The day I arrived in Japan was the day before TOUGEKI: Super Battle Opera, so I went to a SOULCALIBUR V session with many of the Japanese players, and the American player King Salmon (US SBO Qualifier Finalist) was there too! The session was also streamed!
I met so many awesome players, and here are some shoutouts:
Shining Decopon (EVOLUTION 2012 Champion): At SBO, before the SOULCALIBUR V tournament, I had an exhibition match against him at the Mad Catz booth. The score is 8-7 for me at the end, every match was very close and I wish we could have played more. His Tira is very amazing, using a lot of pressure and it’s hard to anticipate him. For sure, Shining Decopon deserves his title of EVO Champion!
Kami Chang and Jashin: The best Hilde’s players in Japan. They are both really amazing, I have never seen players zoning like them, also they trained a lot on Hilde’s combos so they can land huge combos that take ¾ of my life ! They make it look easy, but it’s actually very hard to do! Kami Chang said he lost a lot of weight because he trained so hard on SCV, I wish the game would have the same effect on me! ._. haha!
CRNA Ruka: When I arrived, I had the chance to play an exhibition match against the SBO Champion CRNA Ruka (Patroklos), which I won 2-0. He’s very strong and he knows how to abuse certain moves at the right times. He said his mental game became much stronger thanks to EVO, and he knew how to deal better with the pressure to win SBO. His mental game is very strong, and I think it’s his best quality. He’s very calm and smart.
Toilet: I played against the famous player Toilet! haha! He became famous during the official Namco-Bandai SOULCALIBUR V World Finals because of his funny name. He almost eliminated the champion OmegaDR in first round with ZWEI at the World Finals. Now he plays Voldo, and he plays him so well ! It’s so hard to anticipate this character and Toilet knows perfectly what to do!
Crow Maku: I also played Crow Maku, one of the strongest Siegfried players in Japan! My Viola couldn’t intimidate him or beat him, but my Leixia could do much better and he was surprised to see that. He said my Leixia is very strong. I wish I could play against him more with her!
Oosaka: I haven’t play him since World Games Cup – France in February, and he has improved so much! He has an awesome Maxi, lot of pressure! I can see by the way he plays now, that he trained his character a lot, and the training has paid off!
Setsuna: Very nice α Patroklos with good reflexes, and his execution at combos is also amazing. We had some very interesting and intense matches!
Hyun-Mu: He is a Korean player that played Mitsurugi in a way I have never seen before. It was really entertaining to watch! His playstyle is based on Mitsurugi’s stance, which is very interesting and hard to anticipate. This player is very solid too!
KBO: He’s the best Japanese Leixia player, and he wanted to play against me in a Leixia Mirror match (which I won)! He actually has very good reflex that I don’t have, like punished 2K with Critical edge; this is very strong!
GODSGARDEN BROADCAST & ONLINE MODE OPINION
Kami Chang is very famous in the Japanese fighting game community. He plays several games, including SCV, but is originally a BlazBlue player. And he has his own broadcast feature, GODSGARDEN, a Japanese fighting game site covering events around the world.
He invited me for a broadcast with SOULCALIBUR V producer Daishi Odashima and game designer Utoh !
I was able to play against them and Kami Chang, and then had a chance to play against Japanese players online. I was very surprised to see so many people waiting to play me in the Colosseum online mode. More than 35-40 people at one time, I think!
The speed of online mode in Japan is so good that sometimes I can’t tell the difference between offline and online mode! It’s amazing! I now understand how Japanese players can become so strong, having such a good online mode is a great way to train from home and play many different players who live far away.
In France, I usually don’t like online mode (except for Street Fighter IV) because of the poor connection, so training online is a pain in SCV. Some players told me they were disappointed with SCV online because they expected better. But actually, the problem is the connection speed in other countries, which are not as fast as Japan or Korea unfortunately!
It was a pleasure to play online against the top Japanese players that don’t live in Tokyo! The level of online play in Japan is very good, very interesting to see. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to play against everyone, but I really enjoyed all of the matches! Thank you to all the players who played with me online, and thanks to everyone who watched the stream!
It’s surprising to see so many players using different characters. Japanese players love playing characters such as Tira, Siegfried, Maxi, and Hilde, whereas those characters are very rarely used worldwide. And they are so strong with them! The way they play is very different from what I’m accustomed to, and it’s really inspiring. I’m happy that the SOULCALIBUR community is so vibrant in Japan; we can learn a lot from them!
Oosaka-san gave a gift for Malek, Saitoh and me for our kindness towards Japanese players while they were in France. There are three SOULCALIBUR V art books signed by Tago-san, Odashima-san and Takuji Kawano-san (SOULCALIBUR artst/designer). I had never seen this art book, and many drawings were never shown outside of NAMCO. I was very happy to receive this gift, very touching, thank you so much!