Monday, November 5, 2007

Oyama and Tachikawa

I spent most of my week getting a lot of sleep and not going out much, though by Friday I was pretty much fully recoverd from being sick from the previous weekend. I decided to just stay home on Friday night and spend time with my girlfriend since I knew if I left for Tokyo Friday night Id get no sleep and I didnt want to get sick again. So Saturday morning I headed out for Oyama. When I arrived in Takasaki to transfer trains I noticed there was another line that went directly to Oyama rather than trasnfering and taking the route I took last time, one of the guys who worked at the station told me it would be faster so I took the Ryomo line to Oyama. However, my dumbass failed to realize that THIS Oyama was actually the Tochigi prefecture Oyama..... not the Tokyo Oyama. So after having wasted some time and money I took another train and eventually made it to the correct Oyama. The Game Newton tournament didnt start till 6 pm and I arrived at about 3 pm. When I got there, there was no one there. So I walked around a bit, looked at some game store and went to "Konami sports club" thinking it might be another arcade but it was actually a fitness center/gym hah. So then I went back to Game Newton but no one was there yet so I said fuck it and just decided I would go to Akihabara for a bit. I arrived in Ikebukoro since you have to go there on the way since Oyama station is only a private line and theres no JR trains that go there. I decided that maybe I should just go check out Ikebukoro GIGO since Akihabara was a bit far and id have more time to play if I just went there. After walking around for a bit I couldnt find the place cuz I forgot where it was and its been a while since Ive been there (not since SBO weekend). So eventually I just went to some generic random arcade called "Game" where they had one AC cab. There was a few guys playing there. I got on the cab and stayed on for 18 wins in a row until this one guy who was playing Bridget and Johnny against me a bunch of times finally squeezed in a win with his Johnny. I needed a partner and didnt want to take the chance of going back to Game Newton to find that there was no extra people so I asked the guy if he wanted to go to the tournament and team up. He was very shocked since he said I was very strong and he said he was very weak but he said he wanted to try. He said his name was Shunsuke. When we arrived at Ikebukoro station his friend (whos name also happened to be Shunsuke) was waiting for us there and said he wanted to come watch.

So we eventually arrive at Game Newton. By now there were plenty of players since the tournament was going to start in about a half hour. We started playing casuals against this one potemkin player who was very very good. After a few trys both me and Shunsuke couldnt get a win on him though all of my matches were extremely close. I recognized him from previous tournaments, he had spikey hair sorta like in a mohawk. His name is Yoshio. So anyway, tournament eventually starts and I name our team "Game" after the generic arcade I met my team mate at. First match we play against a Potemkin/Sol team. Shunsuke goes first with his Bridget and loses to Potemkin. I go next and defeat both of them. Next match is Nanashi and his team mate is that spikey haired Potemkin, Yoshio. Shunsuke goes first and loses to Nanashi. I go next and once again... lose to Nanashi. I was pretty bummed. Nanashi's team go on to eventually win the entire tournament and qualify. So I stuck around and played casuals for a few hours. There were a lot of good players in this tournament, and one of the teams was Nemo playing his Testament. I didnt realize that it was him at first until I was playing against a red colored testament in casuals who had a good win streak and I managed to beat him. This one guy who was watching told me I was very strong and I was like naaa... and he told me that I just beat Nemo. I was pretty surprised. I went around to the other side of the cab and sure enough it was indeed Nemo. I went and talked to him and asked him if he remembered me from when I briefly met him over Tougeki weekend at Ikebukoro GIGO tournament. He remembered and we talked for a bit. I asked him why he dropped Faust and the answer was as simple as Testament is stronger in AC. Seems character loyalty isnt very big these days hah. Eventually Osaka B showed up to just hang out and play some casuals and I shook his hand and said hi and shit. Played casuals for a while. Eventually all of a sudden a huge group of people just get up and leave. At this point there were only a few people left. Then Osaka B comes up to me and says that him and his friends are going to get some food and asks me if I would like to come along so I say ok.

Every time I meet new players in Japan and they find out i'm from the Gunma prefecture they are always shocked that I travel so far to go there. It is, afterall, a little over a 3 hour train ride each way. I could take the Shinkansen but the station is located in an inconvenient place for me and parking isnt free as opposed to the regular train where I can park at the town office across the street for free (or I can walk to the other station near my place). In addition to that, the Shinkansen costs double the price of the regular train, so id be paying 5,000 yen for a one way trip as opposed to the regular train where I only pay about 2,500 yen for one way. Even with the Shinkansen it still takes about an hour and a half to 2 hours.

So we all leave, a group of about 10 people or so consisting of Osaka B, Nanashi, Yoshio, and a few other really good players. Osaka B tells me they were gonna go get ramen and that the place is kinda far but I say thats fine. So we walk for a long time.... maybe like a half hour, and eventually we stop at this one corner and some of the guys start making some phone calls. We then finally arrive at this one ramen place but its packed and after standing around for like another 5 minutes I guess they all decided that they didnt want to eat there... so we head back to the corner again. Suddenly FAB shows up and everyone sorta chils for a bit. The guys were asking me where I was going to sleep tonight and I told them I would go to a Manga cafe as ussual. Yoshio tells me that he has a friend who lives in Tachikawa and that a few of them are going to crash at his place tonight, he says that I can come along and he will ask his friend if I can stay there too, he says if not, theres a manga cafe near by. So we start heading to the subway station and at this point I suddenly realize that theres only like 6 of us now, Osaka B and FAB and a few of the others must have gone another way though I didnt notice them leave. So we get on the subway and transfer to a JR train at Shinjuku. While we are waiting for the JR train some random white guy comes up to me asking for directions, I help him out and he apologizes saying hes drunk, it was random. So after waiting a while we finally get on the train, it was like a 40 minute ride to Tachikawa from Shinjuku and the train was packed full, it was the saturday night rush since this was like the last train, it was about midnight at this point. Nanashi was really tired and was like sleeping standing up. Eventually we arrive in Tachikawa and head over to OSLO game center where the tournament would be held. It was a nice arcade and had 5 GG cabs. The arcade was going to close soon but we played a few games of casuals. We met up with their friend there whos name was Toru Kawazoe. He was a Dizzy player, I asked him if he was going to play tomorrow but he said no. They asked him if it was ok for me to stay at his place tonight and he said it was cool. So we stayed for a little after the place was supposed to be closed, they turned off all the machines but the AC machines were still on. The change machine was turned off though so in order to keep playing we had to buy a drink from the vending machine to get change, Kawazoe had like 3 drinks in front of him haha. Eventually the arcade staff tells us to leave so we FINALLY head to a resturaunt, at this point i was starving. We ate a nice big meal and headed to Kawazoe's apartment. He warned me it would be a bit messy but I told him I didnt care and that I was pretty used to going to messy apartments. When we get there he starts busting out all these random funny videos he has saved on his computer. Montages of stuff like people getting hit in the nuts and various sports follys. They were also watching some Mike Z potemkin combo video called Poteman which was like a Megaman parody Potemkin combo video, it was amusing. Eventually they turn on AC and me and this one slayer player (his handle is Basara) whos really good (he often teams up with Nakamura) played a bunch of casuals. Finally at about 4:30 we all go to sleep. I wake up the next morning to Mugen, the bridget player, showing up. We then proceed to spend the next couple hours watching the Tougeki 07 DVD that they apearently barrowed from Domi. They also watched some random anime style quiz game video.... like a combo video except it was like just someone playing some quiz game and getting all the answers right... I had no idea what the hell was going on though cuz I didnt understand the questions, too much difficult kanji that I didn't know. Anyway bla bla bla we eventually go to the arcade.

So we arrive and theres lots of people there playing casuals. The yellow colored Faust player from the Mikado tournament was there (his name is Kiro according to Osaka B) as well as several other good players such as Nakamura and that same purple May player who beat me a few weeks back at the Hachioji tournament. Nemo had told me that previous day that he wouldnt attend this tournament due to work. I signed up without a partner but there were a few other people without partners so it was ok. Through random select I was paired up with a Sol player from the Saitama prefecture named Sakuma. I introduced myself and he was like "chicago right?" and I was surprised but I guess he knew who I was. The level of comp here was just rediculous, everyone was playing serious as hell and everyone was fucking hungry to win. On our way to the arcade, Mugen informed me that OSLO was a very famous arcade among the Japanese Guilty Gear scene and there would be a lot of tough players, he wasnt kidding. Eventually tournament starts and we fight a team of eddie/venom. Sakuma goes first and loses to eddie, I go next and beat eddie....... but then I lose to venom........ (SORRY PRUCHA!! you can hate on me about it later, i deserve it since I should have won, it was really close though....). After the match I was pretty bummed and shit. I kinda felt like I was pretty behind afterall. I went to get some food since i was starving and when I came back the tournament was already over. Some venom/may team won, I dont know their names because the names were written in kanji and I suck at kanji. I played some more casuals and won a few here and there but the overall level of comp at this tournament was just pretty insane. I, of course, wont give up but I think its going to take some time until im on the level that top Japanese players are on. I am capable of beating most top Japanese players but not consistantly enough... its very very hard to do. So after a few hours of casuals it was about time for me to go, I said goodbye to all the dudes I chilled with and headed out and went home. The very last DF2 qualifiers are next weekend, and theres one in Tokyo on Saturday.... this will be my last chance. Chances are I probably wont qualify but im sure as hell gonna go try anyway. Mugen also told me that theres another tournament at Shinjuku Sportsland next sunday that I will go to as well. I just checked the DF2 website and it seems that the Shinjuku tournament IS a qualifier after all! sweet...

On an unrelated note, today I am at work at the elementary school and I ate lunch with the 3rd graders. They were all asking for my autograph and then I asked for theirs to be nice. Then this one kid draws a heaping pile of poo with stink lines and everything. Then this other kids proceeds to draw a hairy ass over the pile of poo. Random...

2 comments:

Teyah said...

Man, that sounds like it must have been one amazing night hanging with the locals.

Good luck at the last qualifiers and the Sportsland tournament next week.

Matthew said...

WIN!