Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Brandon Hurles, who currently is displayed on card number 4291, from the Superstars of 2023 Collection. Host at The Game Junction, Staff Member at GoNintendo and Founder at Game Junction, Brandon is a creator based in the gaming and pop culture communities starting back in 2014. He began first by writing for video game websites and publications and now also creates multiple types of video content. His earliest gaming memories were with his first console the Atari 2600 but fell in love once he got the NES and never looked back.
When did you begin your podcast and what inspired you to do so?
I began The Game Junction Podcast in August of 2022. I have always wanted to offer every form of content both video and written with Game Junction. I used to be involved with a very popular Transformers podcast many years ago, and I love the open and Freeform style with podcasting, especially live.
What does it take to run a good podcast?
Honestly it takes both patience, passion, and love to run a podcast on any scale. It’s not always as easy as one might think. Most podcasts don’t last past episode 5 and it really has to be something you truly love and want to do. If you’re looking to run something on a grander scale, be prepared to put in the work.
What’s another podcast genre are you interested in and what would you like to see more of?
I’m a really big true crime and music (mostly metal, punk, etc) podcast fan. I’m always up for seeing more of that! I’d also love to see some more podcasts around those weird music sub-genres.
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card?
I could never in a million years imagine having my own trading card. I’m beyond thankful for you guys, and Todd Friedman has become a great friend. Hope to meet Walter Day soon to tell him thank you in person as well.
Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?
The first game I played was Space Invaders on the Atari 2600 followed by the terrible port of Pac-Man. My first arcade game I played was the original Mortal Kombat. I definitely remember loving the 2600 when we had it and as a kid and found Space Invaders a lot of fun. We didn’t have our 2600 for very long.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
I love both retro and modern gaming. There are things I like and dislike about both. As a physical media guy, it sometimes becomes frustrating or disappointing to usually not completely own your game on a disc or cart. Thankfully there are companies who do release those games. I love the ease of use with modern consoles and digital games, but I love the aesthetic, feel, and nostalgia of retro gaming.
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Walter Day is a figure in gaming, preservation, and passion for retro that I’ve looked up to for a very long time. From seeing him in documentaries, on YouTube, and even just the Twin Galaxies website I’d visit so often as a teen.
What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?
That’s a toss for handhelds. I absolutely love the Atari Lynx, Game King, PSP Go and Gameboy Color. My favorite system of all time though is the PS Vita.
What do you think is the main reason for the retro gaming interest and collecting?
I think it’s all nostalgia and people wanting to relive their younger years. There’s a lot of people in the scene completely in it for the money, and I do understand that too. Mostly nostalgia though.
Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?
Console gaming all the way. I’m a huge fan of retro computing though too. I’ve got a higher end laptop that’s made for gaming but rarely have the time to game on that. Hoping to get a nice PC rig made up in the future though.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
I’m a big open world fan and fighting game fan right now. Those are my two favorites to dive into, but it’s always changing.
Which console company is your favorite and why? Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?
Out of those four choices it’s got to be Nintendo. Shoutout to NEC for their awesome consoles though!
What is your favorite item in your collection and what makes that one special?
My favorite item(s) in my collection are twofold. I love having my original copy of Tetris that my grandma bought me. As far as an item acquired it’s probably honestly my Sony PVM, I spent over 10 years tracking it down.
How does video game music influence games past and present?
Video game music is just a huge aspect of the immersion of a game. Some of those video game tunes are more recognized than games themselves when it comes to retro. Kingdom Hearts' main theme comes to mind.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
Video games are targeted at everybody, especially in 2023. Certain games are meant to target a certain audience.
Which company makes the best games and why?
In the past years I've been a huge Working Designs AND Squaresoft fan. I think they made some of the best RPGs for the time. In 2023, I’ve got to go with either Nintendo or Arc System Works.
Are video games good for relieving stress?
Video games are amazing for relieving stress. Be careful though, some of them can cause you more stress (look at Call of Duty.)
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
Mega Man is my favorite video game character. He’s deeply tied to my childhood and teenage years, and I’ve just hung onto my love of the series ever since.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
When I hear someone say video games it just takes me back to a happy place.
Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?
For the most part I do not find boss battles to be the best part of a game. I enjoy the adventure and experience along the way the most.
What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?
Favorite single player game hmm… it changes a lot, I guess. I’d have to say Zelda Breath of the Wild. I’m actively playing Tears of the Kingdom and it’s probably going to change to that. My favorite multiplayer game is Metroid Prime: Hunters. Huge fan of the multiplayer for that game.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
If I could design my own game, it would more than likely be in the style of Mega Man and starring my daughter. Hahaha that’s all I can think of right now!
Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?
I enjoy it all! I love playing video games online, but time just doesn’t allow it as much. In general, though, I’m a single player story driven guy. I love some good RPGs. I’ll play a fighting game online every now and again.
What advice would you give to a gamer who wants to start their own podcast?
Be real, authentic, and yourself. People really want to see reality in a podcast and people see through the “YouTube personality” facade that’s plaguing the platform right now. A podcast is a great platform for authenticity. Also find your video game niche and run with that for the podcast.
Where do you see video gaming in the next 10 years?
I think video games are just going to continue to grow and grow. They are now more profitable than the movie industry. Their interactive nature of them is growing and the popularity of VR is only going to help.