Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Jacob Spring, who is displayed on card number 2490, from the Superstars of 2016 Collection.  Jacob is the current world record holder on Metal Slug SuperVehicle-001 with a score of 2,761,200.   Jacob is a huge fan of arcade style games that play on home consoles.  For example, he holds records on the Twin Galaxies database on such games as Super Punch-Out and Super Ghouls and Ghosts for the Super Nintendo System.   Jacob is a member of the national and international gaming communities.

Which company makes the best games and why?

Capcom. They’ve been making games for a long time and still makes some great games. They made great arcade games in some of my favorite genres with Marvel vs Capcom 2, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, Ghouls’n Ghosts and Black Tiger just to name a few but in recent years they’ve made excellent games like Resident Evil 5, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and the whole Dead Rising series. I’m a BIG fan of the Dead Rising series.

Do you remember your first video game / arcade you played and what do you remember about it?

The first game I ever played was at the age of 6 back in 1985. My dad and I was at a placed called Chicken & Burger waiting for our order. I heard strange noises at the back of the room and we went to look. There was a whole row of large cabinets with bright screen and interesting sounds coming from them. I asked my dad what it was and he replied that they were arcade machines. He told me that you put in money and was able to control what was happening on screen. I asked if I could try it and he gave me money to put into the machine. The machine I chose was Commando by Capcom. I wasn’t any good but it blew my tiny little mind. I was actually controlling the soldier on screen to a pumping soundtrack!

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

I’ve never met Walter in person. I’ve known of him ever since I saw The King of Kong for the first time back in 2008 and subsequently seen him pop up in other documentaries, movies events etc.

My first interaction with Walter was when he contacted me on Facebook. He asked me:

Walter, “Do you play Metal Slug? Wd”

Me, “Hello sir, yes, I do play Metal Slug. I’m currently the Twin Galaxies World Record holder for the game.”

Walter, “time to put you on a trading card. Send me your favorite picture.”

I was a little star struck to say the least.

Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card? 

No, as a kid I never thought of competitive gaming or even holding a world record. Sure, I competed against friends in games like Street Fighter II and Super Mario Kart but when I compared my scores to those published in videogame magazines I had long ways to go.

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

When my card was finalized I posted pictures on Facebook. I got a lot of positive response from friends, family and local gaming communities.

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

The first word that comes to mind is “sincere”. In my correspondence with Walter he’s always polite, kind and helpful.

What is your favorite portable gaming device and why?

GameBoy Advance, hands down. Prior to the Xbox 360 the Super Nintendo was my favorite console of all time and with the release of the GameBoy Advance you could play games with the graphics, sound and gameplay quality of a Super Nintendo on the go.

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

At the age of 37, I’m still actively playing videogames. I’m a member of both national and international gaming communities and spend time discussion and keeping up to date with videogame news. I play both new and old videogames and I’m active in my pursuit of Twin Galaxies records.

For the past 5 years, I’ve been doing YouTube videos on classic console and arcade games. In-depth let’s play, top 10 and informative videos.

Do you prefer PC or Console gaming and why?

I don’t prefer one over the other. My PC is not that powerful as it’s an older model but it’s built to be super quiet so the graphics card is not that great as it doesn’t have a fan. It can run the newer indie games, like FTL: Faster than light, Geometry Wars 3 and Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ but also older full PC games like Left 4 Dead 2, Counter Strike Global Offensive and Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours. It has a hard time with the brand new releases so I use my PlayStation 4 those.

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

I play a lot of games, both classics and new releases. Recently I’ve finished classic games like Castlevania, Starwing (Starfox) and Contra and of newer titles I’ve finished the new Doom game, Until Dawn and Fallout 4. I’ve got plenty more on my backlog (list of games I’ve yet to play) but there’s also a lot of interesting tournaments that lets me dive into the classics.

My favorite genre is Driving/Racing, Fighting games and Shoot ‘em Ups. Arcade style action where you can get a quick game in. Pick up and play with next to no instructions as you learn as you go. I’m a big fan of most of the racing games SEGA put out and my favorite has to be their 1986 game, Out Run.
With fighting games I rarely play anything else than what Capcom has released. The whole Street Fighter series and the Marvel vs Capcom games are favorites of mine.
And I also enjoy shoot ‘em ups quite a bit. Both the classics like R-Type and Gradius but also the new bullethell stuff by CAVE is very entertaining to me. It’s such a rush dodging hundreds of bullets while watching giant enemy ships blow up in huge explosions.

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

Out Run. It’s a game I can never get tired of. It’s a blast to play every single time and has a lot of replayability as it has 5 different endings and multiple paths leading there. It’s very exciting when playing for fastest completion and on top of that it has a great soundtrack.
It’s also a game that’s easy for newcomers to get to grips with. A steering wheel, shifter and pedals. It’s pretty obvious what you have to do.

Growing up were you team Sega or Nintendo and why?

I was team Nintendo. When growing up Nintendo was everywhere. I never owned a NES but I played it a lot in toystores. I bought a Super Nintendo when it came out and actually only knew people with Nintendo products. SEGA must have been around but I don’t think it got any exposure here?

How does video game music influence games past and present?

Video game music is an essential part of a gaming experience. In the past, there was some great soundtracks. Especially in the 8 and 16-bit era. Soundtracks that set the mood and gets a player pumped, primed and ready for action. Really great soundtracks include, among lots more:
Mega Man 2
Chrono Trigger

In this day and age, it seems like we’re moving away from traditional game soundtracks. Now, as the technology allows it, we get licenses songs or orchestrated pieces. I don’t think the soundtracks from 2010+ will be as fondly remembered as the bleeps and bloops of the 8 and 16bit era.

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

It used to be aimed at children but during the 90’s it was marketed more towards teenagers with the blood and violence. Today it’s marketed towards all age groups. A great example is the Nintendo Wii. Everybody played it and like I said earlier, today everybody has a phone and everybody plays on them. There’s so many games out there so there’s something that appeals to everyone.

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

It hasn’t ever been proven that violent videogames lead to violence and I don’t see how it can. If you can’t tell apart fiction from reality you probably have some kind of mental illness.
What a violent videogame can do though, is desensitize you so that you become used to watching the violence and don’t find it a big deal when a videogame character gets attacked, shot or worse.

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

It depends on what my current goal is, what game I’m playing or where I’m at. Currently I play both a lot online against other players but I also play on my own as I’m setting scores for a tournament.

When I’m at an event with like minded people it’s fun playing head to head. At such an event, I would probably not isolate myself with a single player game.

I guess I do all three and enjoy each way equally but it depends on the situation.

Are video games good for relieving stress?

Depends on the game. Sure, all games take your mind off of your real-life problems but, in my opinion, a fast-paced game or games with time limits are not the best for relieving stress. When I play a bullethell shooters and have to dodge and weave to save my life and make last minute escapes it really gets my heart racing.  Games like endless runners or games with slow pace and soothing soundtracks are great for relieving stress. Your mind is off your problems and you can just kind of space out while playing the game.

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

Not at all as videogame stories rarely translate well to the big screen. There have been many attempts but only a few have been good. The best in my opinion is Silent Hill.

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

Frank West from Dead Rising. He’s covered wars you know.

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

Arcade Machines, Galaga, Nintendo were the first words to pop into my mind.

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

Gameplay. A good story with great atmosphere can be a great experience but as an oldschool player I prefer gameplay any day of the week. Back in the early days of arcade games there was no such thing as music, story or sometimes atmosphere. It had raw gameplay and that was what made the players come back for more.

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

My first thought was “No?” But after thinking about it I actually think it is. In a shoot ‘em up the stages can be fun and challenging but the real game starts when you face off against that giant warmachine at the end. Same thing with beat ‘em ups and even new games like Dead Rising.
Battling against all odds is thrilling and a lot of fun and the satisfaction you get from taking down that behemoth of a boss is great.

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

Wow, this is a hard one. My favorite game of all time is Zombies, also known as, Zombies Ate My Neighbours for the Super Nintendo. It’s a fun single player game where you have to save all of your neighbours from all sorts of classic horror movie monsters. It can also be played in cooperative mode.

But my favorite multiplayer game? There’s so many of them that I enjoy. Currently I play a lot of Grand Theft Auto Online (Grand Theft Auto V) but in the past I also spend a lot of time on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series.
In the end I’d have to choose Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo. I bought the game the day it was released and still play it regularly to this day. It’s the game me and my dad play around Christmas time.

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

I’ve always had two games I would like to see come to life. The first was a zombie survival game where you had to scrounge for supplies and fight off zombie attacks but the developer Undead Labs made a game that basically made all those things happen with their game State of Decay back in 2013.

So I will go with my second idea.

I came to think of this while playing my beloved shoot ‘em up genre. In those games, it’s usually your little overpowered plane/ship fighting off alien invasions or foreign superpower armies. What if you made the single plane vs everyone make sense?

My idea is a single alien scout craft, you play the invader, and move from city to city while the combined forces of planet earth tries to stop you. It would be a bullethell shooter with an interesting scoring system.

The ship would be a classic 50’s flying saucer and the “main shot” would be a green laser with accommodating classic laser sound. The “bomb” would be a death ray that when activated will do a quick 360-degree circle around your ship and take out both bullets and enemies. A screen clearing bomb that will leave the ground and foliage barren and burning.

As you might have noticed the sauce will make the classic flying saucer flying sounds and the whole graphic art style would be classic 50’s science fiction.

The bosses would be giant transformable machinery of popular landmarks. For example, you could have the Eiffel Tower turn into a wireframe battle mech and maybe the sculptures on Mt. Rushmore could transform into large cannons and what not.

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

A lot of the stuff coming out today is directly comparable to classic console titles and arcade games. With the boom in indie developers making Neo Retro games the past decade or so. Games that feel and look like the classics from the 8-bit era. Games like Shovel Knight that’s directly comparable to Mega Man and Ducktales.
On the arcade side of things we see a lot of those old classic arcade games being sold as downloadable titles on new systems like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But new games I like to call Neo Arcade games are coming out too. Mostly on the mobile platform which is played both casually and competitively by millions of people. A favorite of mine is Crossy Road which is directly comparable to the classic arcade game Frogger.

Besides that, there’s new games and new experiences being released on modern systems all the time. I do play modern games and enjoy everything from heavy story based first person experiences to fast paced competitive online shooters. And with Virtual Reality in its mainstream infancy the future is looking very interesting.

Do you learn anything from playing video games?

Depends on the game. Sure, there’s the obvious learning games but what I’ve found I’ve learned myself from games over the years is spotting patterns, increasing my reflexes and hand to eye coordination. I also believe that if you play a lot of puzzle games like Tetris, you train your mind to think more logical.

Also, Oregon Trail taught most what dysentery was.

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

Videogames have gone mainstream in a big way. Everybody has a phone and everybody plays games on those devices. Everyone is a gamer now and I can’t see that stopping anytime soon. The industry will keep pushing to innovate, come up with new ideas and offer new gaming experiences. We can see it now as Virtual Reality is in its infancy so I think they will keep evolving that into something we can’t even start to imagine.  There will always be room for the classics. The companies are aware of their back catalog and make them available on various gaming services. I do have a feeling that as we get older and when the 8-bit generation dies the games will be somewhat forgotten. The people who are born now or just got into gaming will probably not collect NES in 20 years time as most gamers collect what they are nostalgic for.  Physical media will be a thing of the past. It’s actually already starting. Everything will be digital download from services provided by current console makers or separate services like Netflix does with movies today.

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 (396 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.