Monday, March 2, 2015

Back again?

Remember when I said I was going to stop posting?  Well, I guess maybe not.

I've been watching a ton of <a href="">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="">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="">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="">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.

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