June 10, 2017

RAGE Volume 4 grand finals

This weekend (July 10th, 2017) was the RAGE e-sports Street Fighter V grand finals. I didn't have a chance to go, but am watching it afterwards on openrec.tv. I thought I would keep some notes as I watch the archived video. You can sign up for a free openrec.tv account easily enough, and a free account is able to watch archived videos once (seems strange that they only let you watch once, but that is enough for me.)

When I checked out the live stream, they had an English and a Japanese version, but I'm watching the Japanese version just for fun. Check the videos portion of the rage-esports account if you want to watch too.

They said this tournament (which has spanned a few weekends already) has the highest payout of all domestic Japanese tournaments. If you assume 100yen to the dollar (close enough, but it is actually a bit more) then they are paying out over the top 8 finishers, $20,000 for 1st (plus a Tag Heuer watch), $5000 for 2nd, $1500 for 3rd and 4th, and $500 for 5th through 8th.

By the way, in Japan none of the local weeklies have any sort of payout, since it would be viewed as gambling here and runs afoul of some laws.

I really like the production values here - very nice produced interviews before the matchups where they talk about their character, what they are doing, and a bit about their opponent. I didn't know much about Ponzaman or Mishie so that was cool to see.

In Momochi's introduction I love how he explained that he wants to be the strongest in Japan, and since Daigo uses Ryu and he wants to beat him, he thought using Ryu's rival Ken would be a good idea. And he thinks Ken looks cool.

Overall results, for those who are curious:

1. GRPT|Fuudo (R. Mika)
2. AW|Nemo (Urien)
3. GRPT|Haitani (Necalli)
4. DNG|Itabashi Zangief (Zangief)
5. Kichipa-mu (Zangief)
5. Mishie (Laura)
7. FOX|Momochi (Ken)
7. Ponzaman (Rashid)

May 15, 2017

Tokyo Offline Party 5

A few months back I went to Tokyo Offline Party 4. Tokyo Offline Party 5 was this weekend, and I wanted to go, but was unable to due to family obligations.

What is Tokyo Offline Party? It is an event run by Buttonmashers and Shinobism, Momochi and Chocoblanka's company. Tokyo Offline Party 5 had a 3 on3 Street Fighter V tournament, and might have had some other stuff going on as well - there was a Hearthstone tournament at Tokyo Offline Party 4.

Chocoblanka posted up a few pics on twitter, this one talking about how they partnered with Red Bull and were able to use Red Bull hall in Shibuya for the event. She seems to be pretty happy about how there was room for casual setups, and nice sofas to relax in. She also talks about a casual setup for ladies only which is a cool idea, and I think they ran a ladies only side tournament that she was in. I didn't see results for it though.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to look through the results and talk a bit about who as there. The main stream was on momochoco's channel, and the sub stream was on the shinobism channel.

The overall winner was "Wonder Project J" from block P with duke (Urien), Majorboy (Kolin), and ty_ty (Dictator). I'll run down the winner of each block, and any other notable players I know.

Block A was won by the group "タイステ星" which I guess is short for Taito Station Stars, referencing an arcade. The group consists of Alienware's Nemo (Urien), inco (Birdie), and Nishikin (Necali.)

Block B was won by "Power of Darkside" with Initial Kyousou (Laura), Mizuha (Chun-Li), and MOV (Chun-Li).

Block C was won by "Trashbonbi Style" with trashbox (Birdie), bonbi (Kolin), and Shiki (Ibuki).

Block D was won by "Mimorin's Bodyguards" with Gafro (Boxer), Mishie (Laura), and Oremo (Ibuki).

Block E was won by "The Young'uns" with Nauman (Ken), John Takeuchi (Rasheed), and Haitani (Necali). Nauman was joking on Twitter that Haitani said he would totally join the young kids teams, and he did.

Block F was won by "GunMaruGuchi -Revenge-" with Gunfight (Alex), Marko (Karin), UGPs Mizuguchi (Urien).

Block G was won by "Ponpoime" with Ponzaman (Rasheed), oppoi (Ibuki), and Harumy (Ibuki).

Block H was won by "Melty Blood Army" with Menma (Akuma), Garu (Boxer), Surume (Necali).

Block I was won by "Detective N suppressors" (?) with DNG Tachikawa (Ibuki), Fumiya (Boxer), Kobatake (Claw).

Block J was won by "Super Big Brothers" with PSK (Cammy), Kichipa-mu (Zangief), and Macchi (Cammy). Kichipa-mu is a really fun Zangief - he was at the recent KVO x TSB SFV team battle and got second place, largely based on his Zangief play.

Block K was won by "This players had been deleted." with Syogepi- (Ibuki), Tyler (Zangief), Deletemonster (Karin). This pool also had Crusher (Birdie)'s team with Nanai (Dicator) who are both quite good, and apparently a team with Echo Fox CoolGrayAJ.

Block L was won by "LP Fraud" with rintaro (Chun-Li), Takaroom (Karin), and sasajima (Rasheed). This block also had Shinobism's team of Momochi's pupils, Yamaguchi (Ken), Haku (Guile), and Johnny (Karin) who lost out early on.

Block M was won by "Blue League PR Dept." (?) with Deo (Laura), Agomi (Birdie), Azmx (Urien).

Block N was won by "These characters were balanced by kindergartners" with Kindevu (Urien), Vanauo (Boxer), Ando (Urien). There was a team with Reiketsu playing Cammy, so maybe not the well-known Claw Reiketsu.

Block O was won by "Pon chichi's" with Ponchi's (Claw), Bower (Kolin), and rinta (Akuma).

Block P was won by "Wonder Project J" with duke (Urien), Majorboy (Kolin), and ty_ty (Dictator). This pool also had a team with GameWith's Eita (Ken) but they didn't make it.

January 14, 2017

Tokyo Offline Party 4, and a bit Itabashi Zangief commentary

Last weekend I went to the Tokyo Offline Party 4 event at Haruimi Passenger Terminal. I didn't have a team, so joined two others who needed someone to fill out the 3 vs 3 Street Fighter V team event. I was matched with Eleichi and Ryo, two nice young gentlemen. I had played with Ryo once or twice at the Akihabara e-square events, so that was nice.

I had a lot of fun at the event. Our team (満足) lost in our first match, but we had a good time, so no problem.

I really enjoyed watching some of the Zangief play. Kichi pa-mu in particular was lots of fun to watch. I've been going through the stream a bit, and thought it would be neat to see what Itabashi Zangief had to say while he was on commentary.

https://www.twitch.tv/momochoco/v/113487600?t=05h38m01s Itabashi Zangief hops on the mike to talk about Zangief. Tokido shares commentary with him. I'd like to give a loose translation of what they are saying. Someone asked Itazan to hop on the mike because "Kichi pa-mu", a Zangief player, is currently on. Kichi pa-mu was super fun to watch - his Zangief play was a bit crazy, and was super exciting. Where this clip starts, he just beat Oosu's Karin and Fuudo's Mika from Fuudo's team (World of Tanks.)

I didn't get permission from anyone, and this is just a loose translation. I'm no fubarduck and don't translate in any professional capacity, so any mistakes are my own.

Tokido: I'm commenting now, but our other commentator, Kazunoko, has changed.
Itazan: I was summoned.
Tokido: Yeah, there's a Zangief match now. Just how strong do you think Zangief is now?
Itazan: (Laughing.) You think so?
Tokido: Just how strong do you think he is now?
Itazan: I've been using Zangief for a long time now. So. I think we might have an argument about this.
Tokido: I think he's super strong now.
Itazan: I've heard a lot of people think that. But yeah. A big thing is that Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li got weaker. It's important that he can beat them now.
Tokido: It wasn't all that bad before but, on the other hand, now I think Guile is a real problem.
Itazan: Yeah, there are some new problems.
[The match with Chun-Li starts here.]
Tokido: I think he can do ok against Chun-Li.
Itazan: If he gets close. Ah, he got close. Yeah, that's it.
[Zangief won the round. There isn't any substantive commentary. Kichi pa-mu wins, and Tokido is called out to his match. Another person comes to do commentary.]
Person: Zangief's really strong.
Itazan: [Itazan smiles] Well, you know, he's ok. Kichi pa-mu was strong so he won. You should praise him.

Itazan had a few other things to say, but mostly just joking around. It's really fun listening to all these players (Tokido, Itabashi Zangief, Kazunoko, just seems like whoever is around that Momochi and Choco can press into service for a bit) comment. I've got to watch the final four with commentary - it was lots of fun in person but I want to hear what Momochi and Choco have to say.

Anyway, lots of fun. If you are a street fighter fan in Tokyo, definitely check out the Tokyo Offline Party when they run the next one.

September 7, 2016

Street Fighter V at E-sports Square in Akihabara, Tokyo

E-sports square in Akihabara
E-sports square in Akihabara
E-sports square in Akihabara

On Wednesday I went to e-sports Square Akihabara for the first time. I've been meaning to go for over a year. It is an e-sports Cafe, and every once in a while (once a week?) they run the "Fighter's Crossover" event. That currently seems to be focused on Street Fighter V, which I enjoy. It is out in Akihabara, a place where I almost never go any more - even though I would like to. Akihabara has changed since my seminal memories of the place when I went at the young age of 13 - there were electronics everywhere, and not a maid or anime thing in sight.

The e-sports Square is a quick walk from the Akihabara JR Station. I didn't know anyone there, but the staff were welcoming. You just have to sign in with a little bit of information (in my case, name and age.) They didn't need proof of my age, but I guess that would change if you were younger-looking.

They give you a little card on a lanyard that tracks when you enter, and you can charge drinks and food to it as well. You pay on the way out. They have two hour, three hour, and all day plans.

When I got there it was pretty empty, but after an hour or two the place filled up. I think there were close to 40 people. They had about 30 SFV setups - most of them were head to head, so you had your own screen and played someone sitting across from you with their own screen. There were LP limitations on some of the setups, so there were some systems for beginners, some for intermediates, and the rest were unlimited. The signs said that you should play best 2 of three, and the beginner and intermediate machines only let you have a 5 game win streak. The other machines were winner stays on.

I had a lot of fun, and I'm going to try to go back in the future. Late night Akihabara on a weekday is pretty crazy. There were lots of lights and some maids were still out. That place is weird.

January 17, 2009

I really hate Zangief

Actually, Zangief is totally my favorite character. I love him. This guy apparently doesn't though. A rap from Balrog / M. Bison's point of view. Really funny. Man, I want to go play some SF4.

January 2, 2009

MAME Frontends in Ubuntu

I have been interested in getting MAME running on my desktop again. I never got SDLMAME working on Fedora 8 because performance was terrible. For some reason, under Ubuntu with my Intel GMA3100 onboard video things work well enough to play pacman at least (and probably others, SFA2 seemed to work well, but as always SSF2T was too fast) so I wanted to see what the state of MAME Front Ends for linux was. (Oh, also I have to run in the software render mode to get the tab menus to show up, otherwise they are garbage. Once things are set up though I don't need the menus, so back to hardware mode which is fast.)

kxmame doesn't believe me that my sdlmame executable is a MAME executable, it complains that it can't find any MAME instance and errors out. So that is enough time spent on that one.

kamefu refuses to find any of my roms. So that one is out.

wah!cade seems to work, but it uses bitmaps for the default UI and on my 24" monitor I can't read anything. So I stopped play with that for the time being.

Two more I am looking at are Lemon Launcher (probably won't install it unless I can't get AdvancedMenu to work) and AdvanceMENU which is my current best hope. There is a description of the install process here. So far installing AdvanceMENU has been a real pain. this thread has helped me fix a few SDL errors and of course I had to install a lot of stuff to get this to compile.

Once compiled I couldn't get it to run well: I added sdlmame as an xmame emulator, and had to make some init files for that. But it would freeze when trying to launch a program. I am now checking on the configuration used by Piapara, a bootable ISO that runs advancemenu and sdlmame to see what they use. To do that I had to create a boot cd, mount the iso in a loopback filesystem, then mount the app.img in a loopback filesystem. Finally, the relevant setup info they use is:

emulator "MAME" mame "/usr/bin/mame" "-inipath /mnt/pendrive/sdlmame/ini"
emulator_roms "MAME" "/mnt/cdrom/sdlmame/roms"
emulator_flyers "MAME" "/mnt/cdrom/sdlmame/flyers"
emulator_altss "MAME" "/mnt/cdrom/sdlmame/snap"
So they set up the emulator as a mame emulator. Ok. I'll try that.

Also, a new discovery: using the sdlmame option -gl_forcepow2texture fixes the menu corruption bug that I was seeing. So yay for that! Actually on further investigation I also needed to set the filter to 0 and (remove bilinear filtering from output, which makes things look more pixelated and better anyway) and enable gl_glsl in the sdlmame config. It seems to be working well now.

I haven't got advancemenu to work though. I have all these great artwork cabinet and screenshot files, but I can't get advancemenu to launch sdlmame. Ah well. That is enough time spent on that today.

Annoyingly Super Street Fighter II Turbo still runs too fast. Tapper runs well though, so that is good enough.

February 27, 2008

Street Fighter IV on Test in Akihabara 2/29 - 3/2

I keep up with a few blogs via Google Reader, and recently came across this entry about Street Fighter IV going on public test (Japanese).

I'm a big Street Fighter fan, but pretty much only Super Street Fighter II Turbo or the new mix-and-max Hyper Fighting Anniversary Edition. Great games. (A brief side-note: last night for the first time in about a month a stopped by the Shibuya Game Kaikan on the way home from work. It is my favorite arcade in Japan: 50 yen games, 3 of the Anniversary edition games, an old Hyper Fighting machine, and there is always great competition there. Sadly, much better than I am. I hadn't been there in a month or two, and they moved the SSF2HF:Anniversary (how is this supposed to be abbreviated??) to the back. Not a problem. But I think they changed the cabinets they were in, because the sticks on all the machines were horribly loose! They were awful! I can usually do a dragon punch 90% of the time (I'm no expert) but I was only hitting them like 10% of the time on one machine! It was awful!)

So the relevant bit from the SF4 article:

そして! 今週末、2/29~3/2には早くも第二回ロケテストが開催!

今度は秋葉原の駅前にある「Hey」というゲームセンターで開催しますので、 皆さん、引き続き奮ってご参加くださいね!!


「ストリートファイターIV」第二回ロケテスト 開催概要
・住所:東京都千代田区外神田1-10-5 広瀬本社ビル 2-4F 【店舗HPは、コチラ】
They did a first public test of SF4. Great. But now, this week, they will test SF4 in Akihabara. That's like a twenty minute walk from where I work. They start testing on Friday, and will continue through until Sunday. I think I am going to have to check that out. They will test at the arcade HEY (I don't know that one offhand) and give the address and link to the HEY website. There is a little "Access Map" button that will pop up a map, and I think I know where it is now.

I'm really looking forward to SF4 because it is supposed to continue on in the SF2 tradition (no parries or air blocking I hope!) and from what I've been reading about it, it sounds like it will be good. Since this is a SF2 post, I also want to say that I really, really hope that the new HD version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo gets released in arcades over here in Japan. I think that is probably unlikely to happen, but it would be great. The information on re-balancing from David Sirlin's blog has been really interesting reading.

December 23, 2006

No force on Earth can stop one hundred Santas!!

Today, Saturday Dec. 23rd, there was a Santarchy gathering in Shibuya. Since it is close by, I decided to stop by and check it out. I've got plans already - I'm heading to my friend Watanabe's place this afternoon for a Christmas party, so I couldn't join in on the Shibuya Santa fun, but I did think it would be worth it to snap a few pictures.

Maybe next year I'll try to join in.

Since I went all the way to Shibuya, I stopped by the Shibuya Game Kaikan for a few games of SF2. There was someone playing Hyper SF2 Anniversary Edition, so I joined in with my Zangief. I took the first game against his Ken, then two more matches against his Ryu. He beat me, and then I tried again with Zangief, but he put the machine on speed 1. Speed 1. I haven't played this game so slowly for ages. It was impossible. Well, I had two more 50 yen pieces, so I switched into Ryu mode. We played soooo slowly. It was close. It could go either way, but I lost. One more game with Ryu, one more close loss. It was soooo slooooow. We were pretty evenly matched, although he probably plays many more characters than I do. I only play Zangief well, along with some reasonable Ryu and THawk impersonations. Still, it was pretty fun. Overall I think I won about as many as I lost, so not too bad.

Also, I saw all the Santas.

October 21, 2005

SF2 scene at Shibuya's Game Kaikan

On Friday I decided to head over to my favorite arcade, the Shibuya Game Kaikan, and play some Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting Anniversay Edition. Over on Shoryuken.com they call this one AE (Anniversary Edition) but I wonder what it is called in the states: there already was a Hyper Fighting over there.

Anyway, I got to the game kaikan at about 8pm, after a nice Little Spoon (my favorite Curry chain in Japan) dinner. Now, I love Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and I really like AE as well, since you get to play older versions of characters against the new ones. It's a fun game. Unfortunately, the past 8 years in New York didn't do much for my head-to-head skills. I probably only played ten or twenty games the whole 8 years in New York, despite having a ST machine available at the Chinatown Fair. So I tend to get my ass kicked. I probably win about 10% of my matches at the game kaikan.

I'm posting this a few days late, so I can't really comment on how I did. I think I won once with my T. Hawk, who I'm trying to get into playing shape. I'm trying to learn how to option select the crouching jab into piledriver, but I'm still not very good at that yet. I probably lost 15 times at least though, so I don't think an analysis of my play would be ver interesting.

I did, however, chat with a nice salaryman who plays a throw-happy grape Dhalsim. He's pretty good, but not great because I can hang with him to some extent. He was happy to chat with a white guy about SF2 though, so we spent quite a while talking strategy and commenting on the other players there. Two really stood out: a ST Zangief using the held-button black color, and a massive E. Honda who was nearly unstoppable. The Zangief was really good, and I thought that at least initially I could take him with my crappy Ryu, but that wasn't the case. His play was pretty limited, in that he didn't show much variation, but was very good at what he did. He would SPD at very, very long range. Whiff a roundhouse, receive a SPD. He also used the hopping punch from out of range to get into range and SPD. I've seen that before, but he was just really effective at using it. He knew the ranges really well, stayed far enough away to use the Lariat, invite a roundhouse or forward, the SPD you. I didn't think he was anything special, but he ran up a pretty good win streak, so I changed my mind as the evening went on.

The E. Honda was another story. He was just massive. I hadn't seen many E. Honda's there before, so this was pretty interesting to me. He used Honda's charge butt-drop move often, and used it to cross-over, then would tick into the command throw. He used the command throw really well, much more frequently than I had ever seen it used before. He would get at least two a round it seemed like. He also used Honda's super to get four hits off consistently, which is something that I wouldn't be able to do. He didn't ues the super often though, and of course was a master of the jumping fierce to wiggle over fireballs and such. Anyway, it was an impressive display.

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