Our next Trading Card Spotlight features David Cruz who currently is displayed on card number 45, from the Superstars of 2011 Collection.  David is also featured on trading cards 1253, 1258, and 1752.  David is an all-around great game player. David shares the Pac-Man record with a Perfect game that he has achieved 3 times. His game of choice is  the arcade game Tron where he has numerous world records and has battled others in many tournaments. One recent one was in 2014 where he battled John Salter in the “Battle for the Grid” on Tron arcade machine. David has other world records such as Vs. Duck Hunt and Vs. Hogan’s alley for the arcade. David has also experienced iron man status while playing Tron for almost 23 hours straight on one game.

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

There is something to be said about better graphics in the newer games, but without good or great gameplay, they are not worth it. That said, there are many great games now. But nothing compares to our favorite classic arcade games. I wouldn’t hesitate to go for a marathon run on a classic arcade game. I don’t see myself trying that on any newer games. Either they don’t support it or they’re not worth that mind of effort.

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 most likely Donkey Kong. It was in the corner store. I would bring a bunch of quarters and just play.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a video game trading card? 

When I was young, I knew I had a talent for video games which exist to this day. I would challenge others and literally make people walk away because their next turn was at least an hour away. I didn’t play for official records since I didn’t know anyone seriously tracked them. Naturally, once I found out about Twin Galaxies, that changed. It is an honor to be on a Video Game Trading card. I never knew I would be on one.

What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?

My favorite portable gaming device is my 3DS XL. I really enjoy it because I can easily play it anywhere. I have lots of records on it.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

If always like PC gaming because Of the better graphics. However, I played the Wii a lot. I think it all comes down to which game I want to play.

What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?

I like puzzle type games that also require quick reflexes and quick thinking. I play the Mario vs Donkey Kong series and have nearly every record on it.

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

That’s an easy one. Tron and Tron Legacy. Tron was always the one game that I really liked, and I wanted to always be the best at it.

Which console company is your favorite and why?  Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft?

Nintendo is my favorite and near exclusive company. They make the games that I want to play. They have so many great titles that I must had to have. That hasn’t changed.

What does it take to be a video game journalist?

A good journalist has to have a passion for what they’re writing about and of course, they have to be able to write well and be able to draw their audience in with their words.

Have you ever received any media coverage for your appearance on the trading card?  If so, where?

I have not received coverage for being on a Video Game Trading card. I did receive coverage for my Tron world record though.

When did you first meet Walter Day and where was it at?

I first met Walter at Funspot in 2006.

If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?

Caring. Walter leaves a lasting impression on you with the way he treats everyone. He’s one of the nicest people I know.

How does video game music influence games past and present?

Good game music helps keep a game alive and fresh even many years later just because you heard some of the music in the game. The music in Tron makes it so much easier to want to play for 24 hours straight.

Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?

Games are made for everyone. Some people would disagree, but then they’re probably not very good at video games. The first time you give a game that you think is too hard for a child and you watch them get very good at it, you realize that games are for everyone and helps in so many ways.

Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?

I think some games are too violent. Do they lead to violence? Only in the wrong hands. In that case, anything would lead to violence. A good series (even if it’s violent) is about winning the game and enjoying the journey. The violence is not looked at as real world. It’s just part of the story to make the game compelling.

Do you prefer playing video games alone, against friends or online against the world and why?

I usually always prefer the single player modes in games. Especially if I’m going for a record on it.

I will play multiplayer with friends occasionally. I don’t play massive multiplayer due to them taking up too much time and most people don’t know how to walk away.

Which company makes the best games and why?

I would answer Nintendo since I play so much Nintendo games. This is obviously going to vary for each player.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

I have learned a lot from video games. I may have learned how to drive playing video games. I definitely have quicker reflexes from them. And, my brain gets a good workout.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Some games can cause stress. If you’re enjoying what you’re playing and having fun, then they will relieve stress.

Do you like it when Hollywood makes a movie from the video game?

If the movie is very good, then I can appreciate Hollywood making a movie from a video game. Some of them are not worth seeing. Tron and Tomb Raider were good video game movies.

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

Yoshi is my favorite video game character. I just like Yoshi. I can’t think of a game where Yoshi has an advantage.

What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?

If it’s a good game, then I want to play.

Of these five elements video games, which is the most important to you and why?  Gameplay, Atmosphere, Music, Story, Art style

Gameplay has to be the most important. A great game will have all 5 or at least the first 3. A game without great gameplay will not get played by me.

Do you find boss battles to be the best part of a video game?

Some boss battles are very memorable. Other times, they just stand in the way of you getting to the next level. I don’t think most boss battles are the best part of a game.

What is your favorite single player game and favorite multiplayer game?

My favorite single player game if I had to choose just one would be Tron.

My favorite multiplayer game would be Mario Kart.

If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?

Maybe I would create a game like the Mario vs Donkey Kong series in virtual reality with me as the main character.

Are you still involved with gaming today, and what role do you play?

I still play and go for records. I like to take on new challenges or improve and perfect games to simply make them look easy.

Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?

That’s going to be interesting. I honestly have no idea. I do want to see more virtual reality type games where you are the character. That would really be something. I know that kind of exist already. I want to see it taken beyond what we have now.

This is one of an ongoing series of articles based on the Walter Day Collection of e-sports/video gaming trading cards – check out more information at thewalterdaycollection.com.

Todd Friedman Todd Friedman (391 Posts)

Todd Friedman is heavily involved in the retro gaming community and has co-promoted the Video Game Summit in Chicago, IL for the past 16 years. He also has published 2 books and written for various different gaming magazines including Old School Gamer.