Trading Card Spotlight - Tony Senor
Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Tony Senor who is displayed on card number 3073, from the Superstars of 2019 Collection. Tony is a YouTuber personality that covers all things related to retro video gaming. In his videos you can see him retro game hunting and doing tours of video game stores. He also has a series called “Retro and the Bubbys” and he covers events like the Missouri Game Con and Retropalooza hosted by the Game Chasers. Tony is also a collector with over 6,000 video games in his collection. Tony also enjoys reviewing various video games that he played from his youth from the Atari 2600 to modern-day. One of Tony’s goals is to cover every arcade and video store in his home state of Missouri. You can check out his Facebook page by clicking here.
What does it take to be a video game YouTuber?
Persistence, patience, and drive. It is a lot of hard work and the market for retro video game content creators is a very loaded one. You also have to be willing to learn new skills and try to get better with editing and buying equipment for your channel. You have to make it fun too. YouTube is not a full-time job for me but a hobby where I like to connect with the retro video game community.
Do you remember your first video game/arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
The first video game I remember playing was Air/Sea Battle on the Atari 2600. We had a black and white TV in my room and my brother and I would play it every morning before school. I remember the blocky graphics and just how much fun it was to play against my brother. He would win most of the time but, I got better as I got older.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
I believe that franchises that have been long established have set the tone for past and present. Franchises that come to my mind when I think of music that has influenced video games over the years: The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Final Fantasy, and Sonic the Hedgehog. Music is just as important as game design or how the game controls. The music from a game sticks with you long after you have played the game. People might not have played Super Mario Bros 1 on the NES lately but, they can hum the music from the game.
When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?
I meet Walter Day at ICON 2016 in Ottumwa, Iowa. We went there to meet Billy Mitchell, Tim McVey, Joel West, Walter Day, and many others. We also wanted to check out the famous Twin Galaxies arcade. I also had the opportunity to meet up with Walter again at the Missouri Game Con in 2019. Always an honor to talk and see Walter.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Which company makes the best games and why?
Nintendo. Nintendo has to make the best games because their hardware never measures up with its competitors. They have consistently made excellent games from the early 80s to the current day. They have some of the longest-running franchises of all time that keep getting better with new technology.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I absolutely love the modern generation of video games. I own a PS4 and a Nintendo Switch. I play both on a daily basis and own a lot of titles for both consoles. I also love the indie scene right now because a lot of game developers are making retro-inspired video games. If a video game has a retro feel and is a spiritual successor to a classic franchise, I normally give it a try. As far as comparing the retro games to the current generation of games, I love both! I collect retro games because of my love of the games I played as a kid. There are pros and cons to retro games vs. current gen. My biggest complaint with the current generation of games is all of the updates and when you buy a game, sometimes you have to buy DLCs. Back in the day, when you bought a game, you got the whole game.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
I prefer console gaming. That is what I grew up with. I grew up with the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis and that is what I grew to love. Today, I play the PS4 and Nintendo Switch mostly.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I play a lot of retro games for my YouTube channel and I also play current day releases. I like a little bit of everything, but my favorite genre is RPGs. I just completed Final Fantasy 7 Remake and I loved it! I am also playing a lot of Mario Maker 2 on the Nintendo Switch.
If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
That is a tough question! I have to go with TMNT: Turtles in Time. I would love to have my buddies over for some 4-player action. Plus, I am a huge fan of the Turtles.
Growing up, were you team Sega or Nintendo, and why?
Can I say both? Growing up, I was lucky enough to own an NES, SNES, and a Sega Genesis at the same time. If I had to pick one, it would be the Sega Genesis because it was my first console that was considered to be my own and not shared with my brother. I loved playing Sonic 2, Phantasy Star IV, and Shining Force 2 on the Sega Genesis.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
My favorite portable gaming console of all time has to be the Gameboy Advanced. I played it in High School and college. I remember taking it with me to wrestling tournaments to play in the downtimes waiting to compete. I had a lot of fun playing RPGs like Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy 4-6, and Shining Force. I think I really enjoyed the GBA because it reminded me of the SNES and a lot of SNES games were ported to the GBA. It also had a great library of RPGs that I still love to play to this day.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
In 2020, I want to say all three. You have to think about my generation (30-40-year old’s) who grew up with the Sega Genesis, SNES, or PlayStation 1. They are still playing games and there are more mature games that targeted at an older generation of gamers and they also appeal to teenagers. As far as younger children, there are games out there that can be played by them and it comes down to their parents to what they are allowed to play.
Do you believe some video games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
That is a very difficult and touch subject. My answer is no. When bad things happen in our country, like school shootings, the U.S. government looks for a scapegoat. Video games seem to be a target for the source of the violence. There have been studies and research concerning violent video games and behavior and from what I can gather, there is very little correlation. Why do video games always get the blame? Why not music, movies, or other forms of media?
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I prefer 1 Player games. That is what I grew up with mostly. I prefer to play Sandbox games that immerse you in the world you are playing in. RPGS also tend to be single-player games and that is my favorite genre. I do enjoy multiplayer games with friends but not online. I love playing Goldeneye, Mario Kart, and NBA 2K1 with friends when I have them over.
Do you learn anything from playing video games?
Absolutely! When I was a kid growing up, I hated to read. I started playing a lot of RPGs like Final Fantasy 4, Final Fantasy 6, and Chrono Trigger. Those games are very text heavy and story-driven. I think I learned how to read better by playing these games and also, I started enjoying read more because of them. You also can learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills from games without even realizing it.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
For me, yes. When I have had a long day from teaching/coaching, I love to come home and play some games to get lost for a little while. It helps to keep your mind off things from time to time.
Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?
Yes and no. I love the movies from the 90s like Super Mario Bros, Mortal Kombat, or Double Dragon because they are so bad that they are good kind of movies. I really don’t enjoy the newer movies that have been produced based on video games.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
Crono from Chrono Trigger. I absolutely love the character design of Crono! He also reminds me of the 90s and what gaming was like during that era.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
The 1980s, Mario, Pac-Man, Arcades, Nintendo, Sega, Donkey Kong, just to name a few.
Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you, and why? Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style
I think all 5 are important elements to a great game but for me it has to be story. If there isn’t a good story or reason to be saving the world then I don’t really care. Also, character development is a part of that and if there are no likable characters, I generally don’t like the game.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
It depends on what kind of game I am playing. If it is an RPG, then yes. But the boss battles have to have meaning and weight to the overall story. I also like fighting difficult bosses and figuring out how to beat them. The more challenging, the better!
What is your favorite singe player game and favorite multiplayer game?
My favorite single-player game is Chrono Trigger on the SNES. It is my favorite game of all time and it is a must if you are a JRPG fan. My favorite Multiplayer game is Perfect Dark on the N64. I have a lot of fond memories of my friends coming over to play this classic shooter. We loved using the “meat sims” as a fun distraction.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
This is something that my friends have talked about over the years. We want to make a video game based on our YouTube Channel. It would be similar to the AVGN Video Game and it would be a sidescroller 8 Bit/16 Bit style game. There would be a lot of fan service from the channel and also a lot of influences from the games we love to play.
Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?
Other than playing video games, I am still involved in the gaming community with my YouTube channel, Retro Tony. I create content centered around the retro video game community. I do video game hunting videos, reviews of classic games, my thoughts on the retro community, and my thoughts on retro video game collecting. I also like to live stream a lot of older arcade games that people may not know about and I want to give more exposure. I also have a series called” Retro and the Bubbys” and we cover events like the Missouri Game Con and Retropalooza hosted by the Game Chasers. We also go retro video game hunting to try and find games from our youth.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 20 years?
We will still be gaming in 20 years but there will not be physical media to buy. Physical media will be a distant memory, and everything will be streamed or downloadable. I can also predict that consoles will be a thing of the past.