Tagged: Instagram

My Top Nine Photos of 2021

I haven’t posted an “of 20xx” roundup to the site since 2018, which is embarrassingly only a few posts below this one in chronological order. 2019 was a speeding bullet train of stress thanks to my last job, destined to burst into flames and derail once we hit 2020. I dove headlong into work on Delisted Games while being unemployed and looking for a new job, and didn’t feel like I had anything to say about what I played in 2020. Spoiler alert: I feel even worse about, well, everything in 2021. But I made some neat graphics for Instagram and wanted to write just a bit more about a few things from the year.

My energy for Instagram and social media in general took a nosedive in 2019.This year wasn’t any better with only around 75 posts and very few of them featuring the *pop* of years past. Still, I’m glad to see that random snapshots of food and cats didn’t outweigh the photos I actively tried to compose. Not surprisingly, the No.1 post was a series of photos (and video) of the new Super Impulse “Tiny Arcade” Dance Dance Revolution cabinet. It’s crazy that this thing exists and is actually playable. I think I also did a pretty good job with the presentation.

In another montage post from March I wanted to share the assorted frames I finally got situated on the wall in what has become my office. No more is my desk relegated to the corner of a kitchen or front room! I’ve added more stuff since this post but Socks the Cat and Bubsy are still prominently featured on my dumb wall. No.3 is the only one I feel a little bad about since it only ranked so high thanks to #WaltDisneyWorld. It’s another montage from our vacation in October featuring some of the fantastic art for sale at Disney Springs. I totally missed my chance to buy that Darkwing illustration!

The only Nintendo post to rank so high in 2021 was the amazing sticker book that came with the original WarioWare on Game Boy Advance. They’re actually used to play more minigames found throughout the instruction manual. Genius! Next up is the only Xbox pic to break the Top Nine, although I tried my best by sharing lots of photos as I resuscitated my original Xbox and got to work capturing Dinosaur Hunting and Drihoo. The most retro thing in my top nine pics was this Magnavox Odyssey 3000 console, looking as sharp as possible after a thorough cleaning and 44 years of neglect.

The power of the Gremsters is strong! One of my most recent posts immediately broke the Top Nine, and how could it not? NECA’s made tons of gorgeously detailed figures over the years but this one, featuring the “Ultimate Gamer Gremlin”, is my first and a Christmas gift from Katy. I love the Atari 2600 inspired controller and game box as well as the creative reskin of the impossible-to-license Donkey Kong Coleco mini-arcade from the 80’s. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game finally, finally, finally made its return to form after being delisted years ago. Being the purveyor of all things Delisted, I just had to own it on physical media and I went with the mid-tier Complete Edition, laying out all the goodies inside the giant Genesis-style box.

Finally, one of the most photogenic and nerdy hotspots on the planet slid in at No.9: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are simply too many details and references to spot at this place! I could (and did?) take hundreds of photos here but this last post was just a handful of my favorites.

Here’s hoping that another new year might finally reinvigorate my energy for Instagram. Right now it doesn’t feel like it’ll happen, but who knows! Follow along and give me a kick in the pants if I haven’t posted anything by February.

We’re so close to a Sega Saturn Mini… Sorta

We're so close to a Sega Saturn Mini... Sorta

I was going to start posting random cool things I find on Instagram but the embed code doesn’t work well with GameLuv’s theme. These posts may be fewer and farther between than planned.

Nevertheless, check out this original Sega Saturn CD Case that Frauleinpolylina has repurposed as a Saturn Controller Case. In this age of demure consoles like the NES and SNES Classic Edition, this little Saturn made my heart leap for a second. I mean, discs will fit inside this thing already so we’re probably 80% of the way towards a Saturn Mini. C’mon Sega, ditch the AtGames junk and do us right!

I brought an NES back to life last night

Last night I disassembled what I think might be my childhood NES. Much more yellow than I remember, my Dad was still holding onto it and a box of controllers, RF cables and power bricks. I picked it up from him a few months ago but it wasn’t until I set up the new Capture Cart™ this past weekend that I finally decided to see if the thing worked.

It didn’t. I got a series of colorful screens from Super Mario Bros. 2 and Batman looked mostly fine except for a weird ghost layer of pixels, like the image was being partially duplicated. It looked awesome, but not right. So I took to Instagram with a video of Batman and got the suggestion to clean the pins. Then I… wait, which pins? The cartridge? That’s not the problem…

A quick Google search led me to Dan Mahlendorf’s guide on refurbishing an NES. For as many mods and tributes to the NES that I’ve seen over the years I’ve never opened one up and looked around inside. Not surprisingly it’s pretty simple inside, had a few abandoned cobwebs in the corners and was loaded with screws. Screws on the case, screws on the RF shield, screws on the cartridge housing.

Finally I was down to the pin connector which I needed to remove by bending the circuit board ever so gently enough to slide it off. As the guide says, it was a little tricky but I got it off, cleaned it out and started examining the pins. They all look to be at the same height and are still springy but one of them on the left side is maybe missing a prong. I did what I could to bend the rest of it back up, struggled for a while getting the connector back onto the circuit board and dashed upstairs to see if it helped.

It did. Super Mario Bros. 2 works fine now but maybe glitches out hard one out of a dozen times? I only saw it once but it was a glorious moment when Peach hit a Shy Guy and the game world around their sprites deteriorated into a colorful, noisy Hell. I imagine it has destroyed everything they thought they knew about their world but it’s a bonus for me getting to watch the NES circuit bend itself at random.

And now I’ve got an NES that works so I could justify buying some games. I’m only interested in collecting complete packages but the next time I’m at the shops I might pick up some cheap cartridges.