Bonjour! Welcome to my humble and awesome little site. *wink* Yes indeed, you've hit up RVGFANATIC. I started this site on January 7, 2007, as a means to document my gaming thoughts, reviews, remembrances and random mad ramblings. The primary focus is on the SNES -- my favorite system of all time -- and a secondary focus is placed on my old lover, the SEGA Saturn. I also have blog-ish articles as well as episode recaps of such classic shows as Full House, Home Improvement, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Wonder Years and so on. Basically, you never know for sure what crap you might see on this website, but you can expect a lot of pictures, mucho rambling, and an off-beat style. I'm very proud of the content I have up. I'm not as well known as some of the big boys, but I didn't get into this for the glory. RVG's very basic: no ads, no flashing .gifs... just good old fashion passion from arecollective retro renegade "YES, I LIKE IT!"
Now then, a bit about me...
Born in the summer of 1983, I grew up loving games. Weaned on the 8-bit Nintendo, as I grew up, so too did video games. My brother and our friends, we moved onto the Genesis in '89, and later the Super Nintendo when it came out in late '91. Those were the days I tells ya. A time of sheer innocence, joy and wonder
In 1999, I bought a Sega Saturn. 2001 saw my "diehard" gaming phase, where I became hopelessly addicted to the Saturn. The honeymoon ran into late 2005. In January 2006 I re-discovered the Super Nintendo and today have the same kind of passion for it as I once did my Sega Saturn
I've been posting on various gaming boards since early 2001. I love sharing my impressions of obscure games as well as miscellaneous life stories. I'm a recollective retro renegade
And one day I decided... "Hell, I do need a site..."
Whether I'm rambling on about SNES, Saturn or whatever, 3 words best sum up RVGFANATIC:
RELIVE | REMEMBER | REPLAY
PS- My email is RetroGamer7 at yahoo dot com
You are also free to leave a comment in my Guestbook (or simply read what some other people have had to say about my efforts), or comment in "Journal" your thoughts on a particular review or article. Hell, you can even paypal me (same email addy) if you like... well, hey... I had to try, you see ;) Enjoy the site!
The original banner used from March 16 to July 6 (2007)
Ahhh, Banner #1, we hardly knew ya!
The main focus/drive/goal/mission -- whatever you want to call it -- is to create a site that SNES fans can look forward to
In general, a website unlike any other you could find -- it's a smorgasbord of SNES and SEGA Saturn curiosities as well as my personal life memories, game related and not. Most of all, I like to just have fun with the site, not take things TOO seriously, and I believe it offers a different and refreshing take in the cyberspace world of me-too homepages
But again, back to the MAIN goal; that is, crafting a site that aims to chronicle my SNES experiences and game thoughts. It's an attempt to commemorate the Super Nintendo in a way that no one has quite done before -- with all due respect to those who came before me
"I'm looking for a Saturn site with lots of good reviews"
"Dave Z's Sega-Saturn.com"
"And for Genesis?"
"Finally, what about the Super Nintendo?"
".... Uh... hmmm..."
When I created this site in January 2007, my vision was to change that, and it still is today
From 2001 to 2004 I was a huge fan of Dave Z's Sega-Saturn.com website. I wasted hours just browsing through the endless reviews. It surprised me how no one had really done something like this for the SNES yet. And no, I'm not taking anything away from the SNES-related sites already out there. But none are quite like the vision I have. The SNES really doesn't have a site devoted to reviewing the games A to Z... the classic to the cryptic... the best to the bad... and that's the primary goal of RVGFANATIC. Super Metroid to Rocky Rodent... Link to the Past to Pit Fighter (OK, maybe not that one...)
I want to recreate the magic Sega-Saturn.com had... but for the Super Nintendo. That, to put it in the simplest terms, is my mission with the site
And here's the new banner used from July 7, 2007-??
Probably.... FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES!
I always wanted to say that... sorry =p
2014 update: it's been changed! The banner seen here is now old
To the Q&A
How did this site come about?
I've always had a deep passion for sharing my thoughts on (obscure) games (and life) with people. I began posting feverishly March 2001. I knew very little about websites so the thought of having one simply never crossed my mind. From early 2001 to late 2006, I was content making topics on various gaming boards
Back in my Saturn heyday I had plans for a gigantic Saturn topic, a place where I'd post all my reviews and memories. I even had the title: "MEGA SEGA Saturn Thread." But by '05 I burned out and the topic never happened
In early 2006 I re-discovered the Super Nintendo, and on that very first day (1.17.06) had plans to eventually create a huge thread consisting of my reviews, thoughts and experiences. What I intended to do with Saturn, but never did
During August 2006 I realized the SNES topic project was way too ambitious for me at present time, but I felt a strong itch to write about SNES games in SOME capacity... get the ball rolling
Thus, my ObscureSuper Famicom Impressions thread was born (September 8, 2006). I figured it wouldn't run past Halloween, but I kept buying SFC games, and the topic ran into late late December. Throughout October and November I began to ponder tackling a site. Thanks in no small part to my gaming friends and peers who pushed me through:
"It would be a real shame if all this great information disappears into cyberspace obscurity, as well as all the cool pictures... you need your own site!"
And that's when the light bulb went on, really
I even received offers from site owners to HOST my material!
During November I talked with YAKUMO a lot. (Segagaga Domain owner). I began picking his brain. But my attitude was still "Eh, if it happens it happens, if not oh well"
Along came December. The Obscure SFC topic was still going, and there were so many more games to review. Not only was the topic getting way too big, I knew my peers were right. How great would it be to have the content I've worked so hard on -- be featured on a more compact basis? How cool (and convenient!) to have individual links taking the user wherever they wanted, without having to wait for hundreds of other game pictures to load?
PeteWhitley's inspirational reply at DigitPress on December 16th was the ice-breaker:
"Steven, this is soooo the best thread going on DP right now. In addition to continuing it, you should really compile everything you've got into a web page and concurrently add to this thread and that web page. You would have a pretty sweet document of some rarely played games right there, and it would be more permanent than just a thread on the DP boards. Just a thought, but in my opinion you have something way better than a thread going here"
At that point I went from so-so to determined
In late December I was hard at it. And on Sunday, January 7, 2007 -- the site launched. Better late than never!
RVG stands for?
Retro Video Game(s)
Where did the name "RVGFANATIC" stem from?
My buddy JVGFanatic might have suggested it a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I loved it almost instantaneously
Did you own a Super Nintendo back in the day?
Yes. My brother either bought it in late '91 or early '92. I can't remember exactly. I loved the system more than any other from about '91 til around '95 or so, when I started to fall out of gaming a little bit. We finally donated our SNES to our cousin circa '99
Do you REALLY own the games you review? Even the obscure SFC ones?
I get this one quite a bit. Yes I own them. I believe in the purity of owning the real physical thing. Having said that, those who simply emulate, I got no problem -- "your business is yours." Me, I gotta have the real thing, so yes, I own the games I review
Is it cool if I copy and paste your content?
As long as you credit me and provide a link to my website. Common courtesy that's all
And your pictures?
Credit me and my site again. I've gathered a lot of screen shots, and the ones with captions added INTO the picture especially -- they take time, thought and effort. Don't be passing them off as your own and it's all good
By the way, what inspired you to do the text embedded pics?
It hit me when I was making my 1st obscure SFC review for this site, Spider-Man Lethal Foes. I then used this text gig in my 2nd US SNES review Fievel Goes West. From there, it just kind of took on a life all its own. It's a unique and fun touch that I'm surprised no one has really done before. My more recent reviews may contain more than 50 (!!) text-embedded shots. No inspiration really. One day it just kind of hit me, to add text in the pictures
If this catches on -- say in the future you see text-embedded pictures on other sites up the wa-zoo, just remember who was there at the beginning! *wink*
Do you really write everything yourself?
YES! It's a one man operation, a one man demolition derby, a one man wrecking crew [Are you quite done yet? -Ed.]. I gather the screen shots, I play the games, I write the reviews, I proof read them... it's time consuming but I enjoy doing it
Wait a second! Who's this Ed guy then??
It's just a little thing I've picked up from reading Super Play. Ed. is short for Editor. It's actually all me. It's sad I know but I love the old gaming mags so much I try to replicate some of their feel in my work, and from the feedback I've received, many enjoy this throwback magazine style
Wait-a-sec... YOU'RE the ONLY one who works on this site?
'Tis true, 'tis true. RVG acts as my personal documentation of my SNES experiences, random life memories, and a secondary focus on the Sega Saturn. I'd ask for outside help, but I have lots I want to get to and prefer a consistent voice, so to speak (no pun intended!) I guess that's another thing that is very different about my site... it's a one man labor of love
What makes this site different from the zillion other game sites out there?
Take a look around. The content speaks for itself. Where else could you find reviews with 150 pictures, sometimes even well over 200? It might be overkill in some cases, but I'm a guy who loves to cross his T's and dot his I's. I rather have one picture too many than one picture too few. How many reviews only show 4 to 8 pictures, sometimes if that? My text-filled pictures are very unique too I feel. Who else does that? Also, I'm not really a technical review guy. I have numbers and ratings, but I don't dwell on explaining TOO much why I think Graphics are an 8 or whatever. That can get very dry. I concentrate on the EXPERIENCE of the game. I'm more of a "storyteller" reviewer than anything else. I think it's a breath of fresh air personally And RVGFANATIC is not just games. You'll also find a lot of random (retro) items... basically, since I'm the only one who works on this site I have no one to answer to but myself and my own imagination. It's become my own personal database of reviews and remembrances... everything from SNES and Saturn reviews to random stuff like an episode recap of Full House, Are You Afraid of the Dark and so on. I pride myself on creating content with an in-depth critical eye. You can expect long ramblings, a crapload of pictures and random weirdness from a guy that's anything but normal. Honestly, I can't think of another site that is similar to mine in terms of those parameters. It's really tough to make a "unique, quality" site in this day and age...
RVGFANATIC has turned into something beyond my wildest imagination. I'm very proud of it :)
You're really into the obscure stuff -- how did that come about?
It really started from my early days of gaming. Back in '92, when Street Fighter II was scorching the arcade scene, I was more than happy playing World Heroes with my friend while the SF II lines stretched to the back (See US VIDEO in Memories of Renting). Even back then, I always had an odd fascination-slash-admiration for the little guys... those barely marketed video games that never really had their moment in the spotlight, even when some were sorely deserving of such treatment. I've always enjoyed the oddball games, discovering hidden gems and all that good stuff. To me, there's nothing like it, and to be able to share it with the gaming masses and help to make that game less obscure -- that's a good deal
You seem to find so many obscure games. What's your method?
With the Saturn back in the day I was lucky enough to have bought this hard-to-find Winter '97 Catalog. Back then me and my brother were using an AOL connection, and he was online chatting with one of his girl friends. I remember the auction ending in four minutes or so, and knowing him, I could kiss this good-bye. Two minutes later, he walked into my room and said "PC's all yours." I couldn't believe it! What a stroke of luck. I sniped the guide and when it finally arrived, it was chockfull of pictures and (Japanese) information on ALL titles released on Saturn up til that point. It was here I discovered such obscurities like CROWS: THE BATTLE ACTION, SONIC COUNCIL, COIN PUZZLE MOUJIYA and countless others. Whichever games had interesting covers, I found out their names and then constantly searched for them online. In 2003 and 2004, I posted a barrage of reviews for these games. It was a blast. I'm digressing though...
Back to the matter at hand. It's simply a matter of "doing your homework." With the Saturn obscurities, many I bought without even seeing an in-game screen shot! I encountered plenty of duds along the way, for sure, but the odd gem here and there blew me away (the aforementioned CPM puzzler, KERIOTOSSE! etc.)
Now the Super Nintendo is much the same. Instead of having a handy guide like the Saturn one, I used old EGM issues to dig up info on obscure SFC games, of which they had plenty. I checked online for game titles and any title that struck my fancy, I looked for more info. If you're passionate about discovering obscure titles, you will
How many games do you own?
Way too many. I peaked at 350 or so with Saturn. Today I'm in the 180's. SNES/SFC... 600+
No way! Dude! Post pictures!
Eventually. It'll be a while though. I want to clean out some of my SNES titles and then once I have it all set up to my liking, you'll see a piece dedicated to such go up. 2014 update... now I sort of did... you can read/see my 600+ game SNES collection right here: The Lost Weekend
Can I contribute reviews?
Sorry, but at this time I have no plans to take contributions. In the future, I doubt it, too. If I ever do though, rest assured I'll let it be known. But as I said earlier I have lots I'd like to get to myself, and prefer this consistent tone throughout my site. In other words, it'll be just me. Sorry!
Some SFC reviews have ratings, others do not. Why is this?
I don't have a set method for the Obscure SFC stuff, as they are impressions. However, with the SNES reviews I do attach numerical values at the end of each review in traditional magazine style
I think you show too many shots of the SFC/SNES titles. Why spoil the game?
I love to show screen shots. I try not to show the last boss, much less the last level, but sometimes I do. There are no guarantees! It all depends on my mood the moment I'm capturing shots...
I completely understand that some gamers HATE to see later shots of a game they've yet to play. But if you're really curious about a game and don't want to have it potentially spoiled -- simply avoid the review until you play the game yourself. That's what I've always done, and still do to this day
Er, not a question but... your review style is quite amazing and refreshing
Thanks. Not meant to be interpreted as a slant on anybody, but I'm very proud of my reviews and how unique they are. Too many reviews are either lacking in thought, voice, content, etc. I like to think my reviews pay the ultimate respect to the video game and the people who made them, regardless of whether the game "sucks" or not
I know in my heart my reviews are distinct, one-of-a-kind and nobody else out there does it like I do. I take great pride in that. That's what sets me and my site from the rest. There's a different vibe you'll find with RVGFANATIC that you can't find anywhere else
My review style stresses that the viewer play through the game first, then come read the review to remember and reflect. I've got nothing against short reviews, but I have always had my own style, and take pride in the fact that I do things differently from the norm. Believe me, you won't find reviews like this anywhere else. If I dare say so myself, as humbly as I can, after browsing my reviews, the way you look at reviews from other sources from this day forward... [cue Y2J] may NEVER,EVVVVVEEER -- be the same... AGAIN![end Y2J]
That's a joke by the way.... well, sorta ;)
Speaking of such, how's your rating system work? I see gold cups too, explain?
This is a question that was actually emailed to me April '07 by a guy named Pat Chu. Pat, you read my mind. Yes, I plan to make a top list some time down the line. It probably won't be until a couple years from now, though, as I want to play every game. Only then could I properly craft a top list. I've always been a fan of Top lists. Just see Sega Saturn Magazine's Top 50 for proof. For me it'd be sort of the penultimate goal of RVGFANATIC. It'd mean I've come a long way with the site. We're probably looking at 2016, or maybe even 2017 with this project here. One way or another, the list will be up and running before all is said and done. '17 would be RVGFANATIC's big ten year anniversary. Hey, hmmm... that would be a hell of a way to celebrate 10 years, eh?
Do you play anything else other than Saturn/SNES?
Sure but I don't play much these days other than the SNES. I know I'm missing out on a lot of great games on other platforms, but you can't play 'em all. I find focusing on one system and squeezing as much as you can out of it to be very satisfying
What other systems do you own beside SNES and Saturn?
Just a GBA SP2 and Dreamcast. Brother owns a PS3 and XBOX 360
I'm thinking of buying the SNES or Saturn. Any tips?
Yes. Import. Import. Import! The Saturn US catalog is decent, the SNES great, but if you turn to the world of importing, it opens a new portal of gaming excellence. Also, be patient. Don't pay more than what you're willing, there are many good deals that slip by the cracks if you're patient
Try not to get TOO caught up in the buying game... enjoy what you have. It can be easy to burn out if you do. Finally, this might sound weird but I highly recommend keeping a gaming tab, or log. Any time you buy a game, write it down! Where you bought it, from whom, how much, time, date, any side stories you have... trust me, if you're like me and love that whole historical archive goodness stuff... keeping a gaming log is an excellent idea. See LOG IT! for more...
Speaking of burning out, have you ever?
Of course. It happens to everyone. The key is balancing a healthy lifestyle... always remember video games are for fun, when you take it for more than what it is, that's when you burn out
Ever thought of selling your entire SNES or Saturn collection away?
Not yet. Though to be honest, I once thought I'd never sell my Saturn collection. I could see that happening one day... but the SNES? Never say never, but I hope at least I will have 'exhausted' my library if the day ever comes where I end up selling it all
What's the most $$ you've spent on one game?
$98 Crows: The Battle Action (Sega Saturn) $90 Rendering Ranger: R2 (Super Famicom) *NEW RECORD HIGH* $100 Star Ocean (SNES repro US translation, purchased Jan. 2013)
Thanks for your time. Where can I email or paypal you again?
RetroGamer7 at yahoo dot com
Hey, I had to try one last time ;) Enjoy the site! :) -Steve