Since Wednesday in Japan was a national holiday, it meant I had no work and it also meant that it was the day for the next SBO qual in the B-4 Chiba block. My team for this one would be Kaking (ED) and Yuki (IN).
headed out for Shinjuku after work on Tuesday night cuz I wanted to get
some practice in. I went to Vegas and Yuki met me there as well.
There was a decent amount of players there. While I was there, I wrote
down the results of every single casual match I played that night so...
here it is!
win vs SO
win vs Yuki 3 times
win vs AX
lose vs Yuki
win vs Yuki
win vs SL
win vs JO 4 times
win vs black IN (I think this was the guy that beat 012's team at Game Newton qual)
lose vs black IN
win vs SO
lose vs Yuki
this point, while I was waiting for a cab to open up to play my next
match, all of a sudden MIU appears! We started talking about various
things. I told him how I was thinking about going to Hokkaido for the
quals going on there next week but that I needed a team first. He said
he would like to go but has to work so he cant. Also we were talking
about EVO and he said he might not go this year and doesnt like the fact
that GG will be singles this year. He said he will be visiting New
York next winter to hang out with Karl (the Testament player who I met
who a long time ago who used to live in Japan). Also, at this point,
Rod was at Vegas too and he just bought some new Uniqlo video game
shirts. He got a rockman one and a SFII one. MIU thought they were
amusing so he took pictures of Rod holding up the shirts.
After that I got back on the cabs to play some more and...
win vs SO
win vs VE 3 times
vs SO 12 times (yes this same Sol player challenged me 12 times in a
row and I think he won maybe 1 or 2 rounds out of the entire 12 3/5
round games LOL!)
lose vs Yuki
win vs Yuki
then I lost to a
blue Anji player. Judging by the play style and skill level, I assumed
it was Kunihiro. I played him again and then I beat him twice in a
row. Then he came back hard and beat me 4 times. Then I beat him once
more. After that, sure enough, Kunihiro came around to the other side
and said he also had assumed it was me playing Faust haha. He was
playing extremely well and seems like he has been practicing a lot
lately. We talked for a bit after this. I told him I was sorry for
dropping him from my team last time but he totally understood since he
cant enter the Chiba block finals next Saturday anyway. I told him we
should team again sometime during a block where the finals arnt on a
Saturday. He wants to team with me again. Infact... I mentioned to him
about how I was thinking about going to the Hokkaido A-1 block that
takes place during next week's Golden Week holiday on 5/4 and 5/5 and he
said he wanted to go! So that meant if I could find one more person I
would be set. Basically, Matt wants to go to, but since Matt isnt going
to be around for SBO finals it would be best to find one more team
mate. Both Matt and I have never been to Hokkaido before so it would be
a nice excuse to go see it. I told Kunihiro if I could find one more
person to go with us we could make good plans and I would contact him.
After that, Kunihiro started playing on the cab next to me and then I
got another challenger...
win vs ED
win vs MI
win vs ED
lose vs ED
win vs ED
win vs FA 2 times
win vs Rod's SL
win vs Rod's IN 4 times
that, Rod came to the other side and said that he had to leave cuz he
needed to wake up for class the next day and the last train would be
coming soon so I said bye and he headed out. At this point, the only
ones left playing GG were me and Kunihiro and it was getting really late
and I was hungry as hell, so I told Kunhiro I was gonna head out, but
told him I would get back to him about the tournament in Hokkaido.
that, I got some quick food at Sukiya and headed to Current. On the
way in, I ran into SPG Chris who was on his way home. He told me there
was a decent size crowd in there. Sure enough it was a good crowd for a
weeknight. Mostly people I didnt know with a few regulars. I talked
with Chip pretty much the entire night. We mostly just talked about
video game related stuff from anything to what we are currently playing
to stuff going on in the game industry. Chip (who works for Dolby) said
he is currently working a little bit with the sound people for Final
Fantasy XIII and has heard the soundtrack and says its good. He also
says that he has heard that Square-enix is working on a new Chrono
Trigger game, and I really hope he is right and that its more like CT
than Chrono Cross. We talked about a whole bunch of other various stuff
too and drank lots of beers. It wasnt the most exciting night but it
was chill and I had fun. I drank till about 3 am and at this point most
of the people had cleared out. I could stay later but I figured it
would be best to just get some sleep earlier so I could practice before
tomorrow's tournament. I said bye to everyone and headed out to the
manga kissa for sleep.
I woke up at around 9:30 and saw something
I had never seen before. There were people standing outside of Vegas
waiting for the place to open. I cant honestly remember the last time I
was in Shinjuku where I woke up before like 10 am haha. Anyway, I
didnt bother waiting at Vegas, I just headed right to the train and went
to Motoyawata in Chiba where the tournament would be held. Game Ace
was pretty easy to find, it was right next to the station. I realized
when I walked in that I had been there for a qual last year but forgot.
There were already people there playing when I arrived. They had 2
nice sorta slanted side-by-side cab setups and both setups were hooked
up to seperate big flat screen TVs for spectators. Yuki told me he
would be arriving at Game Ace right at around 2 pm, when the tournament
would be starting. He wanted to practice at a game center close to his
house because he figured Game Ace would be crowded. I played some
Played a game vs Udei AX and lost.
Then I played a mirror match vs Kishya and beat him, once again showing how Faust vs Faust is random.
Then I lost to a Venom.
that, Ojima saw me lose and was saying how like VE isnt that bad and
was like saying what you should do to beat him blablabla and gets on the
cab and loses to him too haha!
Then I got a mail from Matt who said he was on his way to come watch.
After that, I was talking a little with Kuni, the Baiken player, and he said that he wasnt going to go to Hokkaido afterall.
played against his Slayer and won, winning all 3 rounds, 2 of which
were a perfect, and one I got hit like once. Then I played against AGF
Anji (black mustache Anji) and won, then I beat a Sol and a Chipp.
Finally Kuni rematched me with his Slayer and I lost in a close one.
this, I got a call from Kaking. I asked him if he was at the station
(cuz he wanted me to meet him there to show him how to get to Game Ace,
even though its really really easy to find) and he was like "no, im not
coming now". Im like "what? but I already signed us up." he was like
"cant you find someone else" and im like "nope, theres really no one
else I can team with". He said he would try to come and would contact
me sometime before the tournament if he could make it afterall. I wasnt
exactly sure why he couldnt come because its hard to understand
Japanese on the phone sometimes for me, espessially when you are talking
in Japanese to a Chinese guy with a bit of an accent. Basically it
sounded like some issue came up that he had to take care of. Anyway,
knowing this, I figured it would be best to try to find a back up plan.
I checked the signup sheet and noticed there was one person signed up
all by himself. And that person was none other than Ogiwara (aka
Basara). Those of you who have read my blog since last year know the
long history of trying to team up with Basara and all the BS I went
through lst year so I figured it was futile but I figured I would ask
anyway. I didnt see him anywhere around. I told Kuni about my problem
and he said maybe it would be worth at least sending him an email to see
if he was interested. I still had his email in my address book so I
sent him a mail basically saying "Im at Game Ace and see that you are
signed up alone. It turns out one of my team mates cant come and I need
a 3rd person. Would you like to join my team?" and basically his
response was "no, I want to enter the tournament by myself". Im just
thinking like ".... wtf, he would rather enter alone then team with me!?
wtf!?" I have no idea what his reasoning is but I guess knowing him,
im not all that surprised.
Around this time, Matt showed up. I
told him the situation and told him he would have to join my team as a
last resort if Kaking couldnt come. He said he would do it. I went and
told the signup guys the situaton and wrote Matt's name in there next
to Kaking and said I would tell them which one is on my team before the
tournament started. After waiting around a little longer, I got a call
from Kaking who said he would be coming afterall! So I didnt have to
worry about it and crossed Matt's name off the sheet again.
before 2 pm, Yuki showed up. At this point, they started to kick
everyone off the machines to set it up for tournament mode and make
brackets. While they were calling names for the brackets, they called
Ogiwara but he was no where to be found. Someone asked people to find
someone who was good friends with him to call him and then everyone
sorta looked at eachother like "uhh...." and finally someone called him.
Eventually he showed up all late and they didnt let him enter. I
thought it was funny. Thats what he gets for wanting to enter alone and
showing up late when he could have just joined my team... heh. After
making all the brackets and getting everything ready, it was already
like 2:45 or something... and Kaking hadnt arrived yet. He told me he
was gonna call me when he got to the station but I got no call. Luckily
we still had some time because when I picked our random number for the
bracket, we were placed as one of the last matches to fight first round.
I went to the train station to see if he was waiting there. I waited
there for him for about 10 minutes or so but didnt see him at all. I
tried calling him a bunch of times but it seemed that his phone was
turned off. I went back to Game Ace and told Yuki and Matt that I had
no idea wtf was going on. I told Matt that in the case that they call
our match and Kunihiro isnt here, we would ask them if we could change
the Eddie to Order Sol and have Matt play. I didnt think they would let
us though so in that scenario, I told Matt to just try to play Eddie. I
asked him if he knew how to use Eddie and he was like "well, I know how
to perform his special moves" and I was just like "...".
waited a bit longer and suddenly out of no where while we were watching
the match before our match would be called, Kaking shows up! He was
really sorry and asked if it was too late but was surprised when I told
him we didnt play yet. He said he was having some major problems with
his phone and had to go to the store to get it checked out and now it
was completely not working at all. In any case, now I had my full team
so it was all good.
Our first match was against a team of
PO/AN/HOS. We sent out Kaking first just cuz pretty much Eddie can
fight anyone. They put out their PO player. Kaking pretty much just
cheesed him to death with unblockables and PO didnt really have much of a
chance. Up next was their Anji. This match was really close and went
down to the last round. Kaking seemed to be having some trouble with it
and ended up losing. I was gonna go next but Yuki said he wanted to go
so I told him to go ahead. Yuki fought hard and won in a close match
in the last round to Anji. Up next was Order Sol. Just like with Anji,
this was a close one and in the final round, Yuki hit him with
something and could have killed him with one more hit but messed up and
didnt do it. They fought a little more and HOS started to come back but
then Yuki squeezed in the last hit ftw and we won our first match.
waited around a bit longer and our next match was against
Hase(SL)/Udei(AX)/ASA(PO). Once again, Kaking went first and once again
this team put their Potemkin first. Unfortunately, ASA is a lot better
than that other Potemkin and ended up beating Kaking's Eddie. Yuki
said Potemkin is hard for him and I dont mind the matchup so I went
next. I lost the first round. I fought hard and won the 2nd round.
The 3rd round was going well too. ASA had almost no life left and I
threw a bomb bag right in front of him on the ground and baited him into
doing a slide head and he landed into the bomb bag explosion radius
which was just enough to kill him and I won. Up next was Hase. The
first round was going really well and I hit him with lots of good combos
and pokes and was playing smart but eventually he hit me and when
Slayer hits you once you lose like 80% life. He ended up winning the
1st round. 2nd round started off OK but he had me in the corner and
went for a meaty forward kick and I was stupid and tried to forward
punch it which beats it clean if its timed right, but he did the kick
early enough to where I really should have just blocked cuz it wasnt
gonna get beat out and I got counterhit and he pretty much just did a
rape combo and I lost that one too. Last match was Yuki vs Hase. Yuki
tried his best but Hase's Slayer was just too much and Yuki fell as
well. And with that, we were out of the tournament.
about plans fot the next tournament after that with Kaking and Yuki.
Kaking said he probably will be fine with entering on Saturday for the
block finals and said he would contact me about it within the next few
days. Im pretty sure he will enter but hopefully it wont be some last
minute nail biter shit like today. Yuki said he was going to be going
to his hometown for Golden Week and wouldnt be around at all. I asked
him when he was leaving and he said he was leaving tomorrow. I then
thought to myself... then what would happen if we actually won today?
Yuki failed to tell me that fact before hand. I wonder if he would have
changed his travel plans if we did win. I would like to think he would
have but didnt bother asking about it. Im gonna make sure to bring up
the block finals stuff beforehand in the future from now one when I team
with someone for a non block finals prelim. Anyway, I already asked
Honyo to team with us for Saturday and he said he would so its no big
deal I guess. Yuki and Kaking both left shortly after that. Matt and I
decided to just stick around and watch the rest of the tournament.
Pretty much all the big names were there once again, just like last
time. There were a lot of upsets in this tournament. Teams that I
wouldnt have expected to lose other teams were getting peaced out. At
one point, TEN was about to OCV En/Nanashi/Limekey but then Limekey came
back in the last round vs TEN and ended up reverse OCVing, but then
they lost to some other team who I didnt even know who they were. Also,
Kishya lost in ANOTHER mirror match against this one default color
pony-tail Faust player and I dont know who he is either. He was good
though and I actually saw Kishya lose to him in a mirror match in
casuals earlier in the day as well. Hase's team also went on to lose to
the team of Goro (JA)/Fumo (AB)/Kayuro (SL). Actually, im not sure if
that is the Slayers name because the hand writing on the sheet is kinda
messy. The first Hiragana is definately "ka" and the last one is surely
"ro" but I cant tell what the middle one is. Looks kinda like a half
ass "yu" but it could be something else. Anyway I dont think ive ever
heard of the guy. Hase was fighting the other SL in a mirror match and
was about to win. He knocked him down with almost no life let and did
an OTG big bang upper to try to kill him but he ended up living with
like no life bar and was able to squeeze in a quick crouching punch to
kill Hase (who also had like no life left). Hase seemed shocked and the
rest of his team went on to lose after that.
tournament finals ended up being 2 teams I would never have guessed
based on all the beast teams that were there. The finals were Goro
(JA)/Fumo (AB)/Kayuro (SL) vs Shoo (FA)/ Chikusa (CH)/ Kurenai (JA).
The team name of this team was just "X" and was written like the way
they write it for the logo of the band "X Japan". The Jam player whos
name was simply the kanji for the word crimson (紅) which is pronounced
in Japanese as Kurenai, seems to be an obvious X Japan reference as well
considering its the name of one of their most popular songs. However,
you would figure someone like that would be an I-no player given the
references to that song in her stage being all crimson and her final
boss music being so similar to the actual song Kurenai itself. Anyway,
blablabla... first match of the finals was Jam vs Jam and Goro wins.
Then Shoo takes out Goro with his Faust. Up next Fumo's ABA beats Shoo
but then Chikusa takes out Fumo with his Chipp. Final match was Slayer
vs Chipp with Slayer taking the win for his team and they will now face
off on saturday against Inoue's team along with whoever wins the
Saturday prelim in the final showdown for the SBO spot.
again I took pictures of the entire sign up sheet and brackets so you
can see all the teams and who beat who. They will be uploaded to my
pictures page so check it out).
After the last match, everyone
pretty much poored out of there at the same time. Matt and I took the
train back to Shinjuku and enjoyed a snus on the way. On the way on the
train, I started mailing a bunch of people in my phone asking them if
they could possibly go to Hokkaido with me to enter the tournement
there. I didnt get any replies right away. When we got back, we were
hungry so we got some quick food and then went to play casuals for a bit
at Vegas. I had about and hour and half left ill I had to head back
home. I started out strong with a 10 win streak, the 10th win being
against Konsome's PO. Around this time, I decided to put that snus back
in. He rematched me and I lost 3 times in a row and then beat him
again. Then I lost again and someone else got on so I went over to the
other side of the cabs to fight some other people. Baim was over there
and I was talking with her a bit. She said how shes supposed to go to
the zoo with Natsume or "pet" as she always refers to him as, but she
says he doesnt really want to go hah. She had been trying to beat
Mitsurugi's Zappa who had a big streak but couldnt beat him so I said I
would give it a shot. I played him like 3 times and lost all of them.
He was simply on fire today, you could hardly touch the guy. After
that, I played like one more game vs a Dizzy player and lost. I was
getting really tired, the snus buzz was kinda slowing down my reaction
time, and it was getting close to the time I needed to leave so Matt and
I headed out. Matt went on his way to Zin to go drinking and I headed
back to the train station to go home.
On the train on the way
home, I got replies from several of the people I mailed about Hokkaido.
All of them said they either had work or were busy with other stuff and
couldnt go. Junya, the Dizzy player said that she was considering
going actually but after thinking about it she said it would probably be
too expensive for her and stuff but she seemed like she really wanted
to go. Too bad. So as of now, I am still waiting to hear back from a
couple people but it seems pretty unlikely that any of them will want to
go. Matt still really wants to go and says if me, him, and Kunihiro go
out there, Matt will man up and play his best on our team and if we win
he will just change his travel plans and stay for SBO. As of now it
still seems up in the air. Matt will check at a travel agency tomorrow
for the best prices and see how much this trip would cost. Ill mail
Kunihiro and see if hes cool with just the 3 of us going. If he agrees
to it and the cost isnt insanely high, I guess its worth going out there
since I would like to travel there anyway and Golden Week is a good
time to do so.
So... I will be back in Tokyo again this weekend
and will be off of work for Golden Week up until next Thursday. I will
enter the final tournament for the Chiba block on Saturday. As far as
the Hokkaido tournament, we will have to see how that pans out.
Finally, the last day of Golden week (Wednesday) is the TRF qual in
which I also plan to enter but havnt decided on a team yet. Not sure
whats gonna happen, just gonna roll with it and see how things play out.