Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Soundstone and Kidney Stones

I spent Friday night chilling at home cuz I had a doctors appointment the next morning. Saturday morning, after my appointment, I headed to Tokyo. Today was the first Final Roundbats of the new 2011-2012 season. I called Bull410 to confirm the start time. It seemed like I had some time to spare so I got a hair cut. After that, I headed to the venue.

The venue is now changed to a place called Soundstone in Saitama. The Skylounge from before is no longer going to be used. I figured it would take less time than it did to get there and as a result, I showed up slightly late.

The format of Final Roundbats has now been changed. It used to be just a SSFIV tournament as the main event and sometimes we would play casuals for other games, too. Now, the event would have 4 main tournament games: Mortal Kombat 9, Tekken 6, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Super Street Fighter IV (this week it was regular Super but it will be changed to Arcade Edition once the patch is released for next time). Previously, we all just paid like 3000 yen to get in, it covered the cost of the tournament, plus all you can eat pizza and some free booze. Since it was now in a bar, the drinks were now to be purchased for 5 dollars each and there was no free food (though they sold some food at the bar). The price to get in was still 3000 yen, but it gave you automatic entry into all 4 tournaments as well as 1 drink ticket. I honestly kinda miss the pizza and bring your own booze but this trade off did have its advantages.

Final Roundbats is now partnered with Gods Garden, which means that the entire event was streamed online. It also meant access to more consoles and TVs so we were able to get 4 setups going at a time. The games sorta rotated throughout the day. Mainly 1 or 2 were used for tournament and the remaining were for casuals. Also, since Gods Garden helped to advertise this event using twitter and stuff, tons more people came out this time. Lots of really good Japanese players were there. Among them were well known Guilty Gear players ABEGEN and Kusoru. Also, the number 1 top ranked player on XBOX live in all of Asia for MvC3 was there. And of course, the man himself, Tokido, was there as usual. Unfortunately, Tokido was only able to stay for the first 2 games so he was unable to participate in Marvel and SSFIV. Most of the regular guys from back at the skylounge tournaments showed up as well.

I showed up halfway through the MK9 tournament. Scott Popular told me I was already DQed but I didnt care because I have never even played MK9 before lol. I told them to sign me up for all the games just cuz it was free with entry but I have never played MK9 and I have also never played Tekken 6 as far as I could remember. I came mainly for Marvel and SSFIV.

Soon after I got there, I played some MvC3 casuals against a few people. I was able to beat all the people I played pretty easily and probably got like 10 wins or something. For now, my team is currently Amaterasu / Hsien-ko / Sentinel. I have been thinking about changing out Sentinel for someone else... maybe Dormammu or Zero but I am still thinking about it. I hadnt played MvC3 for a whole month while PSN was down. I have absolutely no one to play agaisnt offline so PSN is my only way to play matches. I figured I would just stick with the team I have been using for today and if I change it I would wait till next time.

Soon after MK9 ended, they interviewed the winner.

Not long after, they started Tekken 6. Im pretty sure I have never played Tekken 6 before. I used to play a LITTLE Tekken 5 so I figured I would just pick Jack-6 and hope he was similar to Jack-5 (the character I used in Tekken 5). I fought some Japanese dude and managed to get about half his life off each round but wasnt able to win any. I spend half the rounds trying to find out the commands for moves that were changed lol. I didnt care about this tournament anyway so its all good. After it was over, they interviewed Tokido, who won the tournament.

Anyway, after Tekken, I played some more MvC3 casuals. This time I fought a guy who was using Zero / Doom / Tron (I think this was the team). He was tough and I managed to barely beat him. After that game, I said "That was close" to him in Japanese. He didnt seem very pleased and wanted a rematch but this time he picked Zero / Dante / Wesker, which seemed to be his main team. I started Ammy on point and he had Zero. We sorta scrambled around for a bit each of us trying to get the first hit in. Eventually I got tagged in the air by Zero and that one hit led to Ammy dying right out, my next character not even being able to touch the ground and killed, and then finally the same thing happening to my final character. I honestly had no idea WTF to do and felt completely helpess! I straight out got perfected. I felt kinda dumb and wanted a rematch. This time I actually managed to hit him but I dropped my combo on accident and it resulted in me getting hit and the exact same scenario as last time happening. I felt pretty dumb and it really sorta gave me a discouraging feeling right before the MvC3 tournament was about to start. However, shortly after, I asked someone who this guy was. They told me he was the number 1 ranked player in all of Asia on XBOX live. Suddenly I didnt feel quite as stupid. I forgot what his handle is but Im sure if you went on Xbox live and checked, you could find out pretty easily (I dont have Xbox).

My first match of the tournament, I fought a guy whos name was Mike (I think.... and he wasnt the GG player Mike). I forgot what team he used but I almost perfected him and it ended pretty fast. Later, I found out that the tournament was best 2/3. I went back and told him that we had to play one more time but he said he just gave up and said its pointless cuz id beat him anyway heh. I dont think he really plays Marvel much. For my 2nd match, I fought a Japanese guy whos name I dont recall. He used Ammy / Dante / Wesker. He beat me the first match sorta bad. The 2nd match, I actually was doing pretty well for a bit. I had his Ammy in a combo with my Ammy and I went for the 236H relaunch bounce but it completely whiffed cuz im not used to doing that combo against Ammy's small hitbox and it resulted in me getting punished and it all fell apart from there. So with that, I was out of the tournament. There were several REALLY good Japanese players there and I felt like I was really behind since I hadnt played for a whole month. Looks like I need to go back to training mode and re-think my team, as well as get more match experience. I went and got a rum coke right after I lost in the tournament. I hadnt really been drinking much today till this point (only had one beer prior to this).

I was surprised that another good Japanese player that was there ended up beating the number 1 Xbox live guy in a mirror match with his same main team, taking him out of the tournament. ABEGEN did really well with his She-hulk / Thor / Tron team getting top 4. The finals came down to Kusoru vs the guy who beat Xbox number 1 guy. Kusoru used VJoe / Sent / Akuma. Kusoru has gotten REALLY good at this game. His VJoe was really good at zoning and chipping to start out but once he lost VJoe he was just tearing it up with Sent and Akuma anyway. Throughout the tournament I saw his lvl 3 Xfactor Akuma make so many comebacks (though of course lvl 3 Xfactor Akuma does excel at that). He also had one of the best Sentinels I have seen. In the end, he won the tournament and played extremely solid.

I played a few games of SSFIV casuals before the tournament started. At first I completely forgot that it was not AE and was using my Ultra 2 as if it was crappy AE Ultra 2 but then someone reminded me and I started using it like good ol regular Super Ultra 2 again heh. I hadnt really been playing SSFIV much lately ether due to PSN being down and not having gone to Tokyo much (and mostly playing GG when im there lately) so I felk like I was gonna be rusty but I actually was winning almost all my casual games. I was even beating most of the Japanese players there who I played and lots of them said they never fight strong Rose players and were giving me props.

The last tournament was SSFIV. My first match was against a Japanese Fei-long player. The whole time the tournaments were going on, they had 2 setups going for the tournaments and the main one was being streamed while the other was not. Until now, I only played on the one that wasnt being streamed but this time I was on the main setup and my match was being streamed. Format was single elim, one match, best of 5 rounds. As usual, I entered with Rose. I won the first round. Lost the 2nd round. 3rd round was close as hell and he did his ultra which I blocked and would have killed him, but I mis counted the number of hits in it and stopped blocking to punish too early and got hit by the last hit which killed me. Everyone was like WTF, as was I. I got my shit together though and took the last 2 rounds for the win.

The stream was lagging a bit so I was able to see my match on the main computer after it was over. Over 1000 people were watching the stream.

For my next match, I had to fight ANOTHER Japanese Fei-long player. This guy was a bit better and he beat me. I beat him once in casuals before the tournament but couldnt pull it off this time. Oh well.

The finals were between a really good Viper and a really good Ibuki. I believe the Ibuki player took the win. I ended up getting top 8 which is not bad I guess. I think 24 people entered.

UPDATE: The full results and brackets can be found here.

After the last tournament ended and the interview was over, they had casuals for a bit longer and for some odd reason they even had MvC2 and Double Dragon running at some point lol. Originally this event was supposed to last till 4 am with casuals and drinking going all night, but I guess Scott Popular and Bull410 were tired and wanted to wrap it up at midnight. So, I asked the bar tender when the last train back to Shinjuku was and he said to leave around 11:30 and I would be ok. I said bye to everyone and headed out and took the last train back to Shinjuku.

I headed to Current. SPG Chris, Sachiko, and Katsura were drinking on the steps outside. I went inside and there were a few regulars but it was mostly packed with people I didnt know. I ordered a beer and was shocked to find out that they raised the prices of the draft Heinekin beer from 500 yen to 600 yen! I guess it had something to do with the Tohoku Heinekin factory getting destoryed in the tsunami. Considering the draft beers at Current arnt very big to begin with, I dont think I will be getting draft beer anymore and will either switch to hard liquor on the rocks (which is also 500 yen) or Suntory Premium malts bottles for 600 yen but are bigger than the draft beers. For the rest of the night while I was at Current I drank some rum on the rocks.

I mostly sat outside with Sachiko, Chris, and Katsura talking about various stuff. Some random drunken Australian guy came out and was on the phone right by us. Then at some point his phone call ended and he just started butting into our conversation. He started blabbing on about how he cant speak Japanese but he has been living here for like 10 years and he opened some sort of exporting business. At first he wouldnt say what he exported but then he mumbled some stuff about cars. He kept saying how you just have to "do it" and take initiative to start a business but when we asked him out he couldnt even give us a straight answer. He said crap like "I just made hundreds of phone calls" and seemed so drunk that he could hardly get the words out of his mouth. He even would occasionally just say stuff like "wow im wasted". We were sorta laughing a bit since this guy was so wasted and had like this "im better than you guys and cant even speak Japanese" attitude. He started to get pissed off and went away but we didnt even really say anything and were actually being quite polite to him. Shortly after, Chris, Sachiko, and I went to 7-11 across the street for a snack. When we came back, Katsura said the guy came out and tried to hit on her and ask her to dance, so she said she pretended not to speak English even though she was speaking fluent English when he was talking to us earlier, lol!

We got to talking about how lately Current has been going down hill with lots of annoying customers and the staff not playing requests and just playing the same songs every time. We all felt like listening to some metal, so at first we were gonna go to GODZ but then Chris was bitching about how he had to get up early for band practice with his new band. Then Katsura suggested we all just go drink at Chris's place. Chris agreed so we walked there.

Chris lives just outside Shinjuku and just moved to a new place like a week ago. He has a conbini right under his building that sells some good micro brews so I picked up a few Aooni IPAs to drink inside. His roommate was there as well. We mostly just sat around and watching awsome metal music videos on his computer (he has a huge screen on his brand new mac) and drank and talked shit. His roommate let me try his 3DS. Ive never played a 3DS till now. He had SSFIV. I was actually very unimpressed by the 3d effects. I thought the 3D on the 3DS would look much better but in all honesty it seems gimicky as hell. Not really sure Id want to buy one until the price goes down quite a bit.

I was pretty tired and started nodding off at around 4:30. At around 5, Katsura and I left together to walk to the station. We went our separate ways. I went back to Shinjuku station and then went to the manga kissa and she went home.

The next morning I went to get Burger King but was shocked to find that the Shinjuku Kabuki-cho BK shut down. Bummer. I then went to Akihabara cuz I needed some blank DVDs. I was gonna get a kebab there but the good stand by the station was also gone. Bummer again. I ended up settling for some fried shrimp over rice. I got a 100 pack of DVD-Rs for dirt cheap. I then went to Club Sega and played GG for about an hour. I fought against Basara (Ogiwara)'s Testament and beat him for my first match, ending his win streak. Then he went on another cab and I beat a decent Ky a few times. Lost to the Ky once. Beat him a few more times and then beat a HOS. Then some annoying May player came along and beat me like 3 or 4 times. I still fucking hate May with a passion. After that, I decided to play a few games of SSFIVAE. I fought against an Evil Ryu player for the very first time. The guy wasnt very good and I won. I also beat some really bad Claw player. I wanted to catch the next train soon so then I just died on purpose to the computer to get my card back and left.

After I got home, I spent the rest of the evening with Ryoko.

I got in contact with the doctor about my health checkup on Monday and it turns out I have gout. Gout is a kind of arthritus that results from abormaly high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is mostly produced from eating lots of red meat, seafood, and drinking alcohol (espessially beer)... so its no wonder I would develop this condition considering I love drinking and eating meat. I started feeling really fatigued ever since I came back from Korea. I guess 5 days of binge drinking and Korean BBQ got the best of me. So, im gonna go on a special diet for a bit and try to cut down on drinking until the pain in my joints subsides. I gotta get that uric acid level down. Once thats over, hopefully I can go back to drinking like normal. Until then, its gonna suck, but oh well. Could be worse. Unfortunately this also often results in kidney stones and problems related to that, so I get to look forward to the excruciating pain that comes with that some day. yay...

Not sure what my plans are for next weekend but Ill post if its worth talking about.

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