NES collection

Image by freespamfree via Flickr

I lost a few pictures thanks to some technical difficulties. So you’ll have to use your imagination or memory to recall when your NES was glitching because it needed a good cleaning. You’d blow into the system or the game pak (that’s how they spelled it). I actually would break out the Game Genie even if I wasn’t going to use a code. Sometimes that worked.

Before starting this week’s project (thankfully a short one, as it’s a busy weekend for me) I actually tried that. I haven’t broken out the old system in years. I started playing Super Mario Bros. because there’s no need to review it. I plan to keep it and everybody knows that game, so it was a good one to try out. At some point in the playing it did something weird. The only control that would work was the “A” button, and that would work like the start menu. I’d be playing, jumping around and tossing fireballs, and suddenly the game would pause. That clinched it, I needed to clean the NES before reviewing any games.

You can easily find a tutorial of how to clean the games; isopropyl alcohol or a mixture containing it is usually recommended, although I’ve seen claims of Windex or similar cleaners, or a certain brand of countertop cleaner (I’m a bit skeptical about the long-term effects the latter would have on the connectors), so you may have to judge for yourself. However, when it comes to the console, the only solution I’ve seen is to open the thing up to get at the connectors. Lucky for me, I have an alternate tool for the task.

This is a NES game cleaner device released by a company called Recoton. Nintendo themselves made a cleaning tool, but this was the one I ended up getting. This unit goes into the NES much like any game pak. Push it in back and forth a few times and it cleans the game. I’m hoping that if this ever fails an electronics vac or one of those spray cans that shoots a blast of air will be enough. Having to open up the console to clean it would be a pain and you risk losing an important screw or not putting something back right, thus ruining your NES.

For the cartridges, it also has these little tools. One is wet with the cleaning solution and the other remains dry. Then you run the wet stick around the game connectors and the dry one after that. Let sit for 15 minutes and then you can play all day (or until it gets dusty again). The unit came with two replacement heads, one for each cleaning tool, but I’m not sure what I’ll do after that.

For now, though, the game works perfectly. I’ll have to clean every game before I play it to give it a proper review. For now, though, I’m going to move away from video games for a while until it’s time to put together a proper video review (the best way to review a game is to show you what it actually looks like so a text review won’t be enough, as you saw with the Wrestlemania review). Until then there’s still plenty of clutter to deal with. This quest is far from over.