Saturday, June 5, 2010

Episode 5: A certain thought about EVO


I'm drawing a blank for EVO. I'm excited for EVO and all, but I'm also very very very very very nervous too. The LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAST thing I want to do is not make it out of my pool and place low at the biggest MB event like...ever. I'd never be able to forgive myself for placing so low, knowing I'm capable of at least getting top 16...I dunno, maybe I'm just expecting way too much out of myself this time around. My friends keep telling me that I'll do just fine just like how I did at Final Round, but I keep having thoughts in my head about placing horribly or just choking during a critical moment in a match and losing because of it. I already did that at Final Round and I still got away with getting 3rd. I know that will not fly at Evolution so I have to make sure I'm at 110% at EVO.

I'm also having thoughts about switching off of F-Ciel and possibly picking up C-Ciel for EVO. Reason being is that sometimes whenever I play I get the feeling that F-Ciel is really holding me back in some match-ups. What people don't realize about my character is that despite how great her rushdown seems to be...the only thing you really have to be scared of is her guard crushing ability and that's ONLY if I have more than 200% meter. Outside of her rushdown...she really doesn't have anything else that makes her scary. Her rushdown loses mostly to down/back, her overheads are terrible. They're blockable on reaction, you can toss her out of them if she's close enough which is a problem because no matter how you space them out you ALWAYS have the threat of someone mashing you out of them. Also her mixup game is just plain pitiful. F-Ciel's biggest problem is that she has no way to make you afraid of way to open people up their defense. Overall the only thing that F-Ciel has going for her is her rushdown and once you figure that out she's pretty easy to lame out and beat. A friend of mine was telling me that it would probably be better if I switched to C-Ciel if I truly felt that way and I may just have to do that. Now you ask why don't I just play the top tier and be done with it. answer that question...none of the top tier fits my playstyle at all and they don't interest me in anyway. Also I really don't feel as though I have to do that to myself. Even if I wanted to pick a top tier I don't think I'd have it in me to learn a top tier character in 5 weeks so I really don't have a choice except to stick to what I know which just so happens to be the character I hate sometimes...Ciel :\.

The only other thing I can really talk about is the comp that's going to be there. To be honest the only people and characters I'm worried about are Zar (F-Mech) and XAQshinor (C-W.Len). Everyone else I'm actually feeling pretty confident that I can beat. Yeah yeah I know what and what about Lordknight? To tell you the truth...I'm not really worried about losing to him and if I do happen to lose to him I can assure you that it'll be a closer game as opposed to what it was at Final Round. Everyone else in the country I honestly feel as though I'm either better than them (at best) or even with them (at worst). I really don't see anyone in the US completely dominating me even though I'm playing F-Ciel. I don't see myself as the best player in the country obviously, but I know how good I am and I proved multiple times that I can hang with the best and if ECT2 vids are anything to go by...well I can just say that I can rest a bit easier knowing that EC isn't as godlike as everyone makes them out to be. IMHO, EC as a whole isn't TOO far ahead from the top players from other regions. Mind you I've always thought of the EC players as just another group of players...nothing too special. Their players drop combos/setups just like everyone else. It just sort of bothers me that everyone else loves to make EC as the greatest thing since sliced bread for MB and IMO they're not that much better than everyone else. Hopefully at EVO everyone else will decide to step it up instead of constantly sucking off EC and their top players as if they're the only region to have top players...which couldn't be anymore wrong.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Episode 4: A Certain Explanation As To Why I play Melty Blood


I figured I may as well make this a bi-weekly deal since that's what I've been doing since the beginning and it's a bit easier on me. Well with nothing major happening at the moment outside of a local tournament last week (which I placed 4th in...<__<) and a East Coast major happening next week; East Coast Throwdown 2. It just so happens that the top 2 in each EVO featured game will be getting a seed at EVO World. Well, as much as I would love to try and aim for a seed I'm planning on saving up for the US Tougeki Qualifiers in Austin, Texas for Blazblue: Continuum Shift. No, I do not play Blazblue: CS, but I am going there to hang out with some of the Houston and Louisiana players and supporting Fubarduck by entering his Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code tournament...since I wasn't able to make it to his major last year. I feel as though hanging out with friends at a lax-free major (for me at least) is more important than stressing myself over *another* major tournament just because of a EVO seed. As if I'm not stressed enough over EVO....anyways, before I get off top I plan on going into detail as to why I decided to pick up such a niche game as supposed to something more mainstream such as Street Fighter, Capcom vs. SNK 2, Tekken, or Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

Well if you've been keep up with my blog for the past month you'd remember my first entry where I showed you my 1st match exposure to Melty Blood and what got me hook. Well I really didn't go into great detail as to why I started playing and why I'm still playing to this day. Well I guess I could start way back to 2006 when I was first exposed and jump right into the fray. Well I started playing with Melty Blood Act Cadenza on the PS2 when it first came out in August of 2006. This was right after I finished watching the Tsukihime anime (there's no Tsukihime hur hur) and went on a MB binge with watching match videos. Needless to say I didn't start out playing Ciel. I actually started out playing Arcueid Brunestud for the first week of playing MBAC. I was just starting out *seriously* learning 2D fighters at the time and I'll be honest....I was just simply mashing buttons and hoping for the best. I had no clue on how to a SRK or even a simple QCF so I knew that I had a long road ahead of me if I ever wanted to even be competent in this game. Which is sort of funny considering that I had no intention on ever being a tournament player. I just wanted to play this game because it was so fast-paced and at the time it was something I had never experienced at the time. Mind you, I was completely new to 2D fighters and had no clue what Guilty Gear or even games like Immaterial and Missing Power or Eternal Fighter Zero was so MB looked completely new to me. I really didn't have the drive to become a player good enough to compete on at least a national level until I saw SBO footage of this game the following month. Everything looked so fast-paced and exciting. The way the players the moved, executed long and devastating combos, tricked their opponent into blocking a wrong way, but what got me the most was the SBO stage. It was a huge platform with MB cabs for the finalist with a huge crowd cheering for Tales of the Ils and Team Kubo/Satoken (The finalist for MBAC in 2006). I said to myself that I wanted to be as good as those guys and win my own major tournament for this game. I thought "I wanted to become the best I could be at this game". I didn't care for the recognition for winning tournaments (and still don't) or I didn't care about the prize money...although that's a bonus :). I just wanted to prove to myself that I could compete with the best of the best in the US and hopefully the world...but first I had to learn how to play first lol.

So after weeks and a couple of months of getting completely scraped by the guy who told me about this game and after months and months of playing online (which I will get into detail later) I was finally able to get my feet a little wet by attending a small local ( house ) tournament in Ann Harbor, MI. This tournament was primarily a Soul Calibur 2 tournament, but the T.O. TL_Crow decided to hold MBAC Ver.B2 on the PC. I decided to make the 45 minute drive with a friend of mine and I had fun. The tournament itself was very small...only about 7 people entered :V. I ended up taking it and winning back gas money and free food lol.

If you're interested in watching me from my very first MBAC tournament:

Hey what can I say? It was my first tournament and I was nowhere near as good as people claim I am I sucked back then.

Anyways, I also ended up meeting people like ShardZ and Josh-TheFunkDoc who would have a huge impact on my life and neither of us would've known at the time. If it wasn't for me meeting Josh and ultimately going to NEC8 with him I never would've known about the fun and experience known as tournaments. When I went to NEC8 back then I was ultimately nervous, but I was also having a loads of fun hanging out and playing some of the best players during that time (Arlieth, Choco, LordKnight, Zar, Spooky, Sphyra, Heartnana, etc.) I didn't expect to win, nor did I care all that much. Yes I was happy about winning, but I was more happy of just getting out there and having that experience. After that experience I made a promise to myself that I would keep enjoying MB and tournaments no matter how popular or unpopular the game will get. As long as I have fun and try my hardest I can't say the experience was wasted. Even now with Actress Again and living in North Carolina...3 years later I still have fun going to the local tournaments in the area and majors such as Final Round. Because of these tournaments I was able to meet some great people that I'm so grateful to know and I'm able to continue growing as player learning and going through all these experiences as both winning and losing. Yes I do expect a lot coming from me considering my skill, knowledge, and past experience in tournaments. I know I'm capable of placing as high as top 3 in majors so I expect myself to play as well so if I so happen to not place high at a tournament then I do tend to beat myself up over it...especially if I lose to someone I know I can personally beat. I don't ever get mad at the player I'm playing against, I tend to get angry at myself for whatever mistake I made and well...ultimately losing. Regardless if it was a close match from both sides I don't exactly feel great about losing, especially if it's by someone I know I can beat.

Anyways, to close this out I really don't play Melty Blood because it's *finally* in the EVO line-up or to gain recognition or anything like that. If I wanted stuff like that I'd play a more mainstream game like Tekken 6 or Super Street Fighter 4. I play Melty Blood as my main game because I enjoy it more than any other fighter out right now and because well...I love the game. It sort of annoy me to see people say "Well, no one cares about Melty Blood or XXX game" whenever they see a major tournament result for the game. Honestly if no one cared for the one would travel for it or play it as long as they have. Yeah, it doesn't get the numbers as SSF4 or T6. Yeah, it doesn't get as much attention as those games. Yeah, it isn't as mainstream as those games either. But to just discredit or downplay someone's accomplishment in a game just because it isn't popular is just plain dumb. Despite how big or small the scene is there will always be good players, bad players, and specialist in XXX game. People who have been playing XXX game for so long as their main game that it's just 2nd nature to them well...they're going to know more than the people who just started playing or someone who doesn't take it as seriously. You don't need to play a game that has over 1000 entrants to see that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Episode 3: A Certain SSF4 Experience


Which will probably be one of my shorter entries I'm just going to talk about my experience with Super Street Fighter 4. Now I won't go onto the history of SF since it goes without saying, but I will go over my opinion on the game.

First of all I will say that I did get on the hype train when SF4 was coming out and I thought it would be a SF game I could enjoy with the rest of the community....boy was I wrong. All SF4 showed me was that the standard SF engine just doesn't cut it for me. I could get past all the dumb shit everyone bitched about (lack of blockstun, mashable jabs, FADC Ultra, Sagat, DP trade ultra, Sagat, character design, Sagat,slow paced, Sagat, overall scrubiness, and Sagat.) in SF4 because lets face it...every fighter has dumb shit. I honestly didn't have any fun outside of playing Viper and she was too hard for me to have fun in a game I honestly didn't care about. I also found it to be pointless to try to get into a game I didn't have fun with for the sake of it being popular...which is funny because just about everyone in my scene hated SF4 in the grand scheme of things. Now with that said....most of them are back on the hype train for Super Street Fighter 4. Now with that you think I got on the hype train and leave MB in the back burner? Nope, MBAA is still my main game and I'm still 100% focused on that.

Now onto SSF4. To tell you the truth I really didn't give this game the time of day. With SF4 leaving a very bad taste in my mouth and MBAA already out I really didn't have a reason to play this game...until Ibuki was announced. At that point I decided to follow her and see how she turned out. Well when it turned out she was shaping up to be good I actually though "Hmm ok...I guess I could give it another shot. I mean I enjoyed Ibuki in 3rd Strike and she seems to be so good. She could possibly make a ultimately boring game...exciting? huzah!?" As the days got closer and as more info came out I was actually getting ready to board the hype train. Everyone and their mothers were getting excited, checking out new info on the was as if the hate for SF4 went away. I got skeptical when multiple people were saying "If you didn't enjoy SF4 then you will not enjoy SSF4." Well a couple of days ago I was actually CONSIDERING BUYING SSF4 based on the hype it was getting from friends and wel...everyone else was playing it so why not? Well I also considered that if I didn't have fun with the game it was ultimately pointless to try and force myself to like it like 75% of the SF4/SSF4 community so I was going to hold out until I played it. Well Tuesday I got went to a session at Frank's place and he was having SSF4 there. Well I figured...what the hell, may as well give it a shot now before I chuck $40 down the drain. Well I'm GRATEFUL that I went to his place and played it before I decided to buy it because I was NOT having any fun and every time I played a set I just thought "why am I not playing MB?"

One of my biggest problems I have with the game is the speed. EVERYONE says that the game is undoubtedly faster. Well when I was watching match vids and watching people play in person, and even PLAYING the game it didn't seem faster at all. To me the game speed was EXACTLY the same and my character Ibuki just seemed like she was walking in mud. I know it's SSF4 and not 3S, but I expected her to be agile like she was in 3rd. Like she has all the HJCs and momentum shifts with Kunai (sans EX version), but it just restricted. Like I'm told Ibuki and Guy are some of the faster, if not fastest characters in the game, but they just seem to be turtles in a pack of snails. Yeah they MAY move faster than the rest of the cast, but it doesn't say much. My biggest problems with it me, it just seem like SF4 with more characters and ultras. I know people are going to find dumber shit that'll just replace the dumb shit in SF4 and all that good stuff, but none of the stuff they "fixed" seemed to make the game funner for me. I dunno, I guess the standard SF engine (games like CvS2, ST, and 3S sans Ibuki) just don't really interests me or suit me. Yes, I can respect high level games for A3, CvS2, ST, 3rd, even SF4 for what they are...but none of those games just really aren't my cup of tea and I can not bring myself to force myself to like or enjoy a fighter just because it's whats popular. Just like what 75% of what the community has done and what they're doing now with (S)SF4.

Anyways, just a litte rant. Will probably write up my thoughts on something like the MB scene or something since I'm not going to ECT2 and saving up for SBO qualifiers at ArcadeUFO. No I don't plan on entering BBCS (SBO qualifier), but I want to support Fubarduck and his arcade by entering Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Episode 2: A *Certain* Final Round Experience!


Ok, it's been what...2 weeks since I made a new entry? Yup, long over due for another one. Well with that said, I should *FINALLY* get to my experience at Final Round XIII.

Final Round XIII took place in Atlanta, GA during Mar. 12th-14th. This was my first major in a bit over a year and it was my first MBAA major since the game came out. Due to reasons beyond my control I was -unfortunately- missing out on Northeast Championships X. Well anyways...after a long 6 1/2 hour drive from Raleigh and getting stopped by police for speeding (don't ask :P) I finally made it to the hotel that was housing Final Round. Well the first thing I did was setup my two hotel rooms for MBAA. Yes, I really needed to buy 2 rooms for this weekend because so many people decided not to reserve a room and/or the people who were reserving a room ended up not showing up for one reason or another. Well after setting my rooms up I called over Silent Shinobi and told him to tell everyone I was at the hotel and if people wanted to play some games just stop by. started out small at first with only a handful of people stopping by (Choco, Doren2K, and Shinobi to name a few) and we only had one setup at the time so rotation was taking a while.

Remember my last post where I was talking about performance anxiety, yeah? Well it hit me HARD. I was feeling so anxious that I really was afraid of playing against people that REALLY wanted to play my F-Ciel. Like, I sort of had this feeling that the people who were entering the tournament had this super high expectation of me. Whether that may or may not have been true...I don't know. Well anyways, after my casual matches with Shinobi, Choco, Doren, and the other 8 people in there I was feeling a bit better about myself...although not 100%. Which was bad for me considering I had a team tournament the next day.

Well after a afternoon of casuals it was the team tournament. I ended up teaming with Cajunstrike and P-Soul (C-Mech player I talked about in my last post). I was sort of glad that they had me playing anchor position because I was feeling anxious all over again now that the tournament pressure was on. It was me trying to get back into the groove of things since I was just getting back into the tournament scene...although it didn't happen till much later. Well after a couple of sets where I didn't have to play, I decided to step up and play out my first match. I forget who's team we were playing against and granted I ended up winning, it was not a pretty site. My movement was all sorts of janky, my blocking was weak, dropped a couple of combos I shouldn't have dropped, and overall...I just felt so flustered. Granted to say I was NOT going to live that down so for our next match I decided to play first. I can't really explain it, but at this point it sort of just came back to me. I felt as though my movement was as it should've been, I was hitting all my combos, blocked what I knew what was coming, and just felt relaxed. At this point we were playing team 'Bama (Solidplay, Silent Shinobi, and Doren2K). I ended up beating Solidplay pretty convincingly with overwhelming my Ciel pressure. I was barely able to scrape out a win against Silent Shinobi's H-Arc. We kept going back and forth to the final round and I managed to pull the win. Started getting into trouble with Doren2K and F-Miyako. I don't know what it was about it, but I just couldn't get a good read on it. Like when we played last night during casuals I was able to break his defenses and start my rushdown, but this time I could hardly hit him and if I did it wasn't a hit I was able to capitalize on. So instead I ended up losing that match and eventually out team got reverse OCV'd into losers.

IIRC at that point we had to play team "Live to Win" which consisted of B.Z.B, Frank the Tank, and Pacstrife. I decided to go first again fighting Pacstrife first. At this point I was just in the zone. Everything was clicking with my mind and what I was doing on the screen. He was using H-Tohno which took me by surprise considering I've never seen his H-Tohno before that moment. It really didn't matter because I was able to pull out the win. My match after that was against Frank the Tank's C-Warc. Now I won't lie...if I thought I was going to lose at this point it was to this guy. See when I got back I played him before the Lucky's tournament in February and it was pretty bad. I really had no idea how to fight his C-Warc and he was steamrolling me badly. Well it was different this tournament. I actually beat his C-Warc 2-0 by just staying patient and trying to stay away from the corner and blood rings. It also helped that I didn't try and challenge his J.B since that pretty much beats whatever F-Ciel is doing in the air for free...and I shielded him...a lot. After that match I had to go up against B.Z.B's H-Roa. Now this match I KNEW I was going to lose. I still wasn't able to exactly read his H-Roa, even after playing him countless times before this tournament. It also didn't help that this character is just lame. Great pressure strings, air control, ground control with lightning and SOKU DAROU! ETC. He's also one of those characters that forces you to block EVERYTHING until you can just see a opening in his if the H-Roa is solid that isn't going to come around anytime soon and by the time you realize it you're about ready to be guard crashed so you're stuck with making a risky decision that could possibly cost you.

Now onto the actually went closer than I expected. Granted I still lost...I didn't get *completely* scraped. I ended up losing the match 1-2 with it being pretty close from what I remember. We still ended up winning the round with Cajunstrike taking him out and ultimately eliminating Live to Win. Our next and ultimately final match would be battle for Grand Finals. We had to play against team 'Bama again. I decided to go first again and I had to play Solidplay again. This time the match was MUCH closer. It went 2-1 with me almost losing. My next match against Silent Shinobi however did a complete 180. I ended up getting outplayed and losing the match. Although P-Soul was able to keep us alive by beating him Doren2K sent us out of the tournament by beating both P-Soul and Cajunstrike. So...with all that said...we finished 3rd out of 11 teams. Not too bad, although I wished we could've at least got 2nd and played on stage <_<.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand if you think that's all...boy you couldn't be anymore wrong. That was only day 1! We still haven't gotten to day 2.....SINGLES!


Well at this point I was *completely* feeling it. I knew I could at least make top 3 and no one was going to stand in my way. Now...I could be productive and talk about EVERY match I played in singles, but I really don't feel like typing that much and I really doubt you guys feel like reading all that much longer so instead I'm going to talk about my two biggest matches...Winners and Losers Finals.

First up...Winners!

I had to play Doren2K in Winners Finals and man I was a bit upset, because I KNEW I was going to lose this match. After what happened in the teams tournament I sort of convinced myself that I wasn't beating Doren2K and that's exactly what happened...I didn't beat him.

Now what took me off guard was that he didn't use F-Miyako against me...instead he used Crescent. I played a little bit of his C-Miyako Friday before teams and I'd like to say I did alright considering I've never played it before. Now in that video...well let's just say he was able to keep me off of him EVERYTIME I tried to get in on him. Also her mixup game is much more dangerous in C as opposed to F so that also took me getting used to. I was almost able to take him a couple of rounds, but as you can see I just got outplayed.

Now onto my next and *spoiler SHOCK!!!* final match. LordKnight vs. Myself in Loser Finals.

Now oddly enough...this match I had a feeling that I could win. Like I could honestly say I wasn't afraid of LK's H-Kohaku. Not saying it was bad, because his H-Kohaku is great, but IMO playing that made me realize just how *not* threatening her offense is outside of her command grab and even then it's not really that because after all the Reverse Beats and proration the damage she gets off of it is pretty weak...although what's threatening is the mixup she gets afterwards. The only other thing that's a threat is her overhead sword swipe that looks like a low :| . Outside of those two things whenever he got on the offense I just held down-back and just waited it out...except there were times I waited for TOO long and ate a command grab. Now even though I still lost, I would say my lost was more so due to me missing out on punishes I *knew* I had, but for some reason or another just dropped them as opposed to just outright getting beat. Now what really annoyed me in this match was the fact that if LK had 100% meter he would CONSTANTLY bunker out instead of just waiting it out. Although it's very well a viable tactic and he was smart for doing that instead of just taking the pressure and taking the risk of getting hit...doesn't change the fact it was a bitch to deal with. Also, another I have to note on is his habits. Now not to say he's a bad player or anything like that because he isn't...that couldn't be anymore wrong, but I did talk to Kensou and Kidviper about this (Two US SBO qualifiers for Blazblue CS). While he's very damn good on his offense and his neutral game is also very seems like he plays the game in the air a lot using the most safest air normal that character has (H-Kohaku...J.B. Litchi...J.C (staff) ). Also the fact that his defense is probably his weakest area. Now again...not talking down on him...especially about BBCS because I have yet to see him play BBCS, but if he's placing 2nd at SBO quals then he isn't obviously with that said, the reason why I brought up Kensou and Kidviper was because...he plays the EXACT same way in both BBCS and MB. Now speaking in terms of MB...I was able to see that going back and watching our matches. Whenever he didn't have meter to bunker out I was pretty much getting some type of BNB or throw to open his defense and he would most likely stay in the air using J.B as his air to air as expected considering that's H-Kohaku's strongest air to air normal. I can't exactly knock him for it because it obviously works for him and his character, but if I ever had to play him again in a future I would definitely say I would be able to take it to the last game (like I should've IF I didn't miss the final punish in game 4 <_< ) and *possibly* beat him.


Now with all that said...I think it would be best to say that me placing 3rd at FR reminded the MB community that I still played MB and knew how to play. I know that after a year + some months I sort of fell off the radar without going to tourneys ( thanks to real life) and it was honestly great meeting up with new faces and faces I haven't seen in 2 years. The ride to Gladys and Ron's was nothing but epic moments there and back, me sporting the pac-man hat was hype and just the overall tournament experience reminded me why I love playing Melty Blood and why I love travelling out to these tournaments. Even though I didn't get 1st or even 2nd I was satisfied with myself knowing that I can still hang with some of the top players and even with a lot of the new up and comers in this game.

Well...that's it. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll do another write-up sometime this week. Although I don't know if it'll be anime or the upcoming East Coast Throwdown 2 tournament next month.

See ya!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Episode 1: A Certain *Real* First Post


Well guys, remember how I was talking about writing about my tournament experiences? Well, this first *official* post will be talking about Lucky's, a statewide tournament that happens in Greensboro, NC around once every 1 or 2 months...depending on if any major tournament is conflicting or not obviously. I think I will first start out with the most recent tournament, Lucky's, which just happened this past Saturday and will most definitely go into Final Round XIII in my next post.

Well, needless to say at the time I was feeling 200% more confident this time around compared to the last Lucky's, which happened back in February. I was going into this tournament simply wanting to have a good time like I do every tournament and hopefully place higher than what I did last tournament (which was 5th place). I sort of have this "performance anxiety" issue...before EVERY tournament I will be overly anxious about everything that has to do with whatever tournament I enter and get worried whether or not I will perform to my personal standards...despite going to tournaments and usually placing well in the past. Just trivial stuff will go through my head like: "What if I choke?" or "What if I just suddenly draw a blank and forget everything I practice?" or "What if I get dicked in the brackets and play a fan favorite or someone I know deep down I can't beat 1st round?" or my personal favorite "What if I don't meet my personal expectations at this tournament?" Anyways, I'm just rambling on about something I will most likely make a post about later on down the road and I'm very sure every tournament player at one time or another would constantly go through the same problems I'm going through now.So with that said, let's get back to the tournament.

Well I went into the venue just wanting to play whoever was already on the sticks. I believe there was only two setups when I walked in, so I went back and got my PS2 and fired up another Melty setup. Although it did sort of take people awhile to notice that I wanted to play probably would've helped if I wasn't just mindlessly playing training mode using Archetype-Earth, haha. Well, needless to say that after a good 15 minutes of playing I ended up playing a couple of people. They were just starting, but that didn't stop me from going all out against them with my F-Ciel and new and hopefully full time alt character, H-Aoko. I was able to tell that they were new because they really didn't know how to block against me or deal with my F-Ciel pressure. To say the least, I was able to beat them pretty convincingly, but I'm sure if they just keep playing the game and researching they'll be strong players in due time. After that I was able to play against our resident F-Riesbyfe player, PurifyWeirdSoul...or PWS for short. He has a pretty good F-Ries who gave me a bit of problems in our casual session on top of the fact that I was forgetting to run some new stuff I was testing with 3C/3[C] in training mode. With my F-Ciel and his F-Ries it was going back and forth for the most part. I also decided to test drive my H-Aoko to see how he would deal with the H-Aoko pressure. For the most part, whenever I didn't mess up my strings with her I was able to shake him up quite a bit and keep him from flinching in the corner...which H-Aoko wants to for the most part. A bit before the tournament started I was also to play against our resident C-Mech player, P-Soul. Although he's just recently picked up the game (around 3-4 months ago IIRC), IMO he's been showing an scary amount of improvement and has something new every time I play him. Anyways, it was dead even for the most part with us going back and forth 1-1 at my best and 2-1 at my worst. I was really thinking if I had to play this guy during the tournament he would scrape me pretty bad. Well after our session the tournament was starting up.

First round I ended up getting a bye so I was just simply able to just relax and get ready for my match by simply relaxing. Well a few matches later I was up for my first match against a F-Chaos player, TestamentLOL. He's one of the players I actually play the most due to us having sessions at NCSU so much. Chaos in general isn't really a threat to me personally because I have so much experience with him that carried over from MBAC that I sort just fight that match-up by raw instinct rather than textbook. I already knew what I could and couldn't do against him based on the situation we were in, my knowledge of the overall game, and our characters. He actually put up a good fight with me going 2-1 and taking it to the last round in the last game. After that I was able to catch a well deserved breather before going into my next match against P-Soul, the C-Mech player I was so afraid of playing in tournament...well not exactly scared, but rather anxious. I knew this wasn't going to be a free round and I knew I could very well lose...which is exactly what happened. My 1st game against him was at best an embarrassment. I couldn't do anything against him and he was simply just 3 steps ahead of me. 1st round of the first game was almost a perfect and the 2nd round I was barely able to make a dent in his game plan. I decided to switch it up and go with H-Aoko...granted that wasn't much better. I was able to finally get in on him and get some type of offense against him, but in the end I just wasn't able to get used to using H-Aoko in a match type situation and ended up losing 2-0 and with him advancing his way into winners finals.

I can't exactly say I was happy about my performance, but I did what any good player can do and that was to move on about my loss and just make it out of the losers bracket. For my next match I had to play against PWS, the F-Ries player I was talking about earlier. I ended up barely winning 2-1, but I wasn't exactly happy about that. I knew I could've won 2-0 if it wasn't for careless mistakes and execution errors I made in earlier games, but hey...everyone makes mistakes...even top players. Well, right after that match I had to play TestamentLOL again in losers semis. This set went about the same as last set, with the exception of game 3. It was more one-sided to say the least. Granted it was still a close set overall, the 3rd game was really just a preview of him being overwhelmed by F-Ciel's pressure. Right after that match, (I know I had to run through a marathon of matches :| ) I had to play P-Soul again in losers finals, who ended up losing to Frank the Tank in Winners Finals. It was a 3/5 set as opposed to it being 2/3 since this was a finals match.

I was getting a bit anxious again since this was really looking like a repeat of the last time we played. It was a pretty convincing set for him and I was barely able to scrape out wins against him. If you was able to see this match live you would've thought he would've won for sure. Well the set was 2-1 at this point and we were both at less than half life. I got tagged with a normal and ended up eating a combo that would've killed me, but instead he decided to activate in my face and blow me across screen rather than outright kill me. Well that point was a very huge momentum shift where I somehow was able to land a counter hit on him and kill him, winning me the round. After that point I was just able to severely punish him for whatever bad mistake he did and make it hurt like hell. I ended up winning the set 3-2 and advancing my way to grand finals. To be honest...neither of us was satisfied with the results. P-Soul obviously because he lost a match that he had in his hands and as for me...I just wasn't feeling my performance then. He was able to soundly beat me based on overall better fundamentals and forcing me to make mistakes. I was only able to beat him in that set because I was able to capitalize on one very careless mistake he made. Overall, I thought he was the better player in that set, but alas the game didn't recognize that. It only saw me as the winner and him as the loser.

[Insert obligatory anime picture that sort of fits the theme]


[/Insert obligatory anime picture that sort of fits the theme]

Well I won't lie...I genuinely like this picture. I think it sort of captures the atmosphere of why I enjoy going to tournaments so much...and besides...she's hot and she looks like she's having a blast!

...moving on...

Now onto my final match...Grand Finals. I ended up playing against Frank the Tank who hasn't lost a single round this entire tournament. I needed to beat him in two sets of a 3/5 in order to win the tournament. Now I was actually feeling a bit more confident about this match for the simple fact that I was able to beat him at Final Round and I was able to get a handle on his playstyle real quick by playing him so much. Well that feeling sort of went away after the first match. I got scraped pretty badly, although after the first match I just relaxed and kept my cool. I ended up keeping my own against him and beating him the first set 3-1. All I did was stay patient against him, punish whatever mistake he made and made it hurt...I also shielded him a ton, which caused him to take a different approach against me. Second set was a closer set with us constantly going back and forth with the set ending in 3-2 me winning it all.

Despite the fact that I felt a couple of my matches was won strictly on BS, which I'm not exactly proud of by the way, a win is a win and there's really no bad blood between any of the players because of it. Yeah, we had our fair share of shit talk and salt was put into the wounds, but overall I still think it was a great tournament.

Well I hope you enjoyed reading through all that wall of text! I'll be sure to make another entry sometime this week about my experience at Final Round XIII.

P.S. I will embed videos into this post whenever they are uploaded.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Episode 0: A Certain Ciel Player's Introduction!


Boy am I late to the blogging game! Well I know if you bother to look to the right of you, you can see a small little introduction about me. Well I figured that wouldn't be enough space to say exactly what I want to say so with that said I figured to make my first post introducing all 5, possibly 6, of you people who is going to bother keeping up with this blog. Now then...let's begin shall we?

I am a 20 year old male who joined the United States Air Force on April 1, 2008. I know...such a weird day to join the Air Force. Anyways, I've been in for almost 2 years now and I joined right out of high school (I was 17 at the time). I'm currently in Goldsboro, North Carolina although I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. My hobbies consist of watching anime, reading manga, playing video games (fighting games primarily, but I also play RPGs, Action, and old school Platformers), and I also just like to spend unhealthy amount of time on the internet. Rather if it's studying match videos or just chatting it up with friends on Ventrilo. Gaming has been my main hobby as long as I can remember. It all started when my dad got me a Sega Game-Gear for my 4th birthday and after that the rest was history. I really wasn't into fighters all that much when I was younger. Yeah, I casually played Tekken and Dead or Alive, but I really didn't know what I was doing. It wasn't until I met former pro Dead or Alive player Perfect Legend, who introduced me into the world of competitive gaming. He really got me out of the "scrub mentality" and motivated me to pick up fighting games seriously. I have my older cousin to thank for showing me the Melty Blood Act Cadenza, which turns out to my main game. I will always remember the day he casually gave me a link on AIM that would have a huge impact on my life.

I know, but as corny as it sounds it's true. Had he not showed me that match, which ultimately sparked my interest in learning the game, I would not have been playing Melty Blood at all. I'll get onto that in my next post.

Other little tidbits about me:

I go by the name Brandino on message boards or IRC, although most people who know me on a personal level just call me Brandon. I actually ended up with the nickname thanks to a close friend of mine back home.

I've only been in the "game" for 2 and a half years and I have done the following:
Place first at Northeast Championships 8 for MBAC Ver.B2 (Teams and Singles) - 2007-
Place first at Final Round XI for MBAC Ver.B2 (Sinlgles) -2008-
Place second and fifth at Northeast Championships 9 for MBAC Ver.B2 (Teams and Singles respectively) -2008-
Place third at Final Round XIII for Melty Blood Actress Again (Teams and Sinlgles) -2010-

I'd say for someone who's still considered new to the scene I'm pretty impressed with myself. Not a lot of people can say that they've accomplished what I have done for their respective games in such a short amount of time. Not to toot my horn, but most new players will most likely either go 0-2. Not a lot of new people will consistently place in major level tournaments for their main games.

I'm actually pretty reserved and soft-spoken, but once you open me up I usually don't stop talking lol.

Pretty cheesy intro overall, but I hope you really enjoyed hearing my semi-life story and hope to stay tuned in the very near future!