Category: Games

Putting old addictions to good use

I noticed something this week that I thought was interesting. Last week I bought a couple games off of eBay – imported copies of Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger for the SNES. As soon as they came in Thursday morning, I examined them both to make sure everything was intact and all that. The following line of text was on the back of both boxes:

希望小売価格11,400円(消費税別)

That may not mean anything to you just by looking at it, but you’re already well aware of the concept – it’s a suggested retail price of 11,400 yen, not including tax. I got curious as to what that would have cost back then and found a site containing exchange rates for each month back to about 1970. In March of 1995, when Chrono Trigger was released in Japan, the exchange rate was about 90 yen to the dollar. Do the math, and… this game’s MSRP in 1995 is $126. For one Super Nintendo game!

I guess the sands of time and Square’s love of remaking old titles are good for something, though – back about 10 years ago these games would still have fetched a stiff price on eBay, but I bought them for under $20 each just last week because the demand for that sort of stuff just isn’t there anymore. Oh well, either way that’s a bunch of cheap reading practice packed up in games I enjoyed the hell out of in English years ago. Right now I’m working on Final Fantasy V and I’d hazard a guess that I’m comprehending about 75-80% of the game’s text, which is a noticeable improvement even from just a few months ago.

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Happenings

Figures I’m now doing everything in spurts to get it out of the way and make room on the schedule for the next task… I just got through packing lunches for the rest of the week, now I’m getting all the bloggage out of the way, because I certainly won’t have time for the next few days. This is now what my weekly schedule is looking like:

Monday: Work from 8am to 5pm, spend lunch working on Calculus homework, Japanese class from 6pm until at least 930pm

Tuesday: Work from 9am to 6pm, spend lunch working on Calculus homework, go home and do the Japanese homework that was assigned Monday (2-3 hours worth)

Wednesday: Work from 8am to 5pm, spend lunch working on Calculus homework, Japanese class from 6pm until at least 930pm

Thursday: Work from 9am to 6pm, spend lunch working on Calculus homework, go home and do the Japanese homework that was assigned Wednesday (2-3 hours worth)

Friday: Work from 8am to 5pm, spend lunch working on Calculus homework, hopefully chill and watch some glorious mid-major football game the rest of the evening

Saturday: Calculus class from 9am until 1230pm, fail at getting any homework done because college football runs continuously until midnight

Sunday: Calculus class from 9am until 1230pm, go to parents house and do an hour or two of homework while they are making lunch, go buy food for the week, then go home and do laundry – and more homework

So Monday through Thursday I am booked completely solid, Friday I get a little bit of a break, Saturday I do basically nothing because I’m hardwired to take in as much collegiate violence as possible, and Sunday I just get ready to repeat the process all over again. The days I don’t have class I have work and homework, and the days I don’t have work I have class and homework. I’m glad I quit World Of Warcraft and sold my account, because I wouldn’t have time for that shit anyway. (Incidentally, I noticed my character hasn’t been updated in the Armory since I sold the account so it looks like the Chinese farmers paid me $150 for nothing! Owned.)

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Two things

1: The pictures of my SNES are located at http://www.madpwnage.net/images/snes – they were taken while the paint was still a little wet.

2: The amount of spam that’s showing up in the comments is starting to ramp up a bit and I’m not liking that a whole hell of a lot. I am going over my options to figure out what to do from here.

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It was awesome 15 years ago

I finally gave in to pangs of nostalgia and got a Super Nintendo last weekend. The selection on games was limited (and in fact so were the systems, I got the last one Gamers at Oakview had), but I managed to get out of the store with the deck, F-Zero, and Super Metroid.

Side story on that…

Gamers in Omaha officially sucks donkey balls. Things were wierd when I worked there 6 years ago, but I presumed it was for self defense against abusive customers more than anything else. For one thing I had to give my name, address, and phone number just to get a receipt and a warranty. What is Gamers really doing with that information? When I worked there, the explanation was we just wanted to get to know our customers, but if somebody objected we were cool with that. Not anymore. If you value your privacy enough not to divulge information about yourself to someone you don’t know working for a business you don’t patronize too frequently, you are a second-class customer to Gamers. Nevertheless, I wanted a Super Nintendo, and I was willing to take the risk.

Everything I bought looked and ran like absolute shit. This wouldn’t have slid by when I was working there. The simple fact is we would pay somebody $10 in cash for their Super Nintendo and turn around and sell it for $35. With a profit margin like that, you can afford to have a kid making minimum wage spend 15 minutes to make a used item look presentable to customers, not to mention check to make sure everything works. Anyways, when I got home I found that neither of the games I bought would work. Was it the games, or the console? Time to troubleshoot, with the prospect that I might have to go buy another SNES if this one is busted in the back of my mind. I gave the each of the games the Windex + Q-tips treatment, and that didn’t work. So apart came the console, and an hour later I had the solution – turned out the 62-pin connector that the cartridges slide into needed a good shot of compressed air. I cleaned that off and closed the case up, and voila – working games. Except for Metroid, because the PCB is dented and one of the connectors is basically destroyed. I can get that game to load maybe half the time. That’s ok though, because my copy of Final Fantasy 2 just came in the mail today and I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of time revisiting that classic as it is.

It took me in excess of 2 hours to actually clean the console. Rubbing alcohol, paper towels, toothbrush, Q-tips, and elbow grease. But the real reason I cleaned the console wasn’t because I’m anal about how my electronics look (I am), or because it actually presented a threat to its own operability (it didn’t), but because I had plans in mind for it. Plans that involved spray paint – lots of spray paint. Can’t very well spray paint something when you’ve got somebody’s crayon on it, can you? Anyways, the paint job is finished and the console has been put back together – still in working order – and the results are pretty slick. I’ll post pictures when I get them.

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