June 22, 2003
Gaming: Part III
The last part of what I’ve been playing recently is Old School Nintendo. They actually, for a little while, made a top-loading Nintendo system, which is now highly prized by classing gaming nuts and, increasingly, anyone at all who has a desire to play Nintendo games anymore, given that the original design was (for lack of a better word) stupid.
The way that the original Nintendo games make electrical contact between the cartridge and the pins in the console is by physically pushing the game into the bent pins. This may have worked well for a little while back in the 80’s, but twenty years later, it leaves something to be desired, as the 10¢ connector becomes brittle and irritable with age, leading to the blinking light and buggy operation that Nintendos have become known for.
The top-loaders solved this problem, and are now so popular that they are generally worth around twice what they cost in 1993, when they came out. But the second that I plugged the first game into it and flipped the switch, to see the title screen pop up, it was worth every penny.
Matt Livianu came to hang out this afternoon, and we played some games for a while. After we beat Contra, he was astonished to find that I’d paid $80 for it: “Contra is great! That’s one of the games I used to spend hours playing… You spent how much?!” he said, “Oh, what other games do you have. Dude! Tecmo Bowl! We gotta play this!”
I was quietly smug.