Following are my impressions on all the new/recent games.
Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection ? Definitely the most popular 3D fighting game in Japan right now although I have a feeling that will change when VF5 comes out. Every arcade I went to had at least 2-3 machines with people constantly playing. You cannot purchase or customize your characters on the machines in the arcade. Instead you can only do it through your cell phone, which is more profitable for arcade operators since the machines generate more revenue per hour. Namco also added a second line for team name so people with crews, gangs, hommies etc can make their allegiance known. Hella more items now and I could barely recognize a lot of the characters since they went through crazy dramatic customizations. Jack-5 is ranked as the best character right now by Arcadia but I saw lots of players moping the floor with Mashimas. Steve is almost bottom ranked according to the arcadia list. (time to play Jack-5 Crow)
Guilty Gear Slash ? Most Popular 2D fighter in terms of traffic although a lot of top players don?t play it or have switched to different characters since the complete tier list has been revamped since #R. Yukinose plays testament and Kaqn switched to Ino, Kindevu isn?t even bothering to learn the game. Hella Kys everywhere.
KOF XI ? Most played KOF right now, although I don?t understand kof very much every team that was played consisted of Kula/Gato/Oswald or Eiji. Looks hella broke but I?m sure people are playing it to qualify for SBO4 just like they did for CFJ.
Neo Geo Battle Coliseum ? Already dead, players aren?t even making an effort to get good at this game. Mr. Big > All. Even kof newb like Campbell is trying to qualify for SBO in this game since no one plays. Mr.Big/random character will win!!! Barely anyone playing.
Samurai Showdown ? Mina is hella broke, has unblockable setups after knock down. Amaxus is stupid too with the vertical ball move that seems to randomly crossup or not. I mostly watched Bas and Fubarduck play each other and it seems that they both will qualify for SBO. Rumor is that Tokido has the best Mina although I?ve never seen it myself.
Hato no Ken (fist of the north star) ? Really ugly looking game, characters all look the same to me. Rei seems like the best character right now, random low lk. hk goes into a fat combo. Hella instant kills in the third round since most of the stars are gone from the previous rounds. Prediction: Dead after SBO
Melty Blood ? Didn?t watch, don?t care. Diediediediedie stupid game.
Interesting things that happened
Day 1 ? I arrived in Japan around 8 pm so most of my day was gone already, I spent most of the remaining time with Vanessa and Campbell playing random games at More. Note-Vanessa is staying with Campbell in Japan
Day 2 ? So Michelle decides to set-up a date between Roah and Vanessa so I tag along to play third wheel. Me and Vanessa met up with Michelle, her friend Aya who spoke English really well and Raoh. So we head out to Harajuku which is a big shopping area with hella weird stores, most of them for girls though. So the ladies would spend about 30 minutes in each store and I would wait outside with Roah wishing I was in an arcade or something. Raoh actually has a pretty extensive knowledge of the English vocabulary, he just has problems putting them into sentence. That wasn?t a big problem for me since I?m a fob and I could understand most of the stuff he was trying to say pretty well. I was surprised to find out that Luna Sea was one of Raoh?s favorite bands. They?ve been my favorite Japanese band ever since junior high so we got into this heated discussion about favorite band members/songs. I later asked Roah to come to showdown and he said he wants to so he can ?Kill Justin?. (Raoh lost to Justin at evo2k4 and 5). So it was around 8 p.m. and all of us head out to More to meet up with bas and bucktooth. I spend about 30 minutes watching Raoh rack up a 15 game streak on KOFXI (Roah was the kof98 champion in Japan), Kula/Gato/random is cheap. Then I head over to the CVS2 machines and watch bas rack up a 20 game win streak with A-are. Bas?s blanka and sakura are both really good but his bison is what separates him from the rest of the crop. Pretty much any jab or short would lead into a 5-6 hit combo and into 80% custom. He uses the rc charge down up move perfectly so he can run away and build meter at the same time. Funny thing is that he totally dominated all the More players but then Campbell peaces him out, go USA!!! I later went to dinner with bas, campbell and two other More players, Ichii (N ken/chun/sagat) and Kurusk (A-are) who also plays hella other games. Ichii is a mid tier more cvs2 player (but I?ve never beaten him once) and speaks hella crazy English. Overall it was a really fun and not bad for a Christmas day in a totally foreign country.
Day 5 ? Went with Buk and Bas to Yokohama to buy a new digital camera since my six year old powershot S100 finally died on me. We went to Yodabashi camera (one of the biggest electronic chains in Tokyo) and I finally settle on a Sony DSC-T5. I don?t think it takes the best pictures but it definitely looks good. Funny thing was that they had two models, one with just Japanese menus and the other one ?tourist model? with both English and Japanese menus but costs 5000 yen more. Since I?m Chink and could read Kanji I decided to save myself 50 bucks and go with the Japanese model. The best thing about Japanese electronic stores is that they have a point system and you get points for everything you spend, since my camera costs 29,000 yen I got 7000 yen knocked off my 1gig memory stick duo card (in the end it was like 1000 yen for the memory card). I wish they had policies like this in all the electronic stores in America since I buy hella electronics every month. We also visited one of bas?s favorite ramen stores, big ass bowl for 650 yen, chink it up!!!
Day 8 ? Kindevu decides to come to Tokyo and stay with Campbell for a couple of days since I was in town (but he actually wanted to see Vanessa). So we meet this fool up in the train station and he is wearing a sweatshirt with a bigass CROW written over it. (guess crow has fans all over the world including fat kids). So we head back and play CVS2 and some other random games for a while. Before we were about to sleep Kindevu is looking up all these stupid words in Japanese on his English dictionary. Stuff like premature ejaculation, erection, vagina and dumb shit like that. He really made an effort to teach me those words in Japanese but I pretty much forgot them in 5 minutes. Kindevu then asks me and Campbell to teach him something in English so we taught him STD, Kindevu thought it was funny so we decided to give him the new nickname of STD MASTA !!! and Kindevu randomly decided to give bas the new nickname of sexual harassment Masta although I?ve never seen bas do anything remotely close to even touching a girl. From then on I would call Kindevu STD Master in front of Vanessa and Kindevu would run up to her and say: No STD, NO STD! He would also say something in English like ?I?m going home tomorrow? even though he was there for like ten more days. To make it up to Kindevu I would play the bad guy and call Vanessa a bitch and Kindevu would run up to her saying: Vanessa no bitch, no bitch. Whatever helps him I guess.
Day 9 ? New years eve and hella people were gonna come over to campbells and celebrate. Me, Kindevu, Campbell and Vanessa spent about 2 hours cleaning up the pigsty to make it look inhabitable. So we had a couple hours to burn and I decide to turn on the tv and I see Pride fighting playing live (the new year?s tournament). Now I really love Japan!!! Fubarduck shows up a bit later and we all head down to the convenient store next to the train station to meet random Japanese players up. As soon as I entered the convenient store I see, Michelle, Ichii, Kurusk, Bas and hella other random players shoving snacks, beers, bitch drinks, random breads into their baskets. Being the good Houstonian that I am I pick up the basket and team up with Campbell and fubarduck to put as much beer as we can fit into our baskets. At check out our basket was a combined 5000 yen strong. So everyone head back to campbell?s and there were like 15 fools cramped into buktooth?s tiny apartment. People continue to show up like Raoh + more random fools and things were getting pretty out of hand since most of the beers were already gone. Bas decides to challenge Michelle and Vanessa to arm wrestling and got his ass murdered in under 10 seconds combined. Kindevu trots in and challenges fubarduck to arm wrestling, I though Ryan was gonna hold that shit down but Kindevu murders him too in under 3 seconds. After that Kindevu says in Japanese ?isn?t Texas weak?? Oh well fool is cheap. So 2006 finally arrives and everyone is going crazy and hugging each other. Then the Cops show up!!! Apparently we?ve had 4 complaints already from the neighbors and I thought this was going to turn into another episode of cops on American tv. Luckily Japanese Police are super nice and courteous so we didn?t get into any sort of problems, we just had to be quiet for the rest of the night. Five minutes later a Japanese player called Wet San shows up with two full bags of beer and screams ?HAPPY NEW YEAR? and everyone gives him the STFU sign. This Wet San is really a character. His full nickname is Wet Dream and he looks like a Japanese backstreet boy gone bad. He loves to say phrases like ?I?m coming??? and ?Oh Shittttt??? porno style. I pass out around 5am and woke up the next morning expecting the whole place to be dead but instead the same way as it was the night before (apparently Japanese don?t sleep at all, they only sleep when they?re in America). So everyone (15 of us) head out to Machida to eat and play games at Cat-eyes arcade. I watch Wet san beat Kindevu?s V-Akuma, Karin, Sakura hadily in A3 using V-Dhalsim. After he wins he would look me in the face and say ?I?m Coming Lay???
Day 13 ? Went to some tourist place with bas, kindevu, buktooth, michelle, vanessa and aya. Took hella pictures and had a lot of great food. Said goodbye to the girls and met up with raoh and kurusk at a random arcade to play games. I had a master?s challenge in virtual tennis, hato no ken, anniversary edition and Mario kart against Raoh. Then we went to More so I could play him in 3S. Raoh is the first chun-li player I?ve ever seen that uses every regular move and special move, he tries to go for the craziest/fancy set-up all the time and he would win way more matches if he played more conservatively. Hella fun to watch and play against although I only beat him once in 10+ games. Definitely the 180 opposite of Justin?s style.
Day 14? My final day in Japan, I went to gamers vision in the morning and met up with bas and ichii at Ace Amusement at night. We went to the ramen store down the street where Buktooth did his legendary ramen challenge couple years back. So I decide to try it and super sized my ramen and added 20 slices more of fatty pork onto my noodles. I?m sorry to tell you that I failed the challenge, torwards the end it was like eating lard. Champbell finished it easily though. So after some games at Ace arcade me and buktoth said goodbye to bas and ichii and headed for OTK?s home which was one train stop away and really close to the airport. OTK?s family is pretty baller and owns two two-story houses right next to each other. Real estate is really expensive in Japan and 90% of people live in apartments. So we go to OTK?s room and find out that this fool has hella infatuation for this one anime girl character. He has a whole shelf of manga all based on this one character and thousands of pictures on this computer of her too. He showed us some of the dating games he was making and I was really impressed with the overall quality of the games not that I would ever play anything like that. OTK?s skinny Japanese friend shows up and we all play some CVS2. Since it was my last night in Japan I decided to bust out my camcorder and film some casual matches. When the skinny Japanese dude saw my camcorder he went absolutely apeshit and started doing crazy things like taking his shirt and pants off and yelling crazy shit in Japanese. So we play CVS2 and 3S all night and OTK?s friend has a buffass C groove team of kim/rugal/sagat, I beat him and OTK a couple of times but we were all really drunk from red wine (otk brought out hella red wine for some reason, but alcohol is alcohol) so I?m not sure if anyone was playing seriously. I finally pass out around 6am. Woke up a couple hours later and everyone walked me to the train headed for the airport. I will be in Taiwan for another week, see everyone back in Houston!!!