January 17, 2006 marks 7 years since I experienced my SNES resurrection. It is crazy to think how fast these past 7 years have gone by. As someone who owned the SNES originally from early 1992 to late 1998-ish or thereabouts (before my brother and I donated it to our cousin David in the late '90s), it blows my mind to know that my 2nd SNES stint now surpasses my first, in terms of length. Quite frankly, DESPITE all the renting, seeing the games lined up on store shelves one after another, and the epic nonstop multi-player gaming sessions, I might even say the second time around has been just that much sweeter. Thanks to being older and having a FINER appreciation for everything in general, I've had an absolute gaming blast these past 7 years. There's an infamous term out there that's as old as time itself... "The 7 Year Itch." Supposedly, it's that point in the relationship where things just head south and peter out. Well, it's been about 7 years now since I got back into all things Super Nintendo... and quite honestly... Istill love it today as much as I did when I first got back into it 7 years ago. As I approach yet another anniversary, the sappy gamer in me can't help but think about not only why the fire still burns, but why my SNES passion burns so brightly. What exactly is it about this system that has kept me coming back??
So what has it been about the SNES where, 7 years later, not only am I STILL kicking, but possibly still as interested as I've ever been? Initially my first 2 thoughts were the library and my memories. The SNES has arguably the best gaming library of all time. It's so good that you can take the 11th to 20th best games for the SNES and they would stack up considerably well with any other system's TOP TEN. There are just SO MANY classics and epic games on the Super NES that the top 25 games alone include some of gaming's best, period. If you want to include quality games and games that are enjoyable and playable, the SNES delivers like no other. So, there was that. And then there are my memories. The SNES came along during a magical period of my life... as the years 1987-1995 (AKA my childhood) was full of wonderful times. Being a robust kid living in suburban America during the rise and fall of the SNES was just too awesome. It was my favorite system of my childhood, and is now my favorite system of my adulthood. I feel like I am fulfilling my childhood dreams, as corny as that may sound [We have come to expect nothing but -Ed.]
LESSONS I HAVE LEARNED FROM LIVING ON PLANET SATURN
While I loved the NES, Genesis and SNES as a kid, I consider my Saturn run from 1999 to 2005 to be my first true foray into diehard gaming pastures. During those six years I amassed over 350 Saturn titles, ranging from US to Japanese to PAL. It was truly some of the best gaming times of my life. It's not the kind of system you can pick up and enjoy casually. Digging deep in its library is the only way to experience the Saturn in any satisfying sort of way. DIEHARD OR BUST With the Sega Saturn you were either ALL IN, or NOT IN AT ALL
However, as much fun as I had with the Sega Saturn I fell into the trap of never really beating the games. I would play them for 30 minutes to an hour here and there, but too often did I jump from game to game. It snuck up on me, and eventually, by the summer of 2005, I fell out of the Saturn scene. I still love it a lot to this day, but it'll never be like it was back in '99 to 2005. As I reflected on my Saturn journey during the late summer of 2005, one of my biggest regrets was never logging my Saturn experiences. From dates of purchase to game playing journal-type blog notes... all my Saturn memories were relegated to my mind, which is fleeting at best. And I reallyregrettedit. I remember wishing I could go back in time to rectify all of this... but alas... it was far too late. My passion had dimmed, and six years of memories were only going to fade away with time. Lo and behold, by December 2005, I was heavily contemplating whether or not I should get back into the Super Nintendo scene. I took a couple weeks to sleep on it... and I vividly recall telling myself if I do get back into the Super NES scene, then I'm definitely going to be doing things the right way!
Back in the early 2000s, I wanted to one day create a huge all encompassing Saturn thread on various message boards. It would chronicle my Sega Saturn experience, from stories to reviews. I also had a name in mind: STEVE'sMEGA SEGA SATURN Thread. I also wanted to make a coffee book binder where I would have one page to highlight each game in my collection, littered with my memories and thoughts of that game on said page, along with a few in-game screenshots. It would be 350 pages, as I had 350 Saturn games, in color and available on the coffee table for any friends to flip through before they would make their gaming choice. Both of these ideas were extremely ambitious, and I was so giddy to get started on both, but by the time summer 2005 rolled around, I simply burned out. Although I still loved the Saturn, the flame had died and the Mega thread and coffee book ideas were both sadly scrapped. Later that same year, around Christmas season the SNES bug hit. I knew it would be my last gaming hurrah, and this time, I was gonna do it right...
Even back in early 2006, I knew the SNES would be my last gaming hurrah. And if you go out... you always wanna go out on top. Utilizing what I had learned from my Saturn experience, I made a log of my game buying and game thoughts, and now I was focused on beating the games one at a time, because I realized... that's what makes this hobby so satisfying. Knocking out each game in your library and making a record of it is the way to do it. It was time for SNES redemption I wanted to finish on a high note and make my last hurrah a TKO
Sure enough, on January 17, 2006, I returned home, back where I have always belonged. Except this time, I was more than a decade older, had more disposable income, the games were much MUCH cheaper and I was going to document everything. Lesson learned. Now it was time to do things right Super Nintendo "round two" was a chance at gaming redemption
And so, it was. Not only was I returning to my all-time favorite childhood system, but now I had the golden opportunity to log my experiences from the very beginning. Even though I was in my early 20s at the time, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning all over again. Not only was I reclaiming bits and pieces of my childhood, but I was also having my last great gaming hurrah, and this time, I would document everything
I was on a collision course with my last GREAT GAMING HURRAH
My first SNES journal entry in anticipation of the system coming
A day later, it came. It's a day I still recall with great fondness ^_^
Here are four of my game journals from just my early SNES days. What I wrote in my very first entry from January 29, 2006... was right. One day I'll be able to look back and see how cool this all is. Just a little sustained effort and then you will have a lifetime of memories that will never fade. I've already combed through my journals and various logs, reading my experiences and other random things, and it's been amazing. I can't tell you how many entries I've read where I literally went "Wow, I totally forgot all about that..." but thanks to my documenting the journey, it's on record for life. In addition to game thoughts, I also blogged about my life happenings so it's been fun looking back to see what I was doing in my life way back when. It's not just gaming journals here... they are a scrapbook of my life. My Saturn run taught me the value of documentation :) Maintaining personal gaming logs helps to maintain my interest
They say those who don't learn from their past are doomed to repeat it. The Sega Saturn taught me a ton and it will always be my second favorite game system. But the Super Nintendo will always hold the #1 spot in my gaming heart. I'm so thankful that all my Saturn experiences taught me what it did, as I was able to rectify matters with the SNES. I was a man on a mission. I knew what I had to do second time around, and then I went out and I did it. It's always awesome hitting a goal. To do things the right way Saturn's loss was Super Nintendo's gain
7 REASONS FOR 7 SEASONS
7 ways I avoided the Mode 7 Year Itch [I C WAT U DID DERE -Ed.]
1. Beating the games 2. Discovering new gems 3. Replaying childhood favorites 4. Quelling 15 to 20 year curiosities 5. Continuing to expand RVGFANATIC 6. Playing multi-player SNES games with friends 7. Finishing off the collection and truly being content
1. BEATING THE GAMES
There's something to be said about conquering a video game. During my Saturn fandom, I fell into a horrible trap of playing games mostly for short bursts but never ever really desiring to complete them. As I got back into the SNES, I realized I wanted to right a wrong from my childhood, and that wrong was never beating many of its games. Too many as a child I didn't even get a chance to play (thoroughly). My SNES resurrection was a chance, then, at gaming redemption. Beating the games gives me a great sense of closure with that game. Nowadays, I can't stand "testing" games or playing them without the intent to see 'em through. That's something I learned during my SEGA Saturn diehard period of 1999-2005. I rarely devoted enough gusto to each game to finish. It was just quick pop-in's as I pleased, giving me short bursts of gaming entertainment, but no real legs for longevity, because nothing satisfies like completing the games, one by one. It makes you view your library in a whole new light... and you are literally making the most of the money you have spent. I guess I was lucky in the sense that my Saturn experience taught me what I oughta do instead, and that by the time I was ready for my Super NES "rebirth," I knew what I had to fix...
Now, I always pop a game in with the intent of leaving it in the cartridge slot until I can beat the game, or until I exhaust my limits. Some games I'm not able to finish for one reason or another, but I always play until I can't go any further. It gives me a great feeling when I eventually swap it out for another game. It's like I'm only then able to put the game back on the shelf with a real sense of peace and fulfillment. Few things are as satisying in this hobby than TRULY exhausting a game for all it's worth. What a concept right... PLAY THE GAMES. BEAT THE GAMES. I really adopted that mantra for SNES round two, and it has made all the difference in the world. Every game I beat or "exhaust" -- I am then able to check off the list, and it is just one of the greatest feelings in this hobby. Seeing a game through to its end and guttin' it out (certain games require more effort than others) is one big reason why I haven't yet burned out. Being able to shelf a game after beating it and selecting the next game to beat is truly an awesome feeling. I've beaten many SNES games these past 7 years, and salivate at the fact that I still have tons left to conquer. It'll definitely take me until 2016... or maybe even 2020... before I can say I have truly exhausted my collection out
I view beating games similar to watching a a movie to its end or reading a book to the end. It would just be silly to stop a quarter or three quarters through, unless it's too boring (or in game talk, too difficult). I know for a fact beating the games has helped fuel my SNES love these past 7 years. On a side note, as I love to score these games in "old school EGM fashion," a game is more properly reviewed by the individual the more they've played it. A game may start out hot, like a 9 / 10, but it may later become strictly average. I wouldn't know that if I didn't play through the game. On the other hand, some games start out a little slower and then pick up steam later on. Nowadays, I always focus on playing (through) one game at a time. I even keep gaming journals to chronicle my thoughts, key game moments, etc. It's all added to the fun. Nothing keeps the fire burning quite like feeling as though you have experienced all a game has to offer, one at a time. I cannot imagine having any other mentality! Whether the game is great, good, solid, just OK or meh, there's something about seeing a game through and not shelving it until you've maxed it out. I guess it kind of reminds me of the good old days when you literally did just that with the limited number of games your parents would buy for you. It's the best of both worlds... owning a ton of games yet playing them as if you only had 6
2. DISCOVERING NEW GEMS
Sometimes I get the infamous line "Why do you play such old games?" I always grin at that one. Even though I loved the Super NES and had one originally from '92-'98, there were STILL a ton of quality games I missed out on. Or, never really played. So, since I missed out on them, even if they're from 1993 or '94, they're still brand new experiences to me. These past 7 years I have experienced many SNES games for the FIRST time. For all intents and purposes, they are new games to me. And there's nothing like discovering new gems. Games that I never even knew existed back in the '90s... and was not exposed to until I did my own thorough research back in early 2006. One such example is the Super Famicom gem DoReMi Fantasy. It's an absolutely stellar action game released later in the system's lifespan, and undoubtedly is one of the finer action titles on the SNES. Seeing a few screenshots on the net, getting super excited, finding it on eBay, and then playing it, only to discover that it's one of the best around is the greatest feeling. Feeling a little burnt? Discovering a new gem to sink your teeth in usually does the trick every single time
Discovering gems ya never knew existed 20 years ago is SWEET
Terranigma is another excellent gem that I only discovered in my second SNES go-round. It is one of my absolute favorites and one of the best titles on the entire Super NES, period. Discovering and then beating games like this go a looong way in keeping one's flame lit
Playing and beating epochal games like Terranigma never hurts!
3. REDISCOVERING / REPLAYING OLD CHILDHOOD FAVORITES
Nostalgia. Memories of a less hectic time, of a more innocent time. There were a handful of SNES games that I CHERISHED for one reason or another as a child, and over the past 7 years being able to go through them again has been an absolute joy and pleasure. Some don't age as well as you would like, while others are just as you remembered them being. My bro and I used to play The Combatribes a ton back in 1993. When we played through it more than a decade later, it was a very surreal feeling. I felt like we had turned back the hands of time, and that we were kids all over again. The SNES gave me so many great memories, and whenever I play ANY one of my childhood faves, I can't help but get that "feel good" feeling of a time where junk emails didn't exist and life was only as complicated as the current video game you were playing ^_^ Swinging mad clowns 'round by their heels was just too much fun
4. QUELLING FIFTEEN TO TWENTY YEAR CURIOSITIES
There were so many games I missed out on back in the day that I had wanted to play, but never did. Alas, my Super NES resurrection allowed me a second chance at gaming redemption. Being able to now afford all the games I ever wanted, AND having the mindset of conquering them one by one, was, in many ways, liberating. There were just so many games I never got around to playing, whether you're talking about the "AAA" classics or those under the radar titles that you saw previewed in EGM or GameFan Magazine. It's like going back in time to right 15 to 20 year wrongs, except you're now an adult and have a different level of appreciation for all these retro games you could only dream of owning and playing at any time you wanted back in the day
Remember being intrigued by all those little lesser known games highlighted in magazines way back when, and then wondering for years on end how they play? Then being able to cross them one by one off your "I've been so curious about this one for X years now!" list. The BEST part about all this is when you play a game in which you absolutely fall in love with. It all helps to keep the fire burning, and that's no bull
It doesn't get any better when a game proves to be worth the wait
5. LAUNCHING RVGFANATIC + ADDING TO IT OVER TIME
For as long as I can remember, I love sharing my opinions with others. Even when I was in the 5th grade I recall how much I loved writing book reviews for the various R.L. STINE Goosebumps entries, and posting it up in the room for all my classmates to read. One of my deepest regrets with my 1999-2005 Sega Saturn run was how much I failed to document that whole experience. When I got back into the SNES, I knew I was going to take care of some things differently, like beating the games and documenting my journey someway, somehow. I never dreamed I would ever have my very own site one day, but sure enough, on January 7, 2007, a far-fetched fantasy suddenly became a reality when RVGFANATIC hit the vastness of cyber space. I still remember that day and recall it with great fondness. RVG aimed to be a one man project, an ambitious long term project, that would chronicle my gaming thoughts and my Super Nintendo experience. Whenever a new gaming fansite pops up, it's not uncommon to see it either losing steam over time... or flat out fall off the face of cyber space. Whether the webmaster burns out, loses interest, gets caught up in life's craziness or whatever, it happens far more often than not. Somehow, I've managed to buck the trend... and six years later... I am still alive and kicking. My passion now is as strong as it ever has been. It's crazy. The SNES is the system that just keeps on giving, and always gets me to come back. Expanding RVG the past 6 years has been a blast!
It was on a dark cold Sunday night of January 7, 2007, that I launched RVGFANATIC into the vast wilderness of cyberspace. To be perfectly honest with you I remember it like it happened yesterday. The first day saw no actual content, but rather, a note to introduce the reader. Then the next day I submitted my very first site piece with Godzilla: Kaijuu Daikessen. After I clicked GO!, my dad called and asked if I could drive him down to the auto repair shop to pick up his car. There was a light rain that Monday night as I recall the vigor of knowing that somewhere, someone... was viewing my content and among the first visitors to do so. It was quite a high for me knowing that as I drove my dad on that wet drizzling freeway. It is a moment in time that I remember fondly to this day, six years later. There was an exciting feeling in the air. Finally, I had started my own website, to air whatever business I deem worthy, to have to wait for nobody, to be my own boss, share my own (sometimes twisted) thoughts and run things as I see fit... it may indeed be 6 years now, but part of me still feels like it was only yesterday. More than halfway to the magical 10 year mark, whoa!
6. HAVING EPIC MULTI-PLAYER SESSIONS WITH LOVED ONES
The year: 2010. Saturday, December 25. Christmas afternoon. Uncle Ben, his wife, Karen and Liz were staying at their 2nd home and invited all of the family to head over for a good ol' Christmas NIGHT BASH. Normally I take the Sega Saturn with me, but this time, I knew it had to be the 16-bit Super Nintendo instead. So, for the first time in nearly five years, since I planted my SNES, I had to remove it from its dwelling spot. You can see what nearly five years did to the carpet there. Just a little love mark. Eagle-eyed readers can see that the Saturn is a bit dusty there too, heh. It's been a while since I touched it. I almost brought the Saturn and Saturn Bomberman instead out of habit and I didn't want to take my 'precious' SNES, but I knew I couldn't pass up this rosy opportunity to show my cousins a snapshot of the good old days where we were all younger and more innocent. It was a decision that absolutely proved to be one hundred percent AWESOME :)
Ah, the advantages of having a PowerPak and not having to haul 20, 25 games with ya. I found a box that fitted all of this perfectly. A snug fit ^_^
The PowerPak turned out to be the MVP of the trip!
After greeting one another and having dinner later that night as a family, Karen, Liz, David, Mia and I retreated to the living room. Karen had texted me earlier that day "PLEASE COME NOW! We are in desperate need of entertainment." So I busted out my ole Super Nintendo, and upon doing so, Karen nearly had a heart attack. "OH MY GOD, I haven't seen one of these in decades!" We set it up and then I put in the PowerPak. She was stunned by this amazing device. I let her browse the endless list of games and her eyes popped when she saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time. "I remember playing this back in the day!" Karen shouted, turning back into a six year old kid before my very eyes. "WE GOTTA PLAY THIS!" she continued. So Karen and David started out on the first level. It was my first time seeing the game LIVE since the early '90s. Although I traded for it back in 2006, I never got around to play it. It was a sight all right! Karen, David and I were oooh-ing and awe-ing it like we were back at the arcades in the early '90s! Liz and Mia, being young teenagers and Wii fanatics, didn't get "IT" so they didn't care to join in. But Karen, David and I were having a blast. It wasn't just the Ninja Turtles here who went back in time, it was also US
The 3 of us rotated turns playing the two-player mode (shame they couldn't pull off a four-player mode). Each new stage brought about random "Oooh I remember this!" comments and the like. When we made our way to the sewer stage, with the gigantic yellow Pizza Monsters leaping out at us, Karen made the comment "WOW I TOTALLY REMEMBER THOSE PIZZA MONSTERS FROM THE CARTOON SHOW!" We made it to Super Shredder, but soon fell at his evil and foul hands
It felt like we'd gone back in time to 1992!
After Turtles in Time, we switched over to Super Bomberman 2. It was Karen vs. David vs. me vs. computer. We played each stage and had a riot bombing one another. It brought back so many rich memories of the early-mid '90s when my old gaming circle would spend countless Saturday nights dunkin' on each other (NBA Jam TE) and blowing each other up (Super Bomberman 1 / 2). We even played a bit of the team mode. Time flew. In the end, we played the SNES from 6:45 to 9:20 PM. We spent the next two hours just talking like how they used to in the good ol' days. All in all, it was one of those unforgettable gaming sessions. Even to this day, both David and I recall it fondly Karen, David and I had a blast that night :)
More recently, New Year's Eve 2012. Once again the SNES PowerPak proved its worth, when I took it to my cousin's house and we spent the night playing 4-player BS Out of Bounds Golf and 5-player Super Bomberman 5. It was my first time playing BS Golf with 3 people, as well as playing with 4 friends for Super Bomberman 5. It was awesome. Nothing screams quality family time quite like blowing up your brother, or knocking your cousin's ball out of bounds. Both games were EXTREMELY competitive. Epic gaming sessions like these stay with you for the long haul... and they only help to remind you of why you love games so much. I have had some wonderful single player experiences throughout all my 7 years, but there's just something about a 4 or 5-player party session that can't be beat
Online play just can't match the intensity and fun of the real thing
7. COMPLETING THE COLLECTION AND BEING TRULY CONTENT
7 years ago today it was one impulsive buy on eBay, for an old SNES game my bro and I had rented way back in the day. Not only that, but it was our first import rental ever, and that's just one of those memories you never ever forget, especially as a nine-year-old kid. It was a cold Tuesday night I fondly recall 7 years ago when I typed in SNES on eBay for the hell of it. Saw the game ending in just 38 seconds and nostalgia overtook me officially. I won the auction and was, more than 10 years later, back into the Super NES scene. From that very first purchase 7 years ago, I've made a massive list of wants, and one by one, or in some cases, ten by ten, crossed every single last want off the list. That is such an INCREDIBLE feeling to see your want list dwindling, and your game library grow by the day, literally. It was a hell of a time, was early 2006 Having every SNES game you ever wanted as a kid sure is sweet!
I didn't have too long to just sit there and get all mushy. Clicking on the seller's other items, I also bidded on and won Prehistorik Man, Ignition Factor and Fatal Fury Special all within the next ten minutes. Now I was really shaking and had ample time to get mushy! I went from zero SNES games one minute, to now having four of them within the next ten. Furthermore, I had *always* wanted to play Prehistorik Man back in the '90s, but never got around to doing so. I was a huge fan of SNES Fatal Fury 2, and so I was also always curious about how Fatal Fury Special played. Ignition Factor I had never much noticed back then, but it looked cool enough for me to buy. The next day, I bought childhood favorite Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball, Mega Man X, Plok!, NHL '98 and Sky Blazer. Not one to stop there, two days later was back at it again when I purchased NBA Give 'N Go, Super Turrican, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Super Tennis and Kirby's Avalanche. It was all a mix of childhood favorites, games I missed out on, or games I always was curious about but never got to play. It was an exciting time with SO MANY wants, left-and-right buying and building up my brand new Super NES library. But wait a second here... there was one SLIGHT problem you see... I didn't buy the system itself yet! Immediately following my purchase of Kirby's Avalanche, I found a friend* online who sold me the system with one controller and all hook-up's for $39. He also had over 20 (!!) games I was interested in, so it became a bulk buy of epic proportions. The final damage was $192 paypal, and YOU DAMN RIGHT it was worth every last dime ^_^ *More on said friend a bit later below
Look at my madness!
I started buying SNES games January 17, 2006 and by late February, I was nearing 200?!?!
By the way, YES that's February 2006, the SAME year (i.e. about 40 days it took for me to acquire nearly 200 titles!)
Oh jeez =P
I ended up buying exactly 400 SNES games in a little over six months. Of course I'd buy a bit more over the years but the bulk of my want list was taken care of in just six months!
I was a machine, and nothing was gonna stop me from absolute gaming redemption and a chance to go out on a high note... my final gaming hurrah. Of course, 7 years later and the beat goes on... damn
For supposedly a final gaming hurrah, it sure is lasting me long!
Mike over from Collectors Cards and Games was the good bloke who sold me my Super NES package 7 years ago. Along with it I bought over 20 games for a grand total of $192. I've never felt so happy to fork over $192 in my life before. Over the years I bought a ton from Mike, including manuals and boxes. For a long time that site was my'secret' go-to 1-stop shop. Check it out and trust me when I say... Mike is as top-notch as they come. My collection would not be what it is without his help A special shout out to Mike. You're a good man, brother. Thanks
Another friend of mine was Japan Game Stock. It was in early September 2006 when I first discovered this site and bought a shitload of Super Famicom games, including King of Demons for just $13.51 (I dare you to look up its going rate these days...). I've bought so much from JGS it's not even funny. Buying all these games for cheap helped fuel the fire for starting my"Obscure Super Famicom game impressions" thread back in late 2006, which as you may well know, eventually morphed into the website you now browse. A lot of the SFC games I purchased from JGS were also Japanese exclusives, so it was like discovering the 'Super Nintendo 2' if you will. It was a blast playing all those games, taking a crap load of pics and sharing them with the retro gaming community. At the time, not many people knew much about these games, and while I certainly wasn't the first person to talk about some of them, many people told me that my thread opened up a lot of eyes. Some even called me a Super Famicom guru. Others erected statues of me in their living room [He only wishes that were true, the git -Ed.]... I just call it being at the right place at the right time with a love for the obscure. Before everyone and their bro had a youtube channel or blog focusing on "unknown" SNES titles, I had already covered it[Real humble, this one -Ed.]
Also that year I randomly bought a lot of Super NES manuals off eBay. When I got back into all things SNES, I did not care to have the fragile boxes or manuals, except for RPG manuals (for quite obvious reasons). However, I then bought a few CIB games here and there when the price was irresistible, and eventually, the "complete bug fever" hit me. Buying this massive lot of SNES manuals was a good start, and it started a monster... You know what they say: a long journey begins with a single step
In mid 2007, I struck gold when I met a gal off eBay from Minnesota named Jenn. She had well over 150 SNES boxes and manuals. She sold them to me for relatively cheap, especially compared to prices today. We had multiple transactions that year. She easily helped me completed at least 200 Super Nintendo boxes and manuals. Getting half my collection completed by the end of 2007 let me know my CIB dream was quickly becoming a reality
Once in a lifetime you run into an angel like Jenn from Minnesota
Sometimes in life things just work out in your favor. Somehow, I have always seemed to be at the right place at the right time. This whole SNES rebirth thing was for real: it was a chance to do things right, and now things were just clicking and unfolding like a magical fairy tale. All of it helped to play a role in keeping my fire burning. It was like it was all meant to be... as corny as that sounds. I've met so many saints and have scored so many great deals the last 7 years that it's crazy. Jenn single-handedly helped me to complete half my SNES collection, and all of her boxes were pretty much in near mint condition. It was just too good to be true. It would only be a matter of time before I box every single last SNES game in my library. Life truly is all about timing, and luck
Dunno where you are today... Jenn... but thank you for everything
2008 came, and while I was largely done buying games, I was still looking out for my remaining 200 box and manual wants. I browsed eBay every week, and sellers I bought from I would ask 'em if they had more. And sometimes we agreed to deals off eBay. Here's a couple I bought 3 boxes from initially, before buying 23 more 'under the table,' so to speak *wink*
Everytime I made a purchase, not only did I log it, but I also crossed it off my want list in an email draft I had stored. Nothing is satisfying quite like crossing off a bunch of titles at once, and seeing your want list dwindle by the dozens. I also set spending limits on myself, and waited for bargains, of which many I scored. It's not just about getting what you want, but how you get it as well that counts most
Anyone can buy, but I was lucky enough to buy 'em on MY terms
I bought a small handful more from 2009 to 2011. Finally, it came down to one last want: the bloody rare 3 Ninjas Kick Back manual and box. For over 5 years I'd searched, and maybe only 3 times did it pop up on eBay, and each time, my max bid was not sufficient enough. If you didn't know, believe it or not, the manual and box for 3 Ninjas Kick Back fetches anywhere from $900 to $1500. I know, insane, right. There are many collectors gunning for the 3NKB manual and box, but only so few out there that whenever one does pop up (maybe once a year or every other), the bidding is fierce and intense. Fortunately, I was able to BIN (Buy It Now) just the manual in late 2011. Sometimes, as I've found out over the years, it's just easier piecing a CIB together. So now I only had the box to buy. Mike knew of my hunt (from Collectors Cards and Games) and he said he'd keep an eye out. So many years later he still remembers me... that's how much I've bought from him over the years. I finally found the 3NKB box in early 2012. I sold off a bunch of doubles to amass enough Paypal balance to pay for it. I just love it when you buy something with money "not from your pocket directly." When the box finally came, I nearly shed a tear. 6 years it took, and now I was finally completely finished... free to retire a happy gamer :)
Having a complete boxed collection of all the SNES games I ever wanted, and being able to play them whenever I want... has unquestionably kept my passion burning all these years. I feel like I've come full circle in many ways, and that I have fulfilled my childhood dreams. If you had told me 20 years ago when I was a kid in 1993 that 20 years later I would somehow own more than 400 boxed SNES games I never would have believed you. What can I say, the SNES makes me feel like a kid all over again. And having the amazing luxury of playing any game you want, at any time, and seeing shelves full of SNES goodness like how you did back in the day at a gaming store, not having to worry about buying another game ever, being completely out of the rat race so to speak... all this has definitely helped kept the fire burning. It's just having great peace of mind, owning every last game you ever desired to have in the library, and knowing that you're playing through them one at a time, totally squeezing the SNES for all it's worth. I can't tell ya in words how incredibly satisfying that is. I keep it real simple, and thus, my love for SNES goes on ^_^
I'd be remiss if I didn't highlight my magazine scores from 2006. EGM was the shit back in the day. My bro and I had a subscription in 1994, and I had to get my hands on the old issues somehow. On March 19, 2006 I made a 40 minute trek to an e-pal's place to buy most of the early-mid '90s issues. I also bought all the early GameFan issues... fully rounding out my childhood retro gaming publications. Revisiting those issues has been one HELL of a stroll down memory lane Going through these issues is like going back to your childhood!
And then, we have the epochal UK publication Super Play Magazine. Often referred to by fans as sort of the 'Super NES Bible,' this 47-issue run is a must-have for any and all diehard Super Nintendo collectors. I was fortunate enough to win all of them for a good deal (albeit with great drama, which makes for a great story though) and no longer having to worry about finding a set, not being outbidded, etc. Back in 2006, this British publication wasn't too well known outside of the UK, but today, it's much more recognized and sought after. Once again, life is all about being at the right place at the right time. I love reading through these issues and one of my absolute favorite things to do is playing through a game, and then flipping back through my various SNES-related magazines to see what others had to say about the game I just played. It has all been part of the fun these past 7 years, and no doubt why the fire continues to burn. My collection is complete. I have great peace of mind. And most of it, mind, was completed in one year. 2007-2012 I acquired bits and pieces more, but the bulk of the damage was taken care of before RVGFANATIC opened on 1.7.07. Having peace and feeling like you're doing things the right way keeps the fire burning :)
January 17, 2006... marks 7 years since I came back home to the SNES. It was the best gaming decision I ever made. I've had some of the greatest times with video games these past 7 years. The Super Nintendo has always been in my life in some way. First when I was a kid, and now as I'm an adult navigating through life's good and bad times. 7 years later the fire still burns. It's all thanks to a focus on conquering the games, discovering new gems, replaying childhood favorites, quelling 15 to 20 year curiosities, documenting my journey on this site, having some epic multi-player gaming sessions, and completing the collection and being at peace. I've played so many quality SNES games the last 7 years, and I still have a truck load to go through. My to-play list is decreasing by the months, not increasing, and it's all helped to fuel the fire. I feel like I'm fulfilling my childhood dreams, and completely maxing out the Super Nintendo for all it's worth. It has been incredibly satisfying, and I look forward to the next 7 years. Regardless of which direction life will take me in going forward, it's safe to say I'll always carry a special bond with this system, and somehow, the fire will always burn in the backdrop of my life
HOLD THE CHEESE! A special 8th reason on what keeps me going: your feedback! Seriously, I always enjoy a well thought out email or shout out in my Guestbook. Whether you have praise, questions or rants, it's fun to read 'em all. To close out, I'll share a personal email an avid reader of mine sent not too long ago. It was rather touching, I must say. Thank you Jon... I appreciate it! It never ceases to amaze me whenever I read about other SNES gamers who also grew up during the early-mid '90s having very similar experiences as to mine. Even though they are my personal stories, many of you have been able to relate to 'em as well. It was no doubt a very special time!
Hi Steve, Stumbled across your site thanks to a strange detour thrown at my feet while I was checking up on the Saturn (a console I never owned but want to know more about) and found myself reading and reading. It's rare these days, when everyone and their dog has a website (often about their dog) that you find someone who captures your imagination so vividly. I can't explain it honestly. I find it odd that I'm writing this... but we share a love of the SNES and the long lasting summer evenings of childhood, something you describe so perfectly... and also Super Play... it was the only mag I ever bought every month. It looked like nothing else on the shelf and rewarded each and every read. The Japanese focus was so rare back then... and the oddities and the sense of humour still makes me laugh. Oh, and the [Oi! - Ed.] thing goes back a little further as many of the Editors and staff worked on the mags for the ZX Spectrum and other early 80s computers so the [ - Ed.] inserts are close to my heart and made me laugh when I saw them on your website.
There's no real point to the email other than to say thanks for writing. Something in your writing connected with me here in London and threw me back to my old childhood, rekindled my love of SNES and the obscure, and have propelled me onwards as I continue to check out the Saturn.
Now I've got many more pages of your site to read... I plan on going through them all as I never know what bizarre retro games I'll find, or what other long-forgotten nights from my childhood I'll remember.
Thanks, once again. ~Jon L.
Ah, what the hell. Here's a couple more... [So, how much did you pay all of them, HMMM? -Ed.]
Hi Steven, I'm an avid reader of your website. I can't wait to read your next update on RVGFanatic. I'm a huge fan of your personal essays and memoirs, as well as the reviews. You have no idea how many times I've read "How I Came to Love the Sega Saturn!" If I ever launch a website, I hope it is as emotionally evocative as yours!
Ok, I don't want to sound too much like a fan boy. I promise I won't annoy you with any more praise, haha. Thanks again for your time.
Sincerely, William D.
Wow man, been reading this site for a while now, and thought I would comment. The stuff you've written on here is simply a gold mine of awesome stories and nostalgic memories. I swear you could have been a friend or close relative of mine back in the day... some of these stories on here are literally pages right out of my childhood, from the renting stories, to stuff like replaying Contra with my uncle and brother time and time again, to loving shows like The Wonder Years, etc.
Incredible stuff. Also love all your "ramblings" as you call them. I just cannot get enough of this stuff, lol. Please, whatever you do, do not stop writing. I find myself coming back here time and time again to read through some of these articles and remember the good times. Keep up the amazing work! ~Rich
Hi Steve, Your reviews and articles are a joy to read. I appreciate the passion you put into your work; it never fails to strike a nostalgic chord with me. Better still, you have opened my eyes to a few games I ignored during my 16-bit youth, such as Brandish and Hook, which I now enjoy greatly.
Keep up the great work. I'm looking forward to the next installment in your review countdown. ~LisVender
Hey Steve, Just sitting here, reading your site, throwing a few back, and I figured to myself, "Hey, I might as well give Steve some love here." I'm sure you get a lot of praise, but I'm sure it never hurts to hear some more to let you know your hard work is not for nothing.
Steve, you kick ass. I love your site. So many fansites are advertised, and people say great things to just be nice, but I gotta say... RVGFANATIC is truly great. I find myself reading the reviews and articles over and over... it's just like a good book where I just keep reading it and re-reading it. It's written so well and very entertaining.
Keep up the awesome work! ~Mike
Hard to get the 7 year itch when you're playing with super power!