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Category: Gamespot Versus

Gamespot Versus 10.09.12


The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle videos from October 9nd, courtesy of supersf2turbo.

 

 

Gamespot Versus 10.02.12


The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle videos from October 2nd,  courtesy of supersf2turbo.

 

Super Turbo (SSF2X) in Tokyo, JAPAN

What follows is a write-up of my ST experiences while in Tokyo, Japan. Everything presented here is only my OPINION based on nine days of experience. Please do not take my account as fact because your experience in Japan may be completely different.
Minami-senju at sunrise.

To start, I’d like to give a huge thanks to damdai, nohoho, kuroppi, and t.akiba (in spirit) for helping me in locating all of the major ST arcades and providing the dates/times to go. I’d also like to thank mattsun, tonegawa, and sasori for being so patient, friendly, and welcoming despite my horrid attempts at speaking Japanese.

Time Table

[9/5] Arrived in Tokyo, Japan
[9/6] HEY Arcade (no event) and Nakano Royal (800YEN Freeplay)
[9/7] HEY Arcade (no event) and Mi-Ka-Do (no event)
[9/8] Mi-Ka-Do (Meet-up w/ Mattsun) and GameSpot Versus (Danisen Ranking Battle)
[9/9] GameSpot Versus (no event)
[9/10] HEY Arcade (no event)
[9/11] GameSpot Versus (50YEN for 2/3 Sets and East vs. West Team Battle)
[9/12] Mi-Ka-Do (500YEN Freeplay)
[9/13] Nakano Royal (800YEN Freeplay)
[9/14] Returned to Singapore

In-depth information (in Japanese) about the ST events held throughout the week can be found here.

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Arcade Information

H[irose]E[ntertainment]Y[ard]

Location: Akihabara
Event(s): None that I know of
QUICK: Constant competition, an extremely cheap price (10YEN/play) for ST, and you can catch some of the best shooter and beat-em-up players I have ever seen. However, there was only a single ST machine, and the player skill level was not very consistent the times I went.

HEY, where are you?

HEY is a great place to get acquainted with the arcade culture in Japan. Although my expectations were set high with regards to the skill level of the players in Japan, HEY did serve the purpose of teaching me the standard arcade etiquette (with some earlier insights from kuroppi). Basically, when you lose, get up and stand away from the machine for a bit (far enough to allow someone to sit down without bumping into you). Someone waiting will sit down or someone will come from the other side (if you want to be nice); otherwise, you simply sit back down and play. It’s pretty simple, but I had to get used to getting up when no one was around.

Much of my time at HEY was actually spent watching people lay the beatdown in Warriors of Fate, Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, DoDonPachi, Gundam ExtremeVS, and various hella old side-scrollers (never seen any of these games before) rather than playing ST, so I’m sure I missed out on some strong opponents while I was there.

Royal

Location: Nakano
Event(s): 800YEN Freeplay on THURS @ 19:00
QUICK: Small arcade but good competition on Thursdays. There were three H2H ST setups and quite a lot of room despite the size of the arcade. Normal price is 50YEN/play.

Nakano’s exterior and Super Turbo setups.

Unfortunately, Royal did not have many players show up for the Thursday freeplay nights, but the competition that did show up was pretty fierce. Nakano Broadway, where the arcade is located, is also a very cool place for shopping if you’re into hobby related stuff or anime. I did not go to this arcade on days other than Thursday, so I cannot really comment on the arcade’s off-hour competition. Much like HEY, it is a really nice place to get acquainted with the culture, and the atmosphere is very nice.

GameSpot Versus

Location: Nishi-Nippori
Event(s): 50YEN for 2play w/ East vs. West Team Battle on TUES ALL Day and Danisen Ranking Battle on various Saturdays @ 17:00
QUICK: Decent sized arcade with frequent tournaments and gatherings for various fighting games. ST price is 50YEN/play on off-days and 50YEN/2 plays on Tuesdays (you play a 2/3 match with your opponent). It’s not a huge arcade, it can be a bit cramped on event nights, but the competition is extremely strong for every game there.

(1) A wild Ohnuki was spotted at Nishinippori Versus while looking at its cellphone. (2) Stream station and main H2H setups.

Versus is a very nice arcade with great competition on the event days (which are frequent themselves). Some notables that I ran into here were Abebin, Sasori, Kurahashi, Hanashi, Hakase, Muneo, VIPER, Hiroyan, Nuki (who was playing 3rd Strike), and Shin, and that’s only a few of the players that were there. On the day of the team battle (50YEN/2 plays) there were eight H2H setups that had a top player on each machine, and for the danisen there were six H2H setups which were being cycled at a fast pace. Normally, there are only three H2H setups that are actually empty, but event days are truly amazing and intensely fun. I feel like this was the best place for satisfying the hardcore competitive aspect of my ST adventure in Japan.

On a side note, make sure you are clear in what character you’ll be playing in the team battle; otherwise, you might end up going first against an opponent you aren’t ready to face.

Mi-Ka-Do

Location: Takadanobaba
Event(s): 500YEN Freeplay on WED @ 19:00
QUICK: Amazing competition on Wednesdays and the AMAZING Mattsun on non-event days (whenever he is working). The price is 50YEN per play, and there are normally two H2H ST setups (seven setups on Wednesdays). Also, it seems like there is a tournament everyday for different individual fighting games (Melty Blood and Guilty Gear the two off-days that I went).

A vast jungle of Super Turbo machines along with a stream commentated by Yoshiwo and Tonegawa.

Much like HEY, Mi-Ka-Do is very spacious and houses a ton of old school games. The competition didn’t seem as regular here as it was at HEY, but on Wednesdays it is awesome. They put ST into seven H2H cabinets and all of them had players. Here are some of the players I encountered while at Mi-Ka-Do: YuuVega, Tsuji, Aoki Cyclone, Sasori, Mattsun (duh), ryu, TZW, Yoshiwo, Tonegawa, Nakamu, Tsunoppi (kuroppi’s half-brother?), and VIPER. Keep in mind that this was only a small percentage out of the players there.

Mi-Ka-Do is a great place to go for serious competition and a truly intense ST experience. They throw a single-match, single-elimination tournament while streaming the event, and there seems to be some kind of ranked FT10 series between those who have won the tournament that night and previous nights. I may have misunderstood this though. Also, for those interested, Mattsun sells DVD copies of every X-Mania that has been at Mi-Ka-Do (2000YEN/2-Disc Copy or 9000YEN/24-Disc Collection).
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Overall Impressions

When it comes to the strength of the players in Japan I felt like they had an extremely superior level of knowledge in terms of match-ups and character understanding. As a result it appeared that they would play at a faster pace with much more aggressive tactics (especially when it comes to Dictator). An example is their usage of safe-jumps and cross-ups. These two things were a staple of any knockdown situation with any character. Guile players would ALWAYS do ambiguous jump Short cross-ups or safe-jump Jab setups, Ryu players would do safe-jumps with Forward or Jab depending on the character with almost no cross-up attempts (unless it was a TATSU), and Dictator was just ridiculous. This coupled with an extremely strong understanding of their main characters made winning consistently against the veteran players nearly impossible (for me).

Sasori: X-Mania XIII champion and the artist formerly known as “danpei”

Character usage in Japan was very hard to judge in such a short amount of time with the few places I visited, but I was very much surprised at the amount of Dictator players. He easily took the majority when it came to most popular character in my experience there. And the Japanese flying ability with Dictator was ridiculous at even the most average level. While average Dictator players didn’t have the strategy of their stronger counterparts, their flying, execution, and bag of tricks were just as vast and were extremely spot-on.

Nevertheless, despite the amount of Dictator players between all four arcades, YuuVega seemed to be on a level all his own. His flying was on crack, every button was a mix-up, and he had some serious footsies that could not be cracked by many of the Mi-Ka-Do players.

Mattsun alongside “The Beast” YuuVega.

It seemed that their strength boiled down to character mastery. Most of the players in my experience only play the metagame that is present when you’re reaching a master understanding of your character (counters, combos, match-ups, etc.). And I believe that it’s due to the amount of players that have reached this level that the team tournament format is much more popular. Team tournaments allow players to compensate for extremely bad match-ups, get more matches, and can facilitate the different types of mastery each player has achieved. For example, when I asked how Sasori’s team managed to win X-Mania, I was told that Sasori is extremely strong at a particular match-up while Sashishi was strong at an opposing match-up, so they could compensate for each other’s weaknesses. Another example is when I asked Sasori about his view on the Ryu vs. Zangief match-up. He said that when he plays against Pony, it’s 8-2 or 7-3 in his favor; when he plays Gunze, it’s around 9-1 in his favor; but when he plays Mayakon, it’s 10-0 in Mayakon’s favor.

In terms of the differences in the ST culture of Japan, I found that there wasn’t much of a cutthroat competitive atmosphere. Although there were tournaments and epic team battles, it never felt like anyone was really ambitious about winning, and almost everyone seemed in good spirits during and after their matches (win or lose); everyone seemed to just gather to enjoy the game with people who share a similar hobby.

TZW supporting the game he broke so many years ago with a VHS tape and a controller.

To summarize, the trip was short and sweet (unlike this write-up). It was very enlightening to see the way the Japanese players take on this timeless game, but it was equally saddening that I could not spend enough time to get a true understanding of the ST culture. However, I was very happy to be a part of the ST scene for the limited amount of time that I had. Everyone was VERY friendly and welcoming, especially the arcade operators (Mattsun, the guys at Versus, and the guys at Nakano), and it was truly a blast to be a part of an arcade culture that really appreciates the freedom to play these games and enjoy them in the company of others.

I’ll be back. -Otoko no Mafin

Gamespot Versus 9.25.12


The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle videos from September 25th,  courtesy of supersf2turbo.

 

Gamespot Versus 9.18.12


The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle videos from September 18th,  courtesy of supersf2turbo.

 

Gamespot Versus 9.11.12


The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle videos from September 11th,  courtesy of supersf2turbo.

This week’s videos feature MuffinMan leading off the team battle for the East team!

 

 

Gamespot Versus 9.4.12


The latest GameSpot Versus East vs West battle videos from September 4th, courtesy of supersf2turbo.

Also a heads up, STR’s own MuffinMan is vacationing in Japan and is planning on attending the next team battle so be on the lookout for him in next week’s videos!

 

 

Japan ST and Gian Recital writeup

Report by kuroppi:

I’m finally over most of my jetlag so I found a little time to write up a summary of my small ST experience. I unfortunately, didn’t have a lot of time to play ST. I only played twice: once at Versus (Tuesday team battle) and at Gian Recital. I had a little writeup here about the Versus Gamespot team battle. This was a fun event to participate in. Everyone is trying to win but it’s a more casual atmoshphere. I met Tonegawa there, who invited me to join his team for Gian Recital. And Nikaiten was a super nice guy. He was happy to post up the ToL flyer I printed up and even laminated it on the spot! I also met Keishin and Nakamura Cammy there.

On to Gian Recital:

I arrived at Mikado a little after 11AM. The pre-tournament started at 1PM and the tournament started at 2PM but I wanted to get there a little early and practice since I had not played ST since Versus, eleven days earlier.

There were some players already there but not too many. As soon as got up to the second floor, I saw a line of ST machines. Versus had six head-to-head ST machines but this was Gian Recital and Mikado went all out with twenty-one head-to-head ST machines! ST heaven! ?

I started seeing a couple of familiar faces from Versus, such as VIPER, Hiroyan, Keishin and a few others. I saw someone playing O. Honda and I recognized that it was Shogatsu. I had chatted with him on Twitter on a couple of occassions in recent months so it was really nice to meet him. XSPR (David Boudreau) showed up not too long after and he introduced me to a bunch of Japanese players, that I hadn’t met yet. The whos who of the Japanese ST world was there: Kurahashi, Komoda, KKY, MAO, Mattsun, Shogatsu, Sasori. Gian, and so on. Even TZW and T.Akiba were there. The room was now filled up big time. I estimated that there were about a hundred players there. The unfortunate thing was that the arcade, while bigger than Versus, was pretty cramped with that many people in there. it was also a pretty warm day and it was definitely hot in there.

Tonegawa, showed up shortly and I met the rest of our teammates: Taro (Blanka), Chouzin (Ken), and Kusa (Chun-Li).

Our first match was against “Shuttle Keikaku” (Yondaime – Sagat / The Superstar – Boxer / Gotou – Ryu / Oreryu – Ryu / ZTT – Zangief)

I went up first against Yondaime. I don’t remember being zoned out like that before by a N. Sagat. It almost felt like I was playing against O. Sagat. In fact, a couple of other N. Sagats players I faced in casuals felt similar. Anyway, the rounds were fairly close but his zoning was too strong and I couldn’t get in to do enough damage. Yondaime went on to take out the rest of our team until Kusa defeated him. But Kusa fell to the next player, who was Ryu. I didn’t catch who it which Ryu player it was but I believe it was Gotou.

We had to wait a while for the next block/bracket. The way they did the second bracket was a bit interesting. Basically, they seeded everyone and provided byes for those who did well in the first bracket. The top 4 in the first bracket received two byes in the new bracket. And since we lost our first match, I knew we would get a tough draw and what a murderous team we drew! (To be honest, before the match, I didn’t look at the program guide to see who our opponents were, but I did see Kurahashi on the other side so I knew we were in trouble!)

Italia5 (AFO – Blanka / Abebin – E.Honda / Keshin – Chun-Li / Sasori – Ryu / Kurahashi – Ryu)

Sasori started off for Italia5 and he took out Taro, Chouzin and Kusa fairly quickly from our team. Because Sasori was using Ryu, they didn’t want me going after he took out our first member. But when it got down to me and Tonegawa, I volunteered to go even though it was Ryu because I didn’t think I should be the anchor for our team.

So, at the time, I didn’t know I was playing against Sasori. That probably would have worked against me, knowing it was him. But with Kurahashi on the other side, this Ryu mowing through our team, I knew we couldn’t win this match but all I could think of was, I have to beat this Ryu because I don’t want to go 0-2 in this tournament and I also didn’t want to let my teammates down, as they were so nice to let me be a part of their team.

MuffinMan said he watched the recorded stream of the tournament the next day but it looks like they removed the archive so I’ was never able to watch back any of my matches, so I can’t really remember a lot of the details.

If I remember correctly, I pulled out a close first round victory by pixels on a trade. The second round didn’t go very well and Sasori won that one fairly convincingly. The third round went back and fourth, like the first round and I was eventually able to back him into the corner and knock him down. Time was starting to run out (I think about 20 seconds or so) and he had a super but very little heath remaining and I had a slight life lead. In the back of my mind, the thought crossed that he might wake up with a reversal super but I know good Ryu players won’t do that unless out of desperation, but Sasori did hit me with some beautiful wake up shoryukens during the match. So I started with a jab to fake a HHS (for chip damage) and took a slight step back and did a jump neutral fierce (steering backwards) right as he got up. I know if he does a wake up SRK (any version), if I’m far back enough I can trade or even hit clean but if I mistime it or I am not far engouh away, he’ll hit me clean. Fortunately, I had spaced it and timed it correctly and I did indeed trade and I pulled off the close victory.

My teammates, were cheering me along the way and Tonegawa was especially pumped.

I had to face Keishin next (again, I didn’t know who it was at the time) but just like my match with Sagat, I once again had trouble getting in on him. and my streak ended at one. He doesn’t seem to get talked about a lot and I think he is a very underestimated player. I watched him a bit during casuals and he is such a great player.

Tonegawa, who was on fire at Versus the week before, seemed to be having a bit of an off day and Keishin took him out fairly easily and we were eliminated.

It was disappointing going out 0-2 but I knew it would be tough. Our team was young (except for me -lol) and we had a very tough draw. But I had a great time experiencing my first Japanese tournament since SBO 2003. And it was great meeting a lot of new players.

I stayed for a while afterwards, talking to a couple of players and playing more casuals and I ran into Azteka (Blanka) who I met in 2003. I was shocked that he remembered me since it’s been so long. I had to leave before the top 8 started but I don’t think any results have been reported yet:

GIAN RECITAL 2012
May 5, 2012
Tokyo, JAPAN
Players: N/A
Video: YouTube

[table “” not found /]



I’d like to give a giant thanks to XSPR for coming out and introducing me to a number of players and helping out spread the word for ToL. My other giant thanks is to Tonegawa, who was so helpful to me both at Versus and at Gian Recital. I’m sure he is a pretty unknown player here but he has a stong Cammy and is the nicest guy you’ll meet. And it’s great to see a new-school player like him (he’s in his early 20s) have so much passion for ST. My teammate Kusu, who was a super nice guy and I got to talk to a little bit, as well as the rest of my teammates. Nikaiten (another super cool guy) and Mattsun for allowing me to post up ToL flyers at Versus and Mikado.

GameSpot Versus Weekly Battle

I attended the weekly team battle held at Gamespot Versus arcade off the Nishi-Nippori station in Tokyo, this past Tuesday.

I heard things would start around 7PM so I got there around 6:30 but I found out that signups would begin at 8PM and the team battle would start around 9PM. So that gave me a lot of time for casuals. There was only one person playing on the six head to head setups so I played for a bit against him. A few more people started showing up so it was a little weird, not knowing anyone there so I finally talked to the guy I was originally playing against. He turned out to be Nakamura Cammy so that was a pleasant surprise. I asked him about TOURNAMENT OF LEGENDS and showed him the flyer that I had and he wasn’t aware of it. He took me over to the front desk and introduced me to Nikaiten, who was in charge, and Tonegawa Cammy who was also there. They both knew of ToL and Nikaiten was happy to post the flyer up for me. I talked to all three of them for a while and Tonegawa invited me to join his team for Gian Recital on May 5th. I happily accepted and look forward to the tournament!

More and more players started showing up and I started recognizing some big names, like Kurahashi, Hiroyan, VIPER, Nidaime, etc. I wasn’t too familiar with a lot of the players but the skill level was very impressive from everyone in general. We eventually drew cards to determine teams and once we had our teams, we chose our team order. I wasn’t sure how playing in a team tournament would be but it turned out to be a lot of fun, rooting for your teammates and there were a lot of great matches along the way. I won’t post any spoilers so here are the videos:

 

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