For you 3S players that have been to Japan

Any interesting stories or experiences to tell?? Even better Id like to hear about a US players’ overall experience playing 3S over there

Where did you go? Who did you play/meet?

Still can believe i turned 30, got engaged and still havent made it to Japan for some 3s lol (my priorities are out of wack)

hopefully by next year i’ll get to roll out there with Nica, link up with Issei and get to play some of the greats. I got Ruu and Matsuken on my “must play and meet” list

Will 3s ever die in Japan? At some point wont all the CPS3 boards just physically die?

Not if they’re maintained properly. Same with any old electronics. You can replace the batteries without killing the board and all so there’s really no issue even without Capcom’s help. It just requires some knowledge. Just need to keep them clean, cool, dry and don’t let them sit too long.

One way or another people will keep it going until there’s really no one to play.

got some pretty crazy stories but they definitely need to be told in person haha.

capcom japan fixes cps3 boards if they die. 3rd strike wont be going anywhere for a long time.

Long long post coming. Read if you feel like it, but if it’s tl;dr: Fun times, fun times~

I’ve only managed to play against a few famous Fukuoka players during my four years there. A lot of the casual players, though, were still better than most of the guys I fought against in America. It seemed like I was going up against Alex Valle Lite whenever I played against a good Ryu(I fought Valle’s Ryu before, insanely hard). The biggest names I played against though, were Deshiken, Goemon, Suzu and Tetsugoshi.

Goemon was the first top player I went against, and it was in a small tournament at Tenjin Gigo. He played Yun in the tourn(he still plays Yang btw), but I couldn’t touch him. He pretty much had me on lockdown every time, pretty much imagine the KO/Kuroda fight at SBO2K5, only I got raped worse. He knew he could do whatever he wanted to me, so it was just bad, lol. He stuck around for a bit for casuals, and he played Yang. He was the first dude that taught me to be afraid of the twins’ command grabs. So bad…

Suzu and Tetsugoshi, I got to play against during the day of SBO Quals at the Fukuoka Bus Center: they have an arcade on the top floor with a bunch of fighting games. Ultimately I couldn’t enter the Qualifiers because I had no other team members, and this was during casuals. Suzu introduced me to just how bad Chun’s mixup game after SA2 was, because he would land SA2->LP reset->dash under b.HP(or cl.HK)xxSA2 every single time. For some reason I knew that he was gonna cross me up but all those times I would still get hit. He had a streak going against the other players, and it was Tetsugoshi that ultimately ended up stopping him. I got to play him as well in a Q mirror, he got a perfect on me in the last round.

Deshiken was the highlight of my entire Japanese 3S experience. I went to Tenjin Gigo during the Spring Golden Week of 2008, and I noticed a green Ken playing, so I sat down and played, chose Dudley. I had no chance, so I switched to Q. He would get me to the corner every single time, but he would just…not do anything. He’d just stand there, right outside cr.MK distance and waiting for me to do anything just to counterpoke. I knew that I couldn’t do anything, because I knew that he would see me and hitconfirm cr.MK to Super. As I played him, I remembered his style of play from the Coop Cup 4 vid. He would do the same thing to Kuroda’s Q, just throw him in the corner, and wait for him to do anything. Based on this, and recognizing how Deshiken looked from the SBO3 pre-fight interview, I realized this dude was Deshiken. That was the heaviest shit on my back after realizing, haha.
I played him 20 games. He didn’t sandbag during any of those games, always stayed consistent. I lost all of those games, but I eventually started catching up to his playstyle. He was really good at hitconfirming cr.MK, but he wasn’t consistent. I knew that some moments he would just not do anything so I would dash-up throw just to show that I wasn’t going to just turtle it out the whole time. Some of those games got really close, the machine was set to 3/5. I would get him two rounds, and I almost won a game against him. I had him with two SA1 combos, he was down to little health while I had a good lead. That’s when he switched it up. He would rush me the fuck down, with cross-up EX Tatsus landing every single time and gave me NO room to breathe. It was like I was playing a completely different person, and it was just…scary.
He played one other person and threw the game because he had to leave, but I really wish I could’ve had a chance to talk to him. My respect for him went up tenfold after all those games because he didn’t treat me like some worthless scrub and sandbag it. I also felt a lot more comfortable with the Ken matchup afterward, so I really wanted to thank him for playing me. This is why I tend to get a bit biased when it comes to Deshiken, but there are tons of people who consider him to be the best Ken in Japan anyway.

I did manage to chat with quite a few of the casual players along the years, though. They ranged from freeters to college students to businessmen, and it was fun playing all of them. They gave me props for being able to hang with Q, and likewise they were all great players with their characters. I learned to be less afraid of certain matchups I had a lot of trouble against back then, like Makoto and Urien. I had to lose quite a bit during my first couple years, but I eventually could hang a lot better. heh

Overall though, I’d say it’s definitely worth going to Japan for some 3S. It would help if you went to areas that have a big scene though(I really should have gone to Monkey House at least once, but that place was pretty far from me). Not every place has packed 3S machines every night(if they have a machine at all), and not every area has a scene. It’s like saying Americans are really good at Marvel so they must have really strong Marvel players anywhere in the US, y’know?

As far as 3rd strike stories go, I do have many. Too many to type off the top of my head. So this will have to be quick and dirty.

Highlights include:

Pre-Tougeki Tourney at Club Sega Shinjuku 2008.
5 vs. 5. Seriously every top 3rd strike player in all of Japan was in attendance. If i remember correctly, 28 teams of 5 entered. You name a player, and he was there. Witnessing for the first time in person, Kuroda Gouki just raping teams left and right. Landed a triple tatsu in match. Being incredibly nervous since this was my first Japanese tourney.

Tougeki 2008. Differ Ariake.
The best Tougeki venue in my opinion. In a small, dirty, dark, warehouse type arena that is mainly used for pro-resu or wrestling. The big cube video screen just looks awesome. Waking up at 5 am to travel to last chance quals. Teaming up with Fubar and edma. Lost to an ibuki but was awesome for sure. The debut of 井上JAPAN. Watching Kuroda Gouki just beat everyone he faced, he really put on a show. Until he tried to get cute and Rikimaru gave it to him dirty. Watching the underdog team of Chinta, Saru, and K, beat RX army (RX, Nuki, KO) and make it all the way to grand finals only to get beat by a broken armed MOV. I heard he was in a bicycle accident just after the Club Sega Tourney. One of the best days of my life.

2009 Pre-Tougeki 5v5 at Club Sega Shinjuku, The Sequel.
My memories a little foggy at this point but we did have a solid team upon entering. Myself/bean/sebastian/Vinny/Rom. Had to play vs DED/Tsubo/Naitsu team. We did ok, but I’m sure we could have done better. No regrets. MOV vs Matsuken in the finals. MOV takes it.

2009 Game Versus.
Waking up at 7pm and eating breakfast lol, going to Game Versus and playing 3rd Strike from 9pm-7am. Getting back to our hotel and Drinking beers from 7am till passing out. We repeated this day maybe 10 times lol. Getting to play vs Kuroda a lot with most of his characters. Watching Aiku make a miracle comeback vs Pherai and having Aikus friend point and laugh in Pherais face LOL.

2009 Tougeki JCB Hall Tokyo Dome.
Tougeki makes it’s way to the big time with a huge, fancy, slick arena. There was a lot of buzz and gossip going around on who Kuroda would play in the tourney. I heard rumors of Hugo, Ibuki, Gouki, Ken, but no one knew. Signed up for last chance quals with team of myself/bean/Vinny. Winning the lottery to get picked to play only to hear our opponent was 井上JAPAN. Kuroda had picked Q. The same Q who I had watched countless times on my Cooperation Cup dvd, I had to play. Kuroda let me dash in throw maybe 4 times before he punished my dash in with cr jab sa2. Damn. Vinny and bean did better but we still lost. Watching Kuroda beat every single team he beat that day. He really put on another show again. Although Kuroda and MOV lost, seeing Boss and Rikimaru take it was good. They deserve it.

2010 I was lucky enough to be living in Tokyo. Getting to go to Game Versus on a regular basis. Going to Danisen on Fridays became my favorite part of the week. Getting to 10th dan was huge personal accomplishment. Getting to play very long sets vs MOV, Boss, Rikimaru really helped me level up. At this time I was living only a 4 min train ride to Takadanobaba Mikado, so I was playing there very regularly.

2010 Cooperation Cup Game Versus.
Man this event was awesome. Held on a 3 day weekend in Summer time, it was basically an entire weekend devoted to 3rd strike.
Friday was National Danisen with everyone outside Tokyo coming to play. Many awesome matches all around.
Saturday was the same character 5v5. Another awesome tourney. Had a more fun atmosphere than serious. Unfortunately I didn’t get to play due to showing up late. Had previous obligations that day.
Sunday was the Cooperation Cup 5v5. Great tournament. All the big boys in attendance, and seeing a lot of people clutch out victories for their team. Every match was great and I hope they release a DVD of this someday.

2010 Pre Tougeki Tournament 3v3 Takadanobaba Mikado.
Teamed with Ebara Hugo and Kuniko Dudley. Although our team was pretty ragtag and there were much stronger teams on the bracket, I had the mvp performance of my life. Personally beating MOV, Chinta, K, and ocv’ing another team as achor, we made it to grand finals. Losing to Matsuken, I was a little bummed I couldnt bring my team to victory but its ok. 2nd place isnt bad.

2010 Tougeki Makurhi Messe Chiba.
Definitely the least favorite of all the Tougeki’s Ive been to. Not picked for last chance quals was a bummer. Getting tricked by a Sf4 player from Kuwait or something into buying a expensive tougeki ticket when I didnt have to. 3rd Strike was given a side stage demotion. Tourney lasted like 40 mins. Matches were good, but nothing to compare to the past years Tougeki experience.

2011 Golden Week Tournaments.
Golden week is a National holiday in Japan. Basically no one has work for a week, and the 3rd Strike players really take advantage of this. In 4 days there was a National Danisen at Game Versus, a 3v3 at Mikado, a 5v5 at Mikado, and another 3v3 at Game Versus. Unfortunately I was only able to attend the events at Game Versus due to work/life. But they were awesome. Started in Mosa Rank and won 3 matches I believe vs Mester, AFM and Koushun. I was +3 in Mosa and was really confident. Then I lost in a mirror match vs Techi. For some reason my world turned upside down and I couldn’t win a match. Went on slump and fell back to Tsuwamono, then to 10th, then to 9th dan! At this point I decided to throw in the towel for the day, go pound a couple tallboys and spectate the rest of the dope matches going on.

The 3v3 the following day was really fun. Started early like noon and was super exciting. Teamed with Nakamura Dudley and BLUE Ibuki. 2 buddies of mine. The tourney started out with separate blocks playing in a Round Robin Tourney to determine who would win the block. The winners of the block were then put into a bracket which would be the tourney finals. Even though I was under pressure (our team name was, “we depend on Ryan” lol) we managed to win our block and advance to the tourney finals bracket. Didn’t do too well after that but its ok. Was still a great tournament. Crazy performances by Mimora, TM, YSB, and Kazuya.

2011 included many personal accomplishments. Getting 2nd place at Mikado 1 man 2v2 Team tournaments twice. Winning my first tourney in Japan in a random 2v2 at Mikado. Placing 2nd at a Game Bingo Singles. Advancing to Tsuwamono rank, and finally to Mosa. And I hope to be able to share more great stories from this years Tougeki in the winter.

I have seen so many great, awesome, amazing, 3rd strike matches that were never recorded. It’s really sad to say, but its true. Any dedicated 3rd Strike fan should travel to Tokyo asap to experience the awesomeness that Japan 3rd Strike is.

ITT hold dat is fuuuuuucking up

Wish I could go.

ryan covered some of mine but heres a few…

2009 Shibuya Sportsland Random Teams - These were a blast. Every tuesday there was a 4 hour free play deal for 300 yen and they would run a random team tournament. Got to team with Ochibi, YSB, Vanao, and the owner of Shibuya Sportsland himself. Sadly this place closed down :frowning: RIP

In 2010, I was just randomly at Club Sega Shinjuku one day and saw Rikimaru playing Yun on his lunch break. Dropped in a coin, and he triple perfected me. Went over to say whats up and he remembered me and was very nice haha.

2010 GameNewton Ooyama Freeplay - Finally got a chance to play a decent number of games against Match Gouki! This really opened my eyes to what it takes to be a strong Gouki player. Despite being pretty inactive for a while he hit HARD

I love hearing these stories about Japanese 3S. I want to go check it out for myself one of these days but it seems like a pretty expensive trip.

By the way, pherai I recently got to hear the Denjin podcast concerning your SBO 2009 trip and it was really great. Any chance that podcast will make a comeback at some point?

pops collar

Actually yes! Well, sort of. Not the Denjin podcast anymore, but me and some friends started one that is 100% 3s focused. The first episode is recorded but hasn’t been released yet. Glad to see there is some interest :slight_smile:

I will look forward to hearing it then.

Now if we can get both pherais new show and new Dr. subzero episodes, Id never be bored at work again.

Rikimaru got triple perfects with his secondary? Man, Japan breathes that game.

rikimarus alts are better than a lot of people that main them. guy is that good.

How did all of you get to Japan? Did you do the JET Program (where you have a bachelors and can teach over there). I want to find work over there, but it’s hard (I have a bachelors, and my wife is happy to move with me, but I’m not sure if the JET program gives you a pay check while you look for an apartment, or what).

Anyway, tips on this? Or your stories of how you got over there?

I went the hard way: save up money and go. I have acquaintances that live in Japan though, so they helped me out with everything for my first few months…from finding an apartment to stay in, to finding a language school nearby(one was REALLY close by, right next to Hakata Station), getting me a phone and so on. I studied at the language school for two years, and then went to an art college for another two. I was gonna look for a job after graduating but the whole ordeal left me broke, so I had to come back to the States. Currently trying to save up money to go back and continue career-hunting there. haha

I’m not sure how the JET program works to be honest, but it’d be a good idea to save up some money anyway. You’ll most likely be able to job extra cash with some under-the-table English teaching once you get there though. That’s what I did, on top of working at a little hostel.


theres an infinite amount of websites that discuss how to get a job or how to live in japan dawg.

Good to hear this, I can’t wait! Been a long while since any 3s related podcast came out…I think the uk ones are the latest and they arent really 100% 3s anyway.

I love these stories, I’ve heard a few of them already and they are still always great to re-imagine. I’ve probably read about Aikus friend laughing in Pherai’s face 4-5 times, and it never fails to make me laugh in real life for a good 10 seconds.

Moar plz