The gaming culture in Japan is what blew my mind for the main part, you have two kinds of people when it comes down to playing fighting games. The first kind is the one who just sits at home and plays online all day everyday, of course that’s not a problem in Japan since all players play on a fiber optic connection, which feels the same as offline. I haven’t interacted with those kinds of players since I was out pretty much the whole time so I can’t talk much about their skill level but from what I saw from online matches, it is pretty impressive.
myself at the ranbat with 2nd and 3rd place players
The other kind are players are those who just go to the arcade and sit there for many hours. This includes the top players that we all know of such as Daigo, Sako, Fuudo, Mago, Bonchan, Uryo and many other great players. Of course, there are many players who show up there on a daily basis but it gets really crowded on the weekends and during tournament seasons. I liked the arcade environment when I went over there because you get to play against so many good players. Almost everyone who is there knows how to actually play the game. Since each game costs almost $1.00, everyone always tries to play his best to win since winner stays on. What makes it more exciting is the way that it set up. I’ll leave it up to this video to explaining it how it actually set up.
The only thing I didn’t like when I went there was how much people were smoking, almost every player was smoking so the smell at the arcade wasn’t very good.
Brackets for a-cho ranbat
When comparing average players from Japan with the US, I hate to say it but they are so much better than the players in the states. The main reason is because they have access to all the factors to get better, online and offline wise. However, in the US, the only way to get better is by traveling to tournaments which cost a lot, so not everyone can afford it. Moreover, the online competition in the US is nothing like Japan due to Internet connection limitations in some states.
Casuals before the tournament
Lastly, another thing that I found different, some people may like it while others may not, was that the Japanese crowd hype is not like what it is in the states. In the states, it usually involves a lot of drama and everyone wants to prove himself to be the better player no matter what, so the drive to be the best and you can see it every time you go to a tournament involving the top players. However, in Japan there is no such thing. You see them get excited in a tournament but it will always be about playing more for fun since there is nothing big involved on the line unlike major tournaments that we have. I went to and competed in a couple of tournaments aside from SBO. One was a weekly ranbat in Kyoto and the other one was a 5v5 tournament in Osaka. When I won the ranbat in Kyoto, I got a paper to write down my name on it and a box to write a “win” quote. Basically whoever wins that ranbat, his quote will be posted on the website and that was the prize for all the ranbat games they had. For the 5v5 tournament, even though it was the same thing, no prizes were involved or anything, I found it very surprising of how many people showed for that tournament from all of Japan, over a 100 really good players showed just to hang out and chill at this event knowing that the winner will not get anything.
Here are some links that includes some great matches from both the ranbat and the 5v5 tournament.
This pretty much concludes the fighting game culture in Japan, I hope you all enjoyed the read and looking forward to visit again!.