Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tournament.... Fever

I started off the weekend on Friday night by heading right for Shinjuku Sportsland. Upon entering the arcade I noticed they had a sign up for an Accept Core tournament to be held the next day so I made a note of that and intended to go. I made plans over dustloop PM with a guy named Dying Chipp. He is from Singapore and is actually friend of Axel's. I played some Gear for a bit and waited for him but he didnt show up after a long time. I mailed Rod who was waiting for me at Vegas telling him I was gonna head over there soon. I was right about to leave when he finally arrived afterall. He pretty much just asked if I was ElvenShadow, I said yes, and then he got on the other side of the cab and we played a shit ton of games. Our first set of games ended with me winning 16 games and Dying Chipp winning 2. Though many of them were very close. Also somewhere in there I beat some I-no twice, a Sol twice, and then after I finally lost to Chipp that 2nd time, I went to play some BB and lost twice against Ragna. I wasnt warmed up at BB at all yet.

During our epic battle, Rod (Honnou) and Matt showed up cuz they were wondering why the fuck I wasnt at Vegas yet. I told em he showed up afterall so they stayed to play some games.

I went back to gear and beat some Faust twice. Then I played a bunch more games against Dying Chipp again and this time he started to adapt much more. The final score this time was 15-7 in my favor. Chipp is one of my hardest three matchups in the game so I knew it was only a matter of time until he started getting some more wins on me. He really actually has a solid Chipp. I would say his 2 biggest flaws are that he doesnt go for throws nearly enough, and he always jumps when doing corner pressure like at the same time every time, so its easy to just run out from underneath him to escape corner lockdown sometimes. Other than that though, he was at least on par with most average Japanese Chipps and better than most US Chipps I have fought. I also squeezed in one game with Rod against his I-no and won before we were ready to leave.

It was getting late so we decided to go to Current. Rod said he was gonna sit this one out due to money being tight. Matt and I took Dying Chipp to Current. On the way there I finally got to talk to him a bit since we just did nothing but play at Sportsland. His real name is Richard (so I will just call Dying Chipp, Richard from now on cuz its easier to type).

Basically, when we got to Current, it was deader than a cemetary. It was like, Sushi, Mogi, Masami (the guys that all work there) just sitting around talking with Bosch and I think one other guy was there but I forgot who it was. We stayed for like 2 beers and then decided we would have a better time checking out another bar.

We made our way over to GODZ which turned out to be a good choice. The place was pretty packed, though I didnt know most of the people there aside from the staff and this one guy named Jackie and some random Finnish guy. We just drank lots of beer and requested lots of songs. Some random drunk chick who said she was like 40 and looked like she was in her late 20s was hitting on tons of guys but was there with 2 male friends who were keeping her in check. She told me I was handsome and im just like... thanks. One of her friends spent a good while talking with Richard. I wasnt listening to their conversation but they seemed to be having fun.

After that we went to PSY for more beers. Mai (not the Mai whos apartment I stayed at last time) showed up randomly with Masami. I guess she stopped by Current later and they came together. At some point Ayami showed up out of no where and then just left heh. Once again we stayed till a little passed 6 and then got some drunken McDonalds breakfast. The security guard (yea at a McDonalds) was being a dick and wouldnt let us use their bathroom until after we ordered food (and we were hungry but we had to pee), but whatever.

After eating we all just went to the manga kissa and slept there.

The next morning we woke up and went right to Vegas since its across the street. Not much action going on, but Richard wanted to play me more so we had another long Faust vs Chipp war. The final score this time was 12-9 in my favor again. Richard once again played very well. After that I lost in a close game to a Robo-Ky and then beat a Testament and a Faust twice.

Right around this time it was time for us to head over to Sportsland for that 2 on 2 AC tournament I discovered the previous day. Matt had to stay behind at Vegas to wait for his girlfriend since his phone was dead. When we got there it was pretty dead. We were surprised to see no one there. Shortly after, Rod showed up and then we saw Shoot who was there working. He informed us that the tournament was actually ladies only (this is like the 3rd time this has happened to me at Sportsland, I need to start reading the whole sign and not just the game, date, and start time).

Well since we were there and no ladies had even showed up yet, we played more casuals. This time vs Richard we went 8-3 in my favor. I also played Rod's I-no again and beat him but then he played me again and won. During our games of casuals, females started to show up. I didnt know who any of em were except for this one HOS player who has glasses whos always around. Among them was this cute I-no player I never saw before (among the like 6 girls that showed up she was the only attractive one). Rod played her in a mirror match and beat her and enjoyed trading some I-no strats with her. I could tell he was totally digging her but since hes sorta like dating Tomoko now he didnt really like ask for her number or anything.

After that we all went to get Wendys and I got a cigar. After leaving, Rod suggested we stop by Sporstland again to check it out. When we got there, it was obvious he wanted to see female I-no again since he spent a great length of time talking to her and showing her I-no strats lol. Matt was still no where to be found. After Rod had finished his private tutorial, we headed out. Rod had to actually leave to meet up with Tomoko but said he would hit us up later at Current.

Richard and I headed over to Club Sega Shinjuku to play more BB. I ended up getting a 9 win streak with Arakune which was cool. Richard was just playing the game for the first time and decided to learn Bang (big surprise lol). After playing there a bit, we headed to Joybox but after only being there for a bit, I got a mail from Matt saying that Alpha Station was THE PLACE for BB action! They have 4 cabs at 3/5 rounds for 50 yen a game! That beats any other place ive been to so far so we took a quick train ride over to Okubo station and checked out Alpha station. Lots of very very good players were there. They only had 2 GGAC cabs now to make room for the 4 BB cabs. Matt wasnt there when we arrived but eventually showed up. We played some good matches against various people. Some Rachel had 20 wins when we got there and I soon found out why. Inoue eventually beat him though and ended up getting like 17 wins with Jin.

Eventually it was getting late so the 4 of us (Matts girlfriend Akiko was there too) walked to Current. On the way I got some food cuz I was really hungry. Tonight at Current was the Finnish Xmas Party. When we arrived, I was shocked to see tables full of free food. Im not talking about Currents free "Tasty Junks" (aka some chipps and pretzels and nuts and shit). They had like full cooked turkeys and pasta and sausages and salad and cookies and all kinds of shit. It was free to get in too! Everyone offered me food like right away. Mostly all the Fins were there except the Snus man couldnt make it cuz he was actually in Finland right now... bummer. A few Current regulars were there but this was much more like a standard xmas party with just talking and eating and not so much like the typical current party where everyone goes nuts and dives off the bar and shit. A lot of the Finnish people there were older and I had never seen them before.

After a long night of drinking, Eventually I got hungry after a few hours and that food was still sitting out so I had some Chicken, pasta, and salad. Matt left early with this girlfriend to hit up those Okubo love hotels. Towards the end of the night, I was debating whether or not to go to PSY cuz I was kinda tired. Rod never showed up either. As we were leaving, Masami asked me "are you going to the usual place? You know where I mean" and im like "eh... im kinda tired" and hes like "cmoonnn..." and im like "alright fuck it, ill go"

When I got to PSY, SPG Chris was there and a few other various people. Chris was cool and bummed me a few cigarettes. After one beer I was really getting tired and started passing out. Masami never showed up, that bastard. Richard suggested we leave, so I finished my 2nd drink and we headed out to the manga kissa again.

When we woke up, the plan was to go to Alpha Station again for more BB casuals. Matt and Richard all met up with me there and we started to just play casuals. The place got filled up quite fast. At around 3 pm we decided to go get some food at Subway. On the way there, I didnt bother putting on my sweatshirt cuz it didnt seem that cold out and it was only like a 3 minute walk. One thing that was odd about this Subway was that they had the drink machine as self service yet they didnt offer free refills. WTF is that? I didnt even noticed the small sign that said no refils. So during eating the whole time I helped myself to more drinks anyway but then they told me I couldnt do that on our way out. Haha oops!

On our way back to Alpha station, I once again didnt put my sweatshirt on. I really should have, because I felt very very cold. When we got inside Alpha station I had this tingly feeling all over my body, kinda like when you have a fever. Well, thats exactly what I had! A fucking fever! Just from being outside without my sweatshirt on for like 3 minutes! When people tell you not to go outside without a coat on, fucking listen to them! I know I will from now on!

We now noticed that they were setting up what looked like a tournament! I had no idea there was a BB tournament going on there today! It was already just starting actually. I asked the guy running it if we could enter and they said they had strict rules or some shit so only one of us could enter, so I asked them to add my name to the bracket. After a little waiting I had a use the toilet but it turned out I had enough time before my first match. My first match was against a Noel player and I just annihliated him. I just got him cursed and just kept throwing bugs all over the place all while constantly resetting the curse with various D attacks and the poor guy couldnt get anywhere near me. Up next I had to fight this really good Rachel player. He looks very familiar, like I should know him from GG somewhere but I cant put my finger on from where. He told me to just pick what side I like, he didnt even care about doing RPS, you could tell he was very arrogent and wasnt very worried about my begginer Arakune. Well I guess he didnt have much reason to be because he knew exactly how to deal with Arakune very well and was able to handle me pretty easily. I got some damage off him and stuff but he beat me convincingly.

After that I just felt very tired. Playing with a fever took its toll and I just sat down on the bench against the wall and fell asleep for a while. At about 6:00, Matt woke me up and said they were gonna go to another arcade so I finally got up and we headed out. On the way to the station, Richard suggested I just go home early since I wasnt doing so well. That sounded like a great idea cuz I was fucking beat.

I said bye to them there and headed back to Gunma about 2 hours earlier than usual. I had a wait a whole hour to transfer at Takasaki station since the train schedule in Gunma sucks big hairy nuts.

This whole week ive been sick as hell, with a bad fever and some of the worst and most painful diarrhea ever. Im still sick now but finally mustered up the energy to type this shit up.

I doubt Ill go to Tokyo this weekend, probly best to just make sure im healthy for the holidays. Ill be leaving for Chicago on Dec 23rd so I should rest up while I can.

This will be my last blog post of the year. I will follow up next time with a blog entree about Frosty Faustings!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Come... To the Crimson Side!

On my way to Tokyo I got a mail from Rod (Honnou) who said he was going to Joybox, so I said I would meet him there. I also mailed Matt to see what he was up to but recieved no reply. When I arrived at Joybox, Rod got there about 1 minute later. We played a good ammount of casuals against a few people. There was this one Ragna player there who was gimmicky as hell. He just started every single combo with a series of standing As, then would finish with a string into DP. The only other thing he ever did was just run at you and DP any chance he got, and he would RC his DP into another DP. Maybe like 1/10 times, he would throw you instead. It was extremely annoying because the guy wasnt even that good, just playing super gimicky but it was working on us because we havnt gotten used to the timing to punish Ragna's DP yet. Its like sometimes safe and soemtimes not. The guy had this stupid grin on his face the whole time too. Sorta like that "Yea im the fuckin shit!" grin going on. I was just thinking how if this guy as playing Sol like this in GG I would be owning him so hard. Anyway, eventually Rod beat him with his Tager and then a few Noel players played against us. One of the Noel players was kinda gimmicky too but he was IMO better than the Ragna. He sorta had that grin thing going on too. I was playing pretty bad most of the night, most of it was execution based too. I was having a hard time against the Noel but after several tries I finally beat him. I hope those matches dont go online cuz they were pretty craptastic.

Time seemed to fly by pretty quickly and before we knew it, it was already passed 11. We decided to go hit up Current. Tonight at Current was Piko's birthday. It wasnt some huge epic birthday party like the one for Mogi, Sushi, or mine, but lots of regulars came and it was a good crowd and good times. Mogi, Sushi, Masami, Piko, Bosch, both Mais, Ayami, Michi, Yone, Yago, Megu, Chip, SPG Chris, Nick, Kristie, Maki, Rina, Mame, Nozomi, and some various other people were all there at some point. Rod wanted to see Tomoko but she was busy so she couldnt come, but Mai (Tomoko's friend) was dancing like crazy as usual so Rod danced with her for a while. At some point, Piko and Yone took their pants off and so did Rod and they all started dancing around in their underwear LOL! It didnt last that long though. Piko DJed at first but then Sushi told me I could DJ for a while. They let me DJ for longer than they said they would. I dont remember the whole set or the order but I played

Alice Cooper - The Ballad of Dwight Fry (live)
Symphony X - In The Dragons Den
Stratovarius - Legions
Boston - Peace of Mind
Mr Big - Take Cover
Judas Priest - Breakin the Law (live)
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Hammerfall - Stone Cold
Megadeth - Peace Sells (but whos buyin?)
Children of Bodom - Oops I Did It Again (Britiny Spears cover LOL!)
ACDC - Some Sin for Nothin

They originally told me I could DJ for 30 minutes but it ended up being more like an hour which was cool with me! Lots of free shots were being passed around too in honor of Piko's birthday whih was cool. I also bought him a shot of Jagermiester.

After closing time, Rod and I hit up PSY where SPG Chris had headed earlier, and Masami also joined us there later. I was pretty damn drunk, but in the good way where I felt fucking awsome and not sick or tired at all. We requested some songs there as always and enjoyed more beer (I love beer btw) and after closing time, Rod, Nick, Rod's friend Takau, and I all got some drunken Yoshinoya. After that it was off to the manga kissa for me.

I woke up the next day and went right to Vegas. A few people were already there paying BB. I got a few matches in, won a few and lost a few. Shortly after, Kifa (the yellow Faust player) showed up and busted out his Arakune. I actually managed to beat him on my first try, but the he rematched me again and I couldnt beat him after trying a few more times. In between tries, Kazuki was there too and also attempted to beat him with his Rachel but Kazuki couldnt get a win on him either, so I didnt feel so bad. I also played some games against Vegas Pink Axl (im gonna start calling him VPA) who just got off work. He was using his Ragna which is already pretty decent. I tried about 3 times but couldnt beat him.

After a little BB action, I went to get some Wendys cuz I was fuckin hungry. I was gonna pick up a cigar too but I forgot.

After eating, I headed back to Vegas. I played a little more BB but wasnt doing so hot. I dont know what it was, but I suddenly just had this feeling that Rachel wasnt the character for me. Like, im sure I could probably be good with her if I really put in the time and effort, but I just couldnt see myself using her down the road. It just felt off. I was always torn between Rachel and Arakune before the game came out and I just happened to roll with Rachel at first. I think its cuz she seemed easier to pick up and Arakune just seemed confusing as hell to me when I first tried him. I decided that it was time to give Arakune another chance. However, I didnt really wanna do it just now a Vegas against these guys when I dont know wtf im doing, so I decided to go play a little Gear.

It felt good to wield my scalpel again and throw some random items. There sadly werent that many people playing though. I played against this one Venom player who was pretty good, lost the first game but then rematched him and won cuz I started to feel adjusted again to AC. After that he picked Eddie and Millia on me and I beat him and then he eventually went back to Venom. We went back and forth a bit and he occasionally went back to Eddie. Overall I won more times than he beat me but I honestly dont remember the score or anything like that. After he left, no one was playing me for a bit and I wasnt very patient to sit and wait and fight the computer for too long so I just got up and played a little more BB.

Some guy who wasnt very good tried to play me a bunch of times with a few different characters and I beat him like 10 times in a row. I eventually lost to a Ragna but im not sure if it was the same guy or a different guy. After that I decided I was gonna go find somewhere with not many people playing BB so I could try to learn some Arakune stuff in arcade mode.

I decided to first check out Mikado since its right down the street from Vegas. When I got there I was surprised to see that they were just about to start a BB tournament! So much for finding a dead place to practice haha. Im always down for some tournament action so I decided to enter. I entered with Rachel of course since I still didnt even know jack crap about how to use Arakune. I think a total of only 9 players entered the tournament. I dont think it was very advertised. Another strange thing about this tournament was this was the first tournament in Japan that I have been to that was double elimination! I guess cuz the game is new and the turnout was low, they set up a double elim bracket. It was scheduled to start in about 10 minutes. I mailed Matt and told him how I just found a random tournament but I never got a reply. I didnt bother telling Rod cuz he was on a class trip all day until later in the evening. I was also surprised to see that VPA was there (he plays pink Ragna too btw haha). I didnt know who anyone else was aside from him though. Before the tournament started I played a quick game of casuals vs a gray colored Jin player. I took a round and it was close but I lost. After that, the tournament began.

I was like the 2nd match to play. My match was against the same Jin player I had just fought. His handle was Megane, but im not sure if he was the same Megane that plays I-no in GG. He was a skinny short dude with thick black glasses. The first round was somewhat... close but he ended up getting in on me and I couldnt get him off me. The 2nd round he got me in this air combo and I bursted on accident when i wasnt trying to at all, the burst completely whiffed and I got fucking punished hard. I ended up losing but honestly didnt really even care. You can watch it here. I watched the next few matches and Megane Jin went on to win the whole winners bracket. After that they started losers and I was the 2nd match to play. I was to fight a Bang player, I dont remember his name. I just zoned well and kept him away and ended up beating him 2 rounds straight. Shortly after, my next match was vs a Litchi player. I have a lot of trouble with this matchup and this time was no different. The rounds were pretty close but I ended up losing to him. You can watch the match here. After that I decided to just stay and watch the rest cuz I wanted to see who won. VPA beat the Litchi I lost to and then beat a white colored Ragna in a mirror match. He then made it to the finals against Megane Jin. It was a bit one sided and Megane Jin beat him down to take the whole tournament.

After it was over, I congratulated Megane Jin and told him he was really good. He said its Jin thats really good heheh. I asked him if he was going to the tournament tomorrow at Club Sega Shinjuku. He said he didnt even know about it. I had to go to the bathroom kinda bad so I said bye to him and VPA and took care of that. After that I decided to continue on with my quest of finding a place where I could try out some Arakune stuff. I figured I would check out the arcades on the south end of Shinjuku station. On my way there, I stopped by the cigar shop and got that cigar I forgot to buy earlier.

First I hit up Club Sega Shinjuku but there were too many people playing as I pretty much expected. Up next I went to Spot 21. This place also had a lot of people. I then went to Joybox and there were people there too. I was pretty much out of options so I just said fuck it and figured if im gonna lose a lot trying to learn Arakune with no knowledge or experience, I might as well do it at 50 yen a game instead of 100 yen a game. I played one match against some Ragna and lost. I got up to get more change and all of a sudden Rod just appears out of no where from the other side of the cab. He just arrived at Joybox. He mailed and called my phone but I didnt notice it. He said he figured I would be here so he just guessed right. He told me his class trip ended up being like 2 hours of all you can drink so he was kinda drunk. I immedietly told Rod I had decided to drop Rachel for Arakune. He seemed to think it was a good call since he suites my play style.

We all played some games for a while and I actually did manage to win a few matches with Arakune despite not really knowing anything. I didnt know any combos or links or what the properties of any of his moves were but I improvised and managed to win here and there. The thing was, I didnt even mind losing! I was having a lot of fun just using the character! I would sometimes get very frusterated when I lost with Rachel, espessially when it was due to execution issues. I noticed that with Arakune, controlling him just felt kinda more natural to me and and even though I had no idea what I was doing with him, everything I tried to do (among the stuff I knew how to do) at least always came out when I wanted it to.

After about an hour or so of playing, Rod said he had plans to meet up with Tomoko in front of this one bar. It was already 10 and I figured I might as well just go drinking with them so we left. We waited for Tomoko in front of the bar for a bit but she was taking a while so I went to get a corn dog and a redbull from the conbini. When I came back she was there with her friend from Osaka (I think her name was Emi). Emi was just visiting for the weekend so she wanted to walk around and see some of Kabuki-cho, so we did a little walking around. Rod asked them where they wanted to go, and Tomoko asked us to show her where we always play games, so we ended up going to Vegas lol! She wanted to watch us play, so I played a game of Blazblue. I picked Arakune and played against a Litchi player but I wasnt doing so well. She was cheering me on and stuff all enthusiasticly but sorta did like this pouty thing when I lost haha. I told her that I just started learning this character like an hour ago so I wasnt good yet. Rod played for a bit with his Tager and did much better.

After watching us play for a bit, Tomoko and Emi left cuz Tomoko had to walk her to the station where she would get on her overnight bus. She said she would come back, so Rod and I just played and waited. Rod ended up playing a little Gear, and I continued to try to beat the Litchi player from before. Eventually Tomoko came back and stuck around for a bit, but then she said she suddenly said goodbye and left. I figured she was going drinking with us but I didnt know the details. I continued to play and after I think maybe like 9 or 10 tries, I finally beat the guy with Arakune. After that, he got up and left. He was probly like thinking "fucking scrub, im leaving" which is exactly what I wanted! This meant I was finally free to try to play against the computer and actually test stuff out! I probably only played for about 10 or 15 minutes against the computer. I was able to find out at least what links into what to an extent and found out the commands for some of his moves that werent listed on the cab, as well as discovered all his command normals. I also realized how the curse works. Up until this point, I didnt even know that button presses summoned bugs, I thought it was just random! LOL! Previously I had never read any of the character specific information about the game other than the stuff for Rachel cuz I just wanted to focus on getting good with her. I also read general system mechanic stuff, of course, though. This is why I honestly had no idea wtf I was doing with Arakune. Its a miracle I won any matches at all LOL! I wanted to test out some more stuff, but suddenly they started turning the lights off. I checked the time and it was already like passed 12:30.

I hadnt seen Rod in a while so I went over to check and he was just messing around against the computer in GG. I asked him whats up and he said that Tomoko ended up going to some party at her friend Mai's place. I guess he asked Tomoko if she wanted to go with him together but she said she was just gonna go alone. Appearently Mai told Rod in an email that he could come by too but I guess there was some sorta confusion. I dont know the exact details, but in any case, Rod was contemplating about whether or not he should go to the party since we originally were gonna hit up Current for the metal event. I kinda wanted to go to Current, but Rod said that Mai told him its ok for me to go to the party as well. I can go to Current anytime and a party sounded like fun, so I figured why the hell not.

We left Vegas and headed to the station but we found out that the last train had already gone. I suggested we ask a cab driver how much cab fair would be. He said 2000 yen and we figured if we split that it was totally affordable, so we just took a cab out to the area where Mai lives. She met us at the station with another girl. The other girl was her friend Nao. She told us that Nao was the DJ. She was pretty cute, had a cute hat and glasses and a nice face. As we were walking to Mai's apartment we were talking and it turned out that somewhere along the line, someone misunderstood someone or something... but somehow this "party" we were invited to ended up being just the 4 of us hanging out at Mai's apartment with Tomoko coming by later. I kinda wanted to experience a Japanese house party since I had never been to one but I figured Id just make the most of it. We were stuck there anyway since the trains stopped. We stopped by at a Family Mart on the way to buy some booze. I ended up getting four 500 ml cans of Kirin 7 strong (which is like a cheap beer that has 7% abv). It tastes alright for a cheap beer and I had never tried drinking it all night before so I wanted to test how well it worked out for future reference. Rod bought some Umeshu.

We arrived at Mai's, who lives alone in a pretty nice apartment. Nao got to work as DJ (just putting what songs she wanted to hear on the CD player). She had a big selection of stuff though and a lot of it was stuff I had never heard of before; lots of indie kinda music but some of it was actually really good. We pretty much just all drank and talked and chilled for a while. Eventually Mai went to meet up with Tomoko who was waiting for her, so Rod hid up on the bunk bed and I hid underneath under some blankets. Tomoko didnt know we were there. When she entered the room we jumped out and scared the shit out of her. She was all surprised and shit haha. I honestly dont really know what the deal is with her and Rod at the moment but im pretty sure she likes him. She seemed embarresed at first but eventually she got all snugly with Rod. Most of the rest of the night was us all just getting really drunk and hanging out talking and listening to music. Nothing crazy or wild really happened. At around 5 am I was just getting straight up rocked by those Kirin 7 strongs and started to pass out. Everyone else was getting tired too. We all went to sleep shortly after. Rod slept next to Tomoko up on the top bunk. I slept really good and it was way more comfortable than the manga kissa.

I woke up the next day and Tomoko was playing the piano (Mai has a grand Piano in her bedroom which takes up like 1/3 of the whole room, shes a music major at her university). After a little bit more relaxing, Tomoko had to leave. Nao had already left earlier in the morning. Rod and I stayed and messed around on Mai's piano for a bit with her. Mai asked me if I wanted to stay here every weekend lol! Im not sure if she was serious or joking but I told her I probly would be mostly staying at the manga kissa haha. Mai walked us out and we sorta snuck around all Solid Snake style cuz I guess Mai was sensative about her neighbors seeing her leave her apartment with 2 guys in the early afternoon. Japanese people often tend to gossip and are very observent of what goes on in their local communities a lot of the time. We snuck out with no problem and then Mai walked us to the train station. We thanked her for having us over and said goodbye and got on the train.

We headed back over to Shinjuku cuz we were gonna play in today's BB tournament at Club Sega Shinjuku. However, we were both really hungry so we decided get some food first at the Indian resturaunt over by Current. After eating, we walked to Club Sega and on the way we passed by a pachinko place. A new Star Wars pachinko game came out this weekend and there were all kinds of Darth Vader shit all over the place. Rod told me he had a storm trooper give him some free tissue earlier LOL.

We made it to the tournament on time. Infact, when we got there, I was surprised to see it was dead. I then realized that SIGNUPS start at 2, but I originally thought the tournament started at 2. By about 2:15 or so it started to fill up as people began to sign up. MIU was there doing signups and would be running the tournament as expected. I decided that despite still hardly knowing how to use the character, I would enter today as Arakune. Even though I knew I wasnt gonna do well, I figured its just a waste of time for me to keep using Rachel if I really was serious about switching. Rod entered as Tager. I dont know who everyone was who entered, but a few noteworthy players were there. DIE-chan was there and he entered as Noel. Karun was there and he entered as Litchi. Also, this one really short, blue Potemkin player whos pretty good that I always saw at SBO quals was there playing Tager, but I dont know his name.

I talked with MIU a little and told him I was changing to Arakune cuz hes more interesting to me than Rachel. He said Rachel is also an interesting character, to which I agreed, but told him that Arakune suits my play style more IMO. He told me he still hasnt really played the game all that much yet but will probably main Ragna, which was to be expected.

I still had my cigar from the previous day. I didnt wanna be rude and smoke it in Mai's apartment so I saved it. I figured I might as well just bust it out now and enjoy a nice cuban while i play in today's tournament. MIU was kinda enough to give me a razor to use to cut it and I lit that sucker up and enjoyed it throughout the whole tournament.

Eventually the tournament started and it was time to see how my one-day-Arakune would fair in his first tournament. I still honestly felt like I had no idea what I was doing yet with this character but fuck it, I was gonna have fun anyway! They called my match and Rods match at the same time so we played on the cabs next to eachother. Rod was to fight a Taokaka and I was to fight a Rachel (kinda like fighting my old self, execpt this Rachel was way better than mine). I actually did a lot better than I was expecting to. I even won a round! The last round wasnt too bad, I got him down to like less than half life, but he beat me. I didnt really care nor have any regrets. Rod's match was really close but he got hit by the Taokaka super and didnt know that it was unblockable and ended up losing. Had he known, he could have easily using several other options to stop it but oh well. We decided that instead of sticking around to watch the rest of the tournament, we would just head out and go practice some more at Joybox.

We said bye and thank you to MIU and went on our way. When we arrived at Joybox we were shocked to see that they now had TWO BB machines, both still at 50 yen per play! Fuck yea! There were people there playing, so I didnt get a chance to go into arcade mode again, but we played a bunch of casuals anyway. Rod only stayed for about an hour or so because he had plans to meet up with Tomoko again. When it was time for him to go I said bye to him and just continued to play.

Things were going fine for a while and I would win now and then. Then blue Taokaka happened... He beat me but then I rematched him and I beat him. After that, there was like a minute or so of time when no one played me and I was thinking, "sweet, I can learn combos!" but then he challenged me again. This time I lost to him... then I lost to him again... and again... and again... At first, it was fine. I didnt care, I wasnt getting upset, and I didnt mind losing. The guy was decent but not like amazing. I had fought, and beaten, better Taokaka's before back when I was using Rachel. The thing that started to piss me off, was then guy eventually just started fucking with me. At some point, he just tried to throw me every single fucking chance he got, to the point where it was just mindless and excessive. It worked a little for like one match and I caught on quick and then I just started teching it every time, but the guy just wouldnt give up. Then he started doing some stupid crap where he did these 2 moves over and over again, and I couldnt do anything. I dont know Taokaka's moves by name but it was like some quick hit and then this overhead hop thing, which left me in block stun long enough to do another quick hit, into another hop, which he just kept repeating. I was able to burst away from it and dead angle away, but when I didnt have bar or burst, he just kept doing it over... and over... and over. I couldnt squeeze in any normals. Appearently Arakune doesnt have anything fast enough to interupt it. I tried instant blocking and doing a standing A but for some reason it didnt seem to work either. I probably was just timing it wrong, but the sheer scrubbyness of this shit was just pissing me off. If I was Rachel I could have easily just done 2C (the electric chair) and that shit would have been done, but since I was Arakune I had no idea how to get away. The guy just kept spamming this shit like a fuck tard. After the match, I went over to him and told him this was my first day of using Arakune and asked him what move can interupt that. He said he didnt know. The guy was like this pudgy little shit head looking guy. He had this pig snout nose and this stupid smartass grin on his face. You could tell he thought he was like the best player ever and was totally just trying to fuck with me. I played him again and he went back to doing that stupid crap and eventually he started playing normally again. Im all about the playing to win mindset and doing whatever works, but its obvious that in a match against someone who knows what they are doing, that that tactic isnt gonna work. Instead of actually trying to gain experience playing his character right, he chose to just be a dick head and abuse some crap that will never work in a match down the road. Thats why I was getting annoyed. The sad thing was, there were so many times when I came within a pixel of beating this guy but he somehow always managed to just get lucky at the last second and pull ahead. I couldnt help but get a little pissed off at this whole situation but I just thought to myself, im almost beating some guy whos probably been playing the game every day since it came out for 3 weeks with his character and im using a character I dont even know how to use on my first day and almost winning, all the while this guy knows this is my first day yet he still thinks hes like totally awsome. There were lots of times I considered just picking Rachel and tearing him a new asshole but I figured, whats the point, I wont learn anything that way.

Eventually after lots of tries, I beat the guy, which was like a minute or so before I had to leave to catch the last train. As soon as I won, I just got up and left and headed for the train station. I was still kind adjitated but eventually just shook it off and just passed out on the train and slept the whole way home.

Now, more than ever, I wish I could practice the game during the week, because I have so much I want to learn with Arakune. Hes just so much more fun to play as than Rachel for me. Its funny cuz I started out playing Guilty Gear as a Millia player and even used her in XX for the first few weeks of playing the game until one day I just decided to try out Faust and it just felt so right. I have this same feeling from Arakune, I just need to learn how to use him. Unfortunately, unlike with Faust, I dont have access to training mode. Yesterday, I finally read the Arakune thread and watched some match vids of him for the first time and now I finally understand a lot of things about him. If I knew all that stuff that I know now, I would have destroyed that Taokaka so hard lol! I hope hes back again next week. I look forward to wiping that smartass smirk off his pig nosed face.

...anyway..... it feels good to have joined the Crimson side of the force.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learning to Fly

Earlier in the week, I drove to Numata which is the town next to mine. This town, which is about a 40 minute drive, is the closest place to where I live with an arcade. They actually have 2 arcades and they both had Accent Core (though the Sega World only has a one sided cab with one set of controls, meaning you can only play one player). These arcades never have comp at all and are pretty much worthless to go to unless you want to play arcade mode vs the computer. However, I wanted to see if they got Blazblue because I could at least go there and practice combos and learn stuff even without having human comp. Much to my disapointment, neither of them had gotten the game. On top of that, the other arcade that actually had a few fighters and a regular AC cab, had replaced all of their fighting games with purikura machines (those photobooth sticker machines) so that arcade is pretty much completely worthless now. At least while I was there I found a nice PS3 Virtua stick high grade used for 2800 yen which is a great deal! Ill be using that to play HD remix started next week.

I started off the weekend this time on a Thursday. There were no classes to teach on Friday so I took the day off. I headed to Shinjuku at Vegas for Blazblue casuals. Nakamura was there and I got to play against his Taokaka a bit. He beat me like 5 or 6 times in some close games and I eventually beat him. I dont know the matchup well at all yet since I had hardly fought any good Taokakas at this point but I learned a lot just from these few games. After I beat him he said he had some business to take care of so he said goodbye and headed out. I played a bit more and eventually Rod (Honnou) came and he was with this girl named Mai (not to be confused with all the other Mais I have mentioned in this blog). He had plans to go eat with her but said he would meet up with me later.

After playing a bit at Vegas it was sorta dead so I went to Sportsland. Shoot was there (he works there). While I was playing, Shoot told me how to do Rachel's astral finish (which is sorta like an isntant kill in GG). During the final round of the match for both players, once you get full meter and health is less than 30% or so, just do down down down B. Its slow and doesnt seem very practical to use yet but over time, people may find a use for it. I havnt seen anyone actually use an astral finish in a match yet. Rod (Honnou) met up with me while I was playing at Sportsland, and after a few games he went to Current because he was to meet up with someone there. I told him I would catch up with him in a bit. He later emailed me saying Maiyuko was there and was asking about me. After winning a few games and waiting for a challenger but not having anyone play against me, I headed to Current as well.

At Current, it was very much like a typical Friday as far as turnout, but seeing as how it was a Thursday I was surprised. I talked with Maiyuko for a bit and this other guy named John who is a friend of hers as well as a photographer who does photo work for Monty at metal shows. In addition, there was this fucking WASTED English dude from Wales there. He looked about my age, pretty skinny. I forgot his name but Jackass is a fitting name so Ill call him Wales Jackass. He came up to me all wasted and started asking me all kinds of questions almost like he was trying to start a fight. I knew this guy was wasted cuz I already witnessed him fall off his bar stool a few times and also saw him like playfully slam Rod with some weird wrestling-esqe sorta move. He said something like "I think you look like a pussy". He was trying to say stuff that would offend me but I knew this guy was a joke and actually found it amusing. I told him he couldnt say anything that would piss me off and eventually he gave up and said he was a pussy too. Then he said he wanted to arm wrestle me. I was just like.. um sure why not. He was like "If you beat me, Ill kiss you." Im like "no thanks dude, I dont want that shit" and then hes like "ok if you beat me ill buy you a drink". At this point I was wondering if he was hitting on me.... I arm wrestled him and beat him pretty much for free... twice. Once with each arm. Afterwords I was like, dont worry about the drink. He was like "no no, I promised I would buy it". Except he never did! LOL what an ass. He took my hat and put it on and then went and sat at the other side of the bar. A few minutes later I got up to use the bathroom and as I passed by him I stole it back. I didnt talk to him after that the rest of the night. Everyone else at the bar had some good laughs at this guys expense.

The rest of the night I just talked with a few people, mainly John, and his Japanese friend and business partner Juniya. Rod spent most of the time there playing some DS strategy RPG but I dont remember what it was called. After the bar closed, Rod decided to go home. John, Juniya and Maiyuko were gonna go get food and I was hungry so I joined them. We went to this small dart bar over right by Vegas and my usual manga kissa and the place was called Sector 7-G (note The Simpsons reference). We got some food there and another beer and talked about various stuff and then at maybe about 6 am we headed out. It was only like a 15 second walk to the manga kissa. How convenient!

Next day (which was Friday), I woke up and headed right to Vegas. Some people were already there playing BB. I got a 12 win streak until I finally lost to a bang player. This was like one of the first decent Bang players I ever fought. I had already beat him a few times but he got a win on me eventually. Then I got 5 more wins and lost to him once more. I played a while longer and eventually Rod showed up. A little later we were getting hungry and needed a break from playing so we went to go get some food at this awsome indian resturaunt near Current and came back. A really good Litchi player was there and she had a 20 win streak but I beat her and ended it.

After a while I was getting kinda owned by some really good players so I decided to take a break and play some Accent Core. For the first few matches I felt all off and rusty because I hadnt played it yet all weekend and my brain was fixed on BB mode, but I eventually adjusted back. Theres this one orange Ky player whos there often and hes pretty good but I dont know his name. Rod was having some trouble beating him and seemed to be getting a little annoyed, saying that the guy pisses him off. The guy eventually played against me and I lost to him too, but I rematched him and eventually beat him 4 times in a row and he gave up. During the last match against him, I decided to be a cocky asshole and I taunted him after one of the rounds, giving him 50% tension. I then proceeded to perfect him that round and he never got to use any of it LOL! After that, MK (the Johnny player) challenged me a few times but I beat him without any loses and he also played his Sol against me which I beat as well. He had one of those Sols that likes to DP way too much. Then a bunch of other people played me and among them was this one guy who was kinda scrubby. I was being kinda a dick and taunting him a lot. At one point he tried to actually IK me with Ky LOL! After that, I constantly went into IK mode and tried to IK him with Faust, and after it missed (of course, beacause Fausts IK is slow and worthless) I just beat him anyway with no super bar LOL. I eventually got a 20 win streak soon after, Matt showed up all late. We were actually ready to head out soon because it was already late but Matt wanted to play a few games. At some point in there, Nick showed up too in order to meet up with us before going to Current. No one beat me yet, and I went to go use the bathroom and Rod took over my game. Orange Ky came back for some more and when I came back from the bathroom, Rod was fighting him with my Faust. It was a close round but Rod lost. I took over after that but I ended up losing to him. I didnt really care cuz we were gonna leave anyway.

After that, we all headed to Current. The Wales Jackass was there again but this time he didnt say anything to me the whole night and left pretty early... good shit! To be quite honest, I dont really remember much about this night. I just remember it being a pretty typcal night at Current which is fine, but nothing to really mention. Rod was playing that DS game again and realized that he didnt save it fromt he previous night. Also, I busted out N+ on my DS and showed Matt who never played before. He tried to beat this one level for like 20 minutes and kept failing, and then I beat it in like 1 minute lol.

After Current closed, Rod and Nick went home, but I went with Matt to PSY. A tyical night at PSY as well. A few of the PSY late night regulars were there including Request Man who was just drinking at the bar.

After they closed we got food and then I decided I would go try staying at Matt's host family's house since it was a long weekend and I wanted to get some quality sleep and a shower. It took a while to get there since we had to take a few train lines and the place was sorta near Akihabara. Eventually we made it there. The place was pretty big actually. It was like 5 floors and the family owned the whole building. The family owns a vegetable company. Matt lived in a room on the top floor. There was an extra futon for me to sleep on so I got some good rest.

I woke up the next day and took a shower and then the host mom made us some breakfast and we chatted for a bit. Overall it was nice cuz I got some sleep, the food was good, and the host mom was nice, but I felt a little awkward staying there cuz I didnt even know them. I probably wont stay there often since it takes a while to get there and I usually just wanna pass the fuck out ASAP after a long night of drinking, but its nice to know its there if I need it.

We decided to go play at Akihabara since it was close by. They have 5 cabs, and they are now set on 3/5 rounds, so its a great place to play. Lots of people were there playing, though I dont know who most of them were. I played some games and was doing so-so. It felt like so many players were already so far ahead of me and I was getting slightly frusterated, though seeing as how I can only play on weekends at these guys can play every day, I guess its to be expected. I know ill catch up eventually.

I decided to take a break from BB and play more GG. A little before this, Matt had to duck out for a bit to handle a private ekaiwa English lesson and would return about 2 hours later. There was this Eddie player who was beating lots of people. I played him a few times and lost because once again I was in BB mode and it really fucks with my execution. I need a few games to adjust before I can go back to GG and play at 100%. Once I got adjusted again I was able to beat him a few times and we went back and forth for a while. I think he was friends with Ogawa cuz they were talking for a while too. After I got tired of playing the Eddie player enough times, I decided to go back to Blazblue.

This time I was doing much better in general and got a few mini win streaks. Matt eventually returned as well and we played against various people for a bit longer. We got a message from Rod who wanted to meet us in Shinjuku, so we left Akihabara and headed over there.

We met Rod at Shinjuku Sportsland for some games. As always, Shoot was there working. He was giving all of us various advice about our characters while we were playing. We mostly played a few matches against eachother and a few various people. I think most of us were going fairly even from what I remember. Its nice to see we are all picking up the game at a fairly even pace as of now.

After playing for a big, it was time to go drinking. Earlier in the day, Rod went to a Shiina Ringo concert (she is a very famous Japanese pop/rock artist and is also who the Guilty Gear character I-no is somewhat based off of). He went with Tomoko (the current regular) and also had dinner with her. He promised to meet her at Current (she was waiting there for him). However, tonight was the birthday party for Nozomi (another regular) at Zin (where she works). Matt and I decided to go to Zin and Rod headed to Current. We planned to meet up again later.

Zin was absoloutly packed! The most packed I have ever seen it... to the point where you could hardly even move and there wasnt really anywhere to sit for many people. Most of the people there were actually regulars from Current since they are all friends with Nozomi. We stayed there for a bit and had a few drinks and I bought Nozomi a shot of Wild Turkey for her birthday and drank it with her. After staying there for maybe an hour or 2, we got an email from Rod saying that Current had a fair ammount of people there so we decided to go check it out.

It ended up being about the same ammount of people that were there the last 2 nights. Rod was sitting with Tomoko who was already all tired and sorta passing out. The 2 of them were getting pretty cozy sitting with eachother and at one point started making out. It seems Rod has sorta made a choice as to what girl he wants to pursue (appearently lately Ayami has been being a bit... cold... I guess you can say, and doesnt really talk with us much anyway). The 2 of them eventually fell asleep on eachothers shoulders. SPG Chris (who was at Zin earlier) was also there drinking with some people. Chip was also at Zin earlier but all of a sudden showed up at Current not long after we got there. Also, that one blonde girl Kirstie was there with some friends but they left to go to some trance club or some shit. We were thinking of going somewhere else to drink since Current kinda cleared out towards the end, but we ended up just talking a lot with Current staff and ended up staying till a little before closing. Masami and Mogi told us that the party at Zin would probably go late and they said they were gonna go there and drink after closing up the bar, so Matt and I decided to go back to Zin to drink some more. Before we left, Matt asked Rod if he was gonna take Tomoko to a love hotel in Okubo for some good times. Rod was just like "Matt, sometimes you just say the most inapropriate things" or something like that. Kinda funny.

Matt and I arrived back at Zin and now it was still full of people but not as crazy as before so it was much more comfortable. I decided to do 3 snus at the same time and 2 of them were soaked in rum, so I was just buzzing my ass off and was still enjoying some good drinks. Mogi, and Masami showed up soon after as well as Chip and we all had good times drinking together. All of a sudden, at some point, Masami and Yonei start taking off their clothes and ended up trading what they were wearing. It was actually pretty hilarious seeing them in eachothers clothes. Also, Mogi bought an entire bottle of Jack Daniels and was sharing it with lots of people. At about 7 am, the party showed no signs of ending. I could have drank longer but I was getting a bit tired and Matt was on the verge of passing out. I also wanted to play some good games of BB the next day so we decided to just leave. Matt was too lazy to go home so he just went with me to the manga kissa and slept there.

The next day we woke up and the only thing on our minds was playing some BB right away. I was actually supposed to go to Ikebukuro on this day to pick up some SF Alpha 3 DVD that this one guy on SRK paypaled me money to buy for him, but I completely forgot! I didnt even realize it until right before I typed this blog entry. Maybe I can still get it for him next weeekend, otherwise ill just give him his money back. Anyway we headed to Vegas for a bit but then we were getting hungry so we went to get some all you can eat Shakey's pizza lunch buffet.

After that we went to Sportsland cuz its right near there. Rod met up with us at some point while we were at sportsland. There were several good players there, and among them was a very solid Arakune player. This was pretty much my first time fighting against a really solid Arakune that knew what he was doing. Its funny cuz it turned out to be Kiro, the yellow Faust player. Rod tried to beat him several times and I think Matt maybe tried a few as well. Kiro eventually got this big win streak. I tried a couple times too but failed. Eventually I managed to beat him in a close match with a time over and ended his streak. I really felt lost and didnt know what was going on half the time against that character. Once you get hit by the curse, you just get hit by that random garbage and I havnt gotten used to when it hits and the conditions related to it, but its still early. I also need to get used to blocking Arakune as well when hes in my face. Its an interesting match because Rachel can hit him from full screen with her projectiles and can keep him off, but he can just teleport to the other side once you get near to try and rush him down. The match seems to go bad for me once I get cursed as its very hard to hit him. I know Rachel can deal with him though so I just need more experience. There honestly are hardly any Arakune players right now. The most common played characters seem to be Jin, Noel, Rachel, and some Ragna and Litchi too.

Also, while we were there, I asked Shoot who people are generally considering to be the best Blazblue players so far. He said that the top players right now are probably Inoue and Yume (the Sol player). Both of them use Ragna as their mains. He also said this one other Ragna player was top but I forgot his name. After that though, he said FAB's Tager is up there as well, which doesnt surprise me. Seems Ragna is extremely good and I honestly hate fighting him (and Litchi) the most so far in this game. Whether Ragna ends up dominating in the long run, or just for the short term because he seems pretty easy to pick up, remains a mystery.

We all just played for the rest of the day there and at some point I had to duck out and go to the ATM cuz I ran outta money. I wasnt playing all that great in general today though cuz I was just extremely tired from the long weekend and not much sleep. I played 2 more quick games against Matt, I won the first one and lost the 2nd one and then I pretty much had to leave cuz the last train was coming soon. I headed out and passed out the entire way home on the train.

I feel like I learned more this weekend about the game for sure but I have a huge urge to keep learning more. Theres so much I need to learn still about things my character can do as well as how to fight certain matchups. I wish I could play the game during the week, but theres really nothing I can do about it. I look forward to playing a lot more again next weeknend. Next weekend will also be my very first Blazblue tournament, so I am looking forward to that as well. At the same time I still love Guilty Gear but am a bit concerned about the scene. People still play it, but Blazblue is, of course, getting much more attention, which is to be expected. I just wonder if Blazblue really will end up "replacing" Guilty Gear, or if they honestly can co-exist with both of them having healthy scenes with lots of interest. Only...time... will tell.

"Well the good old days may not return
and the rocks might melt, and the sea may burn..."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rebel 1, ACTION!

I headed right for Vegas on Friday night after arriving in Shinjuku. They now head 4 GGAC cabs instead of 5, but next to them they now also had 2 brand new BlazBlue cabs (the nice ones on the HD wide screens). The price was set at 100 yen for 3/5 rounds. Matt and Rod (Honnou) were already there. Rod was playing some AC and Matt was playing BB. Matt decided he was gonna main Noel and played the game a bit the day before (the first day it was out). There were several people playing but it wasnt like crazy packed and didnt take too long to get a turn in. I decided I was gonna go with Rachel because I liked how she played from when I tried her at SBO on the test version. My first match was vs a Jin player. Lots of people already knew some decent combos and stuff and this particular Jin player (along with many others) liked to abuse this freeze reset gimmick. You can mash out of it but when you arnt used to the game it can fuck you up. The most played characters at Vegas that night were Noel and Jin. Most of the cast wasnt even being used. Basically I played a few games at Vegas and wasnt used to the game at all yet and didnt know what linked into what etc (aside from a few basic bread and butter combos I saw online). Its a bit hard to test stuff out when you are getting rushed down mercilessly and dont know which way to block certain things yet. I got beat up pretty bad on all my matches at Vegas. I wanted to try to just mess around against the computer in arcade mode to just get a feel for shit.

I suggested to Matt that we check out some other places to see where else they have the game and if we can find a place that was less busy. We decided to go check out Mikado real quick since its a 30 second walk from Vegas. Rod opted to stay at Vegas cuz he was still playing GG (and hadnt even tried BB yet) so we told him we would be back. Mikado actually had 2 cabinets for BB as well, to my surprise! I heard rumors a while back that Mikado was going to go out of business soon but I doubt thats the case anymore if they just bought 2 BB boards. They had the game running on regular cabinets and since the game is made for wide screen, it was condensed a bit, so the sprites looked taller and thinner than they are supposed to, but its not that noticable and you get used to it fast. The cabs here were also 100 yen to play but only set for 2/3 rounds. There were people playing there as well and no real chance to play arcade mode. However, at some point, Matt won a match and I was able to play against him for a while. He allowed me to try out a few things real fast and I ended up testing out a few various characters such as Arakune, Litchi, Taokaka, and Jin. I didnt really get to try much out other than feeling how they play slightly and seeing what all their moves and normals are. I decided to just stick with Rachel and focus on learning her, at least until I get a better feel for the game.

After playing there a bit longer, we went back to Vegas. Rod tried the game out for his first time. I think he picked Litchi but didnt really know what he was doing either. I decided I had enough BB for the night and would wait till tomorrow when I could probly sit down in the morning and actually learn some things first. I played some gear and it felt a bit weird going back to it. I played a few people and won but I felt off. Then I lost to some random dude in a close match and Rod wanted to play me. I played him in a game vs his I-no and totally brain farted and lost. After that I got re adjusted to AC and did fine and won several games in a row. It was already late and we were hungry so we decided to get food. As we were leaving we didnt see Matt anywhere so we just headed out. I sent him an email on my phone telling him we were gonna go eat at Sukiya near Current. We got there and started eating and eventually Matt showed up. He said he was playing BB but I guess we missed him somehow. After eating we went to Current.

It was an average size crowd for a Friday night. Not many regulars were there (which is probably since the next day is Sushi's birthday party and everyone will come Saturday instead). Sushi, Masami, and Mogi were working, and Ayami was there. Shortly after I arrived, Sushi just out of no where, gave me a still in its original packaging, Dream Theater Chaos in Motion live DVD/CD and said I could barrow it. I have no idea why he had this still in its original factory wrapping but I had no problem barrowing it since Ive never seen the whole thing yet. Sushi is the man. There were these 2 guys from Finland there on vacation who were not at all connected to the regular group of Fins. We chatted with them a bit on and off. Also, Rod's friend Tim came. This was the first time I met him before. He's a stoner from Canada. He reminds me a lot of some of my old friends back in Chicago. We talked a lot about various things and hes a totally cool guy. He said he actually visited Chicago before and really liked it and said the people there were surprisingly friendly. Chicago ownz. Bosch was there DJing and for some reason he was just playing all kinds of really shitty fucking music all night. Like mostly pop and stuff for whatever reason. At one point he even played Hanson.... yes... Hanson. I dont know WTF he was thinking. Its kinda sad when the best song that is played all night (that wasnt requested by one of us) is The Scatman... We stayed till closing and it was a pretty typical night. After that, Rod headed home but Matt, Tim, and I went to PSY.

Typical PSY at 5 am stuff going on. A few people there with Request Man bartending. Heidi and Anna were there and they said they were returning to Norway on Sunday, so this is probably the last time I will see Anna, maybe ever. Anna was getting all cuz I guess she was drunk, and the fact that she was leaving soon was really sinking in. They also had a friend with them who I thought was this French chick we met at PSY before but it turned out to be someone else. Tim liked the place and we all had a good time just chilling out, drinking, and requesting some songs. They closed around 6 as usual and as we were leaving, Tim wanted to keep drinking, haha! We were gonna grab some food and Tim suggested we get some beers from the convenient store. So we went in there and got some beers, except Matt also bought some spaghetti. We were still planning to get McDonalds breakfast but I guess Matt misunderstood so he ended up just bringing his spaghetti inside McDonalds, while Tim and I got some food there. We were sitting and drinking our beers and eating our food. Matt finished his spaghetti really fast but then suddenly he got up all fast and headed for the bathroom. As he was entering the door, we could see him putting his hand over his mouth. It was obvious he was about to see that Spaghetti again! He came back after a bit saying he infact did throw up. He said he totally wrecked the sink in there lol! I went in there to check it out, and the entire sink was just full of spaghetti vomit. However, it almost just looked like regular spaghetti. I dont think he even chewed the stuff! I took a picture and showed Tim and he had a good laugh. Then after a while, Matt made another dash for the bathroom. This time he was in there for a long time so I went to go check on him. The bathroom stall door was closed so I figured he was in there. I asked if he was sleeping and after a brief pause, I heard him drunkenly say "uh... yea probably..." haha. He opened the door and looked like crap and was like proping himself above the toilet against the wall and looked half dead haha. He eventually collected himself and made it out of the bathroom and the 3 of us left McDonalds. Matt and Tim headed for the train station and I went to the manga kissa.

The next day I woke up and realized I set my alarm an hour later than I intended and ended up having to pay 300 yen for the extra hour of sleep, but its alright I guess cuz extra sleep never hurts. I wanted to get up a bit earlier though in hopes to find an unmanned BB cab to practice on. I headed to Vegas since its right across from the manga kissa and there were already a small group of people playing on the cabs. I played a quick match against a Jin player but got beat up kinda bad. I looked on the other side and it was Inoue.

I checked out Mikado and there were people playing over there too. I was hungry and wanted to get some food, so I walked over to Wendy's for a quick bite and then got a cigar for later at the nearby cigar shop. On the way to Wendys, I stopped by Shinjuku Sportsland since its on the way. I was surprised and pleased to see that Sportsland had 3 BB cabs on 3/5 rounds for 100 yen. Basically the same as Vegas but they have one more cab, except at Sportsland they only have 1 nice cab and 2 old cabs. They now only had 2 GGAC cabs at Sportsland down from the previous 6. It seems that Sportsland will end up being a good place to play casuals for BB regularly. Just as all the other places, Sportsland was also full of people playing. There wasnt much time left until the GGAC tournament at Vegas was to start, so I continued on my way and got some food. After eating at Wendys I used their bathroom. Since Matt doesnt live in Nakano in his apartment anymore, I cant easily take a shower. Wendys has a nice big sink in their bathroom (which is a single person use bathroom with a sink and toilet and they have 2 of them) and I brought some shampoo, so I took like a couple minutes to wash my hair since its a long weekend. After washing my hair and changing my clothes, which took about 5 minutes, I kinda had to take a dump, but I figured there were people possibly waiting to use the bathroom and I didnt wanna be an asshole. I figured I could just hold it till I got to Vegas so I left without taking a shit. As soon as I left Wendys I began to regret my decision. I suddenly had a sharp pain and could feel that shit just ready to burst! I tried to walk a bit fast and did my best to hold it in. Vegas is about 5 or 10 minutes from Wendys depending on how many intersections you have to wait for the light at and how crowded the street is. About half way to Vegas it felt like an elephant was fucking me in the ass. I just prayed that the toilet at Vegas was not in use since they only have one in the mens room (aside fromt he 2 urinals). When I finally made it to Vegas I was so happy when the toilet stall door opened and I quickly sat down and it just exploded right out! I think it was easily like one of the top 3 best shits I ever took in my life. After cleaning up the aftermath I went over to check out the GGAC cabs which were moved in the back corner for the tournament.

A good ammount of people were there for the tournament and I played some casuals in order to warm up. I did well, winning a few and lost in a close match to a Robo-Ky. I promised Rod I would team up with him (todays tourny was a 2 on 2) so I mailed him and asked him if he was on his way since it was gonna start soon. He got back to me quick and said he was on his way there. While I waited I signed up our team as "Pretty Maids" named after the band, in which they always play at Current that Rod has recently come to like. I think a total of about 18 or 20 teams or so entered the tournament. There were some pretty buff players there such as H.H, Mugen, Osaka B, Inoue, Taku, Sadouu, Basara, Lyrical Lit, and others. Baim was there as she always is for Vegas tournaments but just watched instead of entering.

Rod showed up and we played a few casuals against people and then the tournament started. We were one of the first teams to play. Our first match was against a team of Ky and May. Everyone knows I hate May but I told Rod ill do my best. I won RPS and let my opponents pick their character first. They put Ky first and I generally do very well against most Kys so I told Rod I would just go first. I ended up beating the Ky with not much trouble both rounds. Up next was May. I played pretty solid and just zoned her out and she really couldnt get in on me. The guy had a decent May but wasnt extremely exceptional or anything and I was able to pull off a victory! While waiting for our next match, I saw Basara and Taku play a Slayer mirror match. Taku emerged victorious and shortly after, they called our next match, which was to be against Taku and Sadouu (hes the green Johnny player I had mentioned in recent weeks that I played lots of casuals against). These guys are both really buff. Sadouu has a great Johnny but in casuals I usually go about even with him. I was a bit unsure about Taku. This time Rod went first with his I-no against Sadouu's Johnny. He put forth a good effort and the rounds were fairly close but Rod wasnt able to take him out. I went next and the first round was a bit ugly. I sucked it up and manged to win the next 2 rounds! Up next was Taku. He had a 17 win streak before the tournament that went undefeated so I knew he was on his game today. I played really solid and we both won 1 round. For the final round, I got him down to like a pixel of health but then he started to make a comeback. He got me in a combo and comboed into his air super and after it hit, I had like a pixel of health left myself. I thought it was the end since he could combo after with a jab or something, but after doing the super he landed on top of the mini Potemkin that was crawling around on the ground below and I won! After the match I shook both their hands and apolagized for the lucky mini Po, hah. We were now in the final 4 of the tournament. For our next match, I looked and saw that it was vs Dizzy and HOS. I figured thats cool cuz I know those matchups fairly well, but then I looked at the player names and it ended up being H.H and Inoue. Blah... They told us they didnt even care about playing RPS and just told us we could choose the side and Inoue got on the cab right away. I told Rod to just go first and do his best. He tried, but Inoue was just too much for him. I hung in there a bit but he took me down as well. I really wanted to beat him cuz every single time ive played Inoue in a tournament Ive lost (and he was the one who beat me in my very first tournament upon arriving in Japan as well), but unfortunately today was more of the same in that regard. After we lost, we were about to leave, but the tournament organizer told us to wait because even though we were out, we had to play one more match to decide who gets 3rd place. We had to fight a team of Dizzy and Ky. I didnt know who they were cuz I didnt check the sheet. Rod went first against Dizzy and lost. I went next and lost the first round, but managed to win the next 2. I had high hopes against the red Ky player who was next, and it was kinda close, but he proved to be much tougher than I was expecting and squeezed in some clutch shit that really caught me off guard and I lost, so we ended up getting 4th place... which I guess is not bad but still not good enough. I checked the sheet afterwords and it turned out that the Ky player was Lyrical Lit, so I guess I dont feel AS bad as I would if he was just some random Ky. (By the way, Inoue and HH won the tournament)

After that, Rod and I said bye to Baim on the way out, and decided to go to Sportsland to check out the BB action going on there. Lots of people were there playing. Shoot was there and just got off work. He told me that he will probably play as Ragna, and he told me that Ogawa is playing Carl. I played a few games there but didnt win any. There was also this blue Rachel player who was beasting really hard. I played him in a mirror match and took a round but lost. When I looked on the other side of the cab, it turned out to be Kazuki. H.H is also playing Rachel. It seems like most of the Dizzy player will become Rachel players. Before leaving Sportsland, Rod wanted to play some oldschool Alien vs Preditor (the old beat-em-up) so we played some 2 player action of that which was pretty fun. After dying on what I think was like stage 5 or something, we decided to head out and check out Club Sega Shinjuku to see what their BB situation was.

Club Sega Shinjuku also had 3 cabs, except all 3 of their cabs were the old ones, and they only had it set on 2/3 rounds for 100 yen. We also noticed that they had a tournament posted for BB in 2 weeks from now! Pretty early after the game coming out, but ill probably go hit it up anyway. They also have a TvC tournament scheduled for next month. MIU was working and asked if I already ended my GG career but I told him that wasnt the case. I asked him who he plans to use and he said he has hardly played the game yet. He didnt seem very excited about it. Rod and I played against various people for a bit and I got my first taste of a good Tager player. I was getting worked pretty bad and felt pretty lost in the matchup. Eventually there was a cab that opened up and I was actually able to go through arcade mode finally! I used this opportunity to test out various things like seeing what normals link into what, experiment with move properties, and try out some combos. I felt like I learned way more in this short time playing the computer than I had so far the entire weekend. I made it to Hakumen (the sub boss) and died.

There was some Sol player there playing AC (they had 2 AC cabs going now) and Rod lost to him, so I decided to try it out. I beat him and then he switched to Millia and I lost. Eventually I ended up playing a few more people and getting a small streak and then some Anji player who I beat earlier really bad played me again. Rod suggested I try to beat him on pogo stance only but it proved to be much harder. Pogo stance only is pretty hard to do against Anji. We were gonna leave after this match so I just played really half ass and let the guy beat me so he could keep his credit.

We stopped at Saizerya to get some food and then decided it was time to go to Current. I recieved a mail from Matt a few hours ago but didnt notice it cuz I hadnt checked my phone. I replied and told him to just meet us at Current. We got to Current kinda early, maybe at like 10 or so. There was a good amount of people there already but it wasnt crazy packed yet. We knew that for an event like Sushi's birthday party that it was gaurnteed to get crazy later on though. A good amount of the regulars ended up coming as well as a shit ton of people I never met before. Matt's girlfriend Akiko was there too and she played several battles of Pokemon on the DS against Rod. Nick was sitting with us as well. I think by about midnight it was just rediculously packed to the point where it was hard to even get from one end of the bar to the other. Tomoko was there with her friend Mai (different Mai than the regular Mai but she was there too), and they were dancing hardcore like all night non stop. Tomoko is a fucking dancing machine and was soaking wet with sweat. Rod and her spent quite a good deal of time dancing together and talking. When Antti and his Finnish crew showed up, I went to go shake the Snus Man's hand and he just put a fresh pack of snus in my hand instead, and then he shook my hand. Elisha showed up as well. At some point, Elisha convinced Matt to dance with her. Akiko saw this and got jealous so she burned matt with a cigarrette! Looks like hes got quite a possessive girlfriend on his hands haha!

For most of the night it was typical Current awsomeness with people dancing and talking and drinking. It didnt get as crazy as some of the past events like Mogi's birthday or Halloween, but it was still great times. They had several people DJ throughout the night. At some point, Sushi told me I could DJ for a little while.
My set was:
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid!
ACDC - Thunderstruck
Stratovarius - The Kiss of Judas
Muse - Time is Running Out (requested by Rod)
Pretty Maids - Savage Heart

I only DJed for about 20 minutes but it was fun. At one point I went outside in front for a minute to get some fresh air and I was talking with one of the metal event regular guys. At some point, the Snus Man comes out there too and we started having a conversation about health and drinking. The Snus Man was trying to say that drinking is bad for your liver. In Japanese, Liver is Kanzou. Instead of saying Kanzou, he said Kancho, which means enema, and is also the act of putting your hands together and shoving them into someones anal region (often done by school children as a prank, though luckily for me, I have never recieved a kancho from any of my students). We had a good laugh at his mistake and tried to correct him but he kept saying it wrong anyway lol! Later one when The Snus Man was ready to leave, I said goodbye to him and he gave me 2 more fresh packs of Snus! I was like, "dude thank you but at least let me pay for it or something" and hes like "ive got like 40 packs at home, dont worry about it". The Snus Man is legendary!

After the party died down and it was time to go to PSY again. Matt and Akiko had left earlier to go get it on at a love hotel. Nick was tired so he went home. I went to PSY with Rod and a few other people. I dont remember much there, I was pretty drunk. I think I fell asleep for a little bit before they closed. After leaving there I said goodbye to everyone and then went to the manga kissa again.

Sunday morning I woke up and headed to Vegas again. A few people were playing BB again and I decided to use my new discovered knowledge I obtained from arcade mode in some matches. I ended up actually getting 5 wins in a row which was pretty cool. I eventually lost to a Jin player but it worked out well because Rod and I had made plans to meet up in Harajuku to go eat Shakeys Pizza all you can eat Lunch Buffet since we didnt end up doing it last weekend.

I got to Harajuku and eventually I met Rod in front of the station and we headed to Shakeys. 4 other friends of Rods were there; some of them were the same people I had met last weekend when we ate together at that resturaunt above the Pachinko place near Vegas. We all enjoyed a damn good meal and ate tons of food. There were these 2 hot chicks sitting at the table next to us when we got sat down, and one of them had a skirt that on the back said "for backdoor use only" lol! I wonder if she even knows what that means.

After Shakeys, everyone else had plans to go see some Larc En Ciel cover band concert. They invited me to come, but I declined because I had plans to go to the Club Sega Akihabara GGAC tournament going on today. I said bye to them and Rod said he would meet up again with me later after the show.

I wasnt sure what time the tournament was scheduled to start but I figured I would be alright. I got to Akihabara at about 4:15 and the tournament was scheduled to start at 5. Good timing. Matt mailed me saying he was on his way. Club Sega Akihabara ended up getting 5 BB cabs! They are all in old cabs though at 2/3 rounds. Club Sega has the most cabs out of any place ive seen but the value of playing there isnt as good. its going to be a good place to play for people who are very good at the game. They only have 4 GGAC cabs now. I cant believe they used to have 11 cabs and now only have 4. Times change I guess. Tons of people were playing BB. FAB was there playing as Tager (big surprise there!) and just obliterating people already! Both Mugen and Osaka B are Carl players and Mugen was already looking pretty beastly too. I only played one match of BB the whole time we were there cuz I wanted to focus on the GGAC tournament. I practiced with some warmup games and got like a 12 win streak but then I had to go register for the tournament so I just got up and left my credit and lost my turn. There were no extra people so Matt and I entered as a 2 man team (todays tournament was a 3 on 3).

When the tournamet started, our lucky asses had to fight Mugen/Taku/someone else first match. Mugen's team all played RPS against eachother to decide who would go first on their team. Taku won the honor. Matt went first against Taku and got beat up pretty bad. Matt had been playing BB the whole time and didnt play any GGAC warmup matches and was lookin kinday rusty. I now had to face Taku again and he was thirsty for revenge from yesterday. I lost the first round but won the 2nd round. The 3rd round I made several key execution mistakes and it realy just fucked me bad and I died. Slayer isnt very forgiving when you make a mistake.

After losing, we decided to go check out Hey! and this one other arcade in the area to see how their BB situation was. Hey! had 3 cabs but they were also 2/3 100 yen a play. I think the other place had 2 with the same deal. I suggested to Matt that we head back to Shinjuku to play some more there.

We hit up Sportsland for a bit and the comp was pretty beastly. I wanted to find a place I could practice a litte in arcade mode again before taking on the giants. We eventually made our way over to Club Sega Shinjuku to check it out since last time worked well. This time there were no open cabs and lots of people playing. We saw MIU again and said hi. We didnt stay there long and I came up with the idea of checking out Shinjuku Joybox. Since its a smaller and more low key arcade, I thought it may be a good idea. On the way there though, we passed by some other small arcades called Frontier and Spot 21 which are next to eachother. I checked out Frontier while Matt checked Spot 21. Frontier didnt have the game, so I went over to Spot 21, and it ended up having one cab for 100 a play but on 3/5 rounds. This seemed like a decent place to play for a bit since it was less expensive. The comp there wasnt all that beastly so we got some good practice in there for a while. Eventually we decided to go to Joybox to check it out.

When we arrived at Joybox, we were very pleased to find that they had one cab of the game, but it was only 50 yen to play! This is the first (and at this point, only) place ive seen that has 50 yen BB! MIU was actually there too, talking with the staff there. He often goes there after work to chill out and play since its down the street from his work. MIU played a quick game as Ragna against some random Noel player but he lost. He obviously has little to no experience with the game yet. He left a little while after that, but Matt and I stayed and played with the Noel player. After the Noel player eventually left, Matt and I were able to play some games against eachother for a while and Rod showed up after a while too. The 3 of us played there for quite some time actually. Matt was mostly dominating since he has the most experience playing. Rod discovered Iron Tager and was doing pretty well with him. I was having lots of execution problems and was starting to get sorta aggitated but it was mostly due to not being used to the timing of certain things yet. We ended up playing there till like 1:30 am! The place was supposed to close at 12 but the guy just let us keep playing. We pumped a lot of money in that machine so I guess he didnt mind staying open. At one point, the D button broke one of the sides and he even fixed it for us like instantly! Rod was planning on taking the last train home but we played for so long that it was already gone, so the 3 of us went drinking!

We went to Current again and this time it was pretty dead. Mogi, Masami, Sushi, and Chip were there, along with this hot chick with pig tails who has star tatoos on her lower back that was there the night before as well, plus a few various guys I dont know but see there on occasion. For a little while, Matt, Rod, and I just sat at a table and talked about BB stuff and then eventually the conversation ended up shifting to women and sex. Then Matt decided to show us this video he took on his cellphone of his girlfriend lighting her pubes on fire with a lighter... LOL! His girlfriend is kinda a freak haha.

We eventually all made our way up to the bar, and then I requested a song, and Sushi was like, you should just play DJ for a while. Im like, fuck yea! I spent the rest of the night DJing. While I was DJing, Sushi gave everyone in the bar a free shot of this awsome Finnish vodka just cuz hes a nice guy. I dont remember everything I played but I think it was like:
Symphony X - The Edge of Forever
Children of Bodom - Silent Night Bodom Night
ACDC - Its a Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock and Roll
Sentenced - Brief is the Light
Korpiklani - Tapporauta
Queen - Hammer To Fall
Nightwish - Elvenpath
Alice Cooper - Let It Rain
Dream Theater - Another Day
Eagles - Desperado (requested by Matt)
Led Zeppelin - Babe Im Gonna Leave You

...and with that last song, it was closing time, and Rod, Matt, and I headed for PSY once again.

PSY was the same as usual. That one French Chick we met there before was there, and it was actually her this time. I spent most of the time there just talking to her. We drank till closing and it was good times. Once again we got some food after leaving and then headed our own respective ways.

I woke up once again a the manga kissa wishing I had a bed to sleep in. I got some Wendys and then headed back over to Joybox so I could spend a good deal of the day practicing. Some random dude was there playing and I beat him and then he left. I then had hours to play by myself and went through arcade mode about 6 or 7 times. I was able to explore a lot of stuff and figure out how a lot of stuff for Rachel works. It was nice to just practice getting my execution down and getting used to the feel of the game. After I felt like I had enough training, I decided to go play some matches.

It was raining and I didnt have an umbrella so I didnt wanna walk far. I ended up going to Spot 21 again. I stayed for maybe about 2 hours and within this time, several people were in and out. This one Ragna player was there and I managed to beat him on my 2nd try. This was the first Ragna player I ever fought. There were also like 4 other Rachel! I beat a few of them in mirror matches, but then the Ragna got back on and he ended just beasting and had like a 30 win streak against everyone. I was kinda getting pissed off cuz I managed to beat him once already but then couldnt do it again. He was just rushing me down all hard and I was getting hit but didnt understand why. He also can use that dash punch special move and it seems to beat just about everything with Rachel that I have. Once he gets that out he can just get in on me for free and pressure me hardcore. I eventually got used to how to block him and ended his win streak and then he just left. After beating a few other people, the comp died down and I finished Arcade mode again. Then I got a mail from Rod and he said he was gonna come play so I went back to Joybox. I played against Rod for about 2 hours and did generally well. I think we both learned a good ammount from playing eachother in this session. I would generally win 2 or 3 or so and then Rod would win 1. He played mostly Tager but also played a little Litchi. You can see some of the matches of me vs Rod here. They were taping but I had no idea it was going to be online.

As it got near to the time I had to leave, we stopped by Wendys where I got some food for the road, and then we walked to the station where we parted ways. Overall it was a fun weekend and it was great to be able to enjoy playing a new game. BlazBlue seems like a solid game and I cant wait to get good at it.

EPILOGUE contributed by Rod

"a few more details:
ayami passed the fuck out
akiko is going into intensive pokemon training to get revenge on me, she ended up only losing last time cos she used earthquake which hits every pokemon in a team battle but one of hers was electric (weak against ground) and didnt levitate or anything, so she one hit KO'd herself there.
that guy natsume at PSY was dir en greys friend, lol we know lots of people now who know dir en grey in "various" ways.
thats about it...good weekend!

P.S. BTW last night I met a friend at Juke 80's bar in Nakano, and Sushi was randomly there! He was with this lady Yukino, and I was like WHOAH! and at first Sushi thought it was just someone that looked at me, but he recognized me and bought me a beer, then 2 more later!!! Afterwards we all went to this place, Rock bar ASYLUM in nakano which was basically a Jackson browne shrine! They had a lot of place to sit and 2-3 acoustics and 2 electric guitars. Nice place. really random night. "

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monkey Business

Upon arriving at Vegas, I was surprised to see Nakamura was there. I hadn’t seen him since SBO. He was playing Millia and had a nice streak going. I decided to play against him first. I lost to him twice and a few other people played him in between. On my 3rd try I took him down and ended his streak at 23 wins. Afterwards, he came over and said hi to me. We made a little small talk and I found out from him that next weekend there will be a tournament at Club Sega Akihabara on Sunday. He said he knew of no tournament this weekend though. Our conversation got cut when a Ky player got on the machine to play me and then Nakamura went back on the other side of the cabs. I beat the Ky player and then Nakamura re-matched me and I managed to beat him a 2nd time! Then he got back on the cab right away and beat me. I rematched him a few more times but I couldn’t beat him again. Millia is a really hard match for Faust so I was happy that I managed to beat him twice. There was also this really good Chipp player who was sitting next to Nakamura. I don’t know the guys name but they seem to be friends. He had 7 wins and I beat him but then he rematched me and I lost a few against him. After getting beat up enough by Chipp I went to go play against some I-no player. During my match I heard Nakamura and the Chipp behind me and they were saying I was playing good and stuff. After the match they said they had to leave so they said goodbye and good games and headed out. I beat the I-no 2 more times and then he eventually beat me. I beat some scrubby Sol and then I emailed Matt and Rod (Honnou). Matt said he was staying home tonight because he was broke. I sent him a reply email saying “pussy” with a thumbs down icon. Rod said he was bowling at a place nearby with some friends.

I decided try some SFIV and played like 2 games against some Ryu player but I lost. I hardly play this game and still havnt really gotten a good feel for it yet. I went back to playing Gear and played against another I-no. I won 1, lost 1, won 4, and then I-no gave up. Then I beat an Eddie, a Slayer, another I-no, Slayer, I-no, some scrubby Ky, and then I was getting hungry so I mailed Rod to see if he wanted to get food.

Rod said he was eating at some place already with some friends but invited me to join them. It was some restaurant above a nearby pachinko place. After a bit of searching I found the place. I ended up getting off on the wrong floor but eventually I figured it out and met up with Rod by the elevator. He was with a group of people from his University’s international club. There were 2 Japanese people and about 4 or 5 other foreigners. I noticed Rod was wearing a stuffed Monkey around his neck. I asked him what the deal was and he said he won it as a prize from when they went bowling. We ate some good food, chatted for a bit, and had some drinks. They seemed nice. After that, everyone split up and went their separate ways, while Rod and I headed for Current. On the way there, we met up with Mi Seon who just got off work. She seemed a bit reluctant to go to Current for whatever reason. Rod claims its because she doesn’t like smoke, though Ive never been to a bar in Tokyo that DIDN’T have lots of smoke so…

When we got there, Rod and I went inside, but Mi Seon said she was gonna run over to the convenient store for a second. There was a good size crowd there for a Friday. About half regulars and half people I didn’t know. Not long after, Monty and Kentaro showed up and with them was the metal band Hemlock. I don’t really know much about them and had only heard one song by them before, so I cant say I was exactly excited, but they seemed like nice enough guys I guess. I didn’t really talk to any of em much. After around the time I finished my first beer, Rod was wondering why Mi Seon hadn’t showed up yet. He went to check and she was just chilling outside in front. She wanted to get food, and I was still hungry so I said why not. We ducked out to go grab some Saizeriya (cheap Italian food). I got a pizza there and a beer and then we headed back to Current.

Kentaro was just sitting outside in front of the building, saying that he also didn’t feel like being there. He seemed a bit tired. He was working at the Hemlock concert tonight so he was probably all exhausted from that. Since Mi Seon didn’t really seem like she wanted to go inside Current, she just stayed outside and chatted with Kentaro. They said they wanted to go to another bar and we said to think of something and we will figure it out later. Rod and I went back inside and drank a bit more. Throughout the night, Rod’s Monkey was getting passed around all over the place and various people were wearing it on their head, neck, shoulder, whatever.

Eventually, this one random young white guy in a suit dude who I don’t think I’ve seen before was passed out in the back on a bench. He was out pretty cold…. and thus began possibly the most epic of all the fail moments at Rock Inn Current. Monty decided it would be fun to put some shit on the guys head. It started with something simple like a coaster. Eventually it turned into an all out game of “how much shit can we stack on this passed out dudes head?” About 90% of the people in the bar gathered around him and just started snapping all kinds of photos as people stacked all sorts of shit on this dude. They put a glass on his head and then started pouring beer into it while it was still balancing on his head. They stacked multiple glasses in a tower on top of his head. They took Rod’s Monkey and stuck it in one of the glasses, and at one point the put the monkey around his neck with the ass sticking out so it looked like he was tossing the monkey’s salad! LOL! They stuck some random shit in his ears too. People were gathering around him to take silly photos with him. The most amazing this is, the entire time, this guy was still just passed out cold. He only slightly moved a bit the entire time but never actually woke up. Then they picked the dude up, laid him across another bench, and decided to carry him and the entire bench outside in front of the bar! About 3 guys lifted the bench and brought him out while the rest all followed. People started snapping photos of him passed out in front of the bar, and then Monty opened up this like gate area next to the stairs and they were gonna put him in there, but then he started to wake up. As soon as he started getting up, everyone was laughing like crazy and bolted for the door to go back inside the bar. About 1 minute later, someone came back in saying that he passed out again and then they all went back outside. They tried one more time to move him but he woke up again and then they ran back inside again. Shortly after, someone said the guy was no where to be found. The lesson to be learned here is that you shouldn’t pass out at a bar because you WILL get owned.

It all actually reminded me of this time back in the day in Chicago when Juicy G passed out in the hallway of an anime convention on a chair. We took the liberty to draw shit all over his face and put shit on his head and take lots of hilarious pictures. Ah the nostalgia…

Anyway, eventually Mi Seon and Kentaro came in and said they were gonna go to another bar. I didn’t wanna leave yet so Rod and I told them to mail us later and we would meet up with them in a bit.

Bosch was DJing tonight and I requested he play Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein. I asked him if he remembered it being in Wayne’s World and he did. It then resulted in him busting out like half the songs on the Wayne’s World soundtrack including Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady, Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (in which the whole bar was singing along and busted out lighters), and the Wayne’s World main theme. Good times.

We continued to enjoy drinking until closing. After saying goodbye to everyone, Rod and I headed out to PSY where we agreed to meet up with Kentaro and Mi Seon. Rod realized he left his monkey at Current but its alright cuz he figured he could just get it tomorrow. They showed us that the bar they went to earlier was actually just down the street from PSY. When we got inside PSY, it was pretty packed. For whatever reason, Mi Seon didn’t feel like going inside their either, and Kentaro and her just ended up leaving instead heh. Heidi and Anna were there among various other people. Anna and I enjoyed requesting lots of Children of Bodom and I talked with Heidi for a bit. Both her and Anna are going back to Norway like in a week or so. Heidi will come back again but still doesn’t know what shes gonna do with her future. Masami showed up after finishing closing up at Current as well. Ayami was there again this time too and her and Rod spent most of the time there talking to eachother. This one older chick whos there a lot (the same girl who wanted to go home with Antti that one night but he didn’t want any of that from her… I’m just gonna refer to her as Miffy cuz I dont know else to call her. Miffy went in the bathroom and took off her under garment which was like this sorta red nighty looking thing with black hearts over the nipples. Some random guy was wearing it for a bit, and then the cool bartender guy who always plays our requests was wasted as hell and put it on as well. (I don’t know this bartenders name so from here on he will be called Request Man). Request Man was fucking wasted as hell, and looked hilarious wearing that thing. I took a picture of him in it and he pretended to lick his nipple haha! We drank till they closed a little before 7 am. Rod went home and I got some food and then passed out at the manga kissa.

I woke up and headed right for Vegas which is a 5 second walk from the manga kissa. No one was really playing Guilty Gear so I played a little SFIV. I won like 1 or 2 games but mostly got beat down. I was hungry so I went to get some Wendys and buy a cigar for later. On the way back, I decided to check out Shinjuku Sportsland to see if they had any upcoming AC tournaments posted. No tournaments were posted. I knew Vegas would still be dead. I noticed that they had a Sugoi Arcana Heart 2 cabinet. No one was playing it but I had never played Arcana in my life (not any version, not even a single match) before, so I decided to just try it out. Sugoi AH2 (the upgraded version of AH2) has 2 new characters. One of them rides on a wolf and has a pet bird and she fights with a long staff. When I saw pics of her in Arcadia magazine I wanted to try her out because not only does she look cool, but her normals are actually very Faust like in the sense that they are pokey and long range and she has great zoning potential! I liked the way she played a lot actually but I know almost nothing about the mechanics of the game. After only playing one match against the computer, some random guy gets on and challenges me. I have no idea what im doing but somehow I almost beat his Kamui. I go to the other side and it turns out hes a foreigner. He says hes from New Jersey. He doesn’t post on SRK or Dustloop and I forgot his real name. I told him I had never played Arcana before and asked him a few questions about the mechanics of the game. I played him a whole bunch of times and managed to actually win a few of them. I just kept trying out various arcanas and had no idea how they worked or which ones are good for the character I was using. I also kept getting hit by stuff I had no idea what it did but it was nice experience and I think I may eventually pick the game up on a competitive level after a research it more and get more educated on the mechanics of the game. During the time I was playing, Shoot was there working and he said hi to me. I hadn’t seen him in a while either. I told him it was my first time playing this game and that I wanted to try this character because she is sorta Faust-like. He couldn’t talk long cuz he had to work but it was cool seeing him. After I head enough Arcana I said bye to the guy I was playing against and headed out to go back to see how Vegas was doing.

There were people there now and Inoue was playing various characters again. I played against his Millia and won, and then beat a few other people but then eventually lost to Inoue’s Axl (I honestly doubt theres a character in the whole game that this guy doesn’t know how to use). His Axl wasn’t even bad, cuz Vegas Pink Axl was there and he even lost to him in a mirror match 3 straight rounds!

Vegas had signs posted that they will be getting 2 Blazblue cabs next week! I knew Rod would be on a field trip with some people all day but I decided to see what was up with Matt. He told me he was gonna be a pussy again and stay home all day. I told him he was gonna miss Saeko’s birthday party tonight at Zin and then he decided to come out after all.

I played a bunch more games. HH showed up at some point and I lost to his Ky twice and then beat him once and then he just stopped playing. After that, some random red Faust player challenged me like 9 times in a row but he couldn’t beat me. Afterwards he come over and said thank you for the games and left. Very polite guy.

Eventually Matt showed up and it was started to get kinda dead so we headed out. We went to get some food real quick at Sukiya and then Rod called me saying he wanted to meet up in front of Shinjuku station in like 20 mins. On our way walking to the station, we ran into Nick who was on his way to Current. We told him to come with us to meet up with Rod. When we met up with Rod, he said he was gonna meet some friends of his close by. We crossed the street and they were waiting there. They were these 2 Japanese guys. There names were Satoshi (not the Potemkin player hah), and this other guy who introduced himself as “DJ Jerry”. He had lots of business cards and gave them to all of us. DJ Jerry was pretty old and Matt thought that he was Satoshi’s dad hah. Both of them were very good at English but we all mostly just talked in Japanese anyway. We were planning to go to Zin but those 2 guys said they didn’t have much time and wanted to get coffee. I didn’t really wanna but it was still early so I figured why not. We went to an Excelsior cafĂ© and everyone just ended up ordering beers lol! I don’t really see why we couldn’t have just done that at a bar but whatever. We talked for a bit and Rod showed us video footage of a boxing match he had attended earlier in the day that he took with his cellphone. There were hot chicks holding up the signs for what round it was and then he fast forwarded to the end of the fight where the one dude TKOd the other guy. I don’t remember the contenders names. It was starting to get really late so we sorta started hinting that we should head out and eventually the guys got the hint and finished their drinks. We went outside and then said goodbye to the 2 Japanese guys and then the 4 of us headed over to Zin.

Zin was packed and pretty much everyone were Current regulars. Nick brought a bunch of CDs and Yoshi played a bunch of his requests. SPG Chris was there and he was telling us this fucked up story about some guy he knows who passed out naked and asked Chris and a bunch of people to put out cigarette buts on his scrotum! WTF?!?! The fucked up part is Chris actually did it! LOL!

I wished Saeko a happy birthday and bought her a birthday shot. She wanted some Jack. I also got some Rum on the rocks for myself after finishing my Rum and Coke. Then Chris told me that they sold Absinthe at Zin and got a glass and I was like WTF no way! I hadn’t had absinthe since over a year ago on the first day I met Monty back at the Hobgoblin bar in Roppongi where he gave me a shot of it for free. After finishing my rum I got one for myself. That shit is really strong and tastes good too. Too bad its not like the old school absinthe they used to sell that makes people hallucinate and shit.

At some point I was very surprised to see Dana’s friend Richard walk in! I had first met him when he came to Zin a while back. With him was another girl who knew me and said hi. I didn’t recognize her at first and shes like “what you don’t recognize the girl who took you to X-Japan?” and im like “holy shit Jessie!” I wasn’t expecting to see her there at all and hadn’t seen her since the X-Japan show. She had died her hair black now (it used to be blonde) and changed her hair style and it also looked like she lost weight, which is why I didn’t recognize her right away. It was cool to see her again. They stayed for a bit but they were with some other people too that had to leave Japan tomorrow so they needed to leave with them, but they said they might join us later at Current.

After drinking for a bit more, we decided to go check out Current since they were having a metal event tonight. However, Ayami and Mai said they were gonna show up tonight and someone told us they would be here any minute. Rod kinda has a thing for Ayami and it seems she really seems to like him as well so he kinda wanted to wait for her so we decided to stay a bit longer. Nick, Matt, Rod, Chris, and I all went to Current. On the way to Current we saw these 2 random salaryman lookin dudes just passed out in front of some building on the street. Whats with all these fucking people in Japan not being able to hold their liquor!? I snagged a nice photo of that scene haha.

As we were walking inside, a bunch of the metal event regulars were outside the front door and we exchanged a bunch of high fives and shit. This was one of those cool metal events where they have a big screen set up with a projector and when we walked in, they were showing a live video of Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills. Shortly after, they just stopped using the screen pretty much for the rest of the time for whatever reason. In addition to this, while there was a decent sized crowd there, it just seemed like everyone lacked energy and were already tired. It was only like 2:00! People don’t normally get that tired so early so I was pretty shocked. I enjoyed my cigar while we were there and it was tasty as hell. Chip was there too actually, and he was sitting with this girl named Tomoko (not to be confused with the Tomoko that is often at Current) and he said she was his girlfriend! I said hi to her and made a little small talk and introduced her to Rod and Matt started talking to her too for a bit. Rod found his monkey that he left at Current last night and once again it was getting passed around and being worn by various people. Also, while we were there I mailed Richard telling him we were at Current but would probably go back to Zin soon but he never replied. Later on, at some point while I was in the bathroom, Chip left. Throughout the time we were there they played lots of good metal I never heard of before, but the atmosphere was just kinda dead and no one was getting into it. We all decided that we should just go back to Zin since everyone was there.

Upon leaving Current, as we were walking back and passing by Gravity (the other rock bar near Current that I havnt been to in forever), we randomly ran into Ai! (Ai is the metal event regular girl who is a fellow hardcore Symphony X fan). I hadn’t seen Ai since I unexpectedly ran into her at the Children of Bodom concert with her brother. She gave me a big hug and I introduced her to my friends. We stood outside Gravity talking with her for maybe about 10 or 15 minutes about various things like video games and music. She said Chip was in Gravity. At some point, this guy she knows was seen walking with 2 massage girls haha! He looked kinda embarrassed. He went one wayand then went back the same way again. She said hes a bit confused. We were talking about how he was gonna get double teamed and shit heh. She also took a liking to Rod’s monkey and wore it. She wanted to meet up with us later to go drinking more at GODZ and PSY. Chris decided he would go drink with her at Gravity for a bit. When we left, she decided to keep Rod’s monkey, promising to give it back later tonight.

We arrived back at Zin and everyone was still there. We had a few more drinks and I talked with this one guy whos name was Hide. He was a friend of Nozomi. He said he used to live in the US for 4 years and we talked about various things. After a bit I decided I would go head to GODZ to meet up with Ai and Chris. I said goodbye to everyone before leaving. As I said goodbye to Yoshi, he pointed to Nick and asked me if he was my friend. I said yea, why? He said, well hes not ordering any drinks and doesn’t look too good. I told him he was just really drunk and he said well if hes my friend its ok if he stays. I guess they don’t like people in there who don’t order drinks heh…

Anyway, after I got to GODZ they started playing some live Dream Theater from the Budokan DVD and I didn’t even need to request it. Ai and Chris weren’t there yet, just a few people I didn’t know, aside from Hide the bar tender. Shortly after, Rod, Nick, and Matt showed up. I wasn’t expecting them to come too since I said I would be back to Zin soon. We waited a bit but eventually 5 rolled around and Ai and Chris never showed up. After that we headed to PSY since we figured Zin was closed.

When we got to PSY there were only like 2 people there aside Request Man who was tending bar. I asked him if he remembers anything from last night and he didn’t. I showed him the pictures I took of him wearing the red nighty on my camera and he was just like WTF?!?! LOL! A few minutes after we got there, the girl who was tending bar at Zin showed up. She said that lots of people were still at Zin and that Mogi and Masami even showed up. Damn. But we were already at PSY with drinks and we knew Ai and Chris would be there soon so we waited. Sure enough they showed up not long after. Ai sat by me and Rod and immediately started talking to Rod a lot. She seemed to take a liking to more than just his stuffed monkey. Rod was like giving her hand massages. At some point Masami eventually rolled in as well. Matt was saying some shit about how Masami was sticking his camera down people’s pants and taking pictures (0_o) but I didn’t see it. Matt was really wasted, and at some point he just goes up to Rod, right in front of Ai, and says in English very loudly and bluntly “You better stick your dick in that girl tonight, cuz I really want to and if no one does it would be a waste!” We both just were like WTF!?! Afterwords, Matt sat back down and im like… “um dude, how do you know that she doesn’t understand enough English to know what you just said?” Hes like, “trust me dude she doesn’t!” I’m just like, “You’d be surprised by how much English the average Japanese person can understand, even if they don’t speak it very well. You should be more careful about that shit.” In any case, its probably not a good idea to say shit like that anyway. Especially since Ai is my friend, and not just some random drunken bar slut or something. In any case, its unclear if she understood or not but gave no noticeable reaction to the comment. They called last song and Ai was about ready to head out. She said goodbye and Rod said he would walk her to the station. Chris, Matt and I left and got some food. Matt offered to let me stay at his host family’s house but I just wanted to go to sleep now, so I said I would just sleep at the manga kissa, and did.

The next morning I woke up and went right to Vegas again. Pink Axl was there playing the computer so I got on and played him. We went 1 and 1 on Axl vs Faust and then he switched to Sol and I beat him again. Then he had to get ready to start working. I played a couple other people and was getting hungry. I mailed Rod and asked if he wanted to get food and hit up the all you can eat Shakey’s Pizza lunch buffet for 850 yen. He said he was down but needed time to get ready and come out. I had a small streak going in AC and played a match vs HEVEN’s venom and lost so I figured it would be a good time to go see how late Shakey’s buffet was open till. After searching a bit, I found the Shinjuku Shakey’s (I had never eaten at the Shinjuku location before). The buffet was open till 4 but it was about 3:15 and Rod wasn’t here yet. I mailed him asking whats up but didn’t get a reply so I just headed to Sportsland because it was close by. While I was there I played a little SFIV and then eventually Rod mailed me saying he was running late and wouldn’t make it in time and he would meet me at Current. I left and got some Curry and headed to Vegas.

More people were at Vegas now. Lots of girl players showed up like Tatsumi, Baim, Ririko, and the hot female Zombie sol whos name I don’t know and is always with her boyfriend who plays Jam. Rod came not too long after I got there. I played HEVEN a bunch more times but I just couldn’t beat him for whatever reason today and I was getting a bit frusterated. Eventually Natsume beat him with his Dizzy and then I in turn beat Natsume. Sucks cuz I wanted to beat HEVEN. I played a few other people and eventually Rod came and he played me a ton of times in a row with a bunch of different characters. He didn’t beat me at all but he came extremely close twice (once with Slayer and once with I-no). I respect his determination. Eventually he went to play other people and I beat some Venom a few times and eventually I lost in a close match to some Slayer player I beat earlier who likes to spam cheap command throw setups in a very close match. He ended my win streak at 32 wins. Around this time I pretty much had to leave to catch the last train. Rod said he would just leave with me so we stopped by at the conbini and got some quick food for the road (Rod bought mine for me just cuz he felt like being nice) and then we walked to the station. I asked him what was up with Ai and he said he walked her to the station and that was it. She seemed drunk but insisted she was ok so they parted ways there. He said she didn’t say anything about what Matt said, so perhaps she didn’t understand him after all which is good. Rod isn’t the type of guy who likes to sleep around with random girls, but he is very popular with many of the ladies out at the bars. Seems he may end up dating Ayami soon if things go his way, which would be cool to see. We parted ways at the station and I headed home.

Next week is going to be fucking awesome. Not only is it a 3 day weekend, but theres a GGAC tournament at Vegas on Saturday, another GGAC tournament at Club Sega Akihabara on Sunday, and this will be the first weekend with Blazblue out in arcades! In addition to all that, Saturday night at Current is Sushi’s birthday party! I don’t know if next weekend could possibly have any more potential to kick so much ass but I guess only time will tell!