Beginners Guide to Pro Level Play – Tokyo, Taito Station and Beyond

Ahoi, Last weekend, I was in Tokyo, leveling up my SF4AE skills at actual arcades for the Indonesian fighting games championships.  Tokyo’s called the mecca for fighting games and didn’t disappoint. Arcades were seemingly everywhere and skilled players were the norm.

Taito Station SSF4 ae Super Street Fighter arcade edition posters

Of the arcades I went to, the Taito station in Ikebukukoro had the most players and even a few that I recognized; Nishikun, Gotcha Boi and Chocoblanka. The atmosphere reminded me of Le Louvre, spectators/students watching the masters and then taking a couple rounds to apply it.  It’s rather impressive how well arcade players convert cigarette smoke and energy drinks into amazing SSF4 ae gameplay, if we could somehow focus that ability on global warming, it’d be taken care of within two 99 second blocks. The most popular characters I saw were: Vega, Adon and of course, Ryu.  Gameplaywise, I have never seen so few dropped combos. One hit and you will took a full combo, no questions asked.

Kawaii SSF4 ae

Ibuki, Sakura, Chun Li and Juri are just too 可愛い to beat up.

Adon being a popular choice meant that everyone was well prepared and used to much better play than what I do and as such, my battle rank reflects it, 4000bp, C rank, 26% winrate. The Japanese arcade ranking system is much different than on XBL, level ups happen every 1000 points, every loss nets 50 or so points, and each letter rank has 3 sub ranks; D/DD/DDD/next rank. Now to what makes Japanese players the best in the world.  It’s not the amount of time they practice or being shoulder to shoulder with the pros,

Taito Brush dem Fingers off

Nor immaculate cleanliness

It’s this monstrosity: Street Fighter Movie, Fuck Yes Dear mother of all that is holy, that is a Street Fighter movie cabinet in all it’s Jean Claude Van Damme flash kicking glory.   For those who are slacking, they know a trip to the penalty box awaits them shooting lightning from Bison’s hands.

For anyone else who wants to make the pilgramage, here is a link to all the major arcades in Tokyo.


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