Monday, March 2, 2015
I've been watching a ton of <a href="http://chrontendo.blogspot.com/">Chrontendo</a> as of late, which has let me to start looking at my NES and Famicom games closer. I really like those old games, but lately both my NES systems have been acting up and throwing up those infuriating blinking screens. I've tried many things to fix this, and while for the most part they tend to work, at some point (often too soon for my taste) the system reverts back to its blinky self. The way I see it I have several options.
1. Purchase a Famiclone - While not always descriptive, the word, "Famiclone" is a blanket word used to describe a knock-off NES or Famicom being sold. They tend to be cheap to buy, but there are always incompatibility problems where the system won't play certain games (Castlevania III is a great example). The one exception I've found is the Retron 5, which has banked on telling the world that their system will work on any game with specialized hardware. From my research this appears to be true. However, the system costs around $160, which is not a small chunk if change, though there are <a href="http://nichegamer.com/2014/09/retron-5-now-adds-fan-translation-patch-support/">really cool things the Retron 5 can do that</a> that I can use to attempt to justify the cost. Still, that is a lot of money, and with several other ailing or dead consoles that the Retron does not emulate (Sega CD, Turbo CD, Wii, PS2), is it fair to blow such a wad of cash?
2. Switch out the ZIF connector - At this point the ZIF connectory on the NES has become legendary in its badness. Just for the record, the NES was shipped out with a special ZIF (zero insertion force) connector that is, plainly put, a piece of trash. There was very rapid wear on them, which once some of the connectors failed to firmly touch the inserted NES cartridge would result in the "blinking screen" problem. Popular fixes are bending back the pins manually (a risky venture), <a href="http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2013/11/weirdness_you_can_fix_your_nes_72_pin_cartridge_connector_by_boiling_it">boiling the ZIF connector</a>, and finally, replacing it with a third-party product. Out of these the last is most preferable (for obvious reasons), but lately there have been a large amount of bad connectors going out, resulting in very rapid wear, which translates to being in the same position in less than a year. The one ray of hope in this arena is the impending release of the <a href="http://www.arcadeworks.net/hardware/blw.html">Blinking Light Win connector</a>, which replaces the entire assembly of a common "toaster" NES, thereby taking away the need for a ZIF connector to begin with. Once it begins shipping (the ETA is April of this year) we will see if this product is worth its salt.
Well, I originally popped on here to quickly talk about a few of the NES games I've been playing, but instead rambled away about something else. Next time then.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
So I've gone ahead and decided to kill this blog in favor of another instead of just rebranding and dealing with it. When I first started blogging there was not a whisper on Google about anyone calling themselves "Gravygamer" so I decided to strive forth and blog, having fun and eating a ton of gravy covered items (though not the Genesis cart). Fast forward five years and there are now a ton of people calling themselves Gravygamer (or GravyGamer, or Gravygamers), so I don't see a reason to continue with the nerd handle any longer. No hard feelings, no bitter tears, just a eventual redirect to the new site and one more round of gravy for the house. This is Jason Viande, aka Gravygamer no more, bidding all a polite adieu.
Wow, has it been while, so long that the last time I used this it was through Blogspot (with the Blogger thing simply confusing me). Not much has changed, although I seem to have less to play games as of late, which translates as less time to write. Most of my energy is spent on my monthly column at RFGeneration but I would like to change that. Well, "want" and "would like to" are completely different things, so we'll see how things go.
So the big question today is what I want to do with this blog. On one hand I would like to post at least once a week, even if the post has little to no substance to it. I believe this will make me a better writer in the long run, which is something that I would like to happen. Now, about content. Looking at the last four posts I see two that are obviously inspired by the CRPG Addict and two that are reposts of my monthly front-page at RFGeneration. This needs to change, and I was thinking about changing it to a focus on sci-fi games with a loose focus on the space sim genre. This is a genre that I really feel strongly about, but nonetheless I should just start it, without any fanfare or anything. The new blog will be called (perhaps tentatively) The Observatory, shortened to ThOb. Sound good? Good. Next post will have details on my plans for this blog, as well as some details on the first game I would like to play.