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.
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:
RELIVE | REMEMBER | REPLAY
Enjoy the site!
PS- If you would like to email me or send a PayPal donation:
RetroGamer7 at yahoo dot com
MY REVIEW SYSTEM AND PHILOSOPHY
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.
8.0 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.
8.5 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.
9.0 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.
9.5 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.
10 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.
I ALSO GRADE THESE CATEGORIES:
- 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.
CRITERIA FOR THE FINAL SCORE
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 RVGFanatic.com to RVGFanatic.com/WordPress?
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
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?
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??
- C’MON! Seriously now.
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!