Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wrath of the Enkai

This Friday there was an enkai for my base school (an enkai is basically a big drinking party with lots of food at some fancy traditional Japanese style izakaya or ryokan). I went to the enkai and drank tons of beer and some other stuff like non stop. Every time my glass was even half empty someone would come and poor me some more. I got drunk pretty fast and enj0yed a good meal. Then I went to the nijikai which is like a 2nd Enkai in the same building where they have more drinking, snacks, and karaoke. I sang 3 songs cuz they always love it when a native English speaker goes and sings English songs. I did Queen - Hammer to Fall, Dream Theater - Another Day, and Guns N Roses - Sweet Child of Mine. After a while I was just totally wasted and a good deal of the teachers already went to sleep. This particular enkai was an overnight enkai so most of the teachers slept at the ryokan. However, I was fortunate enough that my apartment was less than a 5 minute walk from the location so I just walked home so I could sleep in my own bed. I stumbled home and passed out.

When I woke up I had one of the worst hangovers ever. My head was just pounding and I didnt have any headache medicine in the house. I took a quick shower and got dressed and headed toward the train station so I could head to Tokyo for the rest of the weekend. On the way there I stopped at the store and bought some headache pills. I wanted to get some food too but I only had a few more minutes until the train came so I had to hurry. I ended up making it to the train station about 2 minutes before the train arrived. I bought a bottle of tea from the vending machine on the train platform and boarded the train. I wasted no time taking the pills and started drinking the tea. I didnt feel like playing DS or anything until my head stopped hurting so I just started listening to my mp3 player and enjoyed the scenery. Eventually I started to feel a bit nautious. I knew it was a mistake to take pills on an empty stomach because when I do so it is often the case where I sometimes throw up. I figured I could handle it and I didnt want to miss my train. I kept drinking more tea hoping it would help but eventually I knew it was inevitable... I was going to vomit. So I got up from my seat to search for the bathroom. Not all trains in Japan have a bathroom on board but the particular line that goes out of my town happens to usually have a bathroom on at least one car. This time, however, I wasnt so fortunate. I walked through about 3 cars but couldnt find a bathroom. Finally I made it to the rear car and the urge was getting unbearable. We stopped at another stop and some people got off the train so there was a completely open seat, so I sat down. I rummaged through my backpack and grapped the clear plastic grocery bag that I brought with to put my dirtly clothes in. No longer able to hold back I was forced to throw up in the bag. Fortunately I was very descrete about it. I wasnt very loud at all, and no one was really looking at me so I am pretty sure no one really noticed. Since I had no food in my stomach all that came out was tea and it didnt smell bad or look abnormal. Unfortunately for the rest of the train ride I had to hold a clear plastic bag of pale yellow liquid in order to keep it from spilling. I sorta just covered it with my hand and no one noticed. When I got off the train I immediately threw it out in the closest garbage can. Luckely, I guess my body managed to digest part of the headache medicine because my headache was beginning to diminish. After I threw up I felt completely fine as far as my stomach was concerned so I got some sandwiches from the conbini inside the train station and felt much better. After boarding the next train the rest of the ride wasnt so bad.

Eventually I arrived in Shinjuku. I headed right for Shinjuku Sportsland since there was a G3 ranbats singles tournament there today. I arrived about an hour before the tournament started. MIU was there to run it and I said hi to him and signed up and then began to play some casuals till the tournament started. The place was packed with top players so I knew this tournament wasnt going to be easy. A few big names that were there were FAB, Imo, Zero, Nakamura, H.H., Mike (the Jam player), Kazuki, Basara, Gin, Bleed, and other various good players. I looked at the current rankings list on the wall and FAB was in first place for points at the moment. Eventually they posted the brackets on the wall and I looked for my first match. I saw that it was against Zappa, and I thought to myself... ah thats cool I can handle Zappa. Then I looked at the player name and it said "Imo".... d'oh! Eventually they called my match. I played extremely carefull and cautious and I won the first round. However, the 2nd and 3rd rounds were sorta close but eventually I got destroyed by the mighty wrath of "I hit you once, now die for free" Raoh combos. I was sorta bummed but I felt that I at least played pretty well. I stayed and played causuals throughout the rest of the tournament. I thought FAB was going to win but he eventually lost to Bleed's Johnny. In turn Bleed eventually lost to Imo. I didnt see the finals because I was playing a match and I didnt even realize how fast the tournament was going, but eventually I noticed it was over. I asked someone who won and they said that Imo took the whole tournament. I didnt feel so bad losing to him after that since he owned everyone else too and I came fairly close to beating him. One odd thing I noticed was that during the tournament H.H. was using Ky instead of Dizzy. I actually beat his Ky in casuals a few weeks ago and I thought it was just his 2ndary. Maybe it is, cuz I played his Dizzy in casuals later on this day and lost, but for some reason he played Ky in the tournament. I played for a little longer and the players became fewer and fewer as more people started to leave. Eventually there was hardly anyone there so I left to get some food cuz I was starving. After I ate, I went to Vegas to play some more. Lots of people from the tournament were there playing, which makes sense since its half the price of Sportsland. I stayed and played more casuals there for the rest of the day until it got late and then I headed to Current.

Tonight at Current there was a metal event with guest DJs so the place was packed. Not so many of the usual regulars were there but the "metal event regulars" (the people that only show up when there are metal events) were all there. Chip showed up too and we had a good chat for a while. He was telling me about how in the latest Famitsu, Arc System works announced that they are making a new 2D fighter (not Basara X, something completely different). He said the name was Blue something... but couldnt quite remember. He said there were a few screens of like 4 characters that were announced and said the game seems promising. I made a mental note to check out the latest Famitsu tomorrow when I would go to Akihabara. We were also talking about his days when he worked for Capcom. I asked him exactly what he did when he worked on the SF games. He said he was the head sound effects supervisor and was responsable for creating some pretty well known sound effects. He did all the sounds for Gouki in Super SF2 X and he also did most of the sound effects for SFalpha 1 and 2. The DJs were having like this countdown of like some top 100 songs list (based on what exactly I have no idea, probably simply the DJs opinion) and while most of it was good, there was certainly some stuff I didnt agree with as far as the rankings it recieved. The number 1 song ended up being Judas Priest- Painkiller which is always a classic and never gets old so everyone was going pretty nuts during that one, plus by then it was late and everyone was fuckin wasted. Eventually it was closing time so I said bye to everyone and headed to MOS burger for a drunken Terkyaki Chicken sandwich combo meal. After that I headed to the Manga kissa for sleep. I set the alarm on my phone and passed out.

I woke up to my phone vibrating as it always does when the alarm goes off while my phone is in manner mode. I woke up, checked out of the manga kisa, and left. I headed for the train station and boarded a train to Akihabara. As far as I knew there was no tournaments today as I had asked around during the Sportsland tournament. I figured maybe Akihabara would have some random last minute one posted and if not, at least it would be a good spot for casuals as ussual. When was on the train I checked my phone and noticed I had an email from my girlfriend. Just the ussual hi how are you, I miss you sorta email, which is nice and I always like getting. However, after reading the email I looked at the time on my phone and it was only 10:30. I was like WTF! I had set my alarm for 11:30 and at first I thought maybe my phone was fucked up. Then I realized that when my girlfriend sent me the email, it made my phone vibrate, and my dumbass thought it was the alarm going off, but I didnt bother to check. So I ended up checking out of the manga kisa about an hour and a half early, resulting in me getting only 4 and a half hours of sleep. I figured I felt tired simply from the drinking (though this time I didnt have a headache at all) but it was simply a matter of getting less sleep than ussual. At this point there was nothing much I could do about it except drink more caffiene. When I arrived at Akihabara, club sega was pretty dead, as it wasnt even 11 am yet. Aside from lack of sleep, the other drawback to waking up early is that theres not much to do so early in the day. I decided to walk around to kill some time and explore other areas of Akihabara I hadnt been to yet. I found some other small arcades but they were also dead and only had like one GGAC cab. I got some food and eventually went to a Family Mart. I was still 50/50 0n going to the Iron Maiden concert that would be coming up in a few weeks. I like Maiden and all but the tickets were 9,500 yen which is a lot of money for one show. Eventually I decided that since I missed Nightwish and that since all Japanese metal concerts are pretty expensive, combined with the fact that I had a decent ammount of money that I would just go to the show, so I bought a ticket there. Lots of people from Current were going and they wanted me to go to so I figured why the hell not. After that I headed back to Club Sega and there were a few more people. I played a few matches but then people stopped playing me cuz there was just more cabs than players and I ended up beating the game. I decided to take break so I headed to Gamers to check out the latest Famitsu. Unfortunately when I got there I couldnt find Famitsu there at all. It must have been sold out or something cuz I dont see how Gamers wouldnt carry Famitsu, espessially when I buy Arcadia there from time to time. So I headed back to Club Sega and played some more.

Eventually the place began to fill up a bit more and by about 3 pm it was packed. I was playing with my headphones on and I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and it was Ogawa. He said hello to me and then went around to the other side of the cabs and started playing. I was in the middle of a match against a Testament player that kept playing me over and over. I beat him about 5 times and then he finally got a win on me and then we started going back and forth. Eventually someone else got on the cab I was using so I moved to another cab. I decided to try to play Ogawa again since no one was playing him at the moment. I played him 2 times and lost. No one else got on the cab so I tried again. This time I managed to beat his Eddie once again, marking my 2nd win against his Eddie. He immedietly rematched me and won in a close match. Now other people started playing him so I went to another cab. I played for a while and had a streak and then I lost to someone and by then I noticed Ogawa had 17 wins. I figured I would give it another try. I played him one more time and much to my surprise I managed to beat his Eddie again! Marking my 3rd win against his Eddie and ending his win streak. As ussual he played me again right away and beat me. Lots of other people were trying to beat him now. I thought to myself (is Ogawa slipping or am I actually starting to get better?). The answer was clear when I saw Kazuki and Domi repetedly lose to him over and over as well as several other people. It seems that up to this point I was the only one who was able to beat him all day. I played him a few more times but I couldnt win again. Some matches were close, others I pretty much got pooped on. After like another 25 wins, someone else eventually managed to beat Ogawa, but I was playing a match on another cab so I didnt see who, but I am fairly certain it was Kazuki or Domi. I was starting to feel the effects of lack of sleep pretty hard now and noticed I was just getting tired of playing in general. I played a few more matches against various people and eventually headed out to go home. I said bye to Ogawa and left the arcade. The ride home was just 3 straight hours of sleeping on the train.

Thats it for this weekend. Next weekend is a mystery at this point. The new Arcadia for February doesnt come out until tomorrow, so I dont know the schedule yet but im pretty certain theres going to be at least some tournament somewhere in Tokyo that I will end up going to. At least this coming weekend wont result in me getting IKed by another mighty Enkai.

EDIT: Upon further inspection via online, the new Arc System works fighter is called BlazBlue and will be a hi rez HD 2d fighting game from many of the people work worked on Guilty Gear. The game sounds promising so far based on the little information out, but it will be playable in demo form at the AOU convention next month along with SF4 so I will make sure to try them both out and report on it.

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