Monday, September 28, 2009

TGS Continuum Shift

On Friday, I was asked last minute to work late and help coach a student for an upcoming English speech contest. As a result, I didnt get off work till like 6 and ended up having to take a way later train than usual to go to Tokyo. When I checked the time, it said that I would have an 80 minute transfer wait at Takasaki station, so I knew I pretty much could count getting casuals in out the window. So to make the most of it, on the way to the station, I bought a whole 750 ml bottle of whiskey and a bottle of coke. Before getting on the train, I drank like almost half the coke, and then poored whiskey in there to fill up the rest of the bottle. By the time I made it to Takasaki I was already pretty lit up. Since I was anticipating an 80 minute transfer, Andy said he would come to the station and have some food with me while I waited. He had some things to take care of so he wasnt going to go to Tokyo till tomorrow morning. It turned out that the website I checked the times on was all wrong and the transfer time was only actually like 12 minutes, but since Andy came all the way and I was already getting pretty drunk, I just said fuck it and had dinner with him anyway. We had some burgers at a place in the station I never heard of and I forgot the name, but they were tasty and a little expensive. We ran into 2 other random Takasaki ALTs that were there eating but I dont really know them. After eating, I headed off on the rest of way to Tokyo, but before getting on the train I mixed another one of those half whiskey coke bottles for the remainder of my trip.

When I arrived at Shinjuku, I think it was maybe like about 11 pm. I was going to go to Current but on the way I just couldnt fight the urge to play some casuals anyway even though I was drunk, so I just stopped in at Shinjuku Sportsland. I started off by playing some SFIV and played this really good Dhalsim with lots of BP. I took a round on him but I lost cuz its a bad matchup and I dont know it too well either, plus that guy was really good. Then I played some GG against some Bridget and beat him like 4 in a row. He eventually squeezed a win on me and then I rematched him, won and then he quit. After waiting about 5 minutes and having no one challenge me, I just left the machine and played more SFIV. I managed to beat like 2 people, I think one was Ryu and one was Akuma. Then I lost to a Chun player. While I was playing I got a mail from Antti who said he was at Current and wanted to drink with me. I was satisified enough for now and was still pretty drunk so I figured that was enough games for tonight and headed to Current.

It wasnt too packed but there were a few people there. I said hi to Antti and his girlfriend and then I went to sit with Chibi Testament in the back who was there with that same random British guy from last weekend, a friend of his, and some other girl. Chibi Testament was all asking about Emmet but he couldnt come this weekend cuz he had to work Saturday. After a while, I went to sit and talk with Antti and his girlfriend and pretty much just chatted with them for the rest of the night. Antti found out some bad news today that even though his contract for his job still had 2 years left on it, they told him that since the company is having financial trouble that he might get transfered to an entirely different country in about 6 months. It would suck to see him go if it does end up happening, but its still early so we will see what happens. At some point, Antti and Masami just had a random arm wrestling match for no appearant reason and Antti won. Then me and Antti arm wrestled and I somehow surprsingly won even though I figured Antti would destroy me. After that, it was getting near 3 am and I wanted to get going so I could be at the Tokyo Game Show when it opened in the morning at 10 am, but Antti kept convincing me to have another beer... like 4 times in a row lol... so I stayed till like 4:30 and then finally left and went to sleep at the manga kissa.

Things actually worked out well because the next morning when I woke up, Andy told me he overslept and would be running late as well. I took the train over to Makuhari Messe and after waiting in line and stuff I finally got into TGS at about 12:30. One of the first booths I saw was the Capcom booth but I was disapointed to see that no new info about the rumored upcoming Super Street Fighter IV had been revealed. This is my 3rd time going to TGS now and it wasnt all the much different than other years. There really isnt much reason for me to talk about actual news that was there because plenty of internet news sites and blogs have already gone into great detail about that. I did see a lot of awsome cosplayers though and I took lots of picutres of just about everything I saw so it would be better to just let those do the talking. Andy showed up maybe about a half hour after I arrived and we walked around together the rest of the time there. I would say the game that impressed me the most was MGS Peace Walker. The trailer looked fantastic and I am really hype about the game. FFXIII looks pretty cool too I guess. The lines to play any demos were pretty long and I didnt really feel like waiting in them, espesially after last weekend at Fuji Q LOL... plus you can DL alot of these demos online so I can just play them later.

One thing that was pretty awsome was the merchandise area. Most of the lines were also extremely long for these but the most awsome booth of all had like no line whatsover... and that booth was the Hori booth! They had all kinds of awsome new arcade stick models for sale as well as new versions that arnt on the market yet that look absolutely amazing. They also had this cool electronic device that you could put over your index finger that allowed for hyper fast button presses. Doing Blanka standing jab and comboing into fierce electricity would be so much easier if I could use one of those LOL. They were also selling Real Arcade Pro T-shirts and I totally bought one cuz the design was cool and they were only 1500 yen. I also bought some plushy Yoshi dolls for Ryoko. The place I bought them had like plushies of just about any Nintendo character you could think of for sale. The Square and Capcom merch booths had like 45 minute waiting lines but after looking at the catalouge of what they were selling, there was nothing I really wanted so I didnt bother with it. I almost got this awsome Sega Saturn shirt from this one booth but they were sold out of my size.

At some point we got food and I bought these crappy 200 yen fries that sucked. The rest of the time we pretty much took picutres of all the awsome cosplayers. I wont describe them because you can see them on my pictures page. One thing that dig shock me though was when we were outside at the cosplay area I randomly ran into DIE-chan and Shouji! They were just there chilling. I asked them if they knew about the new BB location test today in Akihabara and they said they were planning to go there after TGS as well so they said they would see me there.

After doing a little more walking around with Andy, we pretty much saw everything we were interested in seeing. I was pretty disapointed that there was no Ark Systems booth there at all this year. We left TGS at around 4 pm cuz we had enough and wanted to avoid the big crowds that would be leaving all at once at 5 pm when the event closed.

We rode the train back but then we parted ways somewhere on the way. 2 of the other Takasaki ALTs, Cameron and Eli, were coming to Tokyo and going to another one of those international friends partys with the all you can drink for a few hours. Andy had agreed to go with them but quite frankly, I really wanted to go check out the BB loketest so I headed to Akihabara HEY by myself and told them I would meet up with them later at Current after I saw enough of the loketest.

When I got to HEY, I shocked to find that the line for the loketest to play stretched the entire length of the 3rd floor and then went down 2 whole flights of stairs on the staircase. There must have been over 75 people waiting in line. At 3-5 minutes per match (since everyone was pretty much just testing stuff out and trying to let the clock run out much as they could to get their time's worth) I estimated the waiting time at like over 3 hours or something. I would have liked to try the game out, but while standing in line, you cant even see the game until you get near the end of the line, so I figured I would much rather watch than wait 3 hours to play like one match. I guess if anything at least its good to know that theres a lot of hype for this game. I remember when I went to the TvC loketest before, the line was almost non existant. I stood off to the side in an area where a few more people were watching. Most people were using Noel and Ragna and I saw a decent amount of Arakune. There were a couple of characteres I didnt see like Nu (who is now called like Lambda-11 or something) and surprisingly Jin. At some point I went and bought a pen cuz I didnt bring one and I even took a crap ton of notes about some of the changes cuz I was gonna post the info online, but at this time, when I came home after this weekend I found that on dustloop, people had already found out all the information mostly from Japanese blogs and stuff so theres no reason for me to talk about any of the system changes here on my blog. You can see the changes here on this thread.

The staff was being really annoying and didnt want people standing around watching cuz they said we were blocking the escalator but even once we cleared a path the guy would come back and start bitching at us to move. I was totally out of the way, mostly leaning against a Demon Bride cab that no one was playing on anyway. I noticed most of the Japanese guy standing around were just ignoring this guy so I just pretended not to understand Japanese and continued to watch. The guy was totally getting stressed out but he still didnt do anything about it, LOL. After watching for a bit, I decided I would play a little GG. I won a few and would glance over at the BB cab which I could easily see from where I was sitting at the GG cab, so I got to make some observations. Also, while I was playing, DIE-chan and Shouji arrived and waved to me but then I think they went to go stand in line. Then no one was playing me on GG for a while so I continued to watch a little longer.

Eventually at around 9 pm, I had been watching the loketest for several hours, and that international party had ended so I decided I should leave and head to Current. Liz wanted to meet me there for some drinks and I was gonna meet up with Andy and the other guys there too.

When I got to Current, a few regulars like Ayano were there and I chatted with her and Mogi for a bit. Eventually Liz showed up and after that, Andy and the other 2 guys came and they had 2 girls with them that they picked up from the party. They were planning on going clubbing in Shibuya and this one place called Pure. From 11 pm to 5 am, the cover was 3500 yen but it was all you can drink all night long. Normally im not so big on clubbing, but Current wasnt all that packed aside from some random people cuz Ayano went home early, and it would be way cheaper to drink there instead of at Current all night and Im sorta trying save money cuz im a little broke these days, so I decided I would go with them. We stayed at Current for about an hour and a half and then headed out. Liz had stuff to do early in the morning so it was me, Andy, Eli, Cameron, and the 2 girls that all went.

We found the place quickly and it ended up being pretty good actually. I drank Tequila cokes all night had a ton of then but was feeling great. The club wasnt huge but it filled up pretty quick. The music was pretty generic typical club music, which I dont care for, but was drunk enough to not give a shit. The best thing about this club, was that they had a small stage with a dancing pole, and throughout the night, young sexy girls who worked for the club would come on and do some pole dancing in pretty skimpy outfits. I got lots of pictures of them as well haha. Most of the night I just sat at a table and chilled with Andy but I did a little dancing towards the end of the night as I got drunker. Eli and Cameron mostly chilled with those girls they came with, though Camerons girl left early (she was the cute one) and Eli was totally just being the wingman cuz he was stuck with the not so cute one and was regretting bringing her along lol... but I think they both had fun anyway. We left like at around 4:30, got some McDonalds (but got there too early for breakfast which sucked cuz I wanted that Mega Muffin set as usuall). Then after eating, Andy and I left and found a manga kissa nearby. We could have drank more but we wanted to hit up the location test again tomorrow at a decent time.

The manga kissa was nice and I got lots of sleep and a shower so I felt pretty refreshed. After waking up, we got some quick Wendys and then headed back to Akihabara. At first, we thought the location test was over because the cab wasnt where it was the day before, but then we found it in the back by the SFIV cabs near the staircase. This time they had 2 setups instead of just one. The line once again stretched down the stairs but I think it was shorter today for sure than it was on Saturday. Andy considered waiting in it but we both opted not to because it was just really long and they had a nice big TV to watch it on by the stairs and we could stand there and watch. Once again the staff was being really annoying and kept telling us we couldnt sit on the stairs and had to stand even though I see no reason why sitting would be bad... infact if we sit its easier for everyone else to see... the staff at HEY is a bunch of assholes. Anyway, once again the characters that were played way more than anyone else were Noel and Ragna. This time throughout the day I eventually did see every character get used but I only saw Nu like once the entire time for a brief while. I saw a few players I knew there like Bleed and Masutani. I think at one point Masutani played a Bang mirror match against who I think might have been Dora. People were actually getting kinda hype for it. The guy who I think was Dora won and then he fought against a Hakumen player and won be going into Bang install mode and running away the entire match and winning by time over. It looks like there is literally nothing Hakumen can do in that situation.

A few other personal observations I made were that I really like the new character artwork, the poses are nice and everyone looks more serious. I also noticed there was like hardly any or like no new colors, though this might change upon final release. The new announcer sucks balls. The old one was serious and cool and this one is all happy sounding and just sounds like someone who cant act even though you dont even need to be able to act to be an announcer and somehow she fucked it up anyway. Overally I am glad to see that most of the really powerful stuff was nerfed and weaker characters got buffed. I anticipate this version being much better of a game. I also am glad they nerfed Arakune because playing him before felt kinda braindead and now I think I will enjoy playing the game more. Also, Tsubaki looks like a pretty cool new character. She has tons of special moves, is pretty fast, seems like some of her pokes have decent range, and she has the ability to charge her specials and also cancel them into other specials kinda like how Jam can do it with her kick specials. I might give her a try but will probably still play Arakune.

At maybe around 5:30, Andy wanted to get going because he had some stuff to take care of. I was gonna go with him but if I took that train I would have like a 45 minute waiting time at Takasaki so I opted to stay later and take a train that had a lesser transfer waiting time. I played some games of GG after feeling I saw enough BB. I beat some Anji like 6 in a row and then this one Eddie came along. Every match I played against him was like super close but he beat me like 4 times in a row while also beating a Slayer and Dizzy player in between. He eventually had like 10 wins, and he felt solid but so beatable and most of the rounds I lost were like over something dumb like an execution mistake mostly related to the stick being too springy and messing up my FDCs and getting accidental double jumps out of it. It was approaching the time I needed to leave but I was getting a bit annoyed and REALLY wanted to beat this guy before I left, espesially since he had like this cocky smile on his face. The final time I played him, I just was straight up in his head and won 3 rounds straight. I had like 5 minutes left to make it to the station so I just got up and left as soon as I won.

I made it on the train and then when I got to Ueno I made it just in time for the next Takasaki line train. BUT... it turns out I fucked up. When I looked up the train time on my phone, I wrote down the time I was supposed to leave Takasaki, but I thought it was the time I had to leave Akihabara, so as a result, I took a slightly later train which was non express and I ended up getting to Takasaki with 47 minutes left before the next train back home. I was kinda upset but there was nothing I could do about it so I got some food from the conbini and ate and waited. I eventually ran into this one guy named John who is a Numata ALT and he was on his way back from Tokyo so we rode the train together. He was telling me about this weird running/drinking club he is in where people just make random trails, follow them and run for hours, and drink beer out of random items like plungers, bed pans, and tennis ball cans. I it sounded pretty fucked up but it was entertaining to hear about on the way home I guess.

That pretty much sums things up for this weekend. I dont think theres anything special going on for the next weekend or so but if something worth typing about comes up I will update again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Punk Rockers, Anime Otaku, and Rollercoasters (#27)

This weekend was a long holiday weekend called silver week. Its like golden week, except it seems to not happen every year since sometimes the holidays that make it up dont fall next to eachother but this time it worked out to be a 5 day weekend. Sweet.

Friday 9/18

I headed out for Tokyo on Friday after work. I met up with Emmet on the train on the way there and showed him this awsome new game called Scribblenaughts for the DS. Im sure most of you know about it by now, but the beauty of this game is that you can type in just about any word (there are over 22,000) and you can summon that thing/person/place/etc to solve puzzles. We had a good time on the train just thinking of random shit to summon and testing out how thing interact.

When we got to Tokyo we went to Mikado in Takadanobaba for little bit of games. Mike, the Jam player, was there playing some casuals. Appearently he works at Mikado now too. I first started off playing his Sol and beat his Sol a few games in a row, then he switched to Jam and I lost but I rematched him and beat his Jam. A few other top players such as FAB, HH, and Imo were there as well. After a little while longer, the US Baiken player Hellmonkey, showed up at Mikado. He is in Japan on vacation so we agreed to meet up for some games. Throughout the night I played several matches against him. I didnt keep a tally of the overall score but we went back and forth with me probably having a few more wins than him. I wanted to money match him but he wasnt down so we just played casuals.

As it got close to closing time, we headed out to go drinking and Hellmonkey tagged along. We started out by going to Current which had a few people there but it wasnt so packed. One of the Current regulars who we often refer to as Chibi Testament (because of a classic picture I have of her dancing with a plastic scythe at one of the metal events) was there and joined us for the night at our table. She was with this one random British dude who was there on vacation. We stayed for maybe like 2 beers and then headed to this one place called Tokyo Loose. Emmet had been there before for some international party and said it seemed like a good place for foreigners to meet Japanese girls so he wanted to check it out again on a regular night, so we gave it a shot. It was pretty crowded in there but they were playing generic crappy pop and shitty club music and it was mostly a gaijin sausage fest. We only ended up staying for one beer and Hellmonkey accidentally spilled half of his all over the bar.

After that, we decided to check out GODZ. There were a few people there but nothing too noteworthy. Chibi Testament and the British guy came there eventually too. I did find out something interesting though. Hellmonkey offered a smoke to the bartender Kenji. Kenji told Hellmonkey that its actually rude to offer people cigarettes in Japan because they might feel obligated to accept to not be rude but if its not their usual brand then they have to endure smoking a brand they might not like or something. Personally I think it sounds pretty ridiculous. If you dont want it just say no thank you. No need to get offended, but thats just the way Japan rolls. My western conditioned brain often responds to situations differently.

After a beer at GODZ, we headed to PSY for the rest of the night. It was a fairly regular PSY night. I dont even remember most of it cuz I was pretty wasted by this point. After drinking there, Hellmonkey headed back to wherever it was he was staying and Emmet and I went to the manga kissa.

Saturday 9/19

Upon waking up, we headed near Shinjuku station to the cigar store and I picked up a nice Cuban. Then we got some Wendys. After eating, we headed back to Mikado for more games!

At Mikado, there was a HUGE Darkstalkers tournament going on. I think it was Vampire Savior to be specific. Im pretty sure it was a major event of some sort and was called the Combination Cup. They had probably something like 15 cabs set up for this thing as well as it being shown on the big screen. I only play Darkstalkers casually once in a blue moon but I might have entered for fun had I known about it before hand. It had just started about 15 minutes before we got there. Unfortunately, the comp for GG was a bit lacking and only a few people were there. I got beat a few people and then no one was playing me and I beat the game, so I went to play some SFIV. I ended up getting an 8 win streak against some Ryu/Sagat/Akuma/Ken players and then finally some chef costume El Fuerte player with lots of BP came along and beat me. I dont know the matchup cuz I never fight Fuerte players and this guy seemed to know what he was doing pretty well. Emmet mostly played 3rd Strike as usual cuz thats his main game. After a couple of hours, Emmet was no longer in the mood to play and wanted to leave to start drinking already lol. I got a messege from my friend Liz who now lives in Takadanobaba and she invited us to come have dinner at her apartment so we agreed to that.

We left Mikado at about 6 or so and met Liz at a near by supermarket where we bought some chicken and yakisoba to make and a bottle of Four Roses bourbon. The bottle was only 1200 yen for a 750 ml! Thats cheap as fuck! Im going to go buy booze at that place again for sure!

At Liz's place we got to use her shower and we cooked some yakisoba and she made giant gyoza which was awsome and we made lots of rum cokes and polished off the entire bottle between the 3 of us. I also showed Liz Scribblenaughts and she found it amusing. I got a call from Andy and he just arrived in Tokyo. He couldnt come with us last night cuz he had to work today for his school sports festival. We told him we would be leaving to go drinking at Current soon. He was going to have some food at an Izakaya with a girl he met first and said he would meet us at Current later.

Liz, Emmet and I headed out to Current and on the way, there was some new Saitama ALT from New Zealand that Emmet met at orientation and had invited to come along, so he went with us as well. Tonight at Current was a Punk Rock event called High Numbers. Like most events, there was a cover charge, but as always, since I am Mike I never have to pay cover and neither does anyone whos with me cuz im like one of the biggest regulars and they know I would have just came anyway lol! Since this weekend is my birthday weekend (Monday 9/21 is my actual birthday) as soon as we walked in, Sushi had a table reserved for us and brought us all a free round of Jagermiester shots. Hardly any of the usual regulars were there tonight but the place was still pretty full with random crazy punk rockers. They were all dancing really odd and were quite amusing to watch. Eventually Andy showed up and joined us as well. Chibi Testament was there again this time but not with the British guy, and she was taking quite a liking to Emmet. The other guy who came with us seemed like he was trying to cock block him which was pretty lame considering Emmet was the one who invited him along, but he eventually gave up and moved on to hitting on other random girls. At some point in the night, Emmet and Chibi Testament pulled a monty if you know what that means. If not, I wont explain it lol. We stayed till maybe about 4 am and then headed to PSY, but the Saitama guy left and didnt go with us and Chibi Testament also went home.

PSY was good, but I cant remember anything too important to mention other than more drinking. After drinking there, we went to get McDonalds breakfast and I was disapointed to find out that the McDonalds that I most often go to (the one where that one time Matt threw up spaghetti in the sink) has closed down. There are 2 other McDonald's within like a one minute walking distance from there so its not that big of a deal. One of them is the one that always burns my food and screws up my order and the other is Beatles McDonalds so it looks like ill be going to Beatles McDonalds from now on. After eating, we headed to the manga kissa.

Sunday 9/20

We woke up after 6 hours of sleep and headed straight to Takadanobaba Mikado. It seems that they never finished that huge Vampire Savior tournament and the top 8 was just starting as we arrived. There wasnt that much GG comp and the place was packed with spectators for the VS tournament. I played a few games of casuals with lots of waiting time in between and managed to watch a little of the tournament. I dont know who the players were but the finals were Morrigan vs Sasquatch and the Sasquatch player won the whole tournament. As soon as the finals ended, the place started to clear out. I played a little more SFIV and got like a couple wins but didnt play that long. I dont really remember anything too noteworthy to mention otherwise. We left the arcade after a short time and went to get some Sukiya and then we headed back to Shinjuku. The plan tomorrow was to go to Fuji Q Highland which is an amusement park. We needed to get up early so we wanted to find a hotel to stay at since Ryoko would be coming tonight and we were gonna try to split a room somewhere. We checked out the Sunplaza hotel where we were staying during SBO weekend and it turned out to be like over 20,000 yen a night which was expensive as hell so we passed that up and looked around a bit more. After finding that most hotels are already full, we decided we would go check out love hotels later in Okubo. For now, it was time to go to Current!

Why would we go to Current at like 5/6 pm? Because today, they were having a special Anime event party from 4 pm to 10 pm. I had no idea what to expect, but when I walked in, I was shocked to see the place absolutely packed! Even more packed than the punk rock party from the previous night! This time tons of Current regulars were there such as Michi, Bosch, Piko, Yago, Megu, Jackie, Mame, Chibilez, Doll Girl, the Current staff, and lots of random people. Lots of people were cosplaying as various anime characters and they played nothing but anime music the entire time and also had the video on the screen show scenes or parts from the opening credits to match the songs that were playing. There were about 4 guest DJs and Bosch went last. They played a huge range of stuff from super old school to brand new. I used to be big into anime in highschool but honestly I sorta dont really watch it anymore except for on rare occasions. However, it was nice to hear some nastolgic songs I knew plus everyone was going crazy dancing and once I got wasted enough I joined right in. I got espessially hype for the Great Teacher Onizuka theme song! Emmet disappeared for most of the event and walked around outside cuz I guess he was feeling hungover and the music was too loud. Andy seemed to be enjoying himself and he gave me a birthday cigar which was pretty awsome. This party included all the staples of a good party including some people diving off the bar. I got some good pictures.

At 10 pm once the party ended, it turned into just a regular night at Current again, but we had to get going because we needed to get to sleep sorta early tonight. Ryoko just got off of work and took the Shinkansen out to Tokyo so the plan was to meet her at Shin Okubo station so we could quickly check into a love hotel. We grabbed some McDonalds while waiting for her and she came just in time as we got our orders. We then quickly found a love hotel for 6,000 yen a night. At first we asked if they would let all 4 of us stay in one room but they said it was no good so we had to get 2 rooms. I didnt mind cuz I could have some alone time with Ryoko. At first they werent going to let Andy and Emmet share a room but they eventually just let them go ahead and do it. It would be pretty bogus if they didnt let them. Even though Andy and Emmet certainly arnt gay, it would be lame if the hotel discriminated against people like that.

Monday, 9/21 (the day I was spawned onto this giant ball of rocks and stuff)

I woke up grudgingly to my alarm going off at about 5:15 am. I didnt get as much sleep as I would have liked to. We had to catch a train by 6 am if we wanted to get to Fuji Q by the time it opened. I called Andy and those guys got ready and we got some fast food and made it on the train in time. It was almost a 3 hour trip to Fuji Q which is in Yamanashi prefecture near Mt. Fuji. Most of us got sleep for the whole time so we felt pretty refreshed when we got there.

When we arrived, there were already a lot of people lining up to get in. We got our pictures taken for the little day pass card you show them before you get on the rides, put our stuff in a locker, and headed out to see the park!

Fuji Q Highland is known for having some of the best rollercoasters in the world. It also has lots of other random rides, and a haunted hospital that is supposed to be like the scariest haunted house in the world or something. The park wasnt huge (for example, say compared to Six Flags Great America which is where I used to go a lot back home near Chicago, it was smaller) but it still had lots of cool rides. Before getting on rides, we went across the street to the Lawson and Emmet and I bought a small bottle of whisky each to keep in our pockets and swig throughout the time we were waiting in line since drinking anywhere in the park is totally fine.

We decided to stand in line for Fujiyama first, which is like a huge traditional style rollercoaster. No loops or crazy way of sitting but lots of huge drops and is one of the longest and tallest coasters around. While waiting in line we played some Scribblenaughts and knocked back a few shots (and I pretty much had snus in the entire time) and after a little while, Ryoko's younger sister Reiko arrived so Ryoko left the line to go get her and they both returned and were able to get back in line where the rest of us were waiting. Appearently in Japan no one cares if you hold your spot for someone in line and they leave and come back but I know in the US a lot of people would start bitching about something like that. The line took about 3 hours just to get on this ride but in the end it was an awsome rollercoaster and lasted almost like 2 minutes which is pretty long for a rollercoaster. If you want to see what riding it looks like, check out this youtube video .

After that, we decided we wanted to ride Dodonpa which is supposed to be like the fastest or one of the fastest coasters in the world. However, when we got to the line they said it would be like a 4 hour wait! We were hesitant to wait in that line but then Ryoko said she was gonna go check out the line for Eejanaika which is another coaster. Right after she left, we all decided we just would rather ride that one so we went to go find her. I couldnt find her at first but eventually she answered her phone and she was kinda upset at me cuz she wanted us to hold the spot in line for the other one and Eejanaika had a 5 hour estimate for the line! Ryoko wanted to wait in line by herself for Eejanaika while the rest of us waited for Dodonpa for 4 whole hours and then have us cut 4 hours worth of the line for Eejanaika where she would be waiting so that we could ride both. It was a nice thought to try to do that for everyone but theres no way I could in good conscious let her wait in line BY HERSELF for 4 whole hours just so we could get on one extra ride, plus I felt kinda wrong cutting everyone after 4 hours of waiting, and so did Andy. She was kinda pissed at me for a bit but theres no way I was gonna go for that idea.

So Reiko and Ryoko decided to go ride a sorta more kiddy rollercoaster with like a one hour wait because Reiko was too scared to ride on Eejanaika anyway. Andy, Emmet, and I started what would turn out to be the longest line I have ever stood in. The line ended up taking slightly over 5 hours! During the time, several of us went to get food for eachother, beers, bathroom trips, and eventually Ryoko came back and joined us in line. Lots of Scribblenaughts was played as well and my battery died on my DS even! Also, the entire time we were there, Emmet kept picking old songs and switching out some of the lyrics to "Andy", and it was fairly amusing. We obviously picked a bad day to come to this place since it was a huge holiday weekend but thats the day my birthday fell on and its when Ryoko could get off work so oh well...

I gotta say though, Eejanaika was like possibly the most wicked rollercoaster I have ever been on! This thing has rotating seats that go in a full 360. In addition, the ride starts off with you going BACKWARDS straight down the first drop, like completely a free fall, upside down head first. Then you get flipped around like a zillion times in all sorts of ways. If you wanna see, take a look at this link, but you might not even be able to tell whats going on cuz its just that wild. I would have much rather not have had to wait 5 hours to do it but I am still glad I got to ride it.

After that, we didnt have that much time left, just a few more hours. Reiko had to leave early cuz she had work tomorrow and lives in Gunma which is far so she left after that. I felt sorta bad cuz she only went on 2 rides but theres nothing we could have done about it.

Next, we went on the Pizza-la ride. Pizza-la is like a Japanese Papa Johns or Dominos or whatever. They have their own ride where you swing back and forth in a giant pizza pan. While waiting in line, I ducked off to get us some more whiskey and then made it back there with Ryoko in time to ride it with Emmet and Andy. It was pretty awsome and fortunately it was only an hour wait this time. You can see a video here.

After that, we had just a little bit of time left so Ryoko wanted to go on this one other new giant swing ride but while we were waiting in line she insisted I go try to ride another one and she would hold my spot. I didnt wanna leave her alone but Andy didnt wanna ride the next one so he just waited with her. I felt bad but there was no arguing with her so I just went with Emmet and we rode the PaniClock which is like a ride that puts you on a clock hand and you spin upside down in a full circle a few times. It was only a 30 min wait so it wasnt so bad and was worth it.

After that, we returned to the giant swing ride and waited with Ryoko and Andy. Just as we were about to get on the ride, we realized that it was already like 9 pm and our last train back to Tokyo left in like 14 minutes. If we missed that train we would be stuck out there all night and there honestly isnt much out there other than the park (which would close at 10 anyway). We reluctantly decided it would be best to not take our chances of riding it which probably would have taken at least 5 minutes to board, ride, and get off and then try to run through the park, get our stuff from the locker, and get on the train.

Its a good thing we didnt cuz Emmet lost his ticket and had to buy a new one and if we rode the ride we probably would have missed the train. We got on the train and were pretty tired out the whole way back to Tokyo. Ryoko wasnt feeling well.

After we got to Shinjuku, we got some stuff at the conbini and Ryoko started to feel slightly better and I got some caffine which helped. We then went to check out Current. It was pretty dead but Emmet invited Chibi Testament to come join us and a few other guys were there in addition to Mogi working the bar. Mogi gave us some free shots for my birthday. After staying there till about 3 am, they closed early cuz it was a slow night. As we were exiting the bar, I saw none other than 28 year old virgin and SPG Chris just chilling outside the bar. I asked them why they werent inside drinking and they said they were broke, and it showed cuz they were drinking hopopshu lol! I was informed that 28YOV is no longer a virgin. I tried to give him a hi five but he wasnt down with it lol. I dont know any details but he said it wasnt that great. Its all good though, that was just training mode for him or something. In any case, I guess I cant call him 28YOV anymore. Now he will have to be the guy formerly known as 28 Year Old Virgin... or something. Anyway...

We then we headed to PSY with the new addition to our party along as well. PSY was pretty good and stayed open till 6 am as usual. Andy decided to leave and go back home once the trains started up a little before 5 am cuz I guess he was tired. The rest of us stayed till closing, and then we headed to Okubo to the love hotels again.

This time Emmet got to share a room with Chibi Testament instead of Andy so they didnt give us any problems when checking in. Good times were had by all.

Tuesday, 9/22

The next day we woke up and got some food at Gusto which was pretty tasty. Also, we stopped at the liqueur store that has those awsome micro brews and they were closed again but we got lucky and the guy who works there was there and I convinced him to open up and let me just buy something real quick. I got like 6 cans of this awsome India Pale Ale and Emmet bought them for me as a Bday gift. Then we ran into this random chick who was trying to cell Ryoko and Chibi Testament some makeup on the street lol. They didnt buy it.

After that, we played some casuals at Mikado for a little while, nothing too noteworthy. Then Ryoko, Emmet, and I headed back to Gunma after a long weekend. Thats about it. I had a great weekend for the most part.

Next weekend is Tokyo Game Show and the new BlazBlue location test! Get hype!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stratovarius and the International Party Foul

I headed out on the train after work as always. Emmet got on at Numata so we rode up to Takasaki together. We weren’t sure if we were gonna go to Tokyo tonight or just drink in Takasaki but we ended up just staying in Takasaki cuz a few of the Takasaki ALTs wanted to go drinking. We met up with Andy and were supposed to meet up with 3 other guys but they were taking a while so we went to 3rd Planet game center to kill time. There were a couple random scrubs there playing GG. I beat them a few times and then they gave up and I played Andy and Emmet one game each and then we decided to just leave. In front of the station we then met up with 2 other guys. We went to an izakaya and had food and drinks and then we met up with one more ALT. We ended up walking around a bit trying to find somewhere good to go. Bee bar was dead so we didn’t go in. We went to try out this foreigner geared bar called Odessa. It turned out to be dead as well and kinda shitty. It had some interesting stuff on the walls but overall it was kinda lame. One thing that particularly surprised me was the poster that said “This place protected by bitbull with aids”.

After a beer or 2 at Odessa, we went to check out some other club and we could see it was dead so we didn’t go in. Then we just ended up going to Club Jam again, the place we went last time I drank in Takasaki. It was more or less the same as last time, nothing special really. Most of the people there didn’t seem very friendly this time. We stayed for a bit but eventually we left once they closed and went to go crash at Andy’s.

The next day we got up and Emmet started drinking away his hangover with some morning beers. We headed out and headed for Tokyo. Emmet wanted to check out another one of those Tokyo Friends parties that are designed for Japanese people to meet foreigners. This one was 3000 yen for all you can drink from 6:30 to 9. I was reluctant to go cuz I kinda wanted to play some games at the arcade but in the end I just said screw it and went. This time it was in Shibuya. It was raining when we left the station so I bought an umbrella but it quickly stopped like 5 minutes later… blaa…

Last time’s party was at that bar Sam & Dave and was pretty good. This time, when we walked in, we were disappointed to find a few people standing around in some sterile room that looked like it was part of an office building or a museum. They had a table in the back with a bunch of cans of Chuhai and Hopposhu (fake beer that doesn’t have malts in it) and some plastic cups with bottled coke and tea. They also had some lame snack plates around the room with chips and stuff. I was instantly disappointed seeing this. I don’t really like Chuhai or Happoshu. I tried a Happoshu hoping maybe it would taste ok but it sucked so I switched to Chuhai which ended up sucking just slightly less so I drank that the rest of the time. They even had signs saying you couldn’t check the place out before paying to get in and they even said people who are organizers from other international parties weren’t allowed in. They must have made some decent money because they bought the cheapest possible booze they could have bought and charged 3000 yen. They also didn’t open the windows or turn the air on until like the last hour of the party and it was hot as fuck in there. I felt like my butt was sorta hurting the whole time cuz this party raped me so hard.

We made the most of it and just talked to various people. One guy I was talking to was a Virtua Fighter player and he said he sometimes played a little Guilty Gear and uses Faust so that was kinda cool. The party was supposed to have like 200 people according to their website but it probably had less than 100 as time went on and more people showed up. There were a few hot girls, in particular, this one group of 3 girls contained easily the hottest girls in there. They were being swarmed by all kindsa guys throughout the night but at some point we ended up talking to them and they stayed talking to us the entire rest of the night there. They all studied English in the US for a while so they all could speak decent English, which was good for Emmet cuz he doesn’t know Japanese. I wanted to speak Japanese but they kept telling me to speak English cuz they wanted to practice it LOL. Anyway, after the party was over, the 3 girls decided they would go with us to Current, so we all headed out together. On the way, one of the girls was telling me how most of the guys they talked to in there were creepy and weird and had pickup lines such as “you have really big boobs.” Some real studs for sure.

When we got to Current, we sat at a table in the back and my friend Liz also came and joined us. There was actually a pretty good size crowd in there tonight with a few regulars but also a lot of people I didn’t really know. Then I realized why as I was taking a whiz. I looked on the bathroom wall to see that Stratovarius had a show tonight and last night in Nagoya and Tokyo. Stratovarius is a power metal band from Finland and they have been around for a long time. I used to be a pretty huge fan in high school. I still occasionally enjoy listening to their songs, though sometimes some of their stuff can be a little on the cheesy side. In any case, they do really have some excellent songs and I would really have liked to have been able to go to the show if I had known about it. Unfortunately I didn’t.

So anyway, the reason why the place was kinda full was that there were a lot of people who were at the Stratovarius show at Current. There was a table next to ours that was reserved. I then realized that Stratovarius was coming to Current after the show and they would be sitting at the table next to us.

The 3 girls that came with us from the party left after only being at Current for maybe 2 hours at most. I guess they arnt big into late night drinking but they exchanged contact info before leaving. After a little longer, Stratovarius did infact show up to Current. As always, when famous acts come into Current I try not to be some annoying fanboy kinda guy cuz I know they just wanna drink and relax after their show. I did however have a fast chat with Timo Koltipelto (the singer) and got a quick photo with some of the band members and I ended up having a nice chat for about 10 or 15 minutes with one of the band members who is their new bassist named Lauri Porra. He has played with other bands before being in Strat such as Warmen, which is another awesome band I like a lot. We mostly talked about their touring and stuff and he was telling me how they really hardly make much money on tours depending on where they are. They get good crowds in Japan but for their US tour they will basically be doing it for free. I told them I will let me friends back in Chicago know they are coming to the US soon so they go see the show. Anyway, the guy was super cool and was totally like just a regular guy and you could tell he really loved the music. I cant really say I can say the same about every rock star that has come to Current before while I was there.

Emmet was having a hard time staying awake for whatever reason and slammed like 8 redbulls throughout the night. Liz left Current sometime around 1 when her last train would be coming. The staff was playing awesome music throughout the night to cater to the metal crowd. I was pretty surprised to see Ryoko II (the girl who looks like my girlfriend) there as well, mostly chatting with these 2 Japanese dudes the whole night. Also Chibi Testament was there.

A little after Stratovarius left, we decided to go get some food. We ate some quick Sukiya and then headed to PSY at about 4:30. A small crowd was there. One of the regulars, Eli, was there and she seemed to be hitting it off well with Emmet. They played lots of good music. They also had the Discovery Channel on the big screen TV for whatever reason and they were showing these accident reenactments that showed accidents involving trucks of grains or something and tried to make it look all over dramatic and kept showing the same damn scenes like 50 times over and over cuz otherwise it would have been a 5 minute show lol! Once 6 rolled around it was closing time and I had about enough anyway. I was pretty tired at this point, though I didn’t pass out or anything. I drank continuously from 2pm to 6am on this day since I started drinking on the train on the way to Tokyo from Takasaki LOL!

After that, Emmet and I went to the manga kissa and Andy decided to just go home to Takasaki.

The next day, Emmet and I went to Okubo to try to find this awesome IPA beer that I bought there once before but the liquor store was closed so we failed. We went to Alpha Station since we were in the area but it was pretty dead. We played a few games of SFIV against eachother and left. Then we headed to Akihabara. We first went to the conbini real quick and on the way we passed by glasses store and there was this guy standing out in front who worked there on the mic. Now its very very common for stores to have guys or girls on a mic trying to get customers to come in by shouting deals or whatever. However, this is the first time I had ever seen one of these guys free style rapping on the mic. And its not like this guy was the type at all. He looked like your typical nerdy business man kinda guy, a little bit older, and even though I couldnt quite make out what he was saying exactly (he was most likely rapping about great deals on the latest hippest glasses frames and contact lenses!), his rapping sounded really stiff and cheesy as fuck. Like something you would hear in a bad commercial! I couldnt help but laugh so I took a picture of him as well. He was at least going for about 10 minutes during the time we were there cuz when Emmet bought something at the conbini, he was still going strong after he came out and I was waiting. It was one of those things that was fucking hilarious but reading it here will never do it justice. Check out the picture though.

After that we went shopping looking for an arcade stick for Emmet. We couldn’t find any really great deals and he didn’t wanna spend a lot, but I found some cheap CD-Rs which was good. Then we went to HEY where I played some SFIV and actually did fairly well and beat a few people. Then we headed to Club Sega. It had been a while since I was at Club Sega Akiba. They now had 6 GG cabs which was nice since last time they had 4. They still have 5 BB cabs. I played some GG and got a 15 win streak. I saw Gin there and he was using Faust for some reason! I don’t know what would make a Slayer player want to switch to Faust but maybe he was just messing around with him. He lost the only match I watched him play. Emmet wanted to leave sorta early and I just rolled with it so we left at around 5:30. On the way out I saw Shouji the Testament player. I waved to him as we left. Woulda been cool to play him but oh well. On our way out of Akihabara, we tried one more store and we found an old PS1 Namco stick (the kind with the yellow buttons, I used to have the exact same stick) for 4000 yen which is a fantastic deal! So Emmet picked it up.

After that, we got on the train and had to stand like the entire way home cuz it was crowded. Im not used to going home on such an early train. It was kinda nice to get home at around 9:00 instead of midnight like I normally do on a Sunday night though.

Next weekend is a 5 day weekend and my birthday is on the 21st so it should be a pretty cool weekend. Lookin forward to it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Current Turns Eight

I was gonna combine the last entry into this one but I just separated them to make it easier.

Anyway, last weekend (weekend of August 29th), I headed to Tokyo again. I went out there on Friday as usual and met up with Andy at Takasaki station since its on the way. I bought some CD-Rs there last weekend and they were the wrong kind, so I passed them to Andy and he went to go exchange them while I waited inside the gate, cuz if I exited I would have had to pay an extra 320 yen lol. Sometimes Japan has strict return policies but I had the recipt and the package was unopened. Andy had to get the clerk on the phone to talk with me cuz they wanted me to explain why I wanted to exchange them. After some explaining/arguing, they finally agreed and he bought different ones.

We then headed the rest of the way to Tokyo. We started off at Mikado in Takadanobaba. There were a good amount of people there playing GG. Mitsurugi was there and I started off beating his Slayer and he said im too strong but then I asked him for some Zappa action and he beat me like 6 in a row. Then Andy tried against him so I went to fight other people and was getting way more wins cuz those people werent Mitsurugi lol.

While I was playing casuals, I got a call from Arturo Sanchez. He's still gonna be chilling in Japan for a while since he has more time until his visitor visa expires after coming for SBO. He said he was 2 stops away from Shinjuku and would meet up with us later for drinking.

Later on, it was starting to get late, so we decided to go check out Big Box where all the SFIV players go. I was assuming Arturo would be there. When we arrived, he wasnt, so I tried to call him but he didnt pick up. However, there were lots of other really good SFIV players of course. Daigo was fighting against Nemo when we arrived and Nemo beat him with his Sagat. I played 2 games for the hell of it even though I never practice SFIV. I lost to the first person who used Ryu and didnt win any rounds but they were all close. Then I fought an Akuma and I took a round but lost.

We figured Arturo would find us later so we just headed back to Shinjuku. Then Arturo called me when we got off the train and said he was in Nakano but would be in Shinjuku in like 5 mins so we just waited at the exit and then met up with him there.

From there we headed to Current, but on the way, we stopped and bought a small bottle of Johnny Walker and chugged it between the 3 of us real fast on the way to get things going.

Tonight was just a regular night at Current but their 8th anniversary party would be tomorrow night, which is probably why not many people were there. Regardless, we chatted with this one random guy who was pretty cool and then after a few beers we decided to go to GODZ cuz Andy and Arturo had never been there.

GODZ was much busier. At first we were standing and Arturo saw this one chick he wanted to talk to but there were no open seats. We eventually got the table in the back and aftera while longer, some people left so we got to sit at the bar. Arturo got the seat next to the girl and started hitting on her. There was some white guy on the other side of her, who like Arturo, was also from New York. He was pretty much spent the next while talking to the chick and then the other guy tried to butt in and put in his 2 cents or whatever. After a while, Arturo got the girls number but then he got a random booty call from some other girl on his phone and decided to go with the guarenteed shot instead of gambling with this other girl and the cock blocker guy so he said bye and headed out to meet up with his booty call.

After that, Andy and I went to PSY, which was also full. In fact, they had a special deal going on this weekend with 400 yen beers and all the girls were wearing Kimono for some kinda festival going on. It was pretty sweet. Also there was some random movie on the big screen that looked like it was from the 80s. It was some like some movie about 3 people on a desert island and one guy was like doing the chick and the other guy was all out hunting for fish for them and then they build a small boat but the young guy and the girl ditch the guy who was hunting for them, but then their boat sinks and they have to swim back so the hunter guy stabs the other dude with a harpoon and they have this big battle and then it ends with the girl just screwing them both over. LOL! We had a good laugh at it. Made nice background atmosphere while we listened to music and got drunker.

After that we went to the manga kissa.

The next day we woke up and I got an email from Emmet, the new ALT in Numata. Numata is the town next to my town. He's from New Zealand and he actually plays fighting games which is cool. Hes mostly a 3rd Strike player but he has played a little bit of GG before and other fighters too. He wanted to go to this Tokyo Friends party thing today in Akasaka. Basically its some party designed for Japanese people to meet foreigners. Its like 3 and a half hours of drinking for 3000 yen... BUT... the first 12 female foreigners and first 12 male foreigners get in for free! Free drinking for 3 and a half hours?! Sounds good to me! Anyway, he asked me to make the reservation on my phone and I realized it was at Sam & Dave, which was the same place they had the foreigners farewell party for SBO last year in 2008.

Anyway, Andy and I got some Wendys and then went to Mikado. There were people there again which was good. Eventually Emmet showed up so we met him in front of the station and then we played some games. Emmet wanted to play me in 3rd Strike so I agreed. He was way better than I was expecting actually. He beat me 4 times in a row with his Remy. I havnt really played 3rd Strike seriously... ever... but I had maybe only played a handfull of casual matches within the last few years and it has been several months since I even touched the game. Plus, I have no idea how to fight Remy, I think maybe ive fought one Remy player... ever! (I didnt even know you have to block his low sonic boom low.... LOL!) Not to take away from Emmet though, he seems like a solid player and its nice to know that there someone who lives right near me who I can get some games with (at least in SF) sometimes during the week if I wanted to. Anyway, I told him good games and told him I will play better against him next time and went to play GG. I did much better at that and only lost twice the whole time we were there out of like maybe 20 matches. There was a Melty Blood tournament going on so Andy mostly just watched that. Eventually we had to get ready to head out if we wanted to get to that party early enough to get in for free. I wanted Emmet to play me in one quick game of GG before we left but some guy got on before him. I beat the guy and we were low on time so we just left.

When we got to Sam & Dave, there was already a huge line of people waiting to get in. I counted my best as we walked by and I only saw maybe 10 foreigners, so there was still hope that we MIGHT get in for free. Most people looked Japanese. As soon as we got in line, some other guy got in line right behind us who was from Finland and commented on my Children of Bodom shirt and we had a good chat about metal.

When we got to the entrance, it turns out my count was pretty accurate... there were 11 foreigners before us so only one of us could get in free, so we decided to all just pay 2000 yen between the 3 of us instead of one guy being free and the others having to pay 3000. 2000 yen all you can drink for 3 and a half hours is still a great deal anyway.

Anyway, the party was packed! There were like way more Japanese people and lots of cute girls actually. They only had mixed drinks for free but I probly drank like 15 Tequila Cokes while we were there. Emmet claimes to have had like 20 screw drivers and threw up in the bathroom after the like 1st hour of being there LOL! He was still fine after that though. I mostly played wingman for Andy and Emmet because Emmet cant speak any Japanese at all. Andy studied for a year so he can speak some basic Japanese. Im sure it will improve fast after he lives here for a while. Some of the people we met were kinda boring, some were cool as hell. This one girl we were talking to actually works for Koei and is developing PSP games!

There were also these other 2 hot chicks and by the end of the night, they agreed to go with us to Current. So once the party ended, we headed out and went to Shinjuku station. From there, we waited in front since my girlfriend, Ryoko, was just about to arrive from Gunma. She had to work today but since tomorrow was a day off, she was able to take the train out here to join us for Current's party! We met up with her and then headed to the bar.

Current was packed as hell when we got there. I was greeted by like just about everyone as soon as I came in. Just about every regular that matters was there aside from just a few people, but the entire core of Currents cool people were there in addition to lots of randoms. By this time I was already kinda drunk from before so I just kept the buzz going! It was honestly a pretty awsome party. Not many specific details to go into other than lots of dancing and people drinking shots and stuff and just having a fucking good time. One thing that was kinda cool was Ayami, Mai, and Yoshie were cosplaying as Budwieser girls for whatever reason. It looked pretty hot though. I introduced Andy and Emmet to some people and I think they both had a good time, though Emmet looked kinda tired towards the end. Ryoko had fun too! I took some pictures so you can just look at those to see how things were.

Anyway, we stayed till a little passed 5 once they were closing up and headed over to PSY. We got there a little late and they were alrady emptying out the beer tapper so all they had to offer us were cans of Asahi. I honestly didnt even really want one but we already came in so we just said the hell with it and all got Asahi cans. I passed out like periodically throughout my beer, woke up, took a sip, passed out again, until eventually I was able to slam the rest of it and then ended up throwing up in the garbage can by the bathroom. I was fucking wasted from drinking so much all day and hadnt thrown up or had any water or food in my stomach for a long time. Since I threw up in the garbage and didnt make a mess, I felt fine, and actually I felt a lot better once I got it out of my system. The apolagized to the PSY bartenders but they said it was no big deal and also commented on how rare it is for me to throw up. Actually its probably the first time they ever saw it anyway.

After that, we got some McDonalds breakfast as always. Ryoko was fiending for McGriddles and was super happy.

Instead of going to the manga kissa or a hotel, we just decided to go back home since the trains were running at this point. There was nothing going on tomorrow and a long lazy day of sleeping at home sounded loke a good idea to me. We all rode the train back and I slept the whole way. Andy parted ways with us at Takasaki, and then Emmet later parted ways with us at Numata. Ryoko and I made it back to my place and slept till like 5 pm and then just spent the day being lazy and watching X-Files on DVD and I made Chicken Burritos and they rocked.

That about sums this one up. Next weekend is my school's sports day meaning I have to work Saturday and will probably just stick around my area. I doubt there will be anything worth writing about but the next time something semi-interesting comes up ill hit some keys.

Getting Drunk and Beating Scrubs in Takasaki

First of all, I went to the doctor during the week for a checkup and my liver is back to normal! I was given the go ahead to drink as much as I want and I am no longer sick according to my blood test so it seems my mono is truely over! CHEERS!

To recap the previous weekend of August 21st... On Friday, I went to Takasaki, the town where Andy lives which is 1 hour south of where I live. We went drinking with a few of the new Takasaki ALTs at a garlic resturaunt until late, and then Andy and I found this place called Bee bar. They had some good beers on tap, interesting atmosphere, and wide selection of music avaliable to request. After that, I crashed at his place. Andy's apartment is about the same size as mine, which is pretty good since he lives in a bigger city.

The next day we headed out and I showed Andy where the 2 arcades are in Takasaki that I know of. One is Monte Carlo which closed down and merged with a smaller one a few doors down. They had one of most older fighting games but the quality of their cabs wasnt maintained very well. We played a few matches of BB and then left. After that, we went to 3rd Planet, which is south of Takasaki station. This place is more expensive but they keep their cabs in nice condition. This place also has one of most major fighting games but for whatever reason they dont have any Street Fighter cabs. Odd... There were a few guys playing BB so we got a few matches. One or 2 of them were actually pretty good players.

After that, we went to the Takasaki beer garden to welcome the new ALTs. We got all you can drink and eat for 4 hours for like 2800 yen so it was worth it. I drank lots of beer and met some cool people. Then after that, Andy, me, Emmet (the new Numata ALT) and 2 other girls went to Bee bar where a bunch of other ALTs showed up and then we went clubbing at some place called club Jam where some random drunk Japanese guy was talking to us towards the end of the night and handing out fake giant thick pairs of glasses for whatever reason. After that, we walked with the girls and Emmet back to the station and then Andy and I went to his place to crash.

The next day we got Ramen and then went back to 3rd Planet. This time there was actually some guy playing GG there. I beat his Slayer a bunch of times and didnt lose until after getting like 22 wins. He eventually left after I beat him again and then we walked to Uniqlo where Andy bought some new pants.

Later, we returned to 3rd Planet and I was shocked to see 4 people playing GG. I got on, beat all of them over and over undefeated and got like 25 wins or something without losing and then we left cuz I had to catch a train. They told me that I was too good and I asked them if they actually have a scene here and they said they usually plays on Tuessdays and Thursdays. Kinda good to know people there still play at least.

I missed the next train so Andy and I got McDonalds at the station to kill time and then I went home.