Monday, October 22, 2007

Niigata

Damn, everyone seems to be taking Arcana pretty hardcore, did Guilty Gear completely die out in Chicago now? So my weekend was pretty sweet, heres a really long post! So this weekend there was a DF2 qual in Niigata. Niigata is the prefecture north of my prefecture (Gunma). It takes about the same distance to get to Niigata city to get to Tokyo (about 3 or 3 and a half hour on train). I also went because Sean (DJ Sean from back in Chicago) lives in Niigata city as well. So I was originally going to head out Friday night, the train schedule for the trains going to Niigata from Minakami, however, are very limited and the last train leaves Minakami at about 5:38 pm. I ussually get off work at 4:30 so it was doable, but last minute I was asked to stay later to monitor the students taking a standardized test after school. So as a result I wasnt able to leave Friday night and my girlfriend was asked to work late at Fujiya (its a cake store) because they had to bake a shit ton of cakes for the next day, she didnt get off work till 12. So I sat at home and played Suikoden V and got drunk! yay! However, since my girlfriend wanted to see me so bad she said she would go with me to Niigata. Sean told me his apartment wasnt very big and he also has a room mate, so if I wanted to bring Ryoko we wouldnt have enough room to both stay there. However, Ryoko had to work on Sunday anyway so she couldnt spend Saturday night out there anyway.
So Ryoko shows up to my place Saturday morning and we ride the train out there together. We were both tired since I decided to take the earliest train out there to make up for lost time (8:17 AM train). We pretty much just slept the whole 3 hour train ride haha. When we got near Niigata city, we first stopped off at Kameda, which is the stop where Niigata POPY is located, this is the arcade where the qualifier would be held on Sunday. At first we were having a hard time finding the place, it was about a half hour walk from the train station and we didnt have a map. We decided to get some lunch at a resturaunt and afterwords we found some guy who was riding his bike on the street and asked him where POPY was and he pointed us in the right direction. We eventually found the arcade but since it was about 1:30 pm it was pretty dead, no guilty gear players there at the moment. They had 3 cabs and the arcade was nice. And this is the first time at an arcade that they had a BEER VENDING MACHINE in the arcade! I guess it ISNT illeagal to drink in the arcades. I asked Ryoko and she said that its probably just up to the arcade management if they want to allow drinking in the arcade. So since it was dead we decided to go head to Niigata city station. Ryoko has an old friend who lives in Niigata, she works at a hair salon at a shopping mall not far from the station. Ryoko was going to visit her and get her hair done. So on our way to the mall I found another arcade, I dont know what the name was, it just had a sign that said "game", it wasnt huge but it was decent, had 2 AC cabs. So then we left and walked to the mall which was only like 2 mins from the arcade, Ryoko had her hair appointment so we parted ways and I said goodbye.
Then I went back to the arcade and played against a bunch of people, no one there could beat me except for this one Testament player, we went back and forth, he was a smart player. So I asked him if he was going to the DF2 qual and had a team mate and he said no. So I asked him to team up and he said maybe. Then we played some more and I was winning a lot so he came up to me and said he wanted to team up. He told me there were stronger players at another arcade not far from there so we walked together to the other arcade, it was called Last Chance or something like that. Inside they only had one AC cab but there was this really good player there, he was playing Po Slayer and Sol. We got some good matches in against him and then this one Chipp player who played at SBO was there too but I dont know his name. We played him too and some other random people. Ryoko sent me a message saying that her friend was too busy to hang out so after her hair appointment she took the Shinkansen back to Minakami, I feel bad because I think she only went out there mostly because she wanted to spend time with me and see me, she could have gotten her hair done somewhere else. She had to go back though because there were no later trains that ran back to Minakami and she had work. So I played a bit more gear and then I called Sean since it was getting late. I walked with my team mate (his name is Gahaku btw) to the station to meet Sean. We were gonna go to a bar to get wasted, I asked Gahaku to join us but he doesnt drink so we parted ways and said we would meet up tomorrow at POPY.
So me and Sean head to this one bar owned by a Canadian dude, it was a nice atmosphere and we drank tons of beers and shots and I had the best Burger that ive had so far in Japan there. We talked and chilled for a bit and then eventually went to another bar that was more of a dance setting and had another beer and said hi to some people sean knows. Eventually we went back to his place and passed out, he had a job interview the next morning since NOVA sucks and wasnt paying him on time so he quit. He got the job btw so hes going to be ok.
So next morning I wake up with a slight headache, pop a few headache pills and im good to go. I arrive a Kameda station and after walking for about 2 mins I accidently run into Gahaku. So we walk to POPY together. When we get there, theres a lot of people and they had another cabinet set up for the tournament with a flat screen above it for people to watch, you can see it in the pictures. I also notice theres these 2 girls there, they looked pretty good, I was thinking they were girlfriends of some of the players, then I notice them looking at the brackets and actually seeming to know who people are. I ask Gahaku if they play and he says, yes thats the ladies team. So we play some casuals till the tournament starts, I do pretty well in general but there are some beastly players. There was a pink Faust who played in SBO there and I managed to beat him in a few mirror matches. There was also a really strong ABA. So tournament eventually starts and theres about 20 teams, they divide us into 4 pools of 5 teams each and do round robin format. First match we fight a Venom and Potemkin team and I OCV them, Gahaku doesnt play. (Thanks prucha!) Next we play against a Slayer/Eddie team. Gahaku goes first this time, beats slayer, loses to eddie, I beat eddie. Next we play Millia/Axl team, I go first, beat Millia, lost to Axl, Gahaku beats Axl. Last but certainly not least we end up fighting the ladies team! The first girl played Dizzy and was very very good, Gahaku goes frist and loses, I go next and beat her in a close match, then her team mate who played Ky goes and I beat her as well. We win our pool undefeated. Top 2 from each pool advance to semi finals regular bracket single elim. The ladies team got 2nd in our pool. In semi finals first match we play against a Eddie/Jam team but me and Gahaku both lose to Eddie... we both lose first round, both win 2nd round and then last round we BOTH got perfected. I tried to throw up standing kick at the start of the match but then it whiffed and I got hit by a poke and was forced to block the entire round due to perfectly executed eddie strings, there were no holes and I was doomed (yay for eddie!). So we watch the finals and a really solid ABA player who teamed up with a Zappa player end up winning (it was Raoh spammage ftw last match). After the tournament a special guest shows up, none other than the legendary Kaqn! He didnt play in the tourny because he already qualified at another tournament before. They had a special event called "Kaqn Final Fight" where he played on the main cab with the TV and everyone just took turns challenging him and they even announced all the matches. This event was held because Kaqn would retire his HOS after this. I played him twice, the first time I did ok but not spectacular. The 2nd time I was ONE PIXEL away from beating him but he came back, I was blocking him for like 5 seconds straight and eventually he got in on me, everyone was going crazy when I almost beat him haha, hes seriously a beast. Eventually he had like 34 wins and they ended the event, no one could beat him even once. So then the owner of the arcade came up to me, his name is Gushikem. He and a bunch of people were all curious where I was from and stuff and Gushikem offered to buy me a coffee from the vending machine, so we went in his office and just chilled and talked for a while about games and the scene in Japan and stuff in general, hes totally a cool guy. He said Kaqn actually lives in Chiba and works at Game Chariot but he came out here to chill because they are good friends. After our chat I played more casuals and got like a 19 win streak and eventually lost to a Robo Ky who was pretty persistant at trying to beat me and eventually adapted.
After that Gushikem took a large group of us out, including Kaqn, to a resturaunt in the area. This place had this meal called "The Challenge" and i was serious. It was 2 huge full bowls of rice and 8 pork katsu (fried pork patties about the size of a hamburger patty). You had to try to finish it in under 10 mins. Me, Kaqn, Gushikem and this other guy all took the challenge but only the other guy was able to finish it in 10 mins, the rest of us eventually managed to finish it but it took a while, me espessially since I had a sandwich from the arcade vending machine not long before going out to dinner. Kaqn kept messing with me asking if I wanted some more and trying to give me some of his rice cuz he saw me slowing down haha. Kaqn was a nice guy, I asked him why he originally switched from Jam to HOS and he just said because HOS is cool haha. After the resturaunt we all went back to the arcade but it was getting late so I had to get ready to leave, I took a big group photo of us in front of POPY and said goodbye to everyone. Kaqn said he was going to go to the DF2 qualifier next weekend at Shinjuku at Mikado game center so I will see him again next weekend. I need to find another partner though because Gahaku has no money and cant make it out that far (6 hour train ride for him...) so I will find another partner in Tokyo next weekend, shame cuz Gahaku was cool and we made a solid team. So some of the guys were super cool and gave me a ride back to Niigata station and I walked to seans, we chilled with some of his neighbors and then I went to sleep.I woke up the next morning at 4:30 am and cought the train super early since I had work that morning. Slept on the train and arrived in Minakami 35 minutes before work started and made it on time! So yea.... good weekend... good times, oh yea and Ryokos hair stylist did a great job.
the end

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chiba quals (Goi Game Chariot and Tsudanuma Amusement Ace)

aahaha....ok... so heres my weekend. I took the day off on Friday because I needed to go to Takasaki (the largest city in my prefecture, about one hour train ride from my town) in order to go get my re entry permit at the immigration office for when I visit the US over break. You have to go during the week, not opened on weekends. So my original plan was to go down there early in the day and since its on the way to Tokyo I was just going to go straight from there. Last minute I get invited to an Enkai (drinking party) for my main school since a new teacher started working there. I didnt want to be rude so I said I would go figuring I can just wake up early Saturday and go to Tokyo etc. So I go to the Enkai and get drunk and thats all good. Wake up super early and catch like a 7:30 train. Now this weekend there were 2 Dream Fighters festival 2 qualifiers in Chiba. The first one was at Game Chariot near the Goi train station in Chiba. I arrive about an hour before the tournament starts. Nice arcade, impressive tournament setup. Lots of people playing. I sign up without a partner since its a 2 on 2 tourny and I dont know anyone there. When its time for the tourny they paired me up with another player who didnt have a partner apearently. His name was Karun, he was a Jam player and he was quite good. Hes friends with Nanashi and FAB. When they found out he would be teaming up with me they sorta laughed at him, i dont know what they said to him but it seems like they found it ammusing. I think there was about 22 teams. So anyway. tournament starts... First match, I lose to a Johnny player in a close match, then Karun goes and beats Johnny and their other guy (I forgot who it was, I think sol). I told him sorry and that I would play better next time. So next time we go I go first, and I beat their whole team of Sol (Kishitaka) and Potemkin (ABEGEN) by myself, Karun doesnt play and seems quite pleased. This match was on the big screen and everyone was going pretty crazy, cuz I guess they werent expecting some random Gaijin to do so well. So then our next match is the Semi Finals against.... Nanashi and FAB team. I go first, lose to Nanashi (sorry Prucha... hes super good........ but next time.....) and then Karun goes, beats Nanashi but wasnt able to defeat FAB. So we end up getting 3rd. Finals was Isa (Eddie) and Kaqn (using Millia!) vs Nanashi and FAB. Eddie and Millia win and get the qualifier spot, I was pretty surprised FAB lost since most people can hardly touch him.

So after the tourny I ask Karun if hes going to the other tournament the next day (this time the tournament is near the Tsudanuma station in Chiba at Amusement Ace game center). He says he is going, I ask him if he wants to team up again, he says maybe. He asks for my cellphone email and we exchange info. I stay and play some casuals and eventually I head to Tsudanuma since Goi had no Manga/internet Cafes and I needed to find out where I was sleeping that night.

So I arrive in Tsudanuma and its much bigger and there are more places in the area, including a few manga/internet cafes, so I was pretty much set. I arrive at Amusement Ace, theres only 2 cabs there but the arcade itself was really cool, lots of the walls looked like the inside of a dungeon and there were like torches and stone gargoyles. So theres people playing, I end up owning just about everyone and had like 27 wins or something, but most of the really strong players werent there, some were still at Game Chariot, others... I dont know. So I stay till closing, get some food and some beers and eventually go to sleep at one of the manga/net cafes. I wake up with the worst stiff neck/sore back ive had in recent memory. I can hardly move without it hurting. With nothing else to do I get some breakfast at some soba place and then I head to amusement at at around 9:30 am. Since its so early theres pretty much no one there, some random scrub was there playing against the computer, I beat him and no one plays me for a while. Then the soba strikes and I have to take a dump really really bad.... and end up taking like 3 or 4 dumps within a few hours.... never eating there again.... eventually a few more people start showing up like this one chipp player and this one sol player. I beat both of them about 3/4 of the time. Then a potemkin player shows up and I play him, almost beating him, then I look on the other side of the cab and sure enough FAB has arrived. Shortly after everyone starts to pile in and now the place is packed and its taking quite a while to play since theres only 2 cabs. FAB ends up getting like 40 win streak and eventually loses to a bridget player by a pixel. This time way more people were there, I think there were about 30 teams... so about 60 players. I get an email on my cellphone from Karun saying that hes teaming up with someone else... so now I have no partner. I try to register and the arcade guy tells me to wait till I have a partner. Eventually last minute they ask some random May player who wasnt even going to enter to team up with me, he tells me that hes weak but I say thats ok I dont care, I needed a partner. So they randomly draw team names out of a bucket and set up brackets and sure enough.... first round I get to fight Karun and his team mate (his new team mate being the same sol player I was beating earlier). So we go pretty early, maybe like 3rd match of the tournament. My partner goes first against Karun, loses pretty fast. Then its me vs Karun, I win the first round very convincingly. 2nd round I was winning most of the round and then last minute I make a small execution error, and get hit by some random thing that shouldnt have hit me and die to 90% life Jam corner BS combo. Then 3rd round is going ok, then I throw out a scalpel pull from almost full screen and he does fucking forward punch which goes through it and staggers me, then I get hit by charged flying kick into death corner BS 90% combo for the lose. It wasnt a very good feeling having my former team mate ditch me for some sol player and then beat me first round. But on the other hand I suppose he had no obligation to team up with me since he didnt even know me and was randomly placed with me in the first place last time. After the match Osaka B came up to me out of no where and gave me props saying that I played very well and that my Faust is strong. I stayed and watched the rest of the tourny, Karun and his partner eventually lost to another Faust player named Togo (I think thats his name) This same Faust player also ended up beating Nanashi and his partner (who this time was a different potemkin player with spikey hair, for some reason FAB teamed up with a Zappa player, I think his name was A-zappa. I later asked Nanashi why he didnt team up with FAB again and he said a bunch of shit really fast in Japanese and I couldnt understand him because it was really loud). So eventually FAB and A-zappa end up winning the tourny and getting the qualifier spot. People play casuals for a bit and then leave.
It was dead so I head to Akihabara and play for a little longer. Do ok winning against some decent people, and Ogawa was there, played him 3 times and got owned, no one can touch that guy.... eventually I head home and catch the last train back. Ussually I can get a free train ride back because the station I go back to has no one checking tickets that late at night but this time the conductor checked my ticket on the train and I had to pay... weak. I think its cuz I sat in the front car... next time Ill have to sit in the back. So I get home and go to sleep, wake up today and my sore neck and back are even worse... I hope this shit goes away soon cuz it really sucks. Next week theres a qualifier in Kanagawa (prefecture south of Tokyo) and one in Niigata (prefecture north of Gunma, my prefecture). I can only go to one since they are so far apart so I will have to decide. Sean lives in Niigata so I will maybe go there to visit him but I have to talk to him first, ive never been there yet. Oh well thats all for now I guess, I didnt take many pictures but I will post them and the ones I never posted from last week pretty soon.

EDIT: these are some of the matches from the GameChariot DF2 qualifier
http://youtube.com/watch?v=mtuA1vijsKw me vs Kishitaka and ABEGEN
http://youtube.com/watch?v=FVcXaYjILHw me and Karun vs Nanashi and FAB

Monday, October 8, 2007

First time at Oyama and Current rock bar

hmm yea so last weekend was pretty cool. I went to a 2 on 2 in Oyama (an area in north Tokyo) and 012 was there, but he played Faust! It was strange, but his faust was really good. He ended up losing to a Sol player though (ironic eh?) and got 2nd. I teamed up with some bridget player, we didnt win, oh well.

This weekend coming theres 2 tournaments on the same day (sunday) at the same time (2:00) not far from eachother, but I cant go to EITHER one since the Gunma international association is having some lame welcome lunchin thing and I HAVE to go to it... normally I wouldnt mind, but its a 3 day weekend and they pick the one day where theres a tournament out of the 3 days and put it at the same exact time the tournaments are at..... wtf....oh well, ill probly go to Tokyo that sunday afternoon and stay till monday night for casuals.

Oh yea and I found this awsome bar in west shinjuku not far from okubo that plays all metal (good metal) and has cheap heinekin on tap. It's called Current. There was all these japanese chicks playing air guitar on these inflatable fake blow up guitars, it was cool and I got totally wasted off heinekin and jager shots since some cool dude from finland was there and kept buying rounds and shit. Ive got pics but I didnt put them on my pc yet, I will upload them soon.

At Akihabara casuals I beat some top Johnny player but got owned lots of times by FAB. I did however get lots of win streaks, I think I had one that was like 23 wins at Akihabara and another of like 17 wins. I think im sorta getting better maybe, now if only i didnt choke in tournys.... but that will come in due time.

oh and has anyone ever accidently put salt in their coffee instead of sugar? Cuz this morning.... I did... and it tasted like shit. Its a shame I dont know what the kanji for salt and sugar look like (I know how to say the words but that doesnt mean shit when you cant read them :( )

Monday, October 1, 2007

Club sega 3 on 3 (double Faust + MIU team)

This weekend was cool. I found this thrift store in the town next to mine and bought a couch for 500 yen! I also picked up the Indiana Jones trilogy Japanese version with subtitles so that I could watch it with my girlfriend. I went to Tokyo for Sunday and Monday (Monday was a holiday) and I accidently found there was a 3 on 3 in club sega shinjuku. I ended up teaming up with MIU and another Faust player named Fukin (they allowed 2 of the same character since we were the only players left without teams). I think there was about 12 teams, they ended up doing a round robin pools type format, 3 pools of 4 teams, then the top team from each pool played in the final pool. First match Fukin goes first, loses to May, MIU goes next and OCVs the whole team, after May it was Eddie and Robo Ky. I didnt need to play2nd match I go first, I beat Jam, the I lose to HOS, Fukin also loses to HOS, MIU beats HOS and INO ftw3rd match, Fukin goes first and beats Potemkin and then loses to Johnny. I go 2nd and beat Johnny and then beat Axl ftw. MIU doesnt play4th match ummm I forgot what happened but we won! hahaso then we win our pool undefeated.Finals pool, first match we get OCVed by some super aggresive top Jam player, I forgot his name but it wasnt KA2 or Mike. 2nd match we get OCVed by some top Slayer, his name was like N-slayer or something... I dunno haha, too many people to keep track of! so we ended up getting 3rd. Fun timesAfter the tourny I went to the best Ramen resturaunt Ive ever had with MIU and BAS. It was in Idobashi, and there was like a long line outside just to get in. I took a few pics, ill post em tomorrow or something