Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Armando Gonzalez who currently is displayed on card number 2536, from the Superstars of 2016 Collection. He is also featured on trading card number 3187. Armando is considered the best Galaga player on the planet. He holds both major world records on Galaga arcade. Armando achieved the score of 9,525,700, Tournament settings. Gonzalez also scored 17,684,050 points based on Marathon settings. As part of a team of Galaga experts, he has helped create a Galaga Forum which is the center of all Galaga records and information. You can visit the forum here. www.galagaforum.com. Besides Galaga, some of Armando’s favorite games are Ikari Warriors, Twin cobra and Rastan.
When did you first play Galaga and what do you remember about it?
I remember first seeing Galaga in the place right here, I still live next to it, it’s like a restaurant, called ‘El Pollo’, which is The Chicken. They had Galaga there. I didn’t like it, I’ll be honest with you. It didn't have the fast fire chip in there otherwise I would have loved it, but it was a slow fire Galaga. That’s all I remember, I was not good at it, I was not interested in it. I played other games they had there and that place, there was only like 3 video games at the time. What thing I do remember about Galaga at that time is we could easily get some credits by folding a paper clip in a U shape and getting multiple credits. I remember doing that, but other than that I really didn’t care about Galaga at that time.
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Phil Campbell who currently is displayed on card number 364, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection. There is no one better in the world at the arcade game Space Harrier. Phil is the current world record holder on the Space Harrier arcade machine. Phil had his record beaten in 2010 but went right back to the machine and re-broke the record again to take back his crown. Living in the U.K., Phil is an all-around gaming fan. He collects arcade machines along with console games and systems. Of course, being the world record holder on Space Harrier, he owns 3 different Space Harrier cabinets. Phil plans to one day visit Japan and see all the unique gaming machines they have there.
Do you think the 'Golden Age' of arcade gaming is over?
I think arguably so yes. I'm tempted to say you can only bottle lightning once and things can only really be new and exciting the first time but there are two opposing points of view to this. Firstly, trends are cyclical; we are already seeing a surge in dedicated venues that specifically aim to recreate the look and feel of an 80's arcade with original machines; that experience will absolutely be new to some gamers. Plus, the arcade games that today’s kids are playing, those games will be their classic arcade games, that they will look back fondly upon when they are older. They may not be our games, our Pac-Man, Galaga or Star Wars but they will mean just as much to those guys as the games that we played in our youth do to us. Everyone has their own 'Golden Age.'