Saving Cartridge Games

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This is something I’ve wanted to talk about for some time now but haven’t had the equipment to actually go through the process until this week when my new set of gamebit screwdrivers arrived with the IPA (isopropanol).

As a collector of video games there are a few things that really upset me, the one being when someone has clearly not taken care of their games, now I know games are primarily bought for children and they just don’t give a fuck but these things cost serious money, I mean a game for the PS4 will cost you around £50 so to then find it with scratches all over the disk and sticky smudges, ugh just writing about it winds me up. 

Other things I’ve seen are game manuals ripped to make roaches… seriously, I had one game where the owner had coloured the entire case in with red marker pen, others where they had burned the Playstation badge off the case, carts with missing labels, honestly I could rant all day about this but the purpose of this post was to talk about how you can save some of the damaged cartridge games you pick up using just some IPA 90%+ (500ml of this will cost around £5), some cotton buds (£1) and some gamebit screwdrivers (£5).

While it may seem like £11 is a lot of money to save a cartridge game it is worth noting that you’ll have the IPA for quite some time as a little goes a long way and likewise the gamebit screwdrivers are yours forever (and are really useful for checking games for fakes).  So the only really thing your going to burn through here are cotton buds.

This is the game I cleaned using the method below, before I cleaned it, it would crash out when using the top loaded cartridge, afterwards it works perfectly.

To start all you need to do is take your Cartridge apart, I’d recommend doing this on a clear table to make sure you don’t lose anything. Once apart you should see the circuit board, now you should be careful here not to touch any of the components on the board, while it shouldn’t cause any problems you’re better safe that sorry.

When looking over the board make sure that there isn’t any build up of dust inside the cartridge, there usually isn’t as they tend to be pretty well sealed and only the contacts are exposed outside of the housing but again if there is anything of concern a quick blast with some compressed air should do the trick.

Next we need to take a look over the contacts, you’ll see some ware and tear here from the constant placing in and out of the console, what you may also see however is rust! and a build up of dirt.  Rust typically comes from people blowing into the cartridge as for years this is how we got our games to work, unfortunately at the time we didn’t consider that little bits of spittle came with the air we were blowing which stuck the contacts and caused damage over time.

Cleaning both of this however is simple, take your cotton bud and dip it into some IPA and gently get to work cleaning the contacts, once your cotton tip is done for you should dry it off using another/the other end of the cotton bud, ensuring that you leave it completely dry, repeat until you are happy and you’ve done both sides of the contacts and that’s it. Put the game back together and enjoy some retro fun.

Gaming Pickups December 9th

Home > Blog > Gaming Pickups December 9th

What a week, this week at work we launched 2 applications into each of the Google and Apple app stores and the bedlam that ensued has really kept me busy, even Saturday when I’d normally hit the charity and pawn shops looking for new games I was dealing with problems and didn’t actually get to look for any games.  That being said I did get 1 game which my mum kindly picked up for me while she was out shopping.

I have to admit with this I really wasn’t interested when she said I have a game for you, it’s star wars the clone wars.  My response was pretty much “Oh thanks, I don’t have that one.” but when I collected it I saw upon the box the words “Lightsaber Duels” and hope was rekindled. 

I’ve been impatiently waiting for Beatsaber to come to PSVR so I can live out my dream of waving a lightsaber around like a lunatic but could this tide me over until I can buy it… The answer was a resounding no, the controls are clunky and it just doesn’t feel right.

Don’t get me wrong when I was playing it I was like a kid at Christmas, making my own lightsaber noises swinging my Wii-mote around telling Obi-Wan I am the chosen one before hacking the shit out of him but the game just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Robin Hood (2018)

Home > Blog > Robin Hood (2018)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect much from this, moreover I didn’t even know it existed until Chris suggested it as something we could watch. Robin Hood is one of those stories which just keeps getting remade and remade and remade.

We arrived a couple of minutes into the film as we (I) overestimated how much time we could spend in the pub pre-film however I don’t think we missed too much and easily got into the flow of the film.

The film follows our hero, Robin of Loxley who is sent off to war so the sheriff of Nottingham can lay claims to his belongings to fund the war machine.  While away at war Robin is injured and comes back to find his home ransacked, his partner moved on and with another man and the people around him downtrodden by the sheriff and his men.

Robin joins forces with little John and starts to steal from the rich to give to the poor as the story goes, where it differs from past tales I have read/seen is in Robin taking on an almost Batman/Bruce Wayne duel identity where he hobnobs with the sheriff by day as Robin of Loxley and by night he dons the hood and becomes Robin the Hood. 

I don’t really want to go into too much detail beyond this as to do so would spoil what little story is in there,  Taron Egerton just didn’t work for me, all I could see is the scally from the Kingsmen movies and Jamie Fox wasn’t all that great either.  The clothing that they wore in the films felt way too modern with leather trench coats, fitted suits and other more modern clothing and don’t get me started on the use of pyrotechnics in a horse chase…

Not a film I’d recommend and had I paid more than £2.50 for it I’d probably want my money back.

Pokemon Let’s go Pikachu

Home > Blog > Pokemon Let’s go Pikachu

Over the past few months I’ve found myself getting more and more into playing games on my Nintendo Switch.  In itself this is quite odd because I bought it over a year ago and haven’t really played it since getting 90% of the way through the main story line on Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but of late I’ve bought around 20 games and I’ll be honest, I am loving the Switch.

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu was a bit of an impulse buy for me, I’d heard relatively little about it but had been told it was a remake of the original Red/Blue/Yellow games but with much better interface and with lots of learnings they’d taken from following generations making this potentially the greatest Pokemon game ever.

In my opinion this is one of my favourite Pokemon games ever, the only real problem I had with the game, and still do to some extent, is the removal of the battle system when you encounter Pokemon in the wild.  This was a huge disappointment to me and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’d considered selling it as soon as I encountered my first few wild Pokemon, especially as I didn’t actually know about the changes to the encounter system.  Thankfully I stuck with it because as I fought my first trainer things started to feel a lot like Pokemon again and over time I came to enjoy the challenge tracking the little blighters and in timing my throw so it was “Excellent” .

Thinking back over my time playing it this past week or two I think a good part of the enjoyment was in the familiarity of the Pokemon too, there are over 800 Pokemon now (I think) and then there are some which have had touch ups to new Alloah forms, but the original 150 have a special place in my heart. 

My favourite change to the game, second to none, is the fact that now as you wander through the world of Pokemon you can actually see the Pokemon wander around in the field before you encounter, and try to capture them. This for me is a huge quality of life improvement that really helped me complete the Pokedex. 

The next change I really enjoyed was the removal of HM’s, for those of you that don’t know HM’s (Hidden Machines) are skills which you get in the game which allow you to access new content i.e. Surf would allow you to travel on water so you could get to Islands or encounter water Pokemon, these are still in the game in a fashion but rather than having to teach them to a Pokemon in your party, Pikachu learns them and they don’t take up a skill slot like they did in previous games.  What this meant for me, and I am guessing for a lot of players, is that you no longer need to have a HM Pokemon in your party, freeing you up to have 6 battle worth Pokemon.

There are a lot of other really enjoyable changes to the game too, from being able to travel with a pokemon next to you and it actually being the right size to the bike and rod being removed from the game and instead fast travelling on the larger Pokemon like Snorlax, these are just a couple of the features/enhancements that really stand out to me.  

As for the downsides I really only have two, the first of which is with the capture system.  While you do get used to the system over time it can be infuriating if you are chaining captures to get a genuine competitive Pokemon with amazing IV’s (these are coveted for their stats making them better than the average Pokemon). Typically in my experience it will go one of a couple of ways, either you will spend an hour running round capturing your Pikachu’s and you’ll get a combo of 40-50 captures then you’ll encounter one little bastard who just won’t get in the Pokeball and before you know it your combo is dead and you have to start again.

The second issue I have is the pay wall for the pokeball plus accessory, I completely understand the fact that this is partially because the R&D costs for making it were quite high, and it’s probably a complex piece of hardware but in putting Mew in the pokeball plus Gamefreak/Nintendo have made it so you must pay for the pokeball if you want Mew and worse if you’re a completionist then you will absolutely need a Mew as there is a Mew master trainer at the end of the game which you have to beat with Mew in your party.

There are a couple of other minor issues I have with the game especially your partner Pokemon, Pikachu in my case, learning some really epic moves which completely overpower it to the point that you have an electric Pokemon with water and flying attacks which deal great damage or the degradation of the trade system where you can’t easily trade as you could on the 3DS but all that said it still is one of my favourite games on the console and possibly on any console I’ve played this year.

I think I’ve rambled on enough with this post, so to bring it to a close I’d like to recommend that anyone who is on the fence about getting this game go out and get it, it really is a lot of fun and before you know it you’ll be a Pokemon master.

Game Pickups December 1st

Home > Blog > Game Pickups December 1st

Continuing from last weeks post I’ve been out on the hunt for new games again this week and while I wasn’t as lucky as I’d have hoped in locating games my cousin came through and sold me some of his childhood collection as he was looking to have a clear out. 

First up is a bunch of Playstation 1 games, I got these on Gumtree around 4 weeks ago however it took forever for them to arrive as the shop where they were posted from sat on them for 2 weeks while their DPD machine was broken.

I have to admit I am really pleased with these as there are two games in here which I loved growing up, Dynasty Warriors and Everybody’s Golf but there are a couple in there that I am also looking forward to trying in Judge Dredd and The Fifth Element. The latter is one of my favourite films of all time so I am probably going to be sorely disappointed by the game.  Judge Dredd again I enjoyed the original movie (the one with Sly Stalone).

Next up we have the games I managed to pick up this week at the charity shops, there isn’t anything amazing here in my opinion although I am intrigued about Bust-A-Move Ghost, I do enjoy Bust-A-Move games but I am wondering what the ghost part relates to, is the main character dead or helping the dead in some way. 

Next up we have some more Playstation games, this time for the PS2. Another big thank you to my cousin here as he donated all of these to my collection. I am not a big horror fan but the story of Fahrenheit sounds like it could be really fun.  

Here is the collection of Game Gears  my cousin sold me, unfortunately one of the machines doesn’t work, another of them has some really bad deformation to the rear of the case (I suspect that it has melted on a radiator) and the final one has a terrible screen which has to be viewed at an odd angle.

I think I am going to pick up some game bit drivers a re-case the melted one with the broken ones case, and I’ll take a look over the disassembly instructions and if it isn’t too complex may try to move the LCD from the broken one to the one which has a rubbish screen.

Finally I picked up the Amiibo Festival game for the Wii U, this was something that Argos were selling off for £3 on eBay, I know that this game is really detested but for £3 you can’t really complain.

I did also manage to pick up a couple of additional consoles, a 360 and a Game Cube, I’ve had games for these for a while but not had the consoles. I am particularly looking forward to using the Game Cube as I picked up Donkey Konga a while ago and I hear it was really good.