2 weeks after it launches on Gametap. They are charging $8 per episode or you can buy the complete season (all 6 episodes) for $35 and download them as they are released and then you can pay just s/h for a CD of all of them together after episode 6 is released.
  • "Make it longer. I know -- nine bucks for three hours of gameplay isn't that bad of a deal. But I couldn't help feeling disappointed at watching the credits roll on the same night that I started the game. At any rate, you don't necessarily need to add more content to lengthen the experience."

    If you can add more, fun, content then please do but never force us to do shit we don't want to do just to get to the next level (where the game *might* get fun again).
    A short, well thought out, fun game is sometimes ex

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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