Posted by: seanmalstrom | August 7, 2014

Brought my NES back from the dead

My NES has been in my closet for 25 years. Despair as the computer emulation is no way to play NES games (I suspect so many New School gamers hate NES games because their experience is through emulation which is very bad controls) and there is no true Virtual Console account system to collect them, I have decided to go to original hardware. Now, many people have done this, but not everyone is Malstrom. I am not a freaky collector placing cartridges all over my walls. I’m a normal guy. I brought out the NES because I wish to play NES games. The emphasis is the playing, not collecting.

As voracious my experience was during the NES Era, I actually own very few NES games. I only own ten (!) NES games. I borrowed many from others (some I lent out didn’t make their way back to me those scheming bastards). I also rented most of the NES library. Some games I once had somehow disappeared (I was gifted Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by someone, tried forever to make sense of the game, but the game vanished. Perhaps it returned to the Hell it came from. Or perhaps I gave it as a ‘gift’ like how someone gave it to me as a ‘gift’.) The NES games I actually own will look like anyone’s collection. SMB.Duckhunt, Final Fantasy, SMB 3, Zelda 2, a few Mega Man games, and a couple other games.

I plug in my NES, and you know what happens? Flashing blue screen. From what I’ve found out, this is all easily fixable. The NES and its carts are pretty much indestructible. The NES, unlike other cart systems, has the hidden feature of 72-pin maintenance which is helping to keep the prices of NES cartridges lower (you should see the prices for the SNES games OMG. $70+ for Super Metroid? And the game is so easy you can play it drunk on an emulator!) People say the 72-pin bending/dirtiness is an ‘error’ of NES design. It is actually a feature. It prevents morons from entering the magical NES Era and gets them, instead, to buy crappy console clones (which can’t even play all the games) or collect slow SNES games like the rest of the New School gamers (who pay $70+ for the extremely overrated Super Metroid).

I took my NES apart in order to get to the 72-pins. To anyone who hasn’t done this, it is actually very simple and easy. The hardest thing is unscrewing the NES as the screws tighten over age. I just used rubbing alcohol. People using Windex or Brasso are retards. Don’t use that on electronics. When I got done, the performance seemed somewhat better but still got blinking lights. Then using a Q tip and rubbing alcohol, I cleaned the contacts of all my games. I might have to wiggle the game a tad at times, but everything is running fine.

I even bought a few new (to my collection anyway) NES games from the local pawn shop. Marble Madness is silly cheap. I actually owned it and lent it to someone who never returned it. Marble Madness has that quality where you play a game every time you have a NES session. Damn fine music too.

I bought Metroid as well (original artwork, not the crappy yellow label). I have never owned Metroid. I think I rented it until I beat it! hahaha. Playing the game on the original hardware means you are in that zen moment. I mean, you can play Super Mario World emulated because the game is so easy and the controls aren’t that interesting. But Super Mario Brothers 3 has to be played on original hardware because the controls are SO DAMN GOOD on the original hardware. I can’t even stand the Mario All-Stars version because of that. I think I also bought and finished Metroid on the Wii Virtual Console. Well, playing it on original hardware with original controller reminds me of the good old days. I’ve been playing Metroid for at least three hours straight before I made this post (at 4 AM in the morning). I don’t think I got anywhere in Metroid either! I did get missiles, bombs, ice beam, and a few energy tanks. But I am playing blind and intend to keep doing so I get the full experience. It’s actually very fun. The reason why games like Metroid are so fun is because most NES games, aside from being badly programmed pieces of crap, is that there is progression outside of ‘crazy reflexes’. Metroid requires much finesse, but the password save allows you to start back with all your items. The infuriating thing of the game is that you start with 30 health and have to kill things coming from pipes to fill up (which is extremely boring and takes forever).

The last game I picked up was Double Dragon II: The Revenge. It seemed cheaper than it should ($15? When Contra is going for $40???). Man, this game is so good. It is a great co-op game. It is nice and challenging as well.

Above: Parody of Double Dragon II

I’m enjoying the games so much that I might go to the Pawn Shop tomorrow and pick up Bubble Bobble for co-op fun with the lady friends. All of this is WAY more fun than hardcore gaming.

I’m noticing that the collectors don’t seem to know what they’re doing. You can really tell that many of them don’t really understand NES games. All they do is collect the big brand games even though they may not be the best. They’ll buy the Marios and Zeldas and even Urban Champion because it says Nintendo on it (!). Meanwhile, games like Crystalis, Guardian Legend, and Battle of Olympus have very low prices because collectors are dumbasses and don’t know where the good games are. Did you know that Mega Man 1 is going for $50? Or that Mega Man V is going for $70? Crazy! I don’t understand why anyone would be shelling so much for the Dragon Warrior games ($40) since you can easily play them on the emulator. They are turn based after all. It’s not like you need the original hardware for that experience.

What I suspect is that many of the collectors are New School Gamers. New School Gamers believe a video game is a story or atmosphere to be experienced, not something to be wrestled with. The New School is the feminine who absorbs the game while the Old School is the masculine who dominates the game. This helps explain New School’s obsession over Super Metroid which is very overrated. They love paying $140 for a Chrono Trigger and even more for Earthbound. Fools!

Another interesting thing I’ve noticed is the Gamecube games. One of the advantages of being Malstrom is that knowing about the Wii tsunami before the Wii launched, I had gone and bought nearly every Gamecube game I could get my hands on. It was the end of the Gamecube Era and the prices were dirt cheap. Most expensive Gamecube game I bought was $5! I think I got Metroid Prime for like 30 cents hahaha. Now, the prices on those Gamecube games have gone way up especially on games like Super Smash Brothers Melee which is going for $70+ and rising. Metroid Prime is also going up because of the New School obsession with ‘absorbing games’. Double Dash is $40. Even stupid Mario Sunshine is $40. Ikaruga is $50. With Gamecube’s limited numbers and large numbers of Wiis, I expect these numbers to triple within the next decade.

What really surprised me are the going rates for used Wii systems. NES and SNES used systems are around $100. Gamecube is about $50. Used Wii? $80+. Wii hasn’t entered ‘collector’s world’ yet but I expect it to next generation.

Due to the low install base of Wii U, I expect Wii U games will grow very well in value. The third party Wii U games are going to skyrocket next generation (since they are so rare!).


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