EZ Racer's Blog

Posted on Mar 13th 2021 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under Game Cube, nintendo, mario, zelda, darkness, metroid, cube

The GameCube was Nintendo's first foray into a completely disc based technology, using mini discs. The system itself derives its name from its box like shape.

One area it stood out from its 6th generation counterparts was in its compatibility. Gameboy Advance's could be used on the system for enhanced features in some games, and the Gameboy player periphial allowed fans to play any type of Gameboy title on the console.

But with any console, it comes down to the games, and for this list six RFGen members voted on their favorites-

Disposed Hero

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games Nintendo GameCube Edition

Posted on Feb 13th 2021 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under top 20, nes, snes, genesis, pc, n64, playstation, nintendo, ps1, mario, zelda

So after taking much of 2020 to look at some of the best games for several different home console systems of the 70's, 80's, and 90's, it only seemed natural to kick off 2021 with a list of the best of the best.

The results are based off of 5 participants:

EZ Racer

Voters were encouraged to list all their best games if they couldn't get it cut to 20, and a few lists took advantage of that. Games from all systems released as 5th generation consoles (N64, Playstation 1, Sega Saturn) and prior were eligible. Japan exclusives were also eligible, along with PC titles released in 1999 or earlier.

In all, there were 89 games that were considered among the best of the early video game generations, and rather than list the also-rans separately, I thought it woulld be fun to list every game in order. My thought is that all these games are considered exceptional by at least one person, so if your looking for ideas for something to try, it might be for you as well.

Before getting to it, thanks to those who participated this month, and all who made lists in 2020. It's been a lot of fun, and look forward to a lot more in '21! If you're a GameCube fan, check out the link for the next list coming up- http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=19495.0

So here are your Top 20...er top 89 games as voted on by RFGen members!

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 plus? Games of the Early Years

Posted on Jan 12th 2021 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under coaster, roller coaster, tycoon, ps4, ps5, xbox, xbox one

Let me be up front to start- I know I'm the Top 20 guy, but admittedly the Christmas season got away from me, as well as a hectic start to the new year. If you're looking for a new top 20, then take a look at the newest thread for more info, should be a lot of fun. You can find that link here- http://www.rfgeneration.c...topic=19486.msg276303#new

But with not having a top 20 to post for January, I thought it would be fun to talk about my recent experience with Planet Coaster: Console Edition, released in November by Frontier Games.

Continue reading Planet Coaster: Worth the Wait

Posted on Dec 13th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under Top 20, snes, nes, ps1, mario, zelda, metroid, sega, nintendo, tg16, saturn, atari, gameboy, gba

As 2020 comes to a close, it's been an interesting and trying year for a lot of us. For me personally, I relocated in July and started a new job in August, and while the change afforded me the space to have a proper game room, since the new job started I rarely get to use it.

On top of that, COVID has turned the world upside down, and for most of us, our gaming hobby can be a welcome reprieve from all the stress the world finds itself in at the moment. When I started the top 20 lists at the beginning of the year, I couldn't have imagined all that would happen. January seems more like several years ago than several months ago. As the year inches closer to its end, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my own thoughts from compiling the lists.

In putting together the lists, I always wanted it to be more about everyone else's thoughts on the games and systems above my own. But I also thought it would be fun to share some thoughts about what I found surprising (and in other cases, expected) results as we head toward the new year.

Continue reading 20 thoughts on Top 20 in 2020

Posted on Nov 11th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under GBA, zelda, metroid, castlevania, advance wars, top 20, nintendo, game boy, advance

In October, we looked at the top games for the Game Boy Advance

The successor to the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, the Game Boy Advance, or GBA, could reasonably be described as a portable Super NES. In fact, several games originally released for the Super NES made their way to the GBA as portable re-releases. With several hundred games to choose from, it may be a slight surprise that out of six participants, only 59 different games received a rank.

The participants for this list:

EZ Racer
Disposed Hero

But while several games were on multiple lists, there was a lot more variety on exactly where they should fall. This also caused several logjams in the ranks. As you'll see below, there were several spots in which 1 or 2 points made the difference, especially in the mid-teens, where there was only a 4 point gap between 13th and 18th place. That's equivalent to the difference between a single 11th place vote versus a 9th place vote.

It's also apparent that strategy games and metroidvania games were prevalent on the system, as they took up 9 of the 20 spots. And for how many games received multiple votes, only two were on all six lists, not coincidentally falling into the #1 and #2 spots on the final list.

There were plenty of great games that fell just short of making the top 20, and you can find more about those games on the submissions page- http://www.rfgeneration.c...19437.msg274464#msg274464

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games Game Boy Advance Edition

Posted on Oct 14th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under Atari 2600, pitfall, Yars Revenge, retro, HERO, H.E.R.O.

As we inch closer to the end of 2020, it's time to take a look at one of the earliest mainstream home consoles.

Released in 1977, the Atari 2600 library featured hundreds of titles, both 1st party and 3rd party. But it was also notorius for it's lack of quality control, which contributed to the video game market crashing in the early 80's. That doesn't tell the whole story, as there were many fun and memorable experiences to be had on the system, with several games inspiring whole genres in future game generations.

So what were some of the best the system had to offer? We had six participants weigh in, with some very interesting results.



Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games Atari 2600 Edition

Posted on Sep 12th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under top 20, sega, saturn, turbografx, tg16, splatterhouse, guardian heroes

So it's time for September's list after a short hiatus in August, but instead of looking at just one system, we looked two systems that didn't quite reach the mainstream sales of their competitors, but had some excellent titles nonetheless.

The TurboGrafx 16 was ahead of its time with some of the innovations it brought to the gaming world, and several titles have become "cult classics" at the very least. Produced by NEC alongside Hudson Soft, it was marketed as a 16-bit console (though it was more of a hybrid between 8-bit and 16-bit technology) to compete with Sega's Genesis, and later Nintendo's Super NES.

The Saturn was Sega's fifth generation console, set to compete Sony's debut console, the Playstation, and eventually the Nintendo 64.

Continue reading RFGen's Top 20 Sega Saturn and Turbo Grafx 16 games

Posted on Aug 11th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under top 20, snes, nes, ps1, mario, zelda, metroid, sega, nintendo

Usually, this spot is a list of the best games on a particular system as voted on by the members of RFGen. It was a project I had hoped would get members of the site talking about their favorite games, and the support it has received has been everything I hoped for.

This month, because of some major personal changes in my life, I knew I wouldn't be able to put the proper time into compiling a list. So I thought it would be fun to reflect on the experience for me, as well as share the surprises that I encountered through making it so far.

The lists will continue next month as we look at Sega Saturn and TurboGrafx 16. Join us here: http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=19360.0

Participation has really influenced certain lists, causing major swings at the last moment. That became apparent with the first list, the NES, when the last member to submit a list put TMNT II at #1. Before that vote, the game was looking to destined for an honorable mention, but with the #1 vote it climbed all the way to #11. But that's been one of the awesome parts of doing these lists for me. With a few lists submitted, it seems like things are starting to fall into place, and a few times they have, but other times it seems like the list flips on itself. A fun example of this is Blast Corps place on the N64 list. After the first three lists were in, that was sitting at #1 overall. Obviously it didn't hold, but it did make it fascinating to watch its movement for the rest of that month. It also shows how important the votes are.

Continue reading Top 20 Takeaways

Posted on Jul 12th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under Playstation, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, RPG, Horror

The Playstation might not have the flagship franchises the way the Nintendo consoles do, but that doesn't mean it didn't have a vast library of excellent games, and that truly came through in the voting for this month's top 20.

While there were a few games that garnered near universal praise, among 9 participants there were over 100 games that received at least one vote.

Participants for this list:

EZ Racer
Disposed Hero

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games PS1 Edition

Posted on Jun 11th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under Game Boy, nintendo, mario, zelda, tetris, game, portable

While not the first portable gaming systems, Nintendo's Game Boy was one of the first to reach massive audiences. It's library consists of hundreds of games, many of which are quick, simplistic but fun experiences designed both around the system's limitations and its purpose of gaming on the go.

So it's interesting that for this Top 20, there were several games that came in as "must owns" as out of 7 voters, four games made every voter's list, and eight made at least five lists.

And yet, the final results also showed the variety of the Game Boy, as only 14 games were on three or more lists.

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games- Game Boy Edition

Posted on May 12th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under N64, N64, zelda, mario, rare, goldeneye, mario kart, pokemon, nintendo

Nintendo in 3D! Some games took advantage of the new graphic capabilities, many of which you'll find below. Like all systems, it had its clunkers (hello Superman), but it was interesting to put this list together because it was similar to the Super NES; at the top were some mainstays that received near universal praise.

Speaking of the top, the ranks definitely came into play, which you'll see when we hit the top 2...

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games- N64 Edition

Posted on Apr 12th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under genesis, sega, sonic, streets of rage, shining force, top 20

"Genesis Does what Nintendon't!"

But let's get more specific, what are the games that best show what the Genesis does?

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games- Sega Genesis Edition

Posted on Mar 12th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under SNES, games, zelda, mario, nintendo, rpg

The Super Nintendo had an array of great titles, many of which are considered some of the best across all platforms. So when it came to figuring out the best games for the system, it's no surprise that it was a little top heavy. In fact out of 11 lists submitted, there were a whopping 5 games that were absent from only two lists or less. Compare that with the NES list, where with less lists, only SMB3 could stake the claim.

Comments accompany games whenever possible, reflecting the thoughts of those who submitted them. A big thank you to everyone who participated and left thoughts:

EZ Racer
Disposed Hero

Don't forget to check the submissions page for all the great SNES titles that didn't quite make the cut- http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=19263.0

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games- Super NES Edition

Posted on Feb 15th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under nes, retro, video game, super mario, zelda, contra, top 20

As something fun for 2020, I will be looking at the best 20 games from a variety of systems, with the lists being the culmulative votes from RFGen members. In January, we looked at the NES, and the end result showed just how ecclectic that system's library is. Nine lists were submitted (including my own, made before any votes were taken), and on those lists a whopping 98 games received at least one vote, and 6 different games got a 1st place vote.

Thanks to all who participated, and hopefully we'll get even more submissions for next month's list: SNES.

Lists submitted:

EZ Racer
Disposed Hero

Continue reading RFGen Top 20 Games for the NES

Posted on Dec 28th 2019 at 12:39:22 PM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under SNES, retro, super nintendo, guide, contri, mario, reference, book, NES, super

"Now you're playing with power...Super Power!"

Anyone who grew up in the Super Nintendo era remembers that slogan, a spin on Nintendos highly effective marketing campaign for their 1st system, the NES.  And while the NES is littered with titles that would set the standard for what video games could potentially be, the Super NES showed us what the pinnacle of 2D gaming could be, with games like Zelda: Link to the Past and Super Metroid often considered among the greatest games ever. Of course, like its predecessor, it had its share of clunkers as well.

In 2016, Pat Contri, with the help of others, produced a reference guide that looked at each game in the vast NES library. Each review had an overview, screenshots, developer and publisher info, a grade from 0 to 5 stars, as well as random and often comical thoughts the reviewer associated with the particular title being reviewed.

Fast forward to 2019, Contri took on the Super NES library in similar fashion, looking at each game individually. After enjoying my copy of the "Ultimate Guide to the NES" I had little doubt I would enjoy the Super NES iteration, and eagerly awaited its arrival. But I wondered what differences I would find, what improvements had been made, and what, if any, changes were made in the way its writers approached their reviews.

I'll get this out of the way right off the bat. While expensive ($60 plus tax/shipping), if you enjoy the Super NES and want brief info on the hundreds of titles for it, this book will fulfill your needs and then some. Most of the reviews run from about 250-350 words. Like the NES book, the reviews are meant as short overviews of the games features, not necessarily deep, comprehensive looks. Because of this, many of reviews can be a little dry at times, and the reader may find themselves looking at the Reflections section first, then the actual review.

This is also where I noticed the first subtle change from the NES guide. Each reviewer in the book has their own distinctive writing style, and conforms those to the books needs. But Ian Ferguson, a heavy contributor to the NES guide, is missed. While he has publicly stated his indifference to the Super NES, his writing seemed to strike the perfect balance between charm and information, the way a friend might describe the game over a beverage of choice. While all are skilled, none of the current set of writers quite hits that note of charm. Though to be fair, all demonstrate solid writing ability and appreciation for games they review. Its more of a "seems to be missing the cherry on top" feeling with Ferguson not present.

However, there are several subtle changes in the Super NES book that when taken in as a whole add so much to the book's quality. One nice addition is the inclusion of all PAL released games having full reviews. As someone who admittedly is not that knowledgeable of the PAL exclusive titles, I was able to find several games that fit my gaming interests, many of which I would have had no idea existed without the book.

One less obvious but terrific change was one to the layout of the pages. The reviews in this book just look sharp. This is due some small but extremely effective changes. One of these is a different placement of screenshots. The first book included four with each review, set on a 2x2 grid at the bottom of the page. While it worked, the end result made the pages a little clunky, with the pics feeling more like an add-on than a cohesive part of the review. Here, 2 shots are placed directly under the cartridge pic and info, and 2 more are placed between the review and reflections section. This makes for better page organization and more emphasis on the pics. The other change to the layout was to make the cartridge pic a close up of the label, set at a dynamic angle, and placed on a background of either the primary or secondary color from the label. And boy does that little detail make the pages pop.

The book also does a good job of covering the accessories of the system, and contains several articles about relevant issues associated with the Super NES at the time.

Like many who will pick up the book for the first time, I found myself looking up several games I was familiar with, to see if the star rating matched my rating. Where I give the book a lot of credit is that the reviewers were critics, not cynics. They would approach each title wanting to like it, but not afraid to point out the flaws. For me personally, I wanted to see how F1 ROC II rated, because its a game in which my personal opinion differs from the limited reviews I have seen that have covered it. Without giving away too much information, I have a lot of respect for reviewer Jim Evans' thoughts and approach on that particular title.

So what's missing? That depends on what you are looking for. What this book provides is a great introductory look at every game in the Super NES library, giving you both a sense of each games merits as well as covering the lesser known titles most casual gamers have never heard of. Want an in depth look at the history behind some of your favorite games? That's not the vision behind this book. But like the NES book, it is a great reference book for those who may not know the systems library of games inside and out, and still worthwhile for those who do.

One last note: the few complaints I have with the book are of a nitpicky variety, with one glaring exception. The binding of both books does not hold up well to the weight of the pages, which are of nice, heavy gloss-type paper. Unfortunately, if storing the book standing up, on a bookshelf for instance, eventually the binding will begin to fail. This hamstrings the storage options for the book, for to keep it in good condition means always having it sitting flat.

With that said, I have been very pleased overall with both books, and am looking forward to whatever the next addition to the Ultimate Guides is.

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