Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tokyo Game Show 2008, Shirtless Shinanigans, and Some Broken Glass

Well I hope everyone enjoys reading this fucking blog entree because half way through typing it which took like an hour, I hit some key on accident and it ended up highlighting all the text and deleting it, and then the stupid blog page auto updated the draft and erased EVERTHING! DLKJFOIJEOIHJEOIHD O!"O!!!!!! FUCK!

ANYWAY......................................................

I was to meet up with Jason (J1n) this weekend. He told me he was gonna go to TGS on Friday and was gonna get a press pass to get in. Since he didnt wanna stay out all night he said we could just meet up Saturday at TGS.



I arrived at Vegas Friday night and Baim was there. She told me she played against this one Baiken that was there but she couldnt beat him. I gave a it a shot and lost but I tried again and won and ended his 18 win streak. There was also some random guy walking around the arcade in a tiger mask.... and Natsume was there but he was using Sol and Millia for some reason. I got a call from Maiyuko and she wanted to hang out, but I already had plans to go to a show I bought a ticket to last week. She wanted to stay in Shibuya so we just decided to meet up next weekend instead or something. Eventually Matt and Rod (as I have stated before, Honnou's real name is Rodrigo. Rod is much easier to type and thats what we call him anyway so from now on im just gonna refer to Honnou as Rod), showed up. Some blue Eddie player kept trying to beat me but failed and then Rod tried a bunch of times with a bunch of different characters (I-no, Slayer, Faust, Johnny) but didnt beat me either and I got 17 wins. We then decided to just leave and go to Current.



We stayed at Current for about and hour. I was wearing my glasses and decided to put my contacts back in when I got there. Last weekend, Matt and I bought tickets from Piko (one of the regulars) to a show he was doing somewhere in Shinjuku at a small club/bar named Little Alice. Ayami and Mai were there and eventually Megu showed up as well and they all had tickets to go to the show as well. We decided to just go together. Megu said she would meet up with us there. There was also this really creepy random drunk guy there who was like weirding everyone out, but he was kinda hilarious at the same time. I didnt mind leaving him behind at all.




After we arrived at Little Alice, it turns out they had extra tickets at the door, so Rod was able to get a ticket too. I loaned him some money since he was kinda broke. The venue was small and the seats were all crammed together but otherwise it was cool. Megu showed up with Ayano shortly after we got there. I had no idea what this show was going to be like, but it ended up being a play and concert combined. It was called Janis - Lover Is Like a Ball and Chain, and was the story of Janis Joplin. The show lasted a little over 2 hours. Basically they would act out a scene and then play a song and then act some more and play another song and the songs kinda were integrated into the play. It started out with the band jamming and then finding out that Jimi Hendrix just died. The play pretty much was about the band dealing with that, and Janis dealing with her drug problem and her relationship problem in which her boyfriend was cheating on her with her other friend. In the end she dies of a heroin overdoes. The songs they played (to my knowledge) were all Janis Joplin covers. The band did a great job, the acting was actually really good. Piko is a great guitarist and the singer who played Janis had a very powerful voice. The whole thing was well done. The entire show was in Japanese aside from the songs but I was able to understand it for the most part. Rod and Matt said they got most of it as well. We were the only foreigners there out of about a little over 100 people or so. My only complaint was the uncomfortable seats and no intermission. My ass and legs hurt. Matt had to piss like almost the entire show but somehow held it.



After the show was over I noticed Yago was there with his friend as well. We chatted with everyone for a bit and thanked the band and Piko for a good show, and then we all headed back to Current. When we arrived at Current, Antti was there with a Finnish crew (the KISS shirt couple, Elisha, and this one big guy whos often there with them, im just gonna call him Dolph Lundgren cuz hes kinda big and oafish. The Snus Guy wasnt there this time). They were all wasted as usual. Dolph kept trying to sing along with songs but his timing was like all off. He was trying to sing Sweet Child of mine but he kept singing parts early and it just sounded fucking hilarious. Also, Mogi told us that his birthday was earlier in the week and they would be having a party Saturday night. Towards the end of the night, my left eye was hurting like a bitch again and I had to take out my contacts and put my glasses back on. At 5 when the bar closed I headed to the manga kissa alone because I wanted to get some sleep and wake up on time to go to TGS.



The next morning I woke up a little before 11. My left eye hurt like a bitch and was bright red again. The Dr told me that I can wear my lense again for a bit but after only 6 hours of wearing it, it was absoloutly red as fuck. I fear I may no longer be able to wear a lense in my left eye anymore.... I told Jason I would meet him in front of the big sentai statue in front of Makuhari Messe at 12. On my way there I notice there were 2 different stations for Makuhari on the line I was on. I asked the girl next to me on the train which was closest. She said Makuhari station was and that she would be getting off there as well. She said she was also planning to go to TGS and it turns out she was a Microsoft booth girl. She suggsted we walk there together. When we got off the train, we found out that we were actually at a pretty far station. The closest station to Makuhari Messe is on another line completely (its been a while since ive been there and I forgot). We ended up splitting a cab to get there the rest of the way. When we got to the venue she went ahead inside cuz someone was waiting for her. I checked the time and it was 12:30. I told Jason that if I wasnt at the statue at 12, to try again at 1. I also noticed the line to get tickets was long as hell and I didnt wanna make Jason wait for me to buy one so I figured I would just go buy a ticket now and hopefully be at the statue at 1. By the time I got my ticket it was about 1:10. When I went to the statue, Jason wasnt there. He either didnt wait longer than 10 minutes or didnt show up. I waited for another 10 minutes or so but he never came so I figured I would just meet him later somehow. There wasnt much else I could do. Jason didnt have a cellphone and the only way to contact him was through regular email over PC that he sent to my cellphone from the computer in his hotel room. So if hes not in his hotel room at his PC theres no way to contact him.



As I was making my way inside TGS I noticed that the line I waited in was unecessary and there was another place to buy tickets on the other side of the building that had a WAY shorter line. Fuck. I ended up buying 2 tickets because I figured Matt or Rod (who were coming later) might want it instead of waiting in line. Shortly after getting inside, I got an email from Jason saying that the place was too packed compared to yesterday and that him and his girlfriend were back at his hotel. They said they wanted to meet up later with me so I told them to meet me at Akihabara Club Sega after TGS at about 5:45. I gave him directions over the email. While I was at the Square-enix booth, I got a call from Rod saying that him and Nick were there. I thought they were already inside but they actually werent yet, so I didnt bother mentioning I had an extra ticket. Matt never showed up. I eventually met up with Rod and Nick and we walked around together the rest of the time there. The layout was just like last year with 3 main hall rooms full of booths and then 2 outside areas in between them where people gathered to hang out and cosplayers showed off costumes and took photo shoots.



Some TGS highlights:



- Square-enix had the sequel to Final Fantasy IV there called Final Fantasy IV: the After. This game, for whatever reason, is a cellphone only game, which is fucking stupid because they would make way more money on it if they released it for GBA or DS or something. They had 2 cellphones out with the game to try. I played for about 5 minutes before I was kicked off. The game supposedly takes place many years after FFIV. I dont know what part of the game I was at, but when I started off I was playing as Rydia by herself and I was in the land of the summoned monsters. Rydia had a new sprite and portrait but she looked like she hadnt aged at all which makes no sense since time in the land of the summoned monsters is supposed to go FASTER than regular time but whatever. The graphics look identicle to the old FFIV. I went and talked with Leviathan and Asura and it showed a flashback of when Cecil and Kain delivered the package that destroyed the village of Mist. I dont know what the dialogue said cuz it was heavy with kanji I didnt know. After that I made my way out into the cave of the summoned monsters. The battle system is exactly like FFIV. Rydia didnt have all her spells so I guess somehow she forgot some of them or they just took some away to make her not be broken from the start of the game. After making my way out of the cave onto the underworld world map, the Falcon (the airship) shows up and this pink haired girl gets out and starts talking to Rydia. At this point they kicked me off the game so that the next person could play. I showed my phone to one of the people working the booth and they said my phone can run the game, so I will get it for sure! They also had a Chrono Trigger museum at the booth with all kinds of CT artwork on the walls. I want to be excited for the new CT DS release but its just the same game with a new dungeon. I wish they would do a full remake like they did for FF3 and FF4.



- We found the Arc System Works booth and were disapointed to find that they did not have BlazBlue there to play. They said they had an exhibition match earlier in the day but they game was taken down after that. They didnt really have much at all there and the booth was really small. They said that if you buy a copy of GG2 overture that Daisuke Ishiwatari would sign it but I didnt see him anywhere and I dont have a 360 I didnt buy one, though it probably would have sold nice on ebay. There was also this guy there from Spain who said he was a Guilty Gear player. We talked for a bit and I asked if he knew who ElvenShadow was. He said yes and after I told him it was me, he was all excited to meet me and stuff. He said he reads my blog. Seemed like a nice guy. I told him I wanted to play him later at Club Sega but we ended up losing him after I was asking the Arc System works staff some questions. One of them was wearing a BlazBlue shirt and I asked him if I could somehow buy one but he said they werent for sale but may be for sale soon on the arc systems website. Sweet. In any case I was dissapointed that there was no BB casuals going on at all since it was one of the games I wanted to play most.



- Konami had the new DS Suikoden. Im a big Suikoden fan and will probably get this but it doesnt look that great honestly. I dont know why they are only have a 4 character party limit... boo. Also they had both of the new Castlevanias. The one for Wii looks like it could have been an early PS2 game graphically and looks like it will be fun for casual fucking around at best. The new DS Castlevania, Order of Ecclesia, however, looks fantastic and ill be getting that one for sure!



- Capcom had console SFIV there with Sakura as a playable character. They did a nice job on her design and she looks like shes really good in the game. They also had some sorta tournament going on. I dont know if they ran a full tournament earlier in the day or if they just selected a few people, but they showed what seemed to be the final 4 of a tournament played live on stage at their booth on a huge screen. I dont know who any of these guys were but they had 2 Gief players, a Rufus, and a Viper. Gief vs Gief resulted in one Gief winning obviously and Rufus beat Viper. Finals were Gief vs Rufus with Gief winning it all. It was a good match actually. Winner got a copy of the game early. They also had 2 chicks dressed as Chun and Sakura on stage. Biohazzard5 looks good, I might pick it up. They also had the Wii version of TvC there but I didnt get around to playing it (I didnt have time to play anything except the FFIV game due to there being really long lines).



- SNK/Playmore had the new KOF which looks beautiful. They also had like maybe 7 different Mai cosplayers who did photo shoots on the stage. A pack of dudes with cameras swarmed the stage to take pics. One guy was even sitting on his friends shoulders just to get a better view. Rod and I got a good amount of pics.



- There were tons of great cosplayers again this year. By the Arc booth I got a shot of a Faust, May, Bridget, Valentine group. There was also a Jam and Bridget walking around but they wouldnt let us take a picture, wtf. Outside we also saw an I-no and Bridget that let us take pics. There was also another awsome FFVI group this year consisting of Locke, Celes, Cyan. Other various awsome costumes were there too, I took pics so you can just look at them.



- They had a few booths selling merchendise. The Capcom one had an awsome SFIV shirt and TvC shirt but they were already sold out! I wanted one bad too.



- Every booth had tons of hot fucking booth girls in skimpy outfits and I got plenty of pics of that too.



As time was nearing an end, we decided we should leave a few minutes early to avoid the rush of people leaving at once. However, we were destracted as our penises took over minds as we passed by the SNK/Playmore booth again on the way out. All of the Mai cosplayers AND every single one of the SNK booth girls (like maybe 25 of them) all lined up in front of the booth for a giant photo shoot. Within seconds a fuckin swarm of guys with cameras surrounded them. Rod and I spotted them instantly and were like in the front row so we got lots of pics. Unfortunately by the time we finished shooting, the mad rush to leave already started. We followed the massive sea of people out of the venue and headed to the train station. It turns out the closest station to Makuhari Messe is actually on a different line than the one I took to get there. The station was also packed as hell and you could hardly even walk. The line to get tickets was long as fuck and it took forever to buy one.



By the time we got on the train and made it back to Akihabara it was already 6:45. I told Jason to meet me there at 5:45 but I had no way to contact him to tell him we were gonna be late. I was hoping he would still be there playing casuals but for whatever reason, he wasnt. He either got sick of waiting for me or couldnt find the place to begin with. Matt (who never showed up to TGS cuz he was busy sleeping or some shit) eventually met up with us at Club Sega. Osaka B was there and I asked him if he saw any foreigners there but he said he didnt remember seeing any. Also, to my surprise, Nerina was there! He said he was only in Tokyo for one day today to take some sorta University entrance exam and would be going back on the overnight bus (he lives in Kyushu or something like that, which is far). We got some cheap curry and waited for Jason a bit longer while playing casuals but he never showed up. Also at some point after a few tries, Rod managed to beat my Faust with his Johnny for a game. I can feel that hes already starting to get better since hes been here. Matt couldnt beat me but he seems like hes improving as well.We eventually decided to just go back to Vegas and play there instead cuz it would be cheaper.



Before going to Vegas I randomly decided I wanted to buy a cigar from a cigar shop near Shinjuku station. I got a 500 yen Cuban and we also found a Wendys near there I didnt know about so we got some awsome 99 yen menu action!



Mugen was at Vegas but he was playing Robo-Ky for whatever reason. HH was also there and had a big streak with his Dizzy and I eventually beat him and ended it at 31 wins. After playing for a while we then decided to go head to Current for Mogi's birthday party!



Current was good and packed when we got there with just about all of the main regulars and a few other random people. One of the first things I did after arriving was buying a round of Tequila shots for Mogi, myself, and Masami. Matt and I decided we would do the rematch of our drinking contest tonight. We started off going really fast and each downed like 7 drinks within the first hour! After that we slowed down slightly but kept drinking. We all made the Yago shirt bet again, but this time just for fun. He ended up taking it off at around 1, and none of us hit it dead on. However, the most astounding thing happened! I dont know if it was because of Yago or not, but it was like this chain reaction happened and suddenly everyone in the bar was infused with the soul of Yago and like half the people in the bar took their shirts off! NOT JUST THE GUYS! More than half the girls at Current spent the rest of the night in just their bras! This was like the hottest party at Current ever! Ive never seen shit at Current get this wild! People were spraying champaign all over the place, they had noise makers and shit. Mogi was standing on the bar chugging Jack Daniels straight from the bottle and diving into the crowd! This shit was just off the hook and everyone was dancing all hard and crazy! It was like that GODZ anniversary party from a while back except even wilder and bigger and more shirtless hot chicks were there!



However, after a little while, the atmosphere sorta changed a bit. I was sitting at the bar and I heard a loud noise. I look behind me to see that the glass window of the front door (which takes up most of the door) was shattered in pieces on the ground. Turns out that someone had stolen like 20,000 yen from Ayano and Matt was drunk and pissed about it so he punched the door and broke the glass. People quickly cleaned it up. Matt cooled off and felt really bad and was all saying he would pay for it and apolagizing. The Current staff said to not worry about it though, but everyone still seemed rather surprised by it. After that, given the circumstances, Matt and I decided to call off the drinking contest for the night and continue some other time maybe. After that kinda blew over everyone spent the rest of the night still having a good time. While we were dancing earlier, my glasses were in my pocket and I guess they fell out cuz Rod found them on the floor, luckily for me. They werent broken but they were a bit bent, but I was able to bend them back so its all good. I also enjoyed that tasty Cigar quite a bit and was like offering hits off it to just about everyone in the bar LOL... man I was so fucking wasted! I was talking with Chip and he was saying hes been working staff at TGS at the Capcom and Konami booths all weekend but I didnt run into him while I was there. Towards the end of the night, Matt and Ayano were sitting outside on the stairs. She was wasted and passed out since her and Megu were there drinking since 7 pm. I guess Matt was consoling her over losing her money. They ran out of draught beer at some point as well cuz so many people were getting crunked. One of the last things I remember was being outside on the balcony area near the stairs and Mogi was out there leaning over the railing telling me he was fucking drunk! Mogi usually never seems super wasted so our goal was to get him fucked up and we succeeded! I dont really remember the end of the night but Rod told me that I ended up saying goodbye to everyone and that Matt, Saeko, and I all went to get Ramen somewhere but I dont remember eating Ramen at all.



After that I went with Matt to go back to his place to sleep cuz I was fucking exhausted and we were gonna go to TGS together later. We woke up on the Chuo line at the end of the line in Takao which is WAY out of the way. Passing out on the train sucks. After we finally made it back to Matt's place, it was already 8:30 am! We went right to sleep.



We were planning to go back to TGS again on Sunday since I still had that extra ticket and Matt hadnt gone yet. However, we didnt wake up till 2 and by the time we would get there it would be too late to make it worth while so we just said fuck it (sucks cuz I bought an extra ticket for nothing and wanted to play some more games there). We also found out the next morning that Ayano was passed out at Current all night and ended up sleeping on the benches in the back of the bar. I guess she just walked through the gaping hole in the door when she woke up. Good thing she was safe, who knows what could have happened to her. Im just surprised no one helped her get home. Instead of going to TGS we got some Indian food, and went to TRF to play GG. I got an 18 win streak there and eventually lost in a close one to a Bridget that tried to beat me a few times. ABEGEN was there but he was playing #reload for some reason and didnt play any AC. The comp at TRF in general wasnt that high so we went to Vegas after that. Inoue was there and he had a huge fucking win streak with I-no! I didnt even know he plays I-no. I tried to beat him a few times but failed, as did a few other people. Eventually this one green Bridget player beat him. He ended his streak at 62 wins! I got on and played the Bridget right away and I ended up winning, and it lead to me getting 22 wins. Eventually Rod met up with us at Vegas as well. Normally I would be going home on a Sunday but Monday is a Japanese national holiday so I had no work on Monday. 3 day weekends kick ass!



As it started to get late, we decided to get some food. We went to this place called Pepper Lunch which was tasty as hell. After that I recieved a message from Liz on my cellphone. She said she had plans to stay at her boyfriend's apartment in Yokohama tonight but he wasnt answering her emails so she didnt know what was up. She said she was gonna come drink at Current for a bit until she got a hold of him. Matt had to go home cuz he had homework to do and didnt get the day off, so Rod and I went to Current.



Arriving at Current it felt funny just walking in through the big gaping hole in the door where the window used to be without having to open it. Being a Sunday night it wasnt very packed but a few people were there and Megu showed up. Eventually I met up with Liz and she came to Current as well and we sat and drank for a bit. She eventually got a hold of her boyfriend and managed to leave just in time to get the last train to Yokohoama. I spent most of the rest of the night just talking with Megu and some other people. I also got another Cigar earlier in the day near TRF at this smoke shop I found since I enjoyed smoking the other one so much the night before. This time I got one made in the Phillipines. I had never smoked a Filipino cigar till now but it was surprisingly tasty! Sometime before the last train left, Rod left because he had to study for a test that he had the next day. I was talking with Mogi for a bit and he told me he has been working at Current for 3 years now. He also says he works every single night and only gets maybe 3 days off a month. That place is his life... I wonder if he ever gets tired of it? I cant really think of many better jobs though to be honest heh. Masami has only been working there for a little over a year. I wonder who the old bartenders were... I realized actually that next weekend is the same weekend exactly one year ago that I found Current. Cant believe it went by so fast. Its all good though, lots of time ahead still.

Anyway, at around 4 Megu, me, and this one other dude whos name I forgot but is always there, went to Zin together. No one was there except for Yoshi but we sat and talked for a bit and ate some takoyaki that we got on the way and it was fucking delicious. I asked Yoshi where he worked before he opened Zin a year ago and he said that he used to work at Mother, which is another rock bar right across the street from PSY, though ive never actually gone inside. Perhaps I should visit there someday. At 5 when Zin closed, we all just parted ways and went home. On the way out of Zin on the elevator going down to the street, these 2 older Russian chicks were on the elevator with us and one of them was flirting with me and pinched my nipple. They said they were going to a disco club and wanted me to come but I wasnt really very interested. I just went to sleep at the manga kissa.

On Monday, I woke up at 11 and went right to Vegas which was dead for Guilty Gear. There were like 2 dudes playing SFIV. I figured id try out some other characters against the CPU to kill time. I tried Rufus but I honestly just dont really like the way he plasys. I also messed around a bit with Gouki and he seems alright but I dunno... I just cant seem to really get into that game. It looks nice and stuff but it just doesnt hold my interest long enough. I just find myself craving some more GG action. Cant wait for BB though.

Anyway, I eventually left there, got some Wendys and headed to Akihabara to see if there was any comp there. There were a few players at first and after like an hour or 2 it filled up quick. Lots of big names showed up like Ogawa, Kishitaka, Masutani, Inoue, and a few others. I did generally pretty well there getting a 12 win streak which I lost to an Axl in a close one. Inoue had a 26 win streak with Eddie (WTF is with him playing so many characters lately!? This guy honestly is good with so many characters....). I played him once and lost in a really close one. I played him again and won, ending his streak. This lead to me getting another 22 win streak against various people. I eventually lost to some Slayer. Then I noticed while I was getting my streak, Inoue had started another one on another cab, this time rocking his I-no again as he had been yesterday at Vegas. This time he had 15 wins and I beat him on my first try. Most of the rest of the day was various casuals against various people. There were some other really excellent players there who im not sure who they were but I had some good games. Rod was gonna come but he ended up having shit to do so I just played by myself all day but I dont really mind it. Once 8:30 rolled around I grabbed a McRib value meal from McDonalds (which ended up tasting like shit btw, im fuckin done with that place for real), and sleeping on the train most of the way home.

I woke up right before Takasaki and Cynthia was there on the train and found me sleeping. We ended up riding the last train back from Takasaki to our town together and talking. She was on her way back from a trip to Hirsohima and showed me some pictures. I eventually fell asleep again towards the end.

So thats about it. The first half of this blog entree was actually a bit more detailed the first time I typed it up but I was pretty pissed off when it got deleted so I just ended up half assing it sorta but you get the basic jist of it. Its pretty long as it is anyway.

I feel bad that I never got in contact with Jason cuz I wanted to chill with him and show him around and shit. Its basically all my fault and I planned things kinda poorly. Hopefully he had a good time and found his way around alright. I guess he will post about it when he gets back.
Next weekend theres a 2 on 2 tournament at Akihabara Club Sega on Sunday that I will be going to for sure.

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