Prehistorik Man (SNES)

Clubs, chicks and cheeseburgers... it's everything a caveman could ever want
Clubs, chicks and cheeseburgers… it’s everything a caveman could ever want

Ever play an obscure-ish game for a little bit and walk away feeling like you had just unearthed a hidden gem? Then for whatever reason that game gets lost in the shuffle. You always mean to come back to it, but somehow you never do. Until you do. And you stick with it a little longer the second time around. Then it suddenly dawns on you that the game isn’t a hidden gem at all but rather, it’s a disappointing effort that could have been (really) good with a little more polish. But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s rewind a bit and start from the beginning.


I remember seeing this tantalizing SNES ad in an EGM issue of 1996. A part of me pined for that era of gaming again
Seeing this sexy ad in a ’96 EGM issue made me pine for that era of gaming again

The first game I bought to ignite my SNES resurgence (January 17, 2006) was Power Moves. And fittingly so, it was the first game I reviewed on exactly one year later (January 17, 2007). With this WordPress being sort of RVG’s second coming, it’d only be appropriate to kick off the SNES reviews here with the second SNES game I purchased just seconds right after winning Power Moves. The same seller was selling an obscure little platformer called Prehistorik Man. It was one of those games I remember seeing in EGM, being oddly curious about, but never played. By the time it came out (early ’96, although some reports cite mid ’95), gaming took a bit of a backseat in my life as middle school loomed front and center. So faced with the opportunity at gaming redemption, there was only one thing left to do. I began counting down the days until I could quell this childhood curiosity.

Power Moves first game. Prehistorik Man second game. Both initials PM. Oh, how I love random, useless coincidences
I got a kick out of the fact my first two SNES games had PM as their initials. Just a random, useless coincidence

One of my primary reasons for getting back into the SNES was my burning desire to play platformers. When I think SNES, “platformers galore” is one of  the first things that, er, jumps [Oh dear -Ed.] to mind. And if Power Moves represented another main factor for why I got back into all things Super Nintendo (i.e. nostalgia), then Prehistorik Man was a shining example of the other factor: a desire to play the games I missed out on back in the day. So it was fitting that these were the first two game purchases of my SNES resurrection. A game I have fond childhood memories of, and a game that more or less “got away” from me. It was the perfect blend of revisiting my past while rectifying the errors of my youth.


Firing up Prehistorik Man, the game opens up well enough. It blasted me with that unmistakably bright and bold mid-’90s SNES look. Like a Saturday morning cartoon bursting at the seams, I was instantly impressed and won over. I couldn’t wait to maneuver Sam around this colorful world of hop and bop bliss.

I felt instantly at home with these bright and beautiful visuals
Vintage mid-’90s SNES era visuals!

Sam’s club [I see what you did there -Ed.] strikes hard and fast. Bonus points for the swing radius as you can take out enemies coming from  even behind you. Barry Bonds has nothing on this caveman critter. Speak softly and carry a big stick Sam does. Except, he doesn’t… speak softly, that is.

In a pinch you can scream and kill all enemies!
Sam’s quite the screamer [I don’t judge. It is 2016 -Ed.]
It’s quite the useful tactic, you see. Especially when the enemies grow in strength and quantity. They come at you pretty fast and soon the club becomes less and less effective. Luckily, Sam’s super scream doesn’t take precious health points away, like it would in a beat ‘em up. Good thing this is a platformer then! Here you have a scream bar that gradually builds up each time you’ve used your super shout. It’s nice that Titus gave this to us as sort of a “free” special move if you will. You just got to be careful when and where you use it, though. There are times where spiders swing back and forth. And the only way to advance is to hop on them to catch a ride. Use the Starscream and you’ve killed your only ticket. But thankfully, Prehistorik Man does the whole Mega Man “move off screen and enemies will respawn” trick. Super useful. But, also, super annoying in any other area but. A classic tale of the ol’ double edged sword, no?

Shall we go clubbing tonight? Nah, I rather go bar HOPPING
Shall we go clubbing tonight? Nah, I rather go bar HOPPING

Titus had some neat tricks up their sleeves. In addition to clubbing enemies into oblivion, they also gave you the choice of the good ole hop and bop. Now, one hop can send Sam soaring into the air. This allows you, the cunning and skilled player, the opportunity to collect otherwise unreachable goodies for extra bonus points. Or, hop on an enemy a few times consecutively and you’ll kill them but ALSO earn bones. The bones collected will allow you to enter the shop scattered throughout the levels to buy clues, continues and more. So you can go for the straight clubbing kill, which requires little skill, or you can go for the more tricky multiple hop kill which rewards you with bones for the shop system they’ve set up (pardon the pun). This allows sort of a differentiated level of play for novices and experts, and is a pretty cool little system.


Buy a clue, Sam. No seriously, I mean it
Buy a clue, Titus. No seriously

Do you see that “save game” option above? You might have to squint and lean in real close, or simply zoom in if you’re browsing on your smart phone or tablet. For all the neat little things this game does, it botches it with some truly idiotic blunders. Take for example this whole “save game” BS. You pay your hard earned bones to save the game but guess what, as soon as you turn the system off, the save game is null and void. So what’s the whole point of this option at all? It makes no sense, and really puts a damper on the whole game. Worst of all, there is no password system. It sure could have used one being that it’s 23 levels long. Granted, the levels aren’t long, and some are incredibly short, but 23 is still a lot.


Thankfully, along comes one of my favorite cheat codes ever…

... the level select in long non-save/password platformers!
… the level select cheat!

So, in a weird way, that whole null and void thing on the save system is now null and void (again) thanks to this handy cheat. Damnit Titus, what the hell were you doing?! [That’s what Vince McMahon said… -Ed.]. At any rate, at least Titus made up for it with this cheat.

Kranky Kong would be proud
Cranky Kong would be proud

Sam isn’t alone in his quest. Along the way you’ll meet various NPCs that engage you in entertaining ways. I like the game’s sense of humor and the elder in particular is vintage “GIT OFF MAH LAWN!” material. Er, if cavemen had lawns. Ah you know what the hell I meant!


The hang glider is tricky to get, er, a hang of. Sorry...
The hang glider is tricky to get, er, a hang of. Sorry…

In addition to NPCs, Prehistorik Man attemtps to break up the mundane by incorporating various transportational devices. Quite frankly, they’re tough to master and have a somewhat steep learning curve. I consider myself to be a pretty decent platforming player, but these rides took me some time to figure out, and even then I felt like I was dying more than I should have. In other words, the control on these sections feel a bit finicky and feel like they could (and will) betray you at the drop of a hat. It’s too bad because I do like the idea of them, but they lack the polish of a primo platformer. Hence why I think for all the good this game does, it still ends up in the middle of the pack.

[I once brought a pogo to a togo party in the '90s. God has texting saved my life... -Ed.]
I wish I could forego the pogo
Titus didn't exactly reinvent the wheel here folks [Har har! -Ed.]
Titus didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here folks [Har har! -Ed.]
In addition to the various rides, Sam can pick up assorted weapons. Some of them even serve multiple purposes, which is something I always love and appreciate. Well, ALMOST always.

It looks simple enough here but don't be fooled...
It looks simple but don’t be fooled…

There’s one infuriatingly maddening level in this game (actually, there’s more than a few) that I have not been able to bypass sans cheat code. The spear seems like a cool weapon at first. Unfortunately, the execution is terrible. It cuts through multiple enemies in a single fling. COOL. It can also pierce itself into surfaces which allows you to jump to higher ground. Again, COOL. But at the end of this blasted level, you come to a humongous tree that requires you to throw a spear and jump on, rinse and repeat. I can do it about 4-5 times consecutively but I can never reach the top. Either the spear gives way or my button push to jump doesn’t register in time. It’s way harder than it needs to be. It was symbolic. I kept falling and each time it felt like Titus was laughing in my face. Just like how they added that stupid save system but when you turn the game off it no longer saves! Seriously, screw you, Titus. Bunch of gawd damn assholes!


Ah but then there are nice moments like this that scream mid '90s SNES and all those long, lazy weekends you played it with your bro and best bud!
Ah but then there are moments like this that scream mid ’90s SNES and all those long, lazy weekends of childhood bliss
Then there are breath takingly gorgeous levels like this that suck you right back in
Gorgeous levels like this suck you in
Whew, Sam just avoided becoming a SAMMICH [You're fired -Ed.]
Sam just avoided becoming a SAMMICH [You’re fired -Ed.]
Anytime a game gives me a Contra III first level flashback, it can't be ALL bad, right?!
Contra III flashback, anyone?
Or Gradius III for that matter
And Gradius III for that matter
More Contra III first level flashbacks! Damn I think I love you again, Prehistorik Man...
Nothing like a screen-filling boss!


WTF is this. What happened to the gorgeous visuals and atmosphere the game established early on?!
And then we get this lame level

Prehistorik Man is one of those games that wows you early on, but regresses as you progress. After the impressive multi-jointed dino boss, you enter “Slime World” (Todd’s rolling in his grave somewhere in 16-bit purgatory). These slime themed stages (whose only correlation to slime has to do with the few blobs that exist in these lame levels) are horribly designed and unappealing, both to look at and to play. There’s way too many blind jumps and too many instant death pits. Sure, you can move the camera around a bit like in Super Mario World, but SMW didn’t have the weird herky-jerky scrolling and slippery controls that plague Prehistorik Man. These aspects adversely affect the game.

Some of  the levels involve various fetch quests, rather than simply reaching the exit
Unfortunately the game breaks the 5th Commandment of platformers: Thou shall not possess herky-jerky scrolling

I do like the fact that some of the levels involve certain goals other than survive and advance to the exit at the far right. But when these goals include narrow ledges in far off places and sometimes require blind leaps of faith to find them… it becomes very annoying very fast. But just when you think the game becomes a bit too unbearable, we thankfully see a return of better stage design.

Use the drafts to propel you upwards. Windy Well from Donkey Kong Country 2, anyone?
Use the draft to propel you upwards. Windy Well from Donkey Kong Country 2, anyone?
Use the firefly and adjust the camera system to light your path
Use the firefly and adjust the camera system to light your path
An over abundance of fast food and death spikes. I see what you did there, Titus...
An over abundance of fast food and a death bed. I see what you did there, Titus…
Another nifty looking gigantic boss!
Love the boss designs. Hate the fights. Cheap hits galore and the health discrepancy is ridiculous!

It should be noted that the bosses in this game will give you nightmares. They are way too hard. Especially when you only have 3-5 hearts to work with while their energy bars stretch from California to New York. Add in the slightly too slippery control and you have a bad combo.

The bosses in this game are as deadly as they are cool. They're way overpowered....
Ever heard of a Tic Tac before?
I love the sense of black humor here
Some nice black humor here
Whoa mama, SNES transparencies!
16-bit transparencies, baby!
Love the look and design of these underground caverns
Love the look and design of these underground caverns
Another cool feature is the ability to collect hearts from slain enemies. Collect four mini hearts and you get one heart refill
Another cool feature is the ability to collect mini hearts from slain enemies who have damaged you. Collect four and you get back one big heart refill
Me HATE water
Now we know why cavemen stunk
Me REALLY hate water
Shades of Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
Some of the levels are really a sight to behold. Shame the playability isn't quite up to par
Some levels really are a sight to behold. Shame the playability isn’t quite up to par
The last stage is crazy difficult, with ghosts that you seemingly can't avoid taking cheap damage from...
The last stage is crazy difficult, with ghosts that you seemingly can’t avoid


GameFan adored and applauded it, giving it high marks of 87, 90 and 94
GameFan adored and applauded it, giving it high marks of 87, 90 and 94
Super Play as usual was a little more reserved in singing a game's praises unless it truly deserved it
Super Play as usual was a little more reserved in singing a game’s praises unless it truly deserved it

EGM rated it 9.0, 9.0, 9.0 and 8.5. It did well with the critics in North America, anyhow. Good old Super Play though, like the tough loving father that they were, didn’t quite agree with our friends at EGM and GameFan. They gave the game a 76%. Initially, when I first played Prehistorik Man in early 2006, I fell in love with it after 15 minutes and thought of it as an “8.5” game. I recently sat down with it 10 years later to finally THOROUGHLY play it. The more I played it, the more disappointed I became. It’s certainly not a BAD game by any stretch. But it’s a prime example of a game that sort of wows you early on, but can’t maintain or build on the early momentum of the game. Few things are more disappointing in a video game than that. Still, there’s some value to be had here. On a side note, as of this writing it doesn’t seem to go for very much. It’s not very common as it came out later in the system’s lifespan. If you consider yourself a fan of the genre then I recommend picking up a copy now while you still can for $20. It wouldn’t shock me one iota if this commands $50+ one day soon.


Not quite the smashin' hit I had hoped it would be, but you can't win 'em all I guess...
Not quite the smashin’ hit I had hoped it would be, but you can’t win ‘em all I guess…

With a little more polish, Prehistorik Man could have very well been a hidden gem. I used to think it was until I sat down to play it longer than 15 minutes. For the past decade I kept wondering why no one ever mentions it in “SNES hidden gem” threads. Now I know why. It’s one of those games that upon initial play tricks you into believing it’s better than it is, but press on and the flaws soon become readily apparent. The game has amazing visuals. Well, for the most part at least. I’m not crazy about those bland looking “slime” stages. But the other stages are vintage SNES era stuff. The sound effects can be annoying, particularly the grunts. And the music is very forgettable. So much so that the GameFan review (see above) went out of its way to mention it. And as you may know, GameFan rarely complained about music as they tended to overhype EVERYTHING. So it just goes to show you how forgettable the music in this game is. The gameplay is hit and miss which leads to a very uneven playing experience. Sometimes it will delight while more times it’s likely to infuriate. There’s enough good to make it worth your while but it’s also plagued by enough bad that only fans of the genre should seek it out.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 6
Longevity: 5

Overall: 6.0

Wait, 27 levels?! More like 23
Wait, 27 levels?! Try 23. So unprofessional [Now you know why Vince suspended Titus -Ed.]

10 Year Anniversaries!


10 years ago today I got back into all things Super Nintendo. It blows my mind that 10 years has flown by so fast. 10 years later I still love the SNES as much as I did the day I got back into it. I became an instant SNES fan the moment I first played it on a cold, dreary December morning of 1991. I stuck with it through 1996 before I fell out of gaming leading up to the millennium. I became a diehard Saturn fanatic in the early to mid 2000s. So, what jumpstarted my SNES resurgence? An old friend called “the platformer.”


December 2005. I was a senior in college. My University winter break ran for 6 glorious weeks. We were off from mid December to late January. I tell ya, there’s something about those cold 6 weeks that does things to a man. The year prior I spotted a Super Nintendo at a Game Crazy and a wave of nostalgic 16-bit gaming memories washed over me like crazy. I ended up not buying it but that proverbial seed was planted. That nugget of a “what if” moment would go on to linger inside of me for the next 365 days.


Fast forward back to December 2005. My cousins came over and we played some Saturn Bomberman. It was a blast, pardon the pun. But when they left I found myself craving to play a platformer. I pulled out my drawer of Saturn games to scan over, looking for just the perfect platformer to quench my thirst. What I found that fateful day shocked me, and saddened me to my very gaming core.

Where did all the platformers go?
Where did all the platformers go?

It hit me then and there that the Saturn, for such the 2D powerhouse that it was, lacked tremendously in this timeless genre of hop and bop. Sure, you had a few. Sonic Jam, Pandemonium, Clockwork Knight 2, Keio Yugekitai. But there wasn’t a whole lot beyond that. My heart sank. For the first time in over five years my flame for all things Sega Saturn began to fan out. Like when you find out your girlfriend cheats on you, there’s just no going back.


And that’s when I remembered my childhood crush. The one that got away. All those blissful, innocent and lazy Saturday afternoons going out to the local rental store with your old man, renting games and playing them with your brother and best friend. All those idyllic summers spent battling gigantic bosses in your best friend’s living room. All those epic sleepovers where you and your friends would game the night away. Fond memories and thoughts of the SNES consumed me. I suddenly remembered all the plethora of great platformers I had played for it more than a decade ago. I also remembered all the decent ones, which I wanted to revisit. Then there were many others that I never got around to rent, but was always curious about in some form or fashion. How great would it be to go back and right these childhood wrongs? I was 22 (cue the Taylor Swift “22” song, or not) and on the cusp of graduating but that day I found myself in a very reflective and nostalgic mood. It was a very unique period in my life. A time of looking forward while also looking back.


It started out as a regular Tuesday night in the old neighborhood. It was January 17, 2006. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary but this date would go down in gaming history for me. After dinner I had an overwhelming urge to type “SNES” into eBay. The very first item that came up was POWER MOVES, ending in 38 seconds. Power Moves is one of those games that hold a ton of nostalgic childhood value to me, despite being not a very good game (OK, it was pretty dang bad). It was the first IMPORT video game I ever rented (under the label of POWER ATHLETE) way back in late 1992. My friends and I enjoyed it for what it was for the weekend that we had it.

You never forget your first time. Especially the first time you rented your very first import. Thanks, GAME HUNTER.
Ya never ever forget your first time!

So yeah, it was a crazy moment of nostalgia overload. Before I knew it I inserted my maximum bid and the page refreshed.


I sat there for a second, admiring the moment and soaking it all in. For the first time in nearly 10 years, I had bought a Super Nintendo game. And that’s the story of how I got back into all things SNES.

The rest is history.

NOTE: The following was written on January 30, 2016.

Speaking of 10 year anniversaries, today marks another big moment. It was the day my SNES arrived. I remember this day with a real deep fondness. The SNES was on its way and already I had 51 games waiting to be played. The night before, January 29, 2006, I ordered the Royal Rumble pay-per-view and watched that with my cousin, David. I’ve always been a huge wrestling fan since I was a kid, and the Royal Rumble is one of my favorite events of the year.

30 wrestlers. Every man for himself. A chance to main event Wrestlemania. Awesome.
30 wrestlers. Every man for himself. Sounds like my classroom!

I recall starting a gaming journal on that Sunday. I had always wanted to do one with the Sega Saturn, but by the time I thought of starting one, it was far too late. It was nice that the SNES gave me a second chance to chronicle things properly.


The next day was one for the record books. It was a cold, rainy Monday afternoon. It was the first day of my Spring 2006 semester, the last one before I graduated. I heard a loud rumbling outside my window. Excitedly, I ran over to peer outside. With the heavy raindrops shattering against my window, looking not unlike melting silverware, I wiped the freezing glass pane to reveal a parked UPS truck. I watched intently as a man walked around back to haul out a gigantic box. I knew it had to be it. My baby was finally here!

Crazy reading this 10 years later! Time machine effect :)
Crazy reading this 10 years later! Time machine effect :)

I ran to open the door before he was even halfway there. I grabbed the box in haste; I couldn’t have rescued it from the downpour any sooner. I ripped the packaging open and sat there in sheer awe of what I saw. The SNES and a whole bunch of games rested inside in all its glory. I wanted nothing more than to play them then and there, but alas, I had an “advanced acting” class to attend at 1:30. But hey, I waited a decade for this moment. Or at least, a few weeks. Surely a few more hours wouldn’t hurt.

That night I had 51 SNES games from which to pick. Which one would I play first? I figured it was a no brainer. First import rental ever. And now it was the first SNES game I bought that kickstarted my SNES resurrection. It was only fitting. Sure, Power Moves was no masterpiece, but man, the nostalgia rush I had that night was incredible. And I knew the games and memories from that point on would only get better.

It took me right back to my living room circa late 1992!
It transported me back to 1992!

Welcome back home, indeed. And ever since then, even 10 years later, the SNES is still where I’m at. Here’s to 10 more glorious 16-bit years.

All About RVGFanatic

Bonjour! Welcome to my humble and awesome little site. *wink* Yes indeed, you’ve hit up RVGFANATIC. I started this site as a means to share my gaming reviews, remembrances and random mad ramblings. The primary focus is on the SNES, my favorite system of all time. I also write about non-SNES retro games when the mood strikes. In addition, you’ll find SNES articles, my ever popular “obscure” Super Famicom reviews, and miscellaneous non-gaming articles. This includes episode recaps of such classic shows as Full House, Home Improvement, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Wonder Years and so on. Expect tons of pictures, reminiscing and passion from a recollective retro renegade. I’m very proud of the content I’ve produced over the past 10+ years, and I thank you for joining me on this nostalgic trip down memory lane.

The current banner from 2014-present
RVG’s current banner (2014-present)

Now then, a quick 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 moved on to the Genesis in ’89, and later the Super Nintendo when it came out in late ’91. I bought a Sega Saturn in 1999 and by 2001 became a huge fan. The honeymoon ran into late 2005. In January 2006 I rediscovered the Super Nintendo and have been rocking with the SNES ever since.

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. Whether I’m rambling on about the Super Nintendo, the Sega Saturn or something else, three words best sum up RVGFanatic:


Enjoy the site!

PS- If you would like to email me or send a PayPal donation:

RetroGamer7 at yahoo dot com


You're too kind, Yoshi [Yeah, WAY too kind -Ed.]
You’re too kind, Yoshi! [Yeah, WAY too kind… -Ed.]
I absolutely love EGM’s old format: if a game averaged a score of 8 then it received the Silver Award. 9 average earned the Gold and straight 10s would earn the rare Platinum Award.

I’m using the same format, except this is a one man operation rather than four (or five in some cases). Also, I’m adding the bronze award for any game that scores a 7.5 rating.

I rate games 1-10, with .5 increments.

Like EGM, a 6/10 score is NOT a 60% grade, or a D. 6/10 isn’t a bad score, per se. It’s just a slightly above average game — one that only big fans of the genre are likely to somewhat enjoy.

  • 1 - DAFUQ
  • 2 – Horrible
  • 3 – Really bad
  • 4 – Below average
  • 5 – Ho-hum, average, mediocre
  • 6 – Somewhat decent, fair to middling
  • 7 – Certainly flawed but solid and worthy


7.5 Bronze Award — This game is flawed but does enough good things to be recognized with a single trophy. Not everyone is going to like it, but there’s something about this game that made me sit up and go, “Hey, this is pretty good.” The difference between a 7.0 and a 7.5 game? 7.5 games are titles you may have overlooked that I feel are worth a shot and thus, they receive the Bronze Award for that little bit of added recognition.

faqaward18.0 Silver Award — This game is not an exceptional example of its genre, but it’s fairly darn good in its own right. There is a fine line between a 7.5 and an 8.0 game. The 8.0 game is still flawed, but I consider these games to be “good” rather than “pretty good.” They may not be the cornerstones of the SNES library, but any collection would be lucky to have these titles to round things out.

faqaward28.5 Double Silver Award — This game isn’t just “pretty good.” It isn’t simply just “good.” It’s “very good.” However, there are enough blemishes to keep it from that magical 9+ territory. 8.5 games can be seen as unsung titles that fall just short of being a bonafide classic. Nonetheless, they’re highly respectable and if you like the genre, odds are you will like these games.

faqaward39.0 Gold Award — Now we’re talking! Any game that earns a 9.0 can be considered great and an exceptional example of its genre. They have a few small flaws that prevent them from entering that 9.5+ upper echelon of SNES landmark titles, but for the most part, these are legit classics more that deserve to be part of any SNES library.

faqaward49.5 Double Gold Award —  These epic games are near perfect examples of their genre. While not quite perfect — they have a flaw here and there — 9.5 games are bonafide SNES classics. These are some of the best games in the pantheon of SNES greats, and many if not all of these titles would make any top 20 list.

faqaward510 Platinum Award — Only awarded to a scant few, any game that earns a 10 is virtually flawless. These games are in a special class of their own and can be considered Mount Rushmore worthy material. These are the very best games available on the SNES and should be in any Super Nintendo collection. In my opinion there are only a select handful of titles worthy of this ultimate stamp of approval. As time goes on you’ll see which SNES games I deem to be the very best among their peers. If there was a Super Nintendo Hall of Fame, these games would not only be first ballot Hall of Famers, but they would deserve their own damn wing.


  • Graphics – How good the game looks, in relation to the time period the game was released and the genre of the game.
  • Sound - Quality of the game’s sound effects and music.
  • Gameplay – How well the game plays, in relation to the time it was released and its genre.
  • Longevity - Since RPGs generally lack in “replay value” I’m doing “longevity” instead — how long the game lasts me the first time, how often will I replay it, and is it a game I can see myself playing a year or 2, 5, even 10 years from now? It’s a combination of all those. To get a 10 in this category, all three points must be met.

Please take note of the I’s in the longevity category. I can’t speak on anyone’s behalf but my own. These scores (longevity and everything else) are my personal opinion — nothing more nothing less. Also note, longevity is the only rating which I base upon my feelings today. Graphics, sound and gameplay relate strictly to the time of the game’s release.


The overall score is NOT an average of the four scoring areas, but of course they factor in, with gameplay being the most vital. Simply put, the overall score is how much I like (or dislike) the game. Three other keys:

  • Year in which game was released

I’ll be more lenient if the game came out early. After all, it’s unfair to say Power Moves (January 1993) is not up to par with Killer Instinct (August 1995). I rate each game based on its peers upon release.

  • The genre itself

I have different expectations for each genre based on what I think is the best example of that genre on the Super Nintendo.

  • My own personal bias

I try to be as objective as I can, but my own bias comes into play when deciding the overall score. Gameplay is still the ruling factor, but I may bump a game up by .5 for various reasons.

In general, I’m a pretty easy grader. As long as the game is competent, enjoyable, and made me say, “Hey, that was pretty dope” – I’ll probably give it the Bronze Award at the very least. I don’t want to be GameFan-easy, though! However, I’m not Super Play-hard, either.

Finally, it should be noted, however obvious this may be, but all these ratings are strictly my opinion and I don’t expect everyone to agree with a game’s score all the time. Unlike a professional magazine that acts as though its score is the so-called definite score of a game, these ratings I have are merely that of my opinion and for, as the kids may say… kicks.


Now 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 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 2005 I burned out and the topic never happened.

In early 2006 I rediscovered the Super Nintendo and on that very first day I 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.

Around August 2006 I realized the SNES topic was way too ambitious for me at the present time, but I felt a strong itch to write about SNES games in some capacity. This gave birth to my Obscure Super Famicom Reviews thread (September 8, 2006). I figured it wouldn’t run past Halloween, but I kept buying Super Famicom games and the topic ran into December. I began to ponder tackling a site, thanks to the overwhelmingly positive feedback I received from readers of my obscure Super Famicom thread.

  • “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.

December 2006. The obscure Super Famicom topic was still going, and there were so many more games to review. The topic getting way too big and 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 waiting for hundreds of other game pictures to load?

PeteWhitley’s inspirational reply at DigitPress on December 16, 2006, was the breaking point:

  • “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!


  • Why the move from to

The old Website Builder I used for nearly a decade became obsolete in October 2015. I was crushed because I had built up my original site for nearly a decade and now I could no longer update it. The company I work with then set me up with this WordPress, which launched January 2016. Change was difficult at first but I’ve come to prefer this over the old Website Builder. It’s simply more efficient and admittedly, the old site was a bit archaic. For example, it takes one second to publish an update on WordPress. The Website Builder took a frigging hour! And sometimes it would crash during the publishing process but that’s a whole ‘notha story that never needs to be told :P

Sometimes change is inevitable and for the best. Definitely the case here!


  • RVG stands for?

Retro Video Game.


  • 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 bought it in late ’91 or early ’92. It was my favorite system back then and is currently my favorite system today.


  • Do you own the games you review?

Yes, I do, including the “obscure” Super Famicom games. I believe in the purity of owning the real physical thing. Having said that, I got no problem with those who simply emulate.


  • Is it cool if I copy and paste your content? Your pictures?

Just credit me and provide a link to my site for common courtesy.


  • What inspired you to do the text embedded pictures?
Text embedded shots was a staple of the old site
Text embedded shots were a staple of the old site

I have to credit Super Play Magazine. A lot of their pictures had text embedded and I guess on a subconscious level I fell in love with that style of presentation. The first review on my old site that I started this with was Spider-Man: Lethal Foes. Then I did the same gimmick for my second SNES review, An American Tale: Fievel Goes West. Then it just became something I enjoyed doing. However, now that we’re on this new more modern site, I’m retiring from the text embedding business. It just takes too much time and the cool thing about this WordPress is that it allows me to display PNG images. The old site only allowed JPG images, which are lower in quality.


  • 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.]


  • Wait a second! Who’s this Ed guy then??

[Eh? -Ed.]


  • C’MON! Seriously now.

[What? -Ed.]

OK seriously, 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 magazines so much that I try to replicate some of their feel in my work, and from the feedback I’ve received, many enjoy this throwback magazine style.


  • 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. Even back then, I always had an odd fascination and admiration for the little guys. I’ve always enjoyed the oddball games, discovering hidden gems and shining the spotlight on these games with the community.


  • How many games do you own?

Way too many. I peaked at 350 or so with Saturn. Today I’m in the 180’s. As for the SNES… 600+ counting the Super Famicom imports.


  • No way! Dude! Post pictures!

Check out My SNES Collection for more.


  • Sick collection! How much do you think you spent?

Timing is everything in life. I got back into the Super Nintendo on January 17, 2006. That was a different time. A lot of the collectors you see today were not buying SNES games by the truckload back in early 2006. The nostalgia bug bit me earlier than it did many others, so I was able to score some great deals. Most of these games cost me only $5-$10, with even the heavier hitters not going for more than $40. Today? Not so much. Also, I managed to score a lot of the boxes and manuals for dirt cheap because back in 2006, they weren’t in demand much. I really lucked out — timing is everything!


  • Some Super Famicom reviews have ratings, others don’t. Why?

I don’t have a set method for the obscure Super Famicom stuff. However, with the SNES reviews I attach numerical values at the end in traditional magazine style.


  • Any plans for a top list?

A reader by the name of Pat Chu asked me this back in April 2007. Pat, you read my mind. Yes, I plan to make a top list at some point. I want to play as many games as I can first before releasing such a list, though. Only then could I properly craft one. In the meantime, I released a top 50 obscure Super Famicom list as sort of an appetizer :)


  • Do you play anything else other than SNES and Saturn?

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 them all. I find focusing on one system and squeezing as much as you can out of it to be very satisfying. It’s what works for me. I always say, do what works best for you.


  • What other systems do you own beside SNES and Saturn?

NES, GBA, Dreamcast and Switch. I keep it super simple.


  • Where can I email you or send a PayPal donation for your hard work?

RetroGamer7 at yahoo dot com

Hey, I had to try one last time ;)
Enjoy the site! :)