Moving to

•January 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Moving my blog to !


Virtua Fighter Q&A with Shinz

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Probably gonna be the last update of the year. Had lots of stuffs to do after I came back from China. Finally got the time to do this!

This interview was done completely with Japanese. I cant speak korean and Shinz couldnt speak english. We had to communicate through Japanese. Shinz cant speak Japanese very well. We tried our best! Hope everyone like this interview!

Tetra: How long have you been playing Virtua Fighter
Ever since Virtua Fighter 1. I only played a bit during VF1 days.

Tetra: Do you like the direction the game has gone so far/do you think each new Virtua Fighter has been better than the last?
Shinz: I prefer VF5 the most. I didnt really like VF3 as much compared to VF4. In order of preference VF5 > VF4 > VF3

Tetra: Over the last year or so, do you notice the number of new and younger players playing Virtua Fighter increasing? Or have the names and faces stayed the same.
Shinz: I am busy with work. Very little time was spent playing games. I dont know about the current korean Virtua Fighter community

Tetra: How much time do you spend training a week?
Shinz: None recently. Around 2 years ago, I play around 10 hours a week.

Tetra: Does it ever get in the way of other obligations in your life?
Shinz: Nope. Previously I was doing freelancing. That is the reason I had more time to spend on gaming. Right now, I gave up most of my gaming time for a full time job.

Tetra: Who do you think are the most difficult opponents you’ll have to face?
Shinz: Fuudo.

Tetra: Have you ever played VF5R?
Shinz: I havent played VF5R. I havent been to Japan for a really long time.

Tetra: What do you think of Tekken 6, SF4, BlazBlue and any other big name fighters around right now, and how do they compare to VF?
Shinz: I tried playing a little SF4. SF4 isnt a suitable game for me. Tekken is big in Korea. 80% of the players in arcades play Tekken. 10% plays SF4.

Tetra: Do you have or have you had any issues with the seeding involved in the tournament?
Shinz: Group B’s players are definately too strong.

Tetra: What do you think about not having VF5R outside of Japan?
Shinz: No more tekken please! I am ok with VF5R not outside of Japan. But please release VF6 outside of Japan arcades.

Tetra: What type of training did you go through to becoming one of the strongest VF players of all time?
Shinz: I practiced 8hrs a day during VF3 days.

Tetra: What category would you put your style of play in?
Shinz: Stepping and technique type.

Tetra: At Kakutou Shinsheiki II you and POS Akira had featured exhibition matches against famous Japanese player Kyasao. How did Sega AM2 contact you about coming to Japan for that event?
Shinz: Sega Japan and Kyasa contacted me about the event.

Tetra: What is your favourite Virtua Fighter in regards to system.
Shinz: VF2. VF2 can play very offensively. Offensive style is better compared to defensive gameplay.

Virtua Fighter Q&A with Fuudo

•November 22, 2009 • 2 Comments

Once again thank you Fuudo for this interview session. Most of the questions are provided by, fans of the Virtua Fighter series!
Hope everyone like this interview. I will do another one when I go to Japan, provided that everyone likes this!
Translation and intervewing was done by Tetra(me). There might be mistakes, typos, translation errors, etc in this interview! Read at your own risk!
Note: Its not a word to word translation. Based on what Fuudo told me, I put it into english.

Tetra: How long have you been playing Virtua Fighter?
Fuudo: I think around 6years ago. I started just when VF4 Evolution was released.

Tetra: Do you like the direction the game has gone so far/do you think each new Virtua Fighter has been better than the last?
Fuudo: Yes, each VF series gets better and better. But I would have prefer 5 to be more different from 4. This is because currently pple who are strong in 4 are also strong in 5. VF4 and VF5 are too similar.
Tetra: Just like Tekken series? They dont change the basic movement, throw system, etc in every iteration.
Fuudo: Yap exactly. I want everyone to have the same starting point, just like VF3 to VF4. Maybe increasing/decreasing number of buttons, stuff or changing the system more.

Tetra: Over the last year or so, do you notice the number of new and younger players playing Virtua Fighter increasing? Or have the names and faces stayed the same.
Fuudo: VF5R seems to have more players recently. Every month there is a 3v3 tournament, around 50 teams will participate in this tournament. Along with spectators there are around 180 pple in the arcade. Alot of players that I never seen before appears in the tournament. Its weird that I dont see them in arcades but they will just magically appear in tournaments. It has been bothering me for a while.

Tetra: What was the last thing you ate?
: Ok, I didnt ask this. But I ate the same food as him in China. See the pictures 😦

Tetra: Where does he play VF and how long for every day? Did he buy the console version of VF5?
Fuudo: Shinjuku and ikekuburo Sega. If he plays, he play like 20 matches. Around once or twice a week. I dont have any console. My family have a Wii though.
Tetra: Are you good in any Wii games? Maybe we could spar with each other on Wii!
Fuudo: I am really good in the bowling game 🙂

Tetra: Are you working with Sega?
Fuudo: I am selected as a Star player. Star player will be asked to do official VF5R events(anywhere in Japan) for Sega. We will receive salary(for the event day), free accomodation and travel expenses. It is like a freelance thing.

Tetra: What is it like to be a VF star player  in Japan?
Fuudo: It doesnt really matter to me. Even if I dont get to be a Star player, it wouldnt affect me in any way. Sega is abit complicated. I dont really want to do it for them.
Tetra: Any reasons why?
Fuudo: Star player as a whole now isnt really strong now. Because it is easy to become a star player as long as you win a official Sega tournament you can be one. Even if it is a small tournament. The meaning is lost as there are weak star players now. In the past, only the really strong players such as Fuumin, Koedo, myself and a few others.

Tetra: Is there a lot of pressure to win turnaments, are they friendly towards each other or are there big rivalries?
Fuudo: Everyone is friendly towards each other. We have all been long time friends in Virtua Fighter. For VF tournaments, I dont really have any pressure cos I have confidence that I will win. But in SF4, I am afraid to make risky play because I dont have confidence yet.

Tetra: Is there a reason why you dont customize your Lion?
Fuudo: I like the 1P costume. Recently I got the knitted cap thing.

Tetra: Does gaming ever get in the way of other obligations in your life?
Fuudo: I think its wrong to think this way. If it does get in your way, you should start to quit gaming. Playing game will definately make you lose something, such as time and others. Like you will hang out with your gaming friends more than your college friends. There will always be something lost. Personally, I never think of what is lost in my life.

Tetra: What direction do you feel Virtua Fighter should go to increase it’s popularity globally while keeping it’s essence?
Fuudo: Every version should be released in arcade and game center. Instead of thinking how to keep the popularity of Virtua Fighter, the important thing is to find out how to stop everyone from quitting.

Tetra: Who do you think are the most difficult opponents you’ll have to face?
Fuudo: Tetra becos of he is using Vanessa. Lion is weak against Vanessa. 3k is too strong against Lion. Everyone is stronger than I expected in this tournament though. Korean players are strong too but I had enough casual games to figure them out. I more confident against them because of the characters they are using.
Tetra’s notes: After the tournament, Fuudo told me Shinz’s weakness. Shinz always evade after he hit him with a standing punch. Shinz also always evade in 1 direction. I cant remember whether its up or down though.That’s also the reason why Shinz almost never beat Fuudo at all in casuals. Rikojjang had similar weakness too.

Tetra: Do you have any problems with balance in VF5R?
Fuudo: Nope. Becos I was using the weakest character in VF5. Also, everyone have the same type of basic moves in VF. So more or less it is a even playing ground in my opinion.

Tetra: What do you think of SF4 gameplay as compared to VF5?
Fuudo: SF4 and VF5 requires different mindset to play. It is important to understand and make use of all the set ups for SF4. Also SF4 requires alot of techniques to play effectively. Whereas VF requires  alot of yomi and how you can find other player’s bad habits.
Tetra: For example, Itazan doesnt have high level of techniques and execution. He usually input 1 throw break but he excel as a top player for VF5 due to his high level of yomi.
Fuudo: Yap.

Tetra: Do you have or have you had any issues with the seeding involved in WCG 2009?
Fuudo: I didnt really like having players in the tournament who doesnt know how to play. Its like people who dont even love Virtua Fighter are representing their country in VF5. It isnt about how strong they are.

Tetra: To become a top player such as you, did you go through any special training?
Fuudo: I mainly played on console with KouRyu Lau during VF4 Evolution days. That was when I just started playing the game. I didnt go to arcades at all initially. Kouryu is a player who is very strong at blocking and fuzzy guarding. I couldnt land hits on him at all. After alot alot of games, I started going to arcade. I won everyone easily. I began wondering hmm, did I became stronger? Afterwhich, I went and played with Kouryu again. I still couldnt beat him. I then realized I already became stronger without knowing.

Tetra: When fighting a new opponent you have never faced, what things do you look for to determine how to beat them?
Fuudo: Bad habits. How they react on P/2P hit and guard. Make us of human bad habits. Everyone will have some sort of bad habit.
Tetra’s Notes: Fuudo have a bad habit too. On Vanessa’s 3P counterhit, he will always abare. He says that it is because most people will throw him after 3P counterhit.

Tetra: What advice would give another player who wants to become as strong as you?
Fuudo: Take note of your opponents’ bad habits. Which direction of evade they always evade in, whether they abare alot, whether they ETEG.
Tetra’s Notes: Fuudo said Korean players ETEG most of the time.

Tetra: What do you think is your style of play?
Fuudo: Defense type waiting for opponent to make mistakes. Far range combat.
Tetra’s Notes: Fuudo mentioned that he usually plays far range. For WCG, it didnt seem like he needed to. That’s why he kept playing close range games with all the players in WCG.

Tetra: What made you want to choose Lion in the beginning?
Fuudo: I was using Kage in Bay Area tournaments. Chibita convinced me to use Lion instead for Kakutou Shinseki 2. Somehow on the first try with Lion, I won kakutou shinseiki 2 qualifiers.

Tetra: If you didn’t pick Lion, what other character do you think you would be playing?
Fuudo: Kage. Maybe Leifei cos in VF5 I joined my first otenami haiken tournament qualifiers with lei fei. Lei fei is fun to play. I lost 2 times with Leifei and switch to lion and won the tournament.

Tetra:  Who are your secondary characters?
Fuudo: I only play Lion now. During VF4 days, I could play almost all characters. I had alot of high rank cards.

Tetra: What do you feel about playing VF5 for WCG and not VF5R?
Fuudo: Cant help it because there isnt VF5R for consoles. I am really glad that WCG have VF5. Thank you to WCG for having VF5.

Tetra: What stick do you use when you play on consoles?
Fuudo: vF stick and HORI EX pro. Dont have console though.

Tetra: When you evade throw escape guard how many throws do you usually attempt to escape?
Fuudo: On P Counter hit, its impossible to do more than 2 throw breaks on reaction. On certain situations, I will only get hit by P counterhit. I will break more than 2 throws. Its only possible because I am prepared to do it. If my attacks are blocked, 3 throw breaks. If a slow move recovering move is blocked, 4 throw breaks.

Tetra: Do prefer to play Fuzzy Guard/ETEG or Abare more often?
Fuudo: Fuzzy Guard/ETEG

Tetra: What is it that put Lion in S class in VF5R that became a main staple to your Strategic game in VF5R now?
Fuudo: Lion has weak mid attacks for 5. All the players in japan crouch and Lion cant deal any damage to them. Although his lows are strong but everyone will just crouch. VF5R lion’s mid attacks is damn strong. I could land big damage easily with the current Lion. This changed lion. This allows Lion players to use his powerful low attacks more effectively now.

Tetra: How Long does a Loss sits with you especially when its a close match?
Fuudo: Nothing much compared to a huge loss. If its a close match, at least its a good match.

Tetra: What are areas that you think you need to improve upon compared to your peers in VF?
Fuudo: Finding out his own weakness. Realising opponents are exploiting his mistakes and weakness.

Tetra: In your opinion on goh and why does goh not place well in tourneys?
Fuudo: Probably because not many pple use goh? I dont think its true that Goh doesnt place well in tournaments. Game Center Arashi Goh player went to tougeki and 3-0 alot of teams. Although vf4 evo goh is weak.

Tetra: What is goh missing in vf5r that would make him a higher tier?
Fuudo: Goh is strong enough in R. His tsukami is super high damage and strong.

Tetra: Do you know the reason why Minami Akira quit playing Virtua Fighter?
Fuudo: Dont know he is a player from Kyoto. I stay in Tokyo. Maybe he went back to 2D games? He used to be a 2D player.

Tetra: Who do you consider as the strongest player, past and present?
Fuudo: Innochi Akira

Tetra: Who were the best players during the VF4 era?
Fuudo: At the start it was Chibita. Tougeki winner, Inocchi Akira is generally the strongest player in VF4 ever. VF4 FT probably myself. Oo Nuki Aoi is also super strong no one can beat. He used to be really weak and had a winning rate of 30%. But he plays so much games that he ended up becoming one of the strongest player.

Tetra: Who are the three best players during VF5R currently?
Fuudo: Koedo, Joseph strong in casuals. Homestay strong in tournaments. Itoshun one of the strongest player ever in VF5R Hauru Kage used to win alot against Koedo last time but he switched to Akira.

Tetra: What do you think about Koedo?
Fuudo: Koedo is a very strong player. He works hard to get better and understand alot about the game including match ups. Too much pride though.

VF Fuudo Q&A Completed!
Look forward to VF Shinz Q&A next!

SF4 Q&A with Fuudo

•November 20, 2009 • 3 Comments

I had a really long Q&A session with Fuudo during my trip to WCG 2009 Grand Finals. Fuudo as we all know is a Grandmaster Ryu player in Japan. Arguably the 2nd best Ryu in the world. He is nice enough to accept this Q&A session to give us more insights of SF4 and Japan.

Credits to Tetra(me) for interviewing and translating. Thank you to for supplying some of the questions! Thank you to Fuudo for his patience and kindness!
Note: Its not a word to word translation. Based on what Fuudo told me, I put it into english. There might be errors and mistakes!

Tetra: Is it possible to shoryuken all jump ins on wake up?
Fuudo: Basic idea is its possible Shoryuken everything on wake up. There are exceptions to this though. For example Dictator’s jump HP. There are too many factors to consider on this. It is possible to option select Shoryuken on wake up. This enables you to block should you fail to do a proper Shoryuken.

Tetra: How does one become a great player like Daigo and yourself?
Fuudo: If you keep playing against strong players you will get naturally get stronger. When I just started playing Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, I was always playing against my friend on console. He is a very strong player. Eventually I got stronger without knowing. Playing on console helped me improve at an amazing pace. Environment also plays a huge part, such as having a huge community and talented players. Also, mentally you cant keep thinking that you are the best player. Always bear in mind that you have to keep climbing up higher and higher even when you are on top.

Tetra: Most Ryu players in Singapore are abusing hurricane kick cross ups. The reason why Japanese rarely do this is because its very easy to SRK?
Fuudo: The risk is too high since top players like Mago and Daigo could shoryuken the cross up Hurricane kick easily.

Tetra: Did Iyo quit SF4?
Fuudo: Iyo didnt play much because of work.

Tetra: How about Nemo?
Fuudo: After Nemo got engaged. He deleted his card and stopped playing SF4.

Tetra: In your opinion, who is the most pretty SF4 or Fighting game female player in Japan?
Fuudo: … I havent seen any of them before. Based on what I heard. Gyasu, Kayo Police, Chocoblanka.

Tetra: What’s your general view on Ryu opponents?
Fuudo: There are only 2 types of Ryu.

1 is Hadouken type.
2 is 2MK type.

Those who are really good at 1 are very strong Ryu players. Being good at Hadouken forces your opponent to do risky moves such as jump. Daigo just hadouken the hell out of people and anti air everyone who tries to jump in. This way, Hadouken style can gain damage easily. Of cos, this goes the same with doing a hadouken and people jump in and do big damage on you. But its a very essential tool to become a strong Ryu player.

2 is usually not so strong, dont really need to care about them.

Lastly, Ryus who are good in option select proves to be tough opponents. As it limits my options to escape and prevents me from doing anything.

Tetra:  What are your toughest and easiest match up?
Fuudo: Sagat is the hardest match up for me currently. Akuma is getting tougher now because of their progression of setups. Sagat is like 4:6 to Sagat’s advantage and Akuma is like 4.5:5.5. Sagat does higher damage and there is health difference. Players like Bon chan, Mago, RF,Radiowave are very difficult opponents.
Claw is the easiest match up. I had difficulties with Makoto at first. After learning the match up, Claw is the easiest character to beat.
And not forgetting, I hate Fuerte especially TKD. In fact only TKD’s Fuerte proves to be a tough match up.

Tetra: Do you know about the throw mechanics? How does it really work after block stun? For example after a 2LP on block.
Fuudo: Usually after 2LP on block, we would delay the throw by 1 or 2 frames.  Dont really have to bother about this much. Just delay your throw.

Tetra: You can tech up slower by pressing later after falling down(up to 5frames). Are japanese players practicing that? Is it useful in high level play?
Fuudo: This is very important against zangief. Because of this system, Ryu is in advantage.If not Zangief will have advantage. When Ryu wake up later, Zangief’s cross up will already be on other side. This allows Ryu to SRK in the correct direction. This is also extremely important against rufus dive kick.

Tetra: When japanese players talk about high level sfiv play, like in terms of international level, is Singapore even being mentioned? Or do they even know that we do take sfiv seriously?
Fuudo: Hmmm… this is my first time outside of Japan. I dont anything about Singapore. My only form of information is from you(Tetra). So, commenting on this is kind of meaningless right?

Tetra: How often do you play?
Fuudo: Recently, I have been playing SF4 alot. Around 2 hours daily.

Tetra: What are the top 3 changes (character, gameplay mechanics, anything) you would like to see in SSF4?
Fuudo: The most important thing is to have Super SF4 released in Arcades. I hope that the characters in SSF4 will have different playstyle. Like ken, ryu, gouki although they are all shotos but each have a different play style. I would also like to see more tournaments in arcade, more players and more events.
Tetra’s Note: Fuudo is more concerned about community and arcade release than the gameplay mechanics.Without a community and arcade release, the game would be boring.

Tetra: What is the most important part of SF4 that a player needs to know.
Fuudo: Knowledge and set play. This is a very important part of SF4. Most of the game revolves around being perfect in your set play.
Tetra’s Note: Set play means fixed setup that players used. Like after throw, you jump in.

Tetra: Is there a reason why you dont focus Viper’s Burning kick on wake up?
Fuudo: It is very risky if Viper does jump HK. I would get dizzy right away. Its too painful to try. I rather take the 100 damage from burning kick than the Jump HK combo.
Tetra’s Note: This is after playing against Fuudo and I realized he doesnt do focus much against Burning kicks.

Tetra: Did you eat the durian cake that Itazan bought for you?
Tetra: Nope.

Tetra’s Note: I was talking to Itazan over MSN before I left for China. He told me he didnt give any to Fuudo.

Tetra: Is that maid cosplay picture of you for real?
Fuudo: Yes! I was forced to take it when I lost in SBO. My friends carried me to an alley and forced me to change into maid costume. /laugh. Everyone was trying to take a picture of me too! After that, I saw another girl cosplaying as maid. She asked where did I bought the maid costume!
Tetra’s Note: I cant remember which year that SBO was.

Tetra: Does it cost alot to get to Nagoya from Tokyo?
Fuudo: Its really cheap to get there from Tokyo. Recently 9 of us rented a car to drive to Nagoya. Each person had to around 2k to 5k yen compared to train 20k yen.  Its cheap that way.
Tetra’s Note: There is a tournament called Nagoya Street Battle(NSB) in Nagoya. Recently 160+ players participated in it!

Random stuff that Fuudo talked about
Fuudo: Mizuta Bomber(Blanka’s cross up ultra on wake up). It beats alot of stuff.
Tetra: I thought EX shoryuken is a definate answer to Mizuta Bomber?
Fuudo: If Mizuta Bomber is done properly, EX shoryuken will fly to the wrong direction. Allowing the ultra to get a complete hit after opponent is recovering from EX shoryuken.

Tetra talking about backdashing and wake up options
Fuudo: For example, when players like Shiro does Abel’s 6MK6  and Ryu blocks it. Shiro time his normal grab such that it will grab Ryu’s backdash and also block reversal shoryuken. This is extremely important against Ryu. But this option will lose to Ryu’s 2LP.
Tetra’s Notes: Reason is that Ryu’s backdash have 1 frame that is not airborne and not invincible. That 1 frame is vulnerable to throws.

Tetra talking about Kyabesu and Mago
Fuudo: Kyabesu isnt a strong player. Mago beats Kyabesu all the time.

After 15 games with Fuudo… Tetra winning like 5 games in total
Fuudo: You can easily become Master Ranked Viper in main arcades such as Big Box.

Tetra talking about SBO 09
Fuudo: I felt really sad after losing in 1st round of SBO 09 SF4. I really played alot… I thought I would make it to the 2nd round at least.

Tetra talking with Fuudo about SF4 guide book
Fuudo: I wrote that book with Yanaga and other famous Virtua Fighter players. I was the only one who really played Street Fighter 4. Alot of stuff that is written on the book is confirmed by the debug kit borrowed from Capcom. At one point, I felt like stealing the debug kit! The debug kit shows blue/red hit boxes of the attacks and characters. Viper’s combos was confirmed by myself. I couldnt do 2149 burning kicks. We had to use the debug kit to check if its really true.
Tetra: Regarding the hit boxes. Chun Li’s EX spinning bird kick’s hit box is a bit weird right?
Fuudo: Yap. We tested it over and over again. We saw actual hit boxes in between Chun Li’s legs but somehow it doesnt hit anyone. We never understood why. Its strange.

Fuudo talking about option select into Ultra
Fuudo: You might wanna try doing option select into Ultra. It should work for Viper. Emilio Ken is doing 2LK option select into Ultra. Its crazy.


WCG Grand Finals 2009 VF5 Match Videos

•November 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Uploading the match videos first since its the easiest thing to do right now.

Rikojjang(Akira) – Korea vs Stprock(Leifei) – Germany
3rd Placing

Llanfair(Pai) – Canada vs Rikojjang(Lau) – Korea
Group A qualifiers

Tetra(Vanessa) – Singapore vs Fuudo(Lion) – Japan
Group B qualifiers

Tetra(Vanessa) – Singapore vs Shinz(Jacky) – Korea
Group B qualifiers

Flash(Wolf) – USA vs Tetra(Vanessa) – Singapore
Group B qualifiers

Flash(Wolf) – USA vs Shinz(Jacky) – Korea
Group B qualifiers

Stprock(Lei Fei) – Germany vs Llanfair(Pai) – Canada
Group A qualifiers

Shinz(Akira) – Korea vs Gama(Kage) – Mexico
Group B qualifiers

Shinz(Jacky) – Korea vs Fuudo(Lion) – Japan

More soon!

Back in Singapore!

•November 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

YES! Finally back!

Will be uploading all the pics, VF5 match videos and my blog soon.

Lots of stuffs to do. Gonna have to work tomorrow. China was really cold. The people there are really nice though! EXCEPT for most of the taxi drivers… !

Even though I lost, what matters is the journey was a fun one.

Unfortunately, I lost on the last 2nd day in China… Lots of contacts lost sigh.

Recent stuffs

•October 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I lost in last week’s SF4 2v2 tournament and Dreamhack tournament. I didnt do too well in 2v2 tournament. Really sorry to my partner Gackt 😦

I did better in Dreamhack though. But sigh, Sagat is too strong! I need to get better in order to beat the top sagats in Singapore.

Fuudo(WCG Japan 2008 champion)  just added me on Mixi. I heard that he isnt that friendly with foreigners. Guess he is a pretty nice guy to foreigners too 🙂