Monday, March 1, 2010

Out of the Loop...

I skipped writing my blog last weekend so I will just summarize what I did then before getting into this most recent weekend. On Friday night (2/19), Jessie (one of the other ALTs near me) had a ski party at her apartment. Lots of ALTs went (about maybe 12, including Andy, and Emmet) and we drank, watched some Olympic stuff, and played some multiplayer Wii games.

The next day we all headed to Kawaba ski park. This was my first time going there. Its really big actually and was pretty nice. As we were going out to head to the lift, the zipper on my snow pants broke. They are too small on me and they were already in my apartment when I moved in, left over from the last guy who lived there so I just use them. I was able to rig the zipper into working again but I had to be careful. The zipper went the full length of my leg down on the side.

Jessie is a pretty serious snow boarder and so she was all about going on this really hard course and asked me to go with her on it and a few other pretty advanced people. Im a pretty intermediate skier but she said I could handle it so I believed her. Her and a bunch of the other guys went off trail into a forested area and were snowboarding between trees. Pretty dangerous shit. I figured it would be best to just stick to the trail so we agreed to meet at the lift later. So I went down with this one other guy and it turned out that the course was like way advanced and difficult. I was hanging in there ok at first but then I ran into a really steep part with tons of moguls (huge bumps all over the side of the mountain) and had to go slow as hell and I wiped out at some point and my snow pants completely ripped open. There was really no easy way to fix them at this point, and my skis also fell off when I wiped out. I wasn’t at all injured but the slope was now too steep to be able to get my skis back on so I had no choice but to ride like halfway down the hill on my ass while holding my skis lol! I made it down fine and was eventually able to put my skis back on when it got less steep and skied down the rest of the way with no problem. When I got to the bottom I decided theres no way im going on that specific trail again hah. There were tons of other ones though so there wasn’t much of a problem. Also, I went inside the gift shop and asked the cashier if he had any strong tape. He busted out this role of green duct tape and wrapped a bunch of tape around my snow pants so that I could still ski without having it split open again. I looked ghetto as hell but I was able to ski just fine for the rest of the day.

Since Andy is still injured, instead of going skiing he just chilled in the lounge studying, and playing some DS. After we finished skiing, everyone headed out and we stopped at Jessies to get my stuff. At this point I originally wasn’t planning on trying to go to Tokyo cuz I thought we were gonna be skiing later but the slope closed after 4 pm so Emmet and I decided to go catch the train. Andy came with us so that he could go back home to Takasaki. We ended up missing the train and saw it leaving just as we arrived at the station. The next train wasn’t for another hour so we got some ramen.

We caught the next train and made it there with no problem. Andy parted ways with us at Takasaki and Emmet and I went to Shinjuku. We played a few casuals at sportsland. Female zombie Sol was there as well as her Jam playing boyfriend. I beat her, then some random Faust played me and we went 3 to 2 in my favor. Then FZS’s boyfriend played me with his Jam and I won like 5 in a row and eventually then we left to head to Current.

Current was pretty cool. There were lots of girls there who I didn’t know. Also, Rob (the guy who works for Square-enix) showed up so I talked with him for a while. I don’t remember much else about the night but it was good times. We went to PSY afterwords. I stayed at the manga kissa but I didn’t end up really sticking around long the next day on Sunday. I headed back home and saw Ryoko.

Now… finally getting to this past weekend…

On Friday (2/26), I had an enkai for work in Numata. The train got me there early so I stopped by Emmet’s apartment for a few beers before heading there. It was a small enkai with only about 9 teachers but they had all you can drink Yebisu and the food was awesome so it was pretty cool. It ended at around 9 pm, which meant we could still catch the very last train to Tokyo.

We got to Tokyo at like 12 something. Since it was already so late we just headed right for Current. Ryan (Letbloodrun) was now back in Japan starting this weekend so he met up with us at Current. Sam also met us there. There was a decent crowd in there so we had fun just chilling and drinking. Nothing extremely note worthy happened at Current. At some point Sam just vanished without saying anything. I think he had too much to drink. We stayed till closing and headed to PSY, which was also fun but once again nothing extremely out of the ordinary happened.

Then we decided, for whatever reason, to go to Tokyo Loose. Mainly cuz Ryan wanted to go. When we got there, it wasn’t very packed but there were a few girls there. Emmet wasted no time trying talk to this one girl who totally just blew him off. Then that same girl started like getting a straight up lap dance from this one other girl! Then that same lap dance girl and this one other girl started like dancing and trying to get us to get up and dance with them. The lap dance girl grabbed my and Ryan’s hands, pulled us off our seats, and we started dancing with them. Within 10 seconds, they suddenly just push us away and blow us off… wtf. I didn’t even give a fuck cuz I didn’t wanna dance anyway, but then they start dancing in from of us AGAIN after we sit down. These chicks were being a bunch of cock teasing hoes. Then the lap dance girl starts practically giving Ryan a lap dance and even touched his crotch. But once again, she would just ignore us if we actually got up so we didn’t even bother with that shit. It was really confusing but pretty hilarious at the same time. Some girl from New Zealand was there and I asked her what the deal with these girls was cuz I thought they were prostitutes and she says they are like hostesses or something. Im pretty sure none of them were Japanese. Anyway, we stayed till like 9 am which is pretty fucking late, so we then left to go sleep. Ryan went home and Emmet and I went to the manga kissa.

Saturday, we woke, had some Sukiya, and headed to Mikado. Sam met us there and said he was tired as fuck cuz he ended up falling asleep on the Keihin-tohoku line all night and just slept there the entire night and came right back to Mikado without going home lol. Throughout most of the day, it was actually pretty dead at Mikado. I still ended up playing a bunch though. There weren’t many people but I still got lots of matches in. There actually were a few other well known GG players there like FAB, HH, Yume, and some others but they were only playing BB all day which was sorta lame. I was beating most of the people I played in GG pretty consistently and getting small win streaks, but there was this one default color Millia player there who I have played before who is really good. I lost my first game vs him, but then beat him on my 2nd try. Then he won like 7 in a row on me till I finally beat him again. After that someone else fought me and I didn’t get a chance to fight him again. I was talking to Mitsurugi and he said he is teaming with that Millia player for SBO this year.

...and getting to the meaning of this blog title. I asked Mitsurugi if people have been playing somewhere else lately and he says that everyone still plays at Mikado mostly and its just a slow day for GG casuals. HOWEVER... he mentioned that there was a tournament last weekend for the Johnny-o cup G3 ranbats... and it was the last one!!!! Originally someone had posted on dustloop that there was no Guilty Gear G3 this year and that BB replaced it when INFACT its a completely separate event! This years G3 ranbats have been going on since late December and there were 5 total, the last one ending last weekend... the weekend I was skiing. I was visiting the US during the first 2, but I could have EASILY gone to the other 3 since all 3 of those days I wasnt doing anything in particular that I couldnt have easily done some other time. I researched all about this G3 on the internet after Mitsurugi told me about what I had missed and I feel like I am just so out of the loop what is going on. I even ASKED Osaka B a few weeks ago if there have been any tournaments going on lately and he didnt mention this at all! I just really dont know how to find out about this stuff without going so far as to just start checking all the Japanese arcade websites and hoping I get lucky and find something. I just wish there was a good Japanese GG forum where I could easily get this information. I feel like I really missed out and have been totally fiending for some tournaments lately so this really kinda pisses me off. It turns out that the grand finals is happening the weekend of March 27th and 28th. I ALREADY MADE PLANS for the 27th which totally sucks and I am not sure I can back out of them now. I could probably make it to the one on the 28th though. The website for G3 Johnny-o cup is here. Theres a schedule on there. If I can, I want to go to both days but if I can only go Sunday I pretty much would be only able to enter the random team 5 on 5 and the accident core tournament (double damage setting). Id much rather be able to go to both days, even though I already cant enter most of the stuff on the Saturday one since I have never entered any ranbats. Ugh... im kicking myself so hard for missing those ranbats... I just wish I had some better way of knowing about wtf is going on. Anyway, enough of my bitching... nothing I can do about it now anyway...

By the way, I don’t know why I never bothered posting this before but every week they have a GG tournament at Mikado on like Tuesday or Thursday night. Obviously I cant go, but the brackets are always up on the wall. Im sure people are interested so I will try to post the winner every week. This week, Inoue won, and I think last week I remember seeing FAB win. I will try to remember to post the winner every week.

Later on when I ended up beating the game cuz no one played me for so long, we headed to Big Box for a bit. I played about an hour or so of SFIV and did pretty decent, winning a few and losing a few. Sam says that Big Box is sorta not really the hot spot for SFIV anymore. Everyone now plays at the Taito Station by the South East exit of Shinjuku station.

We went back to Mikado for a bit after Big Box and I played some more GG. Emmet left to go to another international party but Sam and I stayed to play games. Also, Andy showed up and joined us. After playing at Mikado for a while, we headed to Shinjuku. We got some quick food and then Andy went to Shinjuku station to meet up with some other ALTs that were gonna come to Current later. Sam and I went to the Taito Station.

Sam was indeed right, and the place was packed with Grand Master SFIV players. The top Akuma player, Yuu, was there among many others. They have 6 cabs and its 100 yen for 2 credits, 2/3 rounds. It took a while to get a turn in because there were so many people crowded around the cabs. I played against a Grand Master Boxer player and got owned pretty bad (its like one of Blanka’s worst matchups… plus he’s a Grand Master lol). Then I played another match vs an A rank Viper player and took a round both matches and almost beat him, but I don’t know the matchup well so I did stuff that I thought was safe and ended up not being safe, oh well. It was fun and I will probably try playing there again sometime.

After that, Sam went home cuz he was tired and broke, and I headed to Current for a Metal Event night! It was pretty packed and hot in there when I arrived. Andy was there with Mary-Beth and Mika (the 2 other ALTs), and Emmet was there with 2 girls he brought from the international party. He said he also went there with Chibi Testament. In addition, some girl that Emmet had taken back to a love hotel from the last metal event we went to, was there too. So now Emmet was faced with choosing which girl he wanted to get with tonight, it was kind of a funny situation. He eventually chose the one from the last metal event cuz she was the best looking and then some other foreigner dude didn’t waste any time scooping up the leftover chick lol.

It was a pretty typical metal event but I talked to a bunch of cool people. The music selection was not as good as some past set lists but they still played some quality stuff. Mary-Beth and Mika didn’t stay long. Andy left about an hour early to go to PSY. Emmet left with the girl about a half hour before closing. I rounded up a group of people and we all went to PSY.

When I got to PSY, Andy was already gone. He said he decided to take an earlier train. PSY soon filled up with people from Current and other people too. Hibiki showed up too and sat next to me so I got to talk with her a bit.

After PSY closed, a big group of people were talking about going to another bar. I was totally down. So we went to go find this other bar but then when we got to the main street, the guy who I thought was leading the way crossed it and I followed. I didn’t realize that no one else was going that way till after I crossed and the light turned red. Then everyone didn’t notice I was gone or something and they kept walking. I lost sight of them in a big crowd and by the time I got back to the other side of the street they were gone. I tried mailing Chibi Testament a few times but she didn’t reply. I waited about 10 minutes and then just said fuck it and went to go sleep at the manga kissa. I would have liked to drink more but at least this way I had more time to play games the next day.

I woke up at the manga kissa and saw that Emmet had mailed me, asking where I was at. I changed clothes, and then went outside and replied to his mail saying I was in front of the manga kissa. I asked where he was and he said he was in the manga kissa still. I was sorta like wtf… cuz he went to the love hotel with that girl. Anyway, he came out of the manga kissa and told me that when they were looking for the love hotel last night, he got lost and went down the wrong street and they ended up just walking around aimlessly until they just gave up and passed out at some restaurant or something lol. I guess after that the girl went home and Emmet came to the manga kissa.

Anyway, after that, we tried to buy bus tickets to Osaka for spring break but they wouldn’t sell it to us yet because it cant be more than a month away from the current date, and we were early by like 3 days, so it looks like we gotta buy tickets next weekend. No big deal I guess.

After that we went to Mikado and met up with Sam. There were only 2 GG players there. I ended up jumping in on their session and got like 2 10 win streaks in a row vs both of them. They weren’t that bad but they were having a hard time finishing a match vs me. I kept making these good comebacks even when it looked like they might win.

Eventually we got some kabobs at a restaurant, went back to Mikado and played for a bit longer, and then Emmet and I headed back. Nothing too noteworthy to mention happened, I just played a few more people and won most of the matches I played.

After that, Emmet and I headed back to Gunma at around 5:30. I got home and spent the rest of the night with Ryoko.

Next weekend is Gods Garden 2, one of the biggest SFIV tournaments in Japan. I already bought my ticket and will be going there with Sam. Im not that hardcore into SFIV but it sounds like it will be fun, and theres nothing else really going on so why not? Ill make sure to have a detailed report about the event. Im still kicking myself so fucking hard for completely missing G3 ranbats though...


Alexey said...

Hello Mike. Reading your blog for a year. I could criticize your lifestyle, but that doesn't matter, you're a big boy anyway :).
May I ask you if you would have an opportunity to make photos or videos showing FAB and H.H? How are they in real life.

-A GG player from Russia

ElvenShadow said...

Criticize my lifestyle? LOL.. too much drinking?

Anyway... FAB and HH are both really good players of course, but I dont really have the chance to tape vids of them playing casuals, most arcades dont like that. But the G3 Johnny-o cup is coming up as you know, they might be playing in that so im sure there will be vids of it online somewhere.

Alexey said...

Yup, drink+fastfood in such enormous amounts is not good, especially when you're a foreigner in Japan, that what I meant.

Also reading your blog, one can come to conclusion that you're a 'god of gg', I mean your numerous wins in a row, even versus sbo finalists, when nobody can beat you. How can that be, are you really so tough, or japanese play full force only on main tournaments? I don't remember any non asian team coming closer than 1/32 sbo final ever...

ElvenShadow said...

Well, I dont eat any fast food during the week and not everything I eat on weekends is fast food. I also only drink on weekends. Id rather enjoy life a bit than always be worried about my health too much and live a long boring life. But anyway...

As far as my skill level, I am among the best in the US (how I rank will change depending on who you ask cuz everyone has their own opinion), but im certainly not a god and I certainly never lose LOL. I get win streaks, but I never said I get long win streaks against all SBO finalists. Not everyone that plays at the arcades in Japan is an SBO finalist level player. Japan has scrubs, and intermediate level players as well. Yes, it is true that I sometimes do get wins against top Japanese players. There are also times when I get handled by them pretty hard. Read my blog carefully and you will see that I certainly do have my fair share of losses. I would say most Japanese players dont mess around in casuals, they still try. Casuals are still never the same as tournament play because there are still lots of factors that change your mindset and the pressure involved in tournaments changes things a bit. Tournaments are also one chance only and thats all you get. In casuals you have more time to adapt and there are also more rounds and more chances. If you take all these things into account its not that unbelievable that I get win streaks against decent players and can get wins off of the top players here and there. Ive seen other foreign players come here and do pretty well in casuals against some of the better players. Comparing SBO results to someones performance in casuals over several years just doesnt really compare as you would probably expect it to. You also have to consider in SBO that its teams so the strength of the persons team mates is also a huge factor in how well certain teams do. you can be a solid player and have 2 not so good team mates, but if you fight a team of 3 beasts, suddenly your chances arnt quite so good anymore even if you are extremely good.

Does this make more sense now?

ElvenShadow said...

Oops I meant to say "I certainly don't not ever lose" err basically, to put it simply, of course I lose, and so does everyone, even SBO champions.

Alexey said...

Ok, now I see)

And the last thing, when I show and talk about SBO to my local fighters the first question they have is about the prizes, and I don't know what to say, haven't seen any info about that. Can you tell about it? Besides the respect of the figthers are there any prizes?

ElvenShadow said...

I'm not sure exactly how much but I know there is some sorta cash prize. I don't think its quite as much as like EVO or something though.