Monday, March 23, 2009

R.I.P. Hannou Sega World

Friday was a national holiday, so I spent Thursday night drinking near my town with some of the other ALTs since one of them will be moving to another prefecture soon, so we had sorta a going away drinking gathering. I slept in for a very long time the following morning and it felt great. It really has been a long time since I have had a day where I can just sleep in as late as I want. After waking up at around 2:30, I got ready quickly and got on a train a little after 3:00 and headed for Shinjuku.

About 3 hours later I arrived at Vegas. At first it was a little slow but after a while some people showed up. I wasnt doing so amazing at first. I lost a bunch in a row to this one Venom and this one Johnny player took turns with me losing to him but then the Johnny finally beat him so I went to go fight some random May who wasnt playing anyone. I beat the May, and then he left so for a while, no one was challenging me. I had some personal issues on my mind and it was kinda getting me down and affecting my playing but eventually I sorted things out in my head and was able to play better again. After playing for a while, eventually Rod showed up. After a little more time, a Baiken challenged me and Rod was like "your next opponent isnt Japanese" and im thinking "wtf, Matt showed up and picked Baiken?" and then Rod was like "No, its RTL". RTL is a Baiken player from Canada. Ive ran into him briefly once or twice before in Japan but never had time to really hang out with him or play him. We played our match and I won and then he came over and we talked for a bit. I thought he was already out of Japan but he said he came back. He complimated my playing and he asked me a few questions about Japan and my Japanese level and stuff. His Baiken couldnt beat me but he did pretty well, espessially since Rod told me hes a pad player! He was doing very well against various Japanese players too. For a while, Rod, RTL, and I were taking turns trying to beat this one good Johnny and eventually I beat him. Around this time, Matt showed up. Then there was like this one Jam player who I beat but he rematched me and won. He wasnt that good but was doing ok. He was extremely wreckless and random and kept throwing out unsafe flying kicks and it was working for whatever reason. He beat all of us foreigner players like maybe twice each and then I finally beat him again. Then he said his friend was gonna play me who was another Jam player. His friend was way way better and had sick pressure and combos. He wrecked all of us a bit and I finally beat him too. After that I ended up playing against Rod a bit I think. Right around midnight, RTL had to leave cuz he was gonna take the last train home. I invited him to come drinking with us but he said maybe another time. At the very end, we decided to just bust out random side characters for fun. I picked my Ky and I was beating Rods Slayer a few times with him. I dropped a combo that was supposed to end in DP but came out as fireball and lost. Then I won a few as Testament. After winning, Rod was like "play Testament again and you an pick any character in the game for me to use and I will win and you will owe me a beer". I was like... "um, just play anyone except I-no or Johnny." He went with Potemkin and I took the first 2 rounds but then started to slip up and he just got in on me and it was over. So I ended up owing him a beer. I didnt really care, plus Rod was a little low on money so I didnt mind. At this point the arcade was pretty much completely dead, we decided to head out.

We ended up hitting up McDonalds and getting some of the 100 yen 5 piece nuggets action. We then headed over to Current. For a Friday, it was a pretty good turnout. Mostly just a bunch of the regulars there. This one dude, Shuji, was having this conversation with Rod and I about special techniques to make girls squirt really far when you make them cum. This can often be seen in Japanese porn. He refered to it as "pussy shower" which when he said it sounded like "poosy shawa". It was pretty hilarious and he kept doing the finger motions that go with it and going up to us and just randomly saying "poosy shawa". Very amusing shit. The rest of the night was pretty much just us talking a lot to a bunch of the regulars. Nothing too crazy happened. After they closed at 5, a few of us headed over to PSY for some more beers. After getting McDonalds breakfast I headed to the manga kissa.

The next day, I woke up and once again just headed to Vegas. There was a tournament somewhere in Ibaraki today but it was an hour and a half away and started late, plus I had no idea if it would even be worth going to and I normally wouldnt travel that far for something that wasnt gaurenteed to be at least decent or matter for anything. Vegas filled up with lots of great players pretty fast so I didnt feel the need to go. When I first got there it was dead and I was just playing against this one Robo-Ky a bunch of times. For whatever reason I couldnt beat him. I was playing ok but didnt feel like I was doing my best. After several tries, finally a Sol player came along and beat Robo-Ky. Then I played against the Sol player and ended up pretty much raping him like 5 times in a row. Funny how that works out. I kept a record of my matches for a while and it was as follows
beat Bridget 3 times
beat Po
lose to Po
beat the same Robo-ky from before finally
beat Po
beat So
beat Ky
beat Di
lost to Robo-ky
then beat Robo-ky 2 times
beat Di
lose to a different So
After that I got a 9 win streak but started to get lazy and didnt keep track of each match anymore. I eventually lost to a Jam player.

For the rest of the day I pretty much kept getting small win streaks of around 5 or so wins and then losing to someone. Udei (the Axl) was there and I surprisingly beat him like 2 or 3 times. Inoue was there and he was just absoloutly beasting with his I-no. No one could touch him. I played him a few times and got him down to the last round a few times but he just seemed to know exactly what to throw out at every single given moment. Around this time, Matt came with Akiko and we got some Ramen. After that, Akiko went to kill time somewhere while we went back to play some more. When we came back, Inoue was still beasting undefeated. We both tried a few more times but just couldnt touch him. He ended up getting 53 wins, went into IK mode against the computer, got up, and left. That guy just seems to rape with no matter what character he touches. Im sure if there was a random select GG tourny, he would win. Later on, Kuni (the Anji player I might team up with sometimes) came. Also, Nakamura and Tsubasa came too. I played both of them a few times and got some really really close games in but didnt get any wins vs them. After a little while longer, it was already like passed midnight and the arcade was closing soon. I played against Matt and beat him and then a yellow Johnny challenged me and I beat him twice. Then a blue Johnny played me and I lost. I suspected the yellow one was Rod and when I went on the other side he did infact show up and it was him. The blue one was someone else. I rematched him and won. Then Rod played me like a whole bunch of times. I wanted to leave soon cuz it was late but he kept insisting on playing one more again and again. Kuni was sitting at the cab next to me and I kept getting up to leave and then I would go around to see Rod put another coin in so I would go back and sit down. Kuni thought it was amusing hah. I think I ended up having something like 7 wins vs Rod's Slayer. He came close a couple times but didnt beat me. Finally he gave in and we said bye to Kuni and left.

Akiko, Matt, Rod, and I got some more 100 yen nuggets for the road. On our way to Current, some guy was was peddling some sorta shady sex related business on the street. He said "big tits" as we were walking by, but it sound like he said "big cheats!" We then had this image of him selling game informers or something in an erotic way. Rod suggested you had to pull the magazine out of a chicks ass or something.

That night at Current wasnt so packed. Less people than Friday night but still some good regulars. That one girl from Switzerland was back for a week and I talked to her for a bit. Shuji was still all about his "poosy shawa". Tomoko was there with Mai when we arrived as well and they were dancing a lot as usual. Not a whole lot else really went on, most just hanging out and drinking. We went to PSY with a big group of people after Current closed. Pretty packed. I dont remember who it was, but someone tied an inflated condom into Matt's hair which was pretty funny. Also, Matt insisted on doing this weird shit that he learned from Akiko where you put your mouth around someones nose and blow into it. First he did it to Rod and then insisted on doing it to me. It felt really weird. Also, the new girl who has been bartending at PSY was there and she was really drunk and flirty. At some point she was flashing her panties and I guess it made Akiko get pissed at Matt or something. After getting some more McDonalds breakfast we split up and went to sleep.

I woke up from the manga kissa and headed to Vegas. It was completely dead. Today, the plan was to attend the GG tournament at Hannou Sega world. This would be our 3rd time going there. The tournament wasnt schedule to start till 6:30 so we had some time to kill. We agreed to all meet up at Vegas at 3 and then play for a bit and head out. Since no one was around and Vegas was dead, I just spent a good part of the early afternoon walking around various parts of Shinjuku. The weather was nice and it felt good to just be outside. I walked passed 8-bit cafe and checked out some music stores. Eventually I headed back to Vegas and there was like a couple of guys playing GG. Mitsurugi was there using his Slayer. He had 12 wins and was about to beat Boss I-no in arcade mode. I challenged him before he beat the game and lost but then I rematched him and won. Unfortunately after I beat him, he got up and left the arcade. Then for a little bit I just fought the computer but then some guy was like sorta watching me play and eventually decided to challenge me. He was a Chipp player. This guy turned out to be really fucking good. He had great mixups and pressure. I have a really hard time vs Chipp, hes like in my top 3 hardest matchups. I started off by winning 1 for every 3 he would win and over time it started to drift more and more and eventually he had like 10 wins on me. I kept coming close but sometimes I just feel so helpless in that matchup. I had to go to the bathroom so I got up and went around and told the guy good games and said he had a good Chipp. I asked him about his SBO plans and he said he already had a team. I went to the bathroom and came back and he was still fighting the computer so I played him like once or twice more. Then Matt finally showed up like an hour later than he was supposed to. I guess he lost his phone or something so he couldnt contact me. Also, Rod was on his way but he didnt pay his phone bill so he could only recieve messages and not send them. Once both of those guys finally got there, it was already getting late, so we had to get going. Matt said that Akiko was waiting for us at MOS burger but she wasnt there. I tried calling her twice but no answer. Eventually Matt thought to check another cafe and she ended up being there. Upon finding her, we quickly set out.

On the train on the way there, Rod started playing Final Fantasy VI for GBA on his DS since I brought it for him to barrow. His first time playing the game. He got up to right after the part where the moogles and Locke save Terra from the Narshe guards.

We eventually arrived in Hannou and we had about 10 minutes to spare. We made it to the arcade just in time. Both of the other times I had gone to this place for tournaments, the turnout was kinda low, at around 10 people. This time 17 people entered which was pretty good for a small inaka arcade tournament. There was this one guy there who came up to us and asked us where we were from in perfect English. Turns out he used to live in the US for 7 years. We talked a bit, and he told me that the reason there were so many people this time was that this was to be the very last tournament that this arcade would ever see. In a few days, Hannou Sega World would be closing its doors forever. I read a while back in an online article that Sega was scheduled to shut down a big chunk of their arcades in Japan. I figured most of them would be these less popular inaka arcades, its just a shame this had to be one of them. Theres no worry for places like Club Sega Akihabara, Shinjuku, Sportsland or Ikebukuro GIGO to be shutting down but it still sucks any time an arcade closes down. A small piece of the gaming scene dies. I guess this place used to be a common home to a lot of these guys, most of them live really close by. Espessially Takure who was there once again, rocking his Eddie. Most of the other ussual guys were there, but Udei did not show up this time, despite getting first place at the last one. After the brackets were made via random numbers, Rod and Matt had the unluckiness of having to fight eachother first round, first match of the whole tournament. It was pretty close but in the end, Rod took it with his I-no. I didnt really know who to root for honestly. It was just kinda a shitty situation. My first match was against a Zappa player named H. I won the first round, lost the 2nd round cuz he got Raoh out, but then took the 3rd and 4th round for the win (Hannou tournaments are always one match, 3/5 rounds for whatever reason). Some other highlights were, this one wacky Faust player whos always there beating the Red Potemkin player that I almost triple perfected at the first Hannou tourny we went to, and he used pogo stance the entire time! It was hilarious yet painful to watch. Poor Potemkin guy. Then there was the good Potemkin who beat me the first tournament vs the guy who was good at speaking English, who also played Po. English Po lost to the other guy. Lots of Potemkin and also lots of HOS at this tournament. For Rod's 2nd match, he had to fight Takure. He started off strong but in the end, Eddie got the best of him and he was eliminated. This meant that my next match would end up being vs Takure as well (Rod and Matt were placed in the braket in a way that they had to fight one extra match than everyone else, like the opposite of getting a bye). I started off really strong against him. I had him in the corner with almost no life left. I was about to take the round. I tried to run forward and command throw him. It would have worked for sure cuz he was just sitting there crouch blocking, but my forward forward input didnt register and I ended up doing the command throw outside of throw range and it whiffed. He took advantage of this and I was punished accordingly and lost the 1st round. He won the next round. I then took round 3. Round 4 was close but I lost. I pretty much was just fucking up execution type stuff mostly. He told me after he beat me that he didnt feel like he should have won that one. My strategies were very good but I just kept inputing stuff wrong. Oh well, thats how it goes. He really is a very solid Eddie player though. After a little more time, the tournament was over and Takure ended up winning the whole thing. 2nd place was the good Potemkin player and 3rd place was the crazy Faust.

After the tournament ended, a few people made some speeches about the arcade and the memories they had there, including the staff guy who was running it. Then, they organized another one of those 2 team tournaments where they just split everyone up in half and made teams. Since I had to go in like 15 minutes, they let me play first for our team. I had to fight their Slayer first and I beat him pretty well, finishing the match by dizzying him and then just super jumping over his head and letting the bomb that was sitting there kill him while he was dizzied. The next match was against this really good Testament. It went down to the very last round with both of us having like less than 10% life left. I went for an airl teleport and it just whiffed outside of hit range and I got punished and died. Its alright though cuz I really had to leave. I said bye to everyone there and then walked to the station by myself.

I made it with about 5 minutes to spare. Just enough to get a sandwich and a drink before getting on the train. I didnt mention it until now, but I had a bad cold and a sore throat all weekend long since like Friday morning. After eating that sandwich, all of a sudden my sore throat got like 10 times worse. It went from being a minor irritation to a throbbing pain all through the left side of my head into my ear. Swallowing made me cringe in pain. I tried to sleep on the train but would be woken up periodically by the pain. I managed to make it home this time (unlike last time when I came home from Hannou and failed to get on the right train and Ryoko had to pick me up like an hour away from home) but when I got home my throat was killing me. I gargled with some salt water and went to sleep. This morning when I woke up, its slightly less painful but still pretty bad. I really hope it gets better by this coming weekend cuz this next weekend is the start my spring break as well as the very first SBO qual, so I want to be in good form for both playing hard and drinking a lot of beer. Heres hoping my throat feels better.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Eye Candy

When I first got to Vegas on Friday night, it was pretty dead. I started off by getting 9 wins in GG and then no one was playing me for a while. I was almost ready to give up and just go to Akihabara since it was still sorta early. I mailed Matt and told him I was going but he said him and Yuki would be there soon so I said I would just wait, In the mean time, I just got off the GG machine and decided to play some BB cuz some Noel player was sitting there and literally falling asleep from fighting the computer and waiting for some comp lol. I beat his Noel with my Arakune but then he picked Taokaka and beat me like 3 times. It was like my first time playing BB in weeks. After that, a few more GG players showed up so I went back to GG. I got 12 wins in a row vs this one Robo-Ky player who wouldnt give up, and a couple of times he picked Slayer on me too but I still won. Then Hot Zappa showed up and I got a win on her. Then I beat the Slayer 2 more times, but he eventually managed to get a win on me and then I lost to him 2 more times in close games. Then Yuki showed up (the Orange I-no player I will be teaming up with for SBO) and he was playing his Bridget so I played him and beat him. Then he rematched me with his I-no and beat me twice but they were both fairly close. Then I beat Pumpkin Ky and got 6 wins on that Robo-Ky again. He switched to Slayer again and I beat him 2 more times. At some point, Matt and Rod showed up.

Then there was this Anji player. He was really solid and had great footsies and pressure but I managed to beat him. He rematched me and I lost. Around this point it was getting late. I kinda wanted to start drinking so I ran over to the Lawson and got this new white can Ebisu beer that just came out. It ended up being sorta mediocre but not bad. I brought it back to Vegas and drank it while I was playing. At this point almost no one was still playing except for like Matt and Rod and that Anji player. Rod and Matt were fighting like a zillion grudge matches in a row so I played the Anji again. I beat him. After that, Hot Zappa and her boyfriend (HZB) left and said bye to me. I played Anji again and this time I lost. Then I played him again and won, and then he started busting out other characters. I beat his Johnny and then his Sol but then he went back to Anji and beat me. At this point I had enough and since I had an empty stomach, and since it was a 500 ml beer can and I drank it fast, I was already starting to feel buzzed. However, he was a really good player so I went around to tell him good games. I asked him if he was gonna enter SBO and he said he wants to but he doesnt have a team. I have a few team mates lined up but many of them cant go to every tournament. That ABA player Ni, who I met a while back mailed me and said he has to work on the first qual day so I cant team with him. Yuki and I still need a 3rd for the first qual. However, the Anji player said he doesnt really feel like traveling far, but will be willing to enter any of the Tokyo quals with me and Yuki, so I at least have another solid player now who I can team with. The guys name is Kuni (not the same Kuni who plays Zangief in SFII). Meanwhile, Matt and Rod were still swinging away at eachother and Rod wouldnt give up cuz Matt had like 4 wins on him or something and just kept putting in more money even though the arcade was about to close and the staff already took all the stools away from the cabs LOL. Eventually they gave up and we left.

I was hungry and wanted to get some food but those guys already ate so I just got some corn dogs from the 7-11. Rod suggested that we go look for this one video game bar called 8-bit cafe. I always wanted to check it out but I never knew how to get there. Rod did some research online and pretty much knew where it was so we went to check it out. It took us a little bit of time and searching to find the place but after walking around a bit, we eventually did find it. The sign was a bit hard to notice. The place was pretty awsome actually. Not super huge but bigger than 16-shots. They had lots of cool game related decorations, collectables, and stuff. They had a few tables and a bar area and then they also had a seating area with a TV and several game consoles that you could just play. We played some Super Famicom for a while cuz it was already hooked up. We got some beers and started with some Super Street Fighter II. We were all playing on pad cuz they didnt have sticks. For a while I had a big win streak and was picking like most of the characters in the cast. Eventually I lost to Matt's Guile with my Dhalsim cuz my Dhalsim kinda sucks. The only other game I lost was my Boxer vs Matt's T-Hawk cuz my Boxer is garbage and Matt is decent with Hawk. After that, Rod suggested we try this old ass Hokuto no Ken fighting game they had for Super Famicom. This game was pretty crappy and felt kinda half ass. We had some good laughs with it though and after maybe about 3 matches, we decided to just switch to Final Fight II. I was getting mails from Maiyuko asking if I would come to Current tonight. I asked her if it was packed and she said it was pretty full so we decided to go swing by there and see what was up. Despite what happened there last week, Rod was able to put it behind him.

We walked over to Current and got there around 3:30. There were indeed a lot of people there and most of them were regulars. Everyone on the Current staff gave us a pretty warm greeting when we walked in. I think Sushi apolagized to Rod again or something too. It turned out that Maiyuko ended up getting too drunk so she was already gone LOL. Oh well. I enjoyed hanging out with everyone else though.

At closing time, we headed over to PSY. Typical night there with a few PSY regulars. We saw a poster on the wall that tomorrow would be Michiro (one of the bartender's) birthday party. We stayed till closing but then Matt and Rod were still down to keep drinking, so the 3 of us went to do Karaoke. We did it for like 2 hours and it was pretty good. Brought our own beer in again but they didnt notice cuz we were smart about it. Rod fell asleep towards the end but overall it was pretty good. After getting some McDonalds breakfast, everyone went home and I went to the manga kissa.

The next day, I woke up like around 3:00 cuz we were out drinking so late (I think I went to bed at like 9 lol. I headed right to Vegas which was pretty dead to start off, but Kuni was there again. I played against him in several games for a while. I didnt keep a record of the exact match log, but it started out with us going back and forth vs his Anji but then he suddenly just started busting out all these random characters and probably picked about 1/3 of the entire cast on me. He played like SO, JO, ED, KY, RO, HOS, SL, and TE. I beat every single one of his sub characters and eventually he went back to Anji. I think he might have been testing me to see how good I am against different matchups. While his sub characteres werent nearly as good as his Anji, he was actually pretty decent with almost all of them which is pretty impressive. We went back and forth a few more times vs his Anji and then more people started to show up and HZB challenged me and beat me twice with his Robo-Ky.

I left to get some Curry and Matsuya and then went back and even more people were there. Throughout the day, many various regulars came and went. The toughest fights I had all day were vs Seta, Mitsurugi, and Tsu. I ended up beating Seta in a mirror match and I also beat Tsu's Eddie a few times which was cool. I couldnt get a win on Mitsurugi though. Rod showed up after a little while too. Pissed off HOS chick was there and for once she actually seemed happy! I dont know why but she wasnt mashing the taunt button and slamming the cabinet at all! Not too much else to really go into detail about but I played a shit ton of casuals that day. There was a tournament going on somewhere in Saitama like half way between where I live in Gunma and Shinjuku so it would take like 1.5 hours to get out there and I wasnt even sure if it was gonna be big or anything so I just decided not to go. It didnt start till 8 pm and tons of good players were at Vegas so I figured the casuals practice was a better idea. We played pretty late and eventually we decided to head on over to Current at around 11. We stopped to get some Sukiya first.

We got a mail from Matt who finally had just left his house at like 10:30 haha. I just told him to meet us at Current. Tonight at Current was Bosch's birthday party! Tons of people were already there when we arrived and Bosch already was getting pretty drunk! They had like 4 people working the bar. Masami and Sushi were back there as usual, and I guess now Mame works there part time as well. In addition, Piko was just back there helping out too. Mogi for once was taking a break and just chilling and drinking with some people. Hes always so busy so its cool that he gets a chance for once to relax. Mostly all the big party regulars showed up for this one. I bought Bosch a shot of Tequila pretty soon after getting there. Matt eventually showed up with Akiko. Not long after that, Mogi and Bosch just started busting out whole bottles of Jack Daniels and were pooring up shots for everyone, chugging straight from the bottle and going around just pouring whisky into peoples mouths or giving them the bottle to swig. Given how fast everyone was getting drunk I wasnt surprised when I looked over and saw a few people already taking their shirts off. The best part was when Hibiki took her shirt off. Not only cuz shes really hot, but it triggered pretty much like 80% of the girls in the bar to do the same and before I knew it, there were shirtless girls (and dudes) everywhere! Rod and I were just like... fuck it... and took our shirts off too. Then people started getting up on the bar and just bar diving and a big group of people waited and caught them and they crowd surfed a little. I went up there and did it too but they almost didnt catch me LOL! That would have sucked. There was just tons of crazy drunken dancing and people were just getting sloshed.

At some point, I was talking to Hibiki at the bar and told her I liked her bra cuz its my favorite color (dark green) and shes like, "yea my panties are the same color see?" and she flashed me her panties. It was hot. Then she was like telling me how earlier in the day she went to see the black metal band, Satyricon in concert. She then pointed to these 2 Norwegian guys sitting at the other end of the bar that I noticed earlier and said that they were members of the band! I honestly im not a huge Satyricon fan simply because I havnt heard almost any of their music though I am familiar with them a bit. She said she wanted to talk to them but her English isnt so good and they dont know any Japanese so she asked me to translate for her. We went over and talked to them and basically just just asked them a few questions and then one of the guys asked her for her myspace information and she was all happy and wrote it down for them. They were pretty nice guys and I talked with one of them for a bit. They said they wanted to check out GODZ while they were around so they ended up going to GODZ with Taka and they eventually came back later.

The party continued to stay pretty epic till it was over. Everyone had a great time and nothing really bad happened as far as I could rememeber. After that, we went to PSY. It was pretty packed since it was Michiko's birthday. Hibiki showed up with one of the guys from Satyricon later on too. They stayed open pretty late. Matt and Akiko ducked out early but Rod and I stayed till closing. I spent a good ammount of time talking with Heidi too. When they finally closed, I got some McDonalds breakfast with Heidi, Masami, and Jackie, and then went to the manga kissa.

I was so drunk when I got to the manga kissa I just passed out as soon as I hit my chair. Didnt even take my boots off or set an alarm. I ended up waking up 45 mins after my time was up and got charged like 300 yen extra. I was so out of it I still felt drunk and was even thinking about sleeping for longer, but I forced myself to just get up. I felt pretty hungover so I popped a headache pill and had some coffee. I was seriously just considering going home at this point. Hardly anyone was playing and I noticed that someone had left their game of BB in arcade mode so I decided to just sit down and mess around on it while I considered what to do. They had been using Ragna so for the very first time I tried playing as Ragna and just checked out he felt vs the computer. I eventually died to Hakumen cuz I had no idea wtf I was doing lol. I dont think I can see myself maining Ragna or anything. Doesnt really fit my play style I dont think. I decided I needed to just man up and wake the fuck up, so I went to get a red bull and walk around outside a bit.

When I got back to the arcade I was starting to feel a little better. Then I saw something I never thought I would see in a million years... there was a hot chick playing as Faust! I watched her play a match and when she won, I went over to her and told her I thought it was awsome to see a female Faust player cuz I had never seen one before. I gave her props and then told her I wanted to play her. I went over to the other side of the cab and we played some mirror matches. She was using my old reload color (the sorta blue-green one that people sometimes used to call "used car salesman Faust"). I think we played about 5 games. I won every single one, but she actually had a pretty good Faust! She was nailing all her FRCs and knew how to FDC well and her overall game was pretty good! She was probably better than most US Faust players for sure! After I beat her she came around to the other side and told me I was too strong! We talked for a little bit and she told me she lives in Chiba and doesnt come out here that often. She said shes only been playing since AC and asked me how long ive been playing and everything (since XX 2002) and we just talked about a few other various things. I asked her name and she said it was Yuie. Then she was like "you're ElvenShadow right?" im just like "Whoa! How did you know?" and shes like "Well, you are pretty famous". I thought that was pretty cool. Eventually she went back to the other side and shortly after, I saw her leave the arcade out of the corner of my eye with a guy who looked very familiar.

Some time passed and the place got more packed. Eventually Matt showed up. Then as time went on, there was like all of a sudden more female players there than male players! It was like hot chick guilty gear day! I think there was a total of 7 female players there, the most id ever seen there in one day. Hot Zappa, Faust girl, Baim, Tatsumi, this one Sol player chick whos sometimes there, pissed off HOS chick, and like this one other girl who Matt said he saw before were all there. Unfortunately for Pissed off HOS chick, she went back to being pissed and I would occasionally hear her slam the cabinet in the distance. Then at some point, Baim was talking with Faust girl and they were watching someone play SFIV. I then realized it was the same guy who I saw her leave with earlier, and it was none other than Nemo! He was owning some people with his Akuma. I asked her if she was Nemo's girlfriend and she indeed was! Figures that the Faust girl would be dating one of the best Faust players ever (or at least he used to be before he quit Faust). I asked her if Nemo taught her how to use Faust and she said that was not the case at all and that she actually used Faust before she even met him. They asked me if I respected Nemo as a player and I was like, of course, and they were all like happy and stuff haha. Though I told them I was dissapointed when he switched to Testament, and I havnt even seen him play GG at all lately.

I went back to playing some more casuals and there was this really fucking good Ky player there. Ive seen him around before. I dont know his name. I asked him actually and I totally forgot it but its something that starts with an A. I dont think hes very well known. I was talking with Hot Zappa about him and she doesnt know who he is either but she pointed out that he has some of the best footsies and spacing around! Hes very much like Mitsurugi in that regard because hes the same way. No one was really able to beat his Ky except for me. I would lose a few against him and then win one or 2 and then lose a few more. I had some great games with him though. Really solid Ky player.

Later on, it started to die down at around 7:30 so Matt and I went to get food. We decided to get McDonalds because they lowered the prices on most of the cheap stuff back down to 100 yen so im no longer boycotting the non breakfast menu. Then I noticed something that was absoloutly amazing that I failed to notice before when I was there cuz I was drunk all the other times... for a limited time they had 5 piece nuggets for 100 yen! 5... piece... nuggets... for .... 100... yen. It doesnt get much toper on the fast food tier list than that! I ordered 15 nuggets and enjoyed them very much. They will be around till the end of next weekend so I know what im gonna be feasting on next weekend now too! I just wish I noticed earlier.

After we ate, we went back to Vegas and a few people were still playing but it was pretty dead. I played a few games vs the Sol player girl and beat her all of them and then my last games were against Sol player girls boyfriend's Sol and I won. Then he picked Jam which hes better with and I lost. It was time for me to go anyway so I didnt care. Matt walked with me to the station and then we split ways and I took the train home. I was absoloutly tired as fuck and just wanted to sleep.

When I got to Takasaki staiton, I went to switch to the last train to get home and it wasnt there.... I almost shit myself cuz I didnt wanna sleep at the station and had to get up pretty early. I panicked slightly but then when I checked the entire time table, it turns out they changed the track it was on. Its always on track 6 but for whatever reason, it was on track 2 this time. I ran and got on the train like 30 seconds before it left!

Overall it was a pretty interesting weekend. After all the shirtless sexy party chicks and cute Guilty Gear players I cant wait to see Ryoko tonight lol. Next weekend theres some GG tournaments so I will be hitting up some tournament action next time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Potemkin Busters and "Everlongs"

Ryoko had Saturday off so she came with me to Tokyo Friday night. We played some DS Mario Kart on the train on the way there. After arriving in Shinjuku, she wanted to stop at Donkihote (a big store that sells tons of various stuff). We picked up a few things there and looked around a bit. Matt told me that he was meeting up with Akiko and would meet us in Shinjuku soon. Rod also said he would be on his way and that Tomoko would meet up with us later. Everyone decided to just meet at Vegas so I went there with Ryoko. I played a few games of GG. She watched me play a few and then went to wander around the arcade. After a little while, Matt and Akiko showed up. At first I couldn’t find Ryoko but she went to a nearby arcade to go use the bathroom cuz the one at Vegas is still out of order (and has been for over like 2 or 3 months now). Akiko and Ryoko went off on their own for a few minutes while Matt and I played a few more games of GG. It wasn’t very packed at all and the comp was pretty weak in general, I was winning like all my matches. Eventually I played Matt in a series of games, I don’t remember how many games we played, maybe like 6 or 7, and Matt got 2 wins on me. Sometime around here, Rod showed up. He gave Ryoko and I this big box of cakes from Cozy Corner as a thank you gift for having him over at my place. Really nice of him. FAB was there and I asked him to play cuz he was just standing around and he said he was probly gonna leave soon. Then after waiting a bit I guess he decided to play afterall while I was playing someone else and Matt fought him and lost to him but managed to get a perfect one round. Then eventually I played him in one game and it went down to the last round and was very close but I lost. HH was also there and I lost a game to him as well. Since it was dead and we also didn’t wanna make the girls sit and wait for us for too long, we decided to go get some food and start drinking.

The 5 of us headed to this great yakiniku place and got like 2 of these giant mixed meat platters plus some rice and beer and all just stuffed ourselves. It was a damn good meal. After that we headed to Current. It was pretty packed for a Friday night actually. Lots of regulars showed up. Eventually Tomoko arrived as well. There was this one white dude there, I forgot his name, but I could have sworn he was the same guy that passed out that one time where everyone started balancing shit on his head and carried him outside on a bench. He denied that it was him but honestly he probably just either forgot or was embarrassed to admit it LOL. He sat and talked with us for a bit and seemed like a nice enough guy. At some point he sprained his ankle dancing. There was also this really big fucking oafish guy there who was part of the Cirque de Soleil crew. This guy was a fucking giant! He was just picking up like every single girl pretty much that was in the bar and just basically Potemkin bustering their asses. He was just straight up like man handling them. Fortunately he never got a hold of Ryoko but he got Tomoko several times. He was mostly just fooling around and didn’t do anything really bad or anything so it was all good. I got a picture of him doing it to Rod as well lol! There was also this group of foreigners there that I thought was part of the Cirque de Soleil group too but after they left the bar, someone told me that they were the rock band Hanoi Rocks. They are gonna be in the Tokyo area for like the next week or so playing some shows and they always come to Current to drink whenever they are around.

We all enjoyed drinking there and stuff for a long time and it was all good. Once it was near closing time we headed out. Rod and Tomoko went home but Matt, Akiko, Ryoko, and I went to do some Karaoke. We bought some booze and snacks and snuck them in and paid for the rate where you don’t get booze but its cheaper. While we were in there, a dude came in to give us water and saw Akiko’s chu-hi and told her we cant bring stuff in. We said sorry we didn’t know. We spent about 2 hours there. I kept requesting songs and it told me that they went through on the machine but then they never got played and as a result I only got to do like 4 songs the whole time so I was kinda annoyed by that. As we were leaving and checking out, the guys at the desk brought up the fact that we arnt supposed to bring our own stuff in. It seemed like they were gonna try to charge us extra but then Ryoko fucking kicked some ass and argued our way out of it, telling them “well you saw us holding Family Mart bags when we came in so why didn’t you say anything then?” and they were just all like “…uhh well.. umm.. don’t do it again.. you have been warned..” LOL. So we got away with it and probably just wont go back to that place cuz theres like 200 other karaoke places in Shinjuku.

After that, we walked and went to the same love hotel that we stayed at last time Ryoko came with me to Tokyo. They raised the prices since last time but whatever. Matt and Akiko got a room and so did Ryoko and I.

Fast forwarding to the next morning, I got a lot of sleep and it felt really refreshing. Fast forward some more and eventually it was near checkout time (5 pm) and Matt and Akiko were getting ready so Ryoko and I just flipped through what was on TV a bit. They had some crappy censored porn on one channel and typical Japanese crap TV on the rest. Eventually Matt and Akiko came to our room so then all 4 of us went to go check out.

After that, we went to a Thai resturaunt. It was pretty dead there but the food turned out pretty good. People kept coming in there but none of them were customers, they would just talk with the owner and leave. I wonder if the place was some sorta front for some shady business lol. I got this coconut seafood curry and it was really good but a bit expensive and small portion. Even with the rice side order I got with it, I was still kinda hungry. Ryoko got this pineapple rice stuff which was served in a hollowed out pineapple. Everyone enjoyed their meal and then we headed out.

We didn’t really know what we wanted to do next. We walked around a bit and we tried to go bowling but the wait was too long. We thought about seeing a movie but everyone was like kinda 50/50 on seeing one so in the end we just ended up going to an izakaya for some drinks and snacks and talked some more for like 2 hours or something. Once it got near the time the girls had to go home, Matt and I walked them to Shinjuku station and said goodbye to them. From there, it was time for some Guilty Gear at Vegas!

Once again it wasn’t very packed for whatever reason. Rod met up with us there. I played a lot of games and did generally well, even getting a win vs Hase’s Slayer, but then at some point Rod and Matt kept trying to beat HHs Dizzy and couldn’t so then after they gave up and went to play other people, I tried and I ended up losing like 10 games in a row to his Dizzy. Most of them were pretty close and I don’t feel like I really played bad, HH was just in the zone really. I didn’t get pissed but it kinda made me feel like not playing anymore for the night and I sorta just wanted to go drinking, plus it was already getting late.

We headed to Current after that. It was a party hard night and a decent amount of people were there again. Hanoi Rocks was there again as well and were sitting at a table in the back with lots of girls heh. This one girl, Waka, that we sometimes see there was also there. She was pretty drunk and was flirting with Rod a bit. Rod was just talking with her and she kinda got a little touchy feely and was hugging him a little but it didn’t seem like anything that was a huge deal or anything. However, at some point, Matt, Rod, and I are sitting at the bar. All of a sudden Sushi comes up to Rod and starts like saying all this crap to him about not to touch that girl or something, but he was smiling when he said it and it looked like he was just acting and messing around. We weren’t sure if he was actually serious and didn’t even really know wtf he was talking about at first. I told him he was funny and then he whispered in my ear “funny huh?” in a tone that from what I could tell seemed like he was joking around. Then all of a sudden while Rod and Matt were talking, I look over and noticed Sushi just starts slapping the shit out of Waka! Im like holy shit! Some people started to try to hold him back and then all of a sudden, Sushi comes up to Rod, starts yelling a bunch of shit at him and straight up slaps him across the face! I tried to calm Sushi down and told him Rod didn’t do anything and didn’t know anything either. None of us knew that Waka was supposedly his girlfriend and last I talked to Sushi about that subject, he told me he had no girlfriend. In any case, he was pretty wasted drunk and so was she. After he slapped Rod, Rod handled himself well, didn’t get upset, just maintained his composure and kept his cool. Sushi then went back to slapping Waka around and a bunch of people held him back and then eventually both of them ran outside for a while. At this point we weren’t really sure we wanted to be there anymore. We figured we would wait till the stuff outside in front settled down. After that happened, about half the bar cleared out and a big group of people left with Hanoi Rocks. Eventually, Sushi came back inside and seemed to have calmed down and apologized to Rod. I didn’t hear exactly what he said but he said something along the lines of that he was very drunk and shouldn’t have hit Rod and some stuff like that. Honestly, I don’t know if I could ever look at Sushi the same again and the whole experience really left a sour taste in my mouth. He obviously over reacted and hitting women isn’t something that a guy should ever be doing like that. Chip and Kunko showed up and we said hi to them and they had no idea what just happened and we didn’t bring it up. Shortly after, we decided to just leave and go to PSY cuz it was the owner of the bar’s birthday.

It was still pretty early when we left, only maybe like 1:30. We spent the rest of the night just drinking at PSY which was fun. It was packed pretty full. Natsume (the owner of PSY, not the Dizzy player) was already wasted when we got there. While we were there I probably saw him down like at least 6 or more rounds of shots and he was still fucking hanging in there so he gets props for that. There was this random drunken Japanese dude who was sorta being an ass, and started screaming “NO JAPANESE!” anytime a foreigner started speaking Japanese, and the guy could barely stand on his own 2 feet. Eventually he left and other than him being mildly annoying, the rest of the night was cool. I think I ended up falling asleep for a little towards the end and woke up at 6:30 am. Rod was gone, and then Matt and I got some McDonalds breakfast and went to sleep at the manga kissa.

The next day we pretty much just played GG all day. We left Vegas at some point once Rod showed up to go to Shinjuku station to buy our overnight bus tickets for spring break. I will once again return to Kansai just like last year but this time Rod and Matt will go with me, so it should be some epic shit. After getting the tickets, we returned to Vegas. It was pretty dead most of the day, but for the last few hours lots of big names showed up. Hot Zappa and HZB were there, as well as Natsume and Baim. Also, Hase, Udei, and Takare came. Inoue and Basara were there too. Even Imo showed up towards the end. It was some good times. I had these gummy bears that I bought with Ryoko on Friday but we forgot to eat them, so I busted them out and shared them with a bunch of people. At some point I was fighting this one Axl player and I hit him with this one loop combo where you do command throw into stand p, crouching, slash jump, kick, air dust, into pogo force break, and then you can loop him over and over doing pogo p head, ground flower ground flower, repeat over and over. At some point I threw an item and got meteors while still comboing him, the meteors combod and then I kept going with the loop and the whole thing probably did something like 50 hits or something. The damage gets pretty scaled after a while but it looked cool and I heard Baim and Hot Zappa behind me cuz they were watching my match and they were all impressed and shit lol. I also asked Hot Zappa and HZB if they were gonna enter SBO but they said no. I said they should enter together. Rod ended up getting a 5 win streak with I-no and even beat Takuya for the first time. At some point I beat Takare’s Eddie which felt nice. Then Hase played me and I lost to him twice and after that it was pretty much time for me to go. Rod already had left at that point to meet with some friends. I said bye to some people and then Matt and I left and walked to the station.

On the train platform I was walking towards the train and suddenly I hear a voice say “hey!”. I turn around and The Snus Man is there! He said he was just getting back from the Hanoi Rocks concert at Studio Coast. Some Japanese metal head dude from Current was with him too. He immediately busts out his snus pack and gives me a snus lol! Hes such a cool guy. He invited me to go drinking with him at Current but I told him I had a 3 hour train ride home and had to work tomorrow so he understood. I said bye to him and flashed the other guy the metal horns and got on my train.

Overall it was a fun weekend aside from that drama. I think its gonna be pretty awkward the next time I go to Current but at the same time I still want to drink with all my other friends and still love the place. Alcohol makes people do stupid things sometimes. I guess I can just say im glad that im not an angry drunk.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Guilty Gear Generations Cup 08/09

This weekend was the final weekend for the Guilty Gear Generations cup (G3) tournament. The event would take place at Game Chariot in Chiba (Goi location, same one I’ve always gone to) and the event would span all day Saturday and Sunday. The schedule was basically on Saturday there would be a singles tournament, followed by some special event and then finally the 23 on 23. Sunday would be the 5 on 5 followed by a special tournament that was unknown before hand. Game Chariot is kinda far from Shinjuku (where I usually stay and drink), maybe close to an hour on the train. I figured going to Current and then trying to get to Game Chariot by 11 am (when registration would start for the singles tournament) would be pretty impossible, so I figured I would just spend the night out in Chiba on Friday night. On the way to Tokyo I mailed Rod and Matt and told them what was up. I said I would meet them at Vegas in Shinjuku for casuals as always and then at around 11:30 or so we would head out and take like the last train out to Chiba and spend the night out there. Both of them agreed to this plan.

I arrived at Vegas around the usual time and pretty much just spent the next few hours playing casuals. I lost the first few games I played, a lot of them vs Mitsurugi’s Zappa. Eventually I started to warm up and was doing pretty good. A lot of the usual players were there. I managed to beat Seta in a mirror match and ended his 21 win streak which felt pretty good. At some point in there, both Rod and Matt showed up. I don’t remember a whole lot of specific details about Vegas that night, but I remember talking to Hot Zappa and asking her if she was going to G3 tomorrow and she said its too far so she wasn’t gonna go.

Once 11:30 rolled around we left Vegas. We stopped at the 7-11 and got some food and beer for the train ride. As I’m sure I have mentioned before, drinking beer in public in Japan is legal. However, drinking in public in places like the train is sometimes considered to be a bit rude. I generally don’t drink on the train but on the occasion that I do, I try to be sorta stealthy about it so no one really notices. I see enough old men and salary men drinking on the train so I figure if they do it why cant I do it on occasion? Unfortunately when we got on the train it was absolutely packed as hell and there was no way we were gonna be able to drink anything. I think this train ride has to pretty much go on record as the most unpleasant and packed train ride I have ever taken. It was literally packed so full that you pretty much couldn’t move at all and were getting squished the whole time. Sometimes the train had problems getting the door closed because random peoples limbs would be setting off the sensor from being too close the door. The last train is often very brutal because everyone waits to use it to go home. For a while, I got separated from Rod and Matt from the big surge of people getting on and off the train. For a bit, I was smashed against the door and had to get off the train every time we stopped at a station so people could get out and eventually I got slammed more towards the middle. Some dude was like sneezing a whole lot next to me, it was pretty gross. Eventually towards the end of our trip it started to clear out a bit and I was able to make my way over to Matt and Rod again.

We got off the train at Chiba station. This is about as far as we could get at this point but it was also a good station because there were a lot of places around the station to go. The plan was to find somewhere to drink until about 4 and then sleep till 10 and wake up and go the rest of the 15 minute train ride from Chiba to Goi station. We ended up deciding to just do karaoke because random bars are hit or miss and at least karaoke is guaranteed to be pretty fun. We bought a bunch of our own beer and then found a place near by. We paid for the non alcohol package and then just snuck our own beer in so that it would be much cheaper. It was just the 3 of us but it was pretty fun anyway. The place we went to was kinda small but for a 3 person group it worked out perfectly. Only bad thing about the place really was someone made a big vomit mess in the mens room toilet (and there was only one toilet). We were originally going to just drink till 4 but then Matt and Rod wanted to keep doing karaoke so we ended up staying till 5 (when the place closed).

After that we found a manga kissa nearby to stay at. The first one we went to was full but there was another one down the street. It turned out that they only have 5 hour specials so if we wanted to stay 6 hours it would have been a bit more expensive, so in a way it worked out. As soon as we checked in and went in our booths, I fell asleep pretty much right away. Matt and Rod, for whatever reason, said they couldn’t fall asleep right away so they ended up reading manga and using the internet. Matt told me that he ended up watching Japanese tranny porn with some tranny doing a regular chick that was saved on the computer in his booth 0_o.

The next morning I woke up and noticed that Rod and Matt were already awake cuz I could her them talking. I only slept for 5 hours and those guys slept even less and seemed pretty tired. We stopped at a Family Mart and got some food and energy drinks and then boarded the train to go the rest of the way to Goi. I bought this one new Fanta apple energy drink thing and I didn’t notice before I bought it but it ended up being like this jello substance instead of a regular liquid drink. On top of that, it was inside a tiny can and was almost impossible to get out of the can. You had to just sorta slowly suction it out with your mouth and it didn’t really work so well. I ended up drinking half of it and then throwing the rest away.

We arrived at Game Chariot at about 10:30. The place was already packed as hell with people playing casuals. They had a total of 11 GGAC cabs going. 9 were set up in a big row for casuals and then there were 2 sets arranged in like a square formation set up with an open spectator area around them for the tournament matches. They also had 2 TVs hooked up to the cabs and would be recording all tournament matches today. I registered for the singles tournament and then pretty much just played some casuals before it started. Everyone was beasting pretty hard and getting a win was extremely difficult. I did win a few but it was brutal in there!

The singles tournament was only for people who did not make it in SBO last year. This takes a lot of extremely good players out of the picture, but there are still a ton of beastly widely known and not so widely known players. There pretty much wasn’t anyone who was there that day who wasn’t pretty powerful at the game. Scrubs don’t waste their time fucking around with G3. Serious business.

After waiting for a bit they finish the brackets. I think there was a total of like 70 something people that entered. I look at the bracket and I am very disappointed to see that my first match was against a May player. Everyone should know by now how bad I hate fighting May. I was determined to still do my best though. The May player’s name was Hohoi. I never heard of him before. Rod and Matt both had to play their matches before I did. During both of their matches I was in the middle of a casual game so I didn’t get to see them play really. Rod fought Batako, the Zappa that was ranked 1st place in ranbat points from Sportsland ranbats that I beat at the last tournament. Matt fought an Anji player named Jeno. Both of them lost. Rod said Zappa is one of his hardest matchups. Apparently Matt basically would have actually won but he dropped a combo and lost the match. Eventually it was my turn to play. I won the first round, and lost the 2nd and 3rd rounds. It was very close actually. I honestly don’t feel like I played bad or made any huge mistakes, I just have trouble with the matchup in general. At the very end of the last round, I had I think maybe full tension. He knocked me down and I went for the hand swat force break (which Rod likes to call “everlong” for some reason) but May did her belly flop force break and it hit me out of it. I would have figured that mine would be high enough to avoid it but that wasn’t the case and I died. I was disappointed I lost first round but its May so I didn’t beat myself up over it too hard. The video should eventually be up online so I look forward to watching it to analyze any mistakes I made. The May player went on to make it to the finals of my bracket and beat lots of people. In the end, he lost to a HOS player named Hatoimo. I didn’t end up seeing the end of the tournament cuz I guess it snuck by me while I was playing casuals, but I heard that the winner of the whole tournament was an Axl player named Akira.

After the singles tournament ended, they had some other event going on. A bunch of top players fought eachother. I honestly wasn’t completely sure what it was and at first I thought the 23 vs 23 had already started but that wasn’t the case. It basically seemed like all the people who had won one of the G3 ranbats earlier were able to enter this little exhibition fight thing. I didn’t see all of them and didn’t write down the results of all of them, but a few of the matches were. . .

Inoue (HOS) beat Isa (ED)

Ogawa (ED) beat Akitan (IN)

Inoue beat Kishya (FA)

Ogawa beat Haken (PO)

Kishya beat Haken

Ogawa beat Inoue

Up next was the 23 vs 23, but there was a little time before it started and we were hungry, so Matt, Rod, and I went to get some food. Matt noticed a nearby ramen place earlier so we went to go eat there. It ended up being like probly top 3 ramen ive ever had. I got like this vegetable curry ramen and it rocked pretty hard. The portions were huge. While we were eating this old guy came in and was talking to the restaurant owner in like this super harsh kinda tone and it sounded really funny. He was all coarse with the way he spoke.

When we returned to Game Chariot, the 23 on 23 had already started but wasn’t going on for very long. Originally when I wrote about G3 in my blog I had made a mistake. I thought that the regional tournament that was a result of the ranbats was the 5 on 5. However, it was actually the 23 vs 23. Each prefecture (Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa) had their own 23 man team. Whoever had the most points from the total of all 4 ranbats with their respective character would be put on the team and rep their character. As for me, I tried out for the Tokyo team. I completely missed the first ranbat since I was still in the US for winter break. You get 1 point for attending each ranbat automatically and you get 2 bonus points if you go to all 4. Meaning if you just show up to all 4 you get 6 points by default. Since I only went to 3, I only got 3 points. You only get extra points if you get top 4. A Faust player I never heard of named Shyou made the team. I guess he placed top 4 at the first tournament I went to according to the ranking list. You can see the full rankings and players list for each team here . In addition to these players, each team had the guy who ran the ranbats as a representative of the arcade they were held at play on the team. So it was actually a 24 man tournament and as a result, Tokyo had MIU as a 2nd sol, Chiba had Kaqn as a second HOS, Saitama had a 2nd Johnny, and Kanagawa had Kami-chan as a 2nd Slayer.

So the 23 on 23 was set up so that everyone played at the same time. The Saitama team fought the Chiba team and then Tokyo team fought the Kanagawa team. I dont remember who beat who in what order but they will probably eventually update the G3 site with full results like that and there will be vids. Basically the Kanagawa team took out the Tokyo team pretty quick. The match vs the Saitama and Chiba teams took a bit longer. The Saitama team was actually down by a lot but then they saved Ogawa for last. Before his match started you could see him doing this hand motion like he was charging up some invisiable energy ball LOL! He ended up defeating like 10 people all by himself and took the victory for Saitama.

After that, the finals were Kanagawa vs Saitama. I was playing casuals for a bit during the intermission and was getting pretty pissed off cuz I couldnt win a game for a while but then I beat Mitsurugis Zappa and ended some big streak he had and it felt really good. But then I kept losing in a mirror match to Ojima's Faust and it was really close every time. Eventually I just gave up and went to go watch the 23 on 23 finals and sat with Matt and Rod. One noteworthy match I noticed right away was Gin (SL) beat Limekey's Anji! Everyone was like super hype on the Kanagawa team after Gin won that one. Gin was never all that consistant before but maybe he leveled up. However, he then lost his next match, but I forgot who it was that he lost to. This time, Saitama didnt wait to bust Ogawa out at the end, they threw him in there when they still had some other players left. For a while, Ogawa just thinned Kanagawa's ranks, taking out one player after another. It started to seem hopeless for Kanagawa and you could really see a look of defeat on their faces. They pretty much just would hesitate after someone lost, and then someone would muster up the courage to get up there and take a beating. In particular, HEVEN seemed rather discouraged when he was fighting Ogawa, as if he had already given up before it started. However, a hero emerged from the ranks of the Kanagawa team. A legendary Faust player by the name of Kishya! I always knew Kishya was a good Faust, but he honestly isnt around the places I play at that often, probably because hes always playing in Kanagawa and I dont ever go there. His Faust impressed me like no one else at this whole event and he defeated Ogawa's Eddie 2 rounds in a row! It was like one of the hypest matches ever and everyone was going fucking nuts! Suddenly the tables had turned. Kishya went on to defeat Reid (JO), Ogiwara (AKA Basara who entered with Sol instead of Slayer), and Inoue (HOS). He lost to the other Johnny player on their team. However, up next was their Chipp player (who I could have sworn was Minami but according to the list of players his name is Iwasaki, maybe an alias) who finished off the Johnny in a clutch last down to the last pixel match with a quick psychic force break! And with that, Kanagawa was the winner of the 23 on 23! Amazing!

After it was all over, we were pretty much ready go head back to Shinjuku. We stopped at the Lawson and got some food and beer for the trip back. We waited for a bit for the train on the platform and there was this group of 3 GG players there so we chatted with them for a bit and Rod shared some icecream with everyone that he bought. Then suddenly like 2 minutes before the train arrived, a flood of GG players (most of which were top players that I know) showed up at the platform. Unlike us, they were smart enough to check the next train time on their phones. We all got on and sat near eachother. While we were on the train, Matt asked one of them if we could see his program guide pamphlet. I was gonna pick one up earlier but they were all out but said they would have more copies the next day. We checked the player list and then gave him the guide back. Matt busted out his beer and started drinking it on the train. I was gonna drink mine too but since its considered sorta rude I didnt wanna do it in front of all the GG players so I figured I would just wait.

When we got to Chiba station we got off the train to transfer trains. It turns out we fucked up cuz the train we were on was actually going all the way to Tokyo. I didnt realize it cuz the station destination name that was listed on the train was a station I wasnt familiar with and we had to transfer on the way there. However, Rod and Matt claimed they knew the train was going all the way to Tokyo but we got off anyway and no one said anything lol! All the rest of the GG players stayed on the train so I guess it makes sense. So we had to wait a bit to get on another train (which was local instead of express). Since we had a while to go and I no longer gave a shit, I busted out my beer and drank it descreately on the train. By the time we eventually got to Shinjuku I had drank 2 500 ml cans in less than 45 mins and was feeling a bit buzzed. Combined with a general feeling of tiredness from drinking too much caffiene throughout the day and plus I was doing some snus, I really felt kinda drunk and had like this I dont give a shit mood hah. Matt and Rod wanted to go back to Vegas and play a bit more even though we already started drinking (except for Rod). When we got to Vegas, it was pretty dead, but HH was there playing his Dizzy against the computer. Matt jumped on their real quick and played him and lost. After losing he went over to HH and told him he was sorry for playing bad and that he was a bit drunk. HH just gave him this blank look and didnt say a word to him. After that, I played HH with my Faust and lost. Then I decided to play Ky just for the hell of it cuz it sounded like fun. I didnt win because quite frankely I havnt played Ky even semi seriously in years so I didnt give a shit. However, I played once more with my Faust and won 3 rounds in a row for the win! I was doing like weird shit I wouldnt normally go for and it cought him off guard. Yay for drunken Faust. After I won, HH left the arcade. No one was playing GG anymore so I played a few games of drunk SFIV, beat some Ken, and then lost to some Dhalsim like 4 times lol! Rod and Matt were busy playing HOS mirror matches. I then busted out my HOS (I dont have a HOS) and my Sol (I dont have a Sol either) and got owned cuz I dont know combos. Rod and Matt played one final match of JO vs SL and I told Rod that if he lost to Matts SL he owes me a beer but I told him if he IKs Matts SL I will buy him one. So Rod tried 3 rounds in a row to IK Matt SL but ended up losing as a result LOL. I didnt make Rod buy me the beer.

After that, we headed to Current and a metal event was going on. The place was fucking packed as hell. Chip showed up and we exchanged PSN gamer IDs because he said he will probably buy SFIV and give it a chance even though hes still skepticle about the game. It will be interesting playing SF against someone who used to work on making some of the older SF games. Other than that it was just a crazy packed metal event night with a mix of regulars and new people and we had fun talking to people and I enjoyed a nice cigar that I bought earlier back in Goi before we went to get Ramen. Some random drunk guy bought some people tequila shots, and so to be nice, I bought a round for us as well but then he bought me another one! So I did 3 tequila shots in like 5 minutes and then I was just feeling really drunk. A group of us went to PSY after Current and I think I fell asleep there after I finished my beer. Those shots cought up with me combined with not so much sleep. After that, Matt and I headed to the manga kissa for sleep. Rod went home.

The next morning, Matt said he was too tired to go back to Game Chariot and I never heard from Rod again, so I ended up just going back there alone. I showed up around 3 pm. The 5 on 5 was already going on. I wanted to enter the 5 on 5 but I didnt know until a week or so before G3 that you had to pre register a team online. I already missed the deadline so I wasnt able to play. Knowing this, I didnt mind showing up late. I played a bunch of casuals. This time they had less cabs going for casuals cuz they were using 4 cabs to run the tournament. In the end, Ogawa's team consisting of Ogawa (ED), Isa (ED), Machaboo (KY), Haken (PO), and EN (SL) won the tournament. While I was just chilling and waiting to play, Ogawa came up to me and said hi. We talked for a bit about various things. I congratulated him on winning the 5 on5 and told him he did amazing in the 23 on 23 even though he lost to Kishya who is an amazing player. I asked him where he lives and he said he lives somewhere in Saitama which is why he was on the Saitama team (I always thought he lived near Akihabara cuz hes always there). He told me that his SBO team this year is going to be Mike (JA) and RF (FA). Pretty unexpected that he would team with RF since hes all the way in Kansai, but I guess RF is gonna come out to Kanto again this year to qualify just like he did last year. Pretty beastly team! Also I talked with Ogawa about that game Demon Bride thats coming out soon. He said it looks somewhat interesting but he said hes just gonna wait and see how it is and hes not like overly excited about it. I also asked him about his thoughts on SFIV and he says he doesnt like the game and that Zangief is too good.

At around 6 pm they started the final special event tournament. At first, I honestly had no idea what this event was. I was talking a bit with Baim and she mentioned something about it briefly and I thought it was a kumite sorta style. At first when the tournament started, it looked to be just a regular singles event. I checked my bracket and my first match was against an ABA player named Hazuki. I looked and one space over on the bracket was 012 vs a HOS named Kugen. They eventually called my match and I beat the ABA player 2-0. I was also shocked to see the HOS player, Kugen, beat 012's Sol! So my next match was vs Kugen... but then this is where I got confused at first. They called our match and I went over to play and then suddenly the ABA I defeated is fighting 012 so I thought, is this a double elim tourny!? Then after he lost to 012 he tells me to get on the cab and fight 012. Im thinkin, wtf is going on? I just figured id roll with it. First round I get cought off guard and lose bad. 2nd round I put up a good fight and was hanging in there for a bit but then I got hit by some giant flashy combo and died. Then suddenly, Kugen, the HOS I thought I was supposed to fight, tells me I am now on his team. So at this point I was able to figure out the format. The way this tournament works is like this... If you defeat a player they are now on your team. Each round of the tournament, the teams increase by one player. However, if you lose to another team, unless you are the team captain (the person who hasnt lost yet, so in the case of the 1st round I was team captain and Kugen was team captain) you are out of the tournament. Since I was the captain of my 2 man team though, I joined Kugens team along with 012 as the guy who has to go first. So basically from this point on, if we were to lose our next match, both 012 and I would be eliminated from the tournament and the team that beat us would get Kugen but if we won, the captain of the other team would join our team as the 4th member and go first before me. Very intersting format and ive never seen anything like it! In retrospect it was actually a good thing I lost to 012 because having 012 on my team instead of that ABA (he was decent but not as good as 012) was better, but at the same time I was no longer team captain. Kinda interesting the way that it plays out.

I watched some other matches and saw Ririko take out Kishya! Amazing! I always have had a bit of trouble with Bridget because I have very little matchup experience against the character. I congratulated Ririko on beating Kishya and asked her what she thinks about the FA/BR matchup. She told me she feels its pretty even. So now Kishya was on Ririko's team. I also saw Mugen beat Yosaan (and Yosaan was like on fire all weekend). I also saw Bleed beet Kishya but then Ririko beat Bleed too! Ririko was beasting! So now she had Bleed on her team too! Eventually it was time for our next match and we had to fight a team of Millia/Axl/Eddie. I had to go first against Millia. I won the first round dizzying Millia with a head flower in pogo stance and finishing her off. The 2nd and 3rd rounds I got rushed down pretty bad and kept getting air thrown out of bomb bag attempts and in the end I lost. After May, Millia is my 2nd hardest matchup in the whole game. Up next 012 went and he beat up Millia and also Axl. Finally the Eddie player surprisingly beasted on 012. Kugen was our last hope. He played really well and on multiple occasions he excaped little Eddie lockdown pressure by slashbacking and jumping out which was really impressive, but it unfortunately wasnt enough and we were eliminated. Kugen went on to join their team and 012 and I were out of the tournament.

In a way its a good thing we lost cuz it was already getting late and if I had to play another match I would have missed the last train home (from Game Chariot its like 4 hours train ride to my town). I could have stayed one more hour if I took the Shinkansen home but then it would cost me 6000 yen more. I would have done it too if we advanced though because I didnt wanna bail on my team and I wanted to win but thats the way it went. I had time to watch a few more and saw Kishya beat Deno, Yosaan, and Mugen by himself! After that, I pretty much had to leave, so I said bye to MIU, Baim, and Ogawa since I was talking with all of them earlier and also thanked 012 and Kugen for their efforts on our team and headed out.

The train ride home kinda sucked cuz it was so long but I had picked up the newest Arcadia earlier that morning and it had the new SBO qualfier schedule in it so I was able to check that out. I was very surprised and a bit dissapointed to see that this year, there was like half the number of GG quals as last year. There is still 32 spots for teams so theres still 32 blocks. However, last year, each block had like an average of 4 prelims, meaning that 4 teams could compete in the block final. This year, theres only like 2 prelims on average for each block, so only 2 teams will fight in the block final. What this basically means is its going to be much harder to qualify this year since the concentration of top players will be more centralized at one event. Last year maybe there might have been 2 prelims going on the same day within the Kanto area but now everyone will be pretty much be going to the same tournaments. If they cap the number of entrants, this may be a problem and I might have to end up getting to tournaments super fucking early to gaurentee a spot. Im gonna have to start checking with some people and making sure I can get some solid teams going for these.

Overall this was a great weekend and even though I didnt get that far in any of the tournaments, I dont feel like I played bad or anything and mostly just got fucked by having to play my 2 hardest matchups in the game. Thats no excuse though and I need to just step it up and get better at fighting those characters. Next weekend there are no tournaments so I dont know what im gonna be doing yet exactly but im sure it will be fun. Theres a few more regular tournaments this month and then at the end of this month, SBO quals willl already be starting!