Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Come... To the Crimson Side!

On my way to Tokyo I got a mail from Rod (Honnou) who said he was going to Joybox, so I said I would meet him there. I also mailed Matt to see what he was up to but recieved no reply. When I arrived at Joybox, Rod got there about 1 minute later. We played a good ammount of casuals against a few people. There was this one Ragna player there who was gimmicky as hell. He just started every single combo with a series of standing As, then would finish with a string into DP. The only other thing he ever did was just run at you and DP any chance he got, and he would RC his DP into another DP. Maybe like 1/10 times, he would throw you instead. It was extremely annoying because the guy wasnt even that good, just playing super gimicky but it was working on us because we havnt gotten used to the timing to punish Ragna's DP yet. Its like sometimes safe and soemtimes not. The guy had this stupid grin on his face the whole time too. Sorta like that "Yea im the fuckin shit!" grin going on. I was just thinking how if this guy as playing Sol like this in GG I would be owning him so hard. Anyway, eventually Rod beat him with his Tager and then a few Noel players played against us. One of the Noel players was kinda gimmicky too but he was IMO better than the Ragna. He sorta had that grin thing going on too. I was playing pretty bad most of the night, most of it was execution based too. I was having a hard time against the Noel but after several tries I finally beat him. I hope those matches dont go online cuz they were pretty craptastic.

Time seemed to fly by pretty quickly and before we knew it, it was already passed 11. We decided to go hit up Current. Tonight at Current was Piko's birthday. It wasnt some huge epic birthday party like the one for Mogi, Sushi, or mine, but lots of regulars came and it was a good crowd and good times. Mogi, Sushi, Masami, Piko, Bosch, both Mais, Ayami, Michi, Yone, Yago, Megu, Chip, SPG Chris, Nick, Kristie, Maki, Rina, Mame, Nozomi, and some various other people were all there at some point. Rod wanted to see Tomoko but she was busy so she couldnt come, but Mai (Tomoko's friend) was dancing like crazy as usual so Rod danced with her for a while. At some point, Piko and Yone took their pants off and so did Rod and they all started dancing around in their underwear LOL! It didnt last that long though. Piko DJed at first but then Sushi told me I could DJ for a while. They let me DJ for longer than they said they would. I dont remember the whole set or the order but I played

Alice Cooper - The Ballad of Dwight Fry (live)
Symphony X - In The Dragons Den
Stratovarius - Legions
Boston - Peace of Mind
Mr Big - Take Cover
Judas Priest - Breakin the Law (live)
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Hammerfall - Stone Cold
Megadeth - Peace Sells (but whos buyin?)
Children of Bodom - Oops I Did It Again (Britiny Spears cover LOL!)
ACDC - Some Sin for Nothin

They originally told me I could DJ for 30 minutes but it ended up being more like an hour which was cool with me! Lots of free shots were being passed around too in honor of Piko's birthday whih was cool. I also bought him a shot of Jagermiester.

After closing time, Rod and I hit up PSY where SPG Chris had headed earlier, and Masami also joined us there later. I was pretty damn drunk, but in the good way where I felt fucking awsome and not sick or tired at all. We requested some songs there as always and enjoyed more beer (I love beer btw) and after closing time, Rod, Nick, Rod's friend Takau, and I all got some drunken Yoshinoya. After that it was off to the manga kissa for me.

I woke up the next day and went right to Vegas. A few people were already there paying BB. I got a few matches in, won a few and lost a few. Shortly after, Kifa (the yellow Faust player) showed up and busted out his Arakune. I actually managed to beat him on my first try, but the he rematched me again and I couldnt beat him after trying a few more times. In between tries, Kazuki was there too and also attempted to beat him with his Rachel but Kazuki couldnt get a win on him either, so I didnt feel so bad. I also played some games against Vegas Pink Axl (im gonna start calling him VPA) who just got off work. He was using his Ragna which is already pretty decent. I tried about 3 times but couldnt beat him.

After a little BB action, I went to get some Wendys cuz I was fuckin hungry. I was gonna pick up a cigar too but I forgot.

After eating, I headed back to Vegas. I played a little more BB but wasnt doing so hot. I dont know what it was, but I suddenly just had this feeling that Rachel wasnt the character for me. Like, im sure I could probably be good with her if I really put in the time and effort, but I just couldnt see myself using her down the road. It just felt off. I was always torn between Rachel and Arakune before the game came out and I just happened to roll with Rachel at first. I think its cuz she seemed easier to pick up and Arakune just seemed confusing as hell to me when I first tried him. I decided that it was time to give Arakune another chance. However, I didnt really wanna do it just now a Vegas against these guys when I dont know wtf im doing, so I decided to go play a little Gear.

It felt good to wield my scalpel again and throw some random items. There sadly werent that many people playing though. I played against this one Venom player who was pretty good, lost the first game but then rematched him and won cuz I started to feel adjusted again to AC. After that he picked Eddie and Millia on me and I beat him and then he eventually went back to Venom. We went back and forth a bit and he occasionally went back to Eddie. Overall I won more times than he beat me but I honestly dont remember the score or anything like that. After he left, no one was playing me for a bit and I wasnt very patient to sit and wait and fight the computer for too long so I just got up and played a little more BB.

Some guy who wasnt very good tried to play me a bunch of times with a few different characters and I beat him like 10 times in a row. I eventually lost to a Ragna but im not sure if it was the same guy or a different guy. After that I decided I was gonna go find somewhere with not many people playing BB so I could try to learn some Arakune stuff in arcade mode.

I decided to first check out Mikado since its right down the street from Vegas. When I got there I was surprised to see that they were just about to start a BB tournament! So much for finding a dead place to practice haha. Im always down for some tournament action so I decided to enter. I entered with Rachel of course since I still didnt even know jack crap about how to use Arakune. I think a total of only 9 players entered the tournament. I dont think it was very advertised. Another strange thing about this tournament was this was the first tournament in Japan that I have been to that was double elimination! I guess cuz the game is new and the turnout was low, they set up a double elim bracket. It was scheduled to start in about 10 minutes. I mailed Matt and told him how I just found a random tournament but I never got a reply. I didnt bother telling Rod cuz he was on a class trip all day until later in the evening. I was also surprised to see that VPA was there (he plays pink Ragna too btw haha). I didnt know who anyone else was aside from him though. Before the tournament started I played a quick game of casuals vs a gray colored Jin player. I took a round and it was close but I lost. After that, the tournament began.

I was like the 2nd match to play. My match was against the same Jin player I had just fought. His handle was Megane, but im not sure if he was the same Megane that plays I-no in GG. He was a skinny short dude with thick black glasses. The first round was somewhat... close but he ended up getting in on me and I couldnt get him off me. The 2nd round he got me in this air combo and I bursted on accident when i wasnt trying to at all, the burst completely whiffed and I got fucking punished hard. I ended up losing but honestly didnt really even care. You can watch it here. I watched the next few matches and Megane Jin went on to win the whole winners bracket. After that they started losers and I was the 2nd match to play. I was to fight a Bang player, I dont remember his name. I just zoned well and kept him away and ended up beating him 2 rounds straight. Shortly after, my next match was vs a Litchi player. I have a lot of trouble with this matchup and this time was no different. The rounds were pretty close but I ended up losing to him. You can watch the match here. After that I decided to just stay and watch the rest cuz I wanted to see who won. VPA beat the Litchi I lost to and then beat a white colored Ragna in a mirror match. He then made it to the finals against Megane Jin. It was a bit one sided and Megane Jin beat him down to take the whole tournament.

After it was over, I congratulated Megane Jin and told him he was really good. He said its Jin thats really good heheh. I asked him if he was going to the tournament tomorrow at Club Sega Shinjuku. He said he didnt even know about it. I had to go to the bathroom kinda bad so I said bye to him and VPA and took care of that. After that I decided to continue on with my quest of finding a place where I could try out some Arakune stuff. I figured I would check out the arcades on the south end of Shinjuku station. On my way there, I stopped by the cigar shop and got that cigar I forgot to buy earlier.

First I hit up Club Sega Shinjuku but there were too many people playing as I pretty much expected. Up next I went to Spot 21. This place also had a lot of people. I then went to Joybox and there were people there too. I was pretty much out of options so I just said fuck it and figured if im gonna lose a lot trying to learn Arakune with no knowledge or experience, I might as well do it at 50 yen a game instead of 100 yen a game. I played one match against some Ragna and lost. I got up to get more change and all of a sudden Rod just appears out of no where from the other side of the cab. He just arrived at Joybox. He mailed and called my phone but I didnt notice it. He said he figured I would be here so he just guessed right. He told me his class trip ended up being like 2 hours of all you can drink so he was kinda drunk. I immedietly told Rod I had decided to drop Rachel for Arakune. He seemed to think it was a good call since he suites my play style.

We all played some games for a while and I actually did manage to win a few matches with Arakune despite not really knowing anything. I didnt know any combos or links or what the properties of any of his moves were but I improvised and managed to win here and there. The thing was, I didnt even mind losing! I was having a lot of fun just using the character! I would sometimes get very frusterated when I lost with Rachel, espessially when it was due to execution issues. I noticed that with Arakune, controlling him just felt kinda more natural to me and and even though I had no idea what I was doing with him, everything I tried to do (among the stuff I knew how to do) at least always came out when I wanted it to.

After about an hour or so of playing, Rod said he had plans to meet up with Tomoko in front of this one bar. It was already 10 and I figured I might as well just go drinking with them so we left. We waited for Tomoko in front of the bar for a bit but she was taking a while so I went to get a corn dog and a redbull from the conbini. When I came back she was there with her friend from Osaka (I think her name was Emi). Emi was just visiting for the weekend so she wanted to walk around and see some of Kabuki-cho, so we did a little walking around. Rod asked them where they wanted to go, and Tomoko asked us to show her where we always play games, so we ended up going to Vegas lol! She wanted to watch us play, so I played a game of Blazblue. I picked Arakune and played against a Litchi player but I wasnt doing so well. She was cheering me on and stuff all enthusiasticly but sorta did like this pouty thing when I lost haha. I told her that I just started learning this character like an hour ago so I wasnt good yet. Rod played for a bit with his Tager and did much better.

After watching us play for a bit, Tomoko and Emi left cuz Tomoko had to walk her to the station where she would get on her overnight bus. She said she would come back, so Rod and I just played and waited. Rod ended up playing a little Gear, and I continued to try to beat the Litchi player from before. Eventually Tomoko came back and stuck around for a bit, but then she said she suddenly said goodbye and left. I figured she was going drinking with us but I didnt know the details. I continued to play and after I think maybe like 9 or 10 tries, I finally beat the guy with Arakune. After that, he got up and left. He was probly like thinking "fucking scrub, im leaving" which is exactly what I wanted! This meant I was finally free to try to play against the computer and actually test stuff out! I probably only played for about 10 or 15 minutes against the computer. I was able to find out at least what links into what to an extent and found out the commands for some of his moves that werent listed on the cab, as well as discovered all his command normals. I also realized how the curse works. Up until this point, I didnt even know that button presses summoned bugs, I thought it was just random! LOL! Previously I had never read any of the character specific information about the game other than the stuff for Rachel cuz I just wanted to focus on getting good with her. I also read general system mechanic stuff, of course, though. This is why I honestly had no idea wtf I was doing with Arakune. Its a miracle I won any matches at all LOL! I wanted to test out some more stuff, but suddenly they started turning the lights off. I checked the time and it was already like passed 12:30.

I hadnt seen Rod in a while so I went over to check and he was just messing around against the computer in GG. I asked him whats up and he said that Tomoko ended up going to some party at her friend Mai's place. I guess he asked Tomoko if she wanted to go with him together but she said she was just gonna go alone. Appearently Mai told Rod in an email that he could come by too but I guess there was some sorta confusion. I dont know the exact details, but in any case, Rod was contemplating about whether or not he should go to the party since we originally were gonna hit up Current for the metal event. I kinda wanted to go to Current, but Rod said that Mai told him its ok for me to go to the party as well. I can go to Current anytime and a party sounded like fun, so I figured why the hell not.

We left Vegas and headed to the station but we found out that the last train had already gone. I suggested we ask a cab driver how much cab fair would be. He said 2000 yen and we figured if we split that it was totally affordable, so we just took a cab out to the area where Mai lives. She met us at the station with another girl. The other girl was her friend Nao. She told us that Nao was the DJ. She was pretty cute, had a cute hat and glasses and a nice face. As we were walking to Mai's apartment we were talking and it turned out that somewhere along the line, someone misunderstood someone or something... but somehow this "party" we were invited to ended up being just the 4 of us hanging out at Mai's apartment with Tomoko coming by later. I kinda wanted to experience a Japanese house party since I had never been to one but I figured Id just make the most of it. We were stuck there anyway since the trains stopped. We stopped by at a Family Mart on the way to buy some booze. I ended up getting four 500 ml cans of Kirin 7 strong (which is like a cheap beer that has 7% abv). It tastes alright for a cheap beer and I had never tried drinking it all night before so I wanted to test how well it worked out for future reference. Rod bought some Umeshu.

We arrived at Mai's, who lives alone in a pretty nice apartment. Nao got to work as DJ (just putting what songs she wanted to hear on the CD player). She had a big selection of stuff though and a lot of it was stuff I had never heard of before; lots of indie kinda music but some of it was actually really good. We pretty much just all drank and talked and chilled for a while. Eventually Mai went to meet up with Tomoko who was waiting for her, so Rod hid up on the bunk bed and I hid underneath under some blankets. Tomoko didnt know we were there. When she entered the room we jumped out and scared the shit out of her. She was all surprised and shit haha. I honestly dont really know what the deal is with her and Rod at the moment but im pretty sure she likes him. She seemed embarresed at first but eventually she got all snugly with Rod. Most of the rest of the night was us all just getting really drunk and hanging out talking and listening to music. Nothing crazy or wild really happened. At around 5 am I was just getting straight up rocked by those Kirin 7 strongs and started to pass out. Everyone else was getting tired too. We all went to sleep shortly after. Rod slept next to Tomoko up on the top bunk. I slept really good and it was way more comfortable than the manga kissa.

I woke up the next day and Tomoko was playing the piano (Mai has a grand Piano in her bedroom which takes up like 1/3 of the whole room, shes a music major at her university). After a little bit more relaxing, Tomoko had to leave. Nao had already left earlier in the morning. Rod and I stayed and messed around on Mai's piano for a bit with her. Mai asked me if I wanted to stay here every weekend lol! Im not sure if she was serious or joking but I told her I probly would be mostly staying at the manga kissa haha. Mai walked us out and we sorta snuck around all Solid Snake style cuz I guess Mai was sensative about her neighbors seeing her leave her apartment with 2 guys in the early afternoon. Japanese people often tend to gossip and are very observent of what goes on in their local communities a lot of the time. We snuck out with no problem and then Mai walked us to the train station. We thanked her for having us over and said goodbye and got on the train.

We headed back over to Shinjuku cuz we were gonna play in today's BB tournament at Club Sega Shinjuku. However, we were both really hungry so we decided get some food first at the Indian resturaunt over by Current. After eating, we walked to Club Sega and on the way we passed by a pachinko place. A new Star Wars pachinko game came out this weekend and there were all kinds of Darth Vader shit all over the place. Rod told me he had a storm trooper give him some free tissue earlier LOL.

We made it to the tournament on time. Infact, when we got there, I was surprised to see it was dead. I then realized that SIGNUPS start at 2, but I originally thought the tournament started at 2. By about 2:15 or so it started to fill up as people began to sign up. MIU was there doing signups and would be running the tournament as expected. I decided that despite still hardly knowing how to use the character, I would enter today as Arakune. Even though I knew I wasnt gonna do well, I figured its just a waste of time for me to keep using Rachel if I really was serious about switching. Rod entered as Tager. I dont know who everyone was who entered, but a few noteworthy players were there. DIE-chan was there and he entered as Noel. Karun was there and he entered as Litchi. Also, this one really short, blue Potemkin player whos pretty good that I always saw at SBO quals was there playing Tager, but I dont know his name.

I talked with MIU a little and told him I was changing to Arakune cuz hes more interesting to me than Rachel. He said Rachel is also an interesting character, to which I agreed, but told him that Arakune suits my play style more IMO. He told me he still hasnt really played the game all that much yet but will probably main Ragna, which was to be expected.

I still had my cigar from the previous day. I didnt wanna be rude and smoke it in Mai's apartment so I saved it. I figured I might as well just bust it out now and enjoy a nice cuban while i play in today's tournament. MIU was kinda enough to give me a razor to use to cut it and I lit that sucker up and enjoyed it throughout the whole tournament.

Eventually the tournament started and it was time to see how my one-day-Arakune would fair in his first tournament. I still honestly felt like I had no idea what I was doing yet with this character but fuck it, I was gonna have fun anyway! They called my match and Rods match at the same time so we played on the cabs next to eachother. Rod was to fight a Taokaka and I was to fight a Rachel (kinda like fighting my old self, execpt this Rachel was way better than mine). I actually did a lot better than I was expecting to. I even won a round! The last round wasnt too bad, I got him down to like less than half life, but he beat me. I didnt really care nor have any regrets. Rod's match was really close but he got hit by the Taokaka super and didnt know that it was unblockable and ended up losing. Had he known, he could have easily using several other options to stop it but oh well. We decided that instead of sticking around to watch the rest of the tournament, we would just head out and go practice some more at Joybox.

We said bye and thank you to MIU and went on our way. When we arrived at Joybox we were shocked to see that they now had TWO BB machines, both still at 50 yen per play! Fuck yea! There were people there playing, so I didnt get a chance to go into arcade mode again, but we played a bunch of casuals anyway. Rod only stayed for about an hour or so because he had plans to meet up with Tomoko again. When it was time for him to go I said bye to him and just continued to play.

Things were going fine for a while and I would win now and then. Then blue Taokaka happened... He beat me but then I rematched him and I beat him. After that, there was like a minute or so of time when no one played me and I was thinking, "sweet, I can learn combos!" but then he challenged me again. This time I lost to him... then I lost to him again... and again... and again... At first, it was fine. I didnt care, I wasnt getting upset, and I didnt mind losing. The guy was decent but not like amazing. I had fought, and beaten, better Taokaka's before back when I was using Rachel. The thing that started to piss me off, was then guy eventually just started fucking with me. At some point, he just tried to throw me every single fucking chance he got, to the point where it was just mindless and excessive. It worked a little for like one match and I caught on quick and then I just started teching it every time, but the guy just wouldnt give up. Then he started doing some stupid crap where he did these 2 moves over and over again, and I couldnt do anything. I dont know Taokaka's moves by name but it was like some quick hit and then this overhead hop thing, which left me in block stun long enough to do another quick hit, into another hop, which he just kept repeating. I was able to burst away from it and dead angle away, but when I didnt have bar or burst, he just kept doing it over... and over... and over. I couldnt squeeze in any normals. Appearently Arakune doesnt have anything fast enough to interupt it. I tried instant blocking and doing a standing A but for some reason it didnt seem to work either. I probably was just timing it wrong, but the sheer scrubbyness of this shit was just pissing me off. If I was Rachel I could have easily just done 2C (the electric chair) and that shit would have been done, but since I was Arakune I had no idea how to get away. The guy just kept spamming this shit like a fuck tard. After the match, I went over to him and told him this was my first day of using Arakune and asked him what move can interupt that. He said he didnt know. The guy was like this pudgy little shit head looking guy. He had this pig snout nose and this stupid smartass grin on his face. You could tell he thought he was like the best player ever and was totally just trying to fuck with me. I played him again and he went back to doing that stupid crap and eventually he started playing normally again. Im all about the playing to win mindset and doing whatever works, but its obvious that in a match against someone who knows what they are doing, that that tactic isnt gonna work. Instead of actually trying to gain experience playing his character right, he chose to just be a dick head and abuse some crap that will never work in a match down the road. Thats why I was getting annoyed. The sad thing was, there were so many times when I came within a pixel of beating this guy but he somehow always managed to just get lucky at the last second and pull ahead. I couldnt help but get a little pissed off at this whole situation but I just thought to myself, im almost beating some guy whos probably been playing the game every day since it came out for 3 weeks with his character and im using a character I dont even know how to use on my first day and almost winning, all the while this guy knows this is my first day yet he still thinks hes like totally awsome. There were lots of times I considered just picking Rachel and tearing him a new asshole but I figured, whats the point, I wont learn anything that way.

Eventually after lots of tries, I beat the guy, which was like a minute or so before I had to leave to catch the last train. As soon as I won, I just got up and left and headed for the train station. I was still kind adjitated but eventually just shook it off and just passed out on the train and slept the whole way home.

Now, more than ever, I wish I could practice the game during the week, because I have so much I want to learn with Arakune. Hes just so much more fun to play as than Rachel for me. Its funny cuz I started out playing Guilty Gear as a Millia player and even used her in XX for the first few weeks of playing the game until one day I just decided to try out Faust and it just felt so right. I have this same feeling from Arakune, I just need to learn how to use him. Unfortunately, unlike with Faust, I dont have access to training mode. Yesterday, I finally read the Arakune thread and watched some match vids of him for the first time and now I finally understand a lot of things about him. If I knew all that stuff that I know now, I would have destroyed that Taokaka so hard lol! I hope hes back again next week. I look forward to wiping that smartass smirk off his pig nosed face.

...anyway..... it feels good to have joined the Crimson side of the force.

No comments:

Post a Comment