Trading Card Spotlight - Greg Bond

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Greg Bond, who currently is displayed on card number 190, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection. You can see Greg in the documentary, The King of Kong. Greg was around for most of the movie footage when the Donkey Kong competitions were being held. He is a world champion and record holder at the classic arcades game Mappy and Make Trax.   Also, an avid pinball player, Greg has a love for classic arcades and has been a big part of the gaming culture throughout the years.  

If you could own one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?

I'd like to own a Zookeeper and Millipede or pinball Guardians of the Galaxy. Those games are fast paced and seem to keep your reflexes good!

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Trading Card Spotlight - Armando Gonzalez

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.  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.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Wolff Morrow

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Wolff Morrow who currently is displayed on card number 978, from the Superstars of 2014 Collection.  Wolff is a legendary console world champion.   He has posted high scores and won tournaments on many retro consoles such as the NES, SNES, N64, PS1, and PS2.  In 1995, he won store champion for the Super NES format at the BlockBuster World Video Game Championship II.  Some of his high scores include speed records on Doom 64, SSX, and SSX Tricky.   He has been featured on the old G4TV channel for his record on Tomb Raider 2.  His favorite game of all time is The Legend of Zelda for the NES.   Outside of gaming, Wolff is an expert blitz chess player and former USA champion at correspondence chess.   Currently Wolff is in electrical engineering, involving modding consoles for stuff like clean RGB output, better audio, recaps, repairs, and special installations that add in HDMI upscaling internally.

Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?

Firebrand from the Gargoyle’s Quest and Demon’s Crest games. It’s a rare thing when you play a game where your non-human character has no moral compass to worry about, not to mention looks wicked-awesome. I even got him tattooed on my shoulder, and of course all my avatars online are of Firebrand. I even managed to slip in my net-nick initials of “FBX” on a snowboard for the PS2 version of SSX 3, so Firebrand has influenced a completely unrelated gaming genre.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Phil Campbell

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.'

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Trading Card Spotlight - Si Janna

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Si Janna who is displayed on card number 354, from the Superstars of 2012 Collection.   A huge fan of Street Fighter 2, Si has played and mastered multiple arcade games in his gaming career.  He has maxed out the scores for both Magical Drop II and III, with a score of 9,999,999.   Other high scores he has submitted are on the Arcade game Bust-A-Move Again. Today Si just plays games for fun and still plays Street Fighter 2, his favorite game of all time. On a personal note, Si has an M.S. in Mechanical engineering and is a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering.

What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games?  How do you compare them to older, classic games?

I like the diversity of the current games.  I appreciate that all demographics are being targeted.    Today’s games require much more time to master.  I appreciate being able to pause the console games today.

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