VIA Grease Monkey Patch-Tracking Software Review
I'm a die-hard PC gamer, and I've got to admit that console games have
PC games soundly beat on at least one major aspect: they work like they're
supposed to. No one patches console games because you can't. Release
a buggy PS2 game and you'll be marked for life. This forces console
companies to actually play-test their games (and the fact that they are
programming for a static platform doesn't hurt stability either). PC
games, on the other hand, are often glorified beta versions on first release,
especially Massively Multiplayer Online Games, which are notorious for their
'release broken, fix later' approach.
PC gamers are often forced to acquire multiple patches for a single game over
the few months that it is 'in play', and this activity can get tedious.
While many games these days ship with a built in patching engine, many more do
not. Add to this the long file download queue times associated with
download sites like FilePlanet and you have a recipe for frustration.
PC Games generally have demos available on the Internet, allowing users to
preview the product for free. Unfortunately, the same long waiting times
often hinder demo downloading at files sites also, unless you pay a subscription
fee for unlimited server access.
Wouldn't it be good then, if you had a little
application that could automatically locate the patches you need and the demos
you want, as well as linking you to a dedicated downloading server for them?
Well, today we're going to look at an app that claims to fill just this role,
the VIA Technologies
With claimed support for over 1200 games, and acting as
a direct channel for the demos of many more, VIA Grease Monkey could be a
Godsend for the hardcore gamer, except for one little detail. It's not free
either. On the bright side, it's not exactly expensive; US$14.95 will get you a
year's subscription to the service, complete with dedicated access to Gameshadow.com's game patch
servers. As you'll see if you visit the above link, Grease Monkey does appear
to be a re-skinned and re-branded version of Gameshadow's own game patching
Combining automated patch tracking and downloads with gaming news, reviews
and demo downloading services, Grease Monkey strips down the essence of sites
like FilePlanet and GameSpot and attempts to cram it into your system; hence the
'Grease.' Let's see just how well everything fits.