Archive for the ‘Games’ Category
Sonic the Hedgehog had a rough decade with a succession of ridiculed games, but developer Sonic Team may be rediscovering its talent at last. Last year’s Sonic Colors for Wii was a spectacular (and surprising) success. The upcoming Sonic Generations appears genuinely promising and will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog with levels inspired from 20 years of Sonic history.
Sonic Generations will be out late 2011, unfortunately missing the June month of the anniversary. But to commemorate the occasion, I decided to finally open a Sonic statue I had purchased a couple years ago. Built by First 4 Figures, this is a hand-painted 12″ statue limited to 1,500 pieces. It cost over $100, but is well constructed with a reassuring heft and makes quite a nice collectible.
Although I love following the competitive Street Fighter community, I myself am an average player at best. I was hesitant to register for the Super Street Fighter IV tournament at Season’s Beatings V because 1) I haven’t even played SSFIV yet, and 2) the last time I played SFIV was about 5 months ago. I blame medical school! But ultimately, I entered the tourney since I was going to be at the venue anyway. Yes, I did go 0-2 and yes, I did embarrass myself.
But it’s okay! Because besides watching world-class Street Fighter competition, my other goal at Season’s Beatings V was to practice event photography. I am very much an amateur and have only become interested in photography in the past year, but I had good practice at the tournament and learned a lot. The fruits of my labor are posted below. Marvel fans, not much in here for you guys unfortunately. I don’t like using traditional photo galleries with thumbnails, so photos are posted full-size sequentially.
Feel free to use these photographs however you wish as long as the watermark is left intact and/or my site is given credit. This is standard courtesy and goes without saying, but unfortunately is not common practice. Thanks, it would be greatly appreciated.
This weekend, the eyes of the fighting game community were on Season’s Beatings V: Redemption. Not only were North America’s best players in attendance, marquee international players Daigo Umehara, Momochi, Choco Blanka, GamerBee and Starnab were special guests. I had the privilege to interview Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang from Taiwan and get to know him a bit. Read on to learn about some of his fighting game philosophies, the Taiwan fighting game scene, and his experiences at EVO 2010 and Season’s Beatings V.
Note: The bulk of this interview was conducted on Saturday (day 2) of Season’s Beatings V, shortly before the Team USA vs. The World exhibition. The last section of the interview includes post-tournament thoughts after he won 1st place in Super Street Fighter 4 singles tournament.
This past weekend was EVO 2010, the world’s largest fighting game championship, held annually in Las Vegas. The event has progressively become bigger every year, thanks to the breakout success of Street Fighter 4 that has re-energized the community as well as attracted legions of new fans. Over 1,700 people participated in the Super SF4 tournament!
If you have been following my Twitter feed, I was hyped throughout the weekend, following the live stream and watching exciting, world-class fights. I couldn’t make it out to EVO this year due to medical school obligations, but I definitely plan on attending in the future. Ever since my first taste of tournament competition at Season’s Beatings 4, I’ve caught the itch!
Taiwanese player GamerBee in a moment of triumph
Shortly after I finished my first artwork modification of the SF4 Tournament Edition arcade stick, I set about working on my second design last September. Because my second stick was located in my Los Angeles home, I did not actually complete the project until last week when I returned home for Christmas break. I am now a proud owner of these two beauties!
The concept for stick #2 was inspired by how Taeyeon’s military hat and M. Bison’s Shadaloo cap looked remarkably identical. Since stick #1 was predominantly white, I wanted stick #2 to be black for contrast. #1 is still my favorite design as that shows more aesthetic sense, whereas #2 is just two people plastered on either side of the controller. I contemplated #2 for awhile because I was not satisfied with the design. However, the continuation of the Taeyeon theme and the link between the hats were irresistible.
People have voiced interest in photos of the Season’s Beatings 4 tournament so I’m dedicating a post to this. Instead of uploading photos to an online gallery, I prefer posting them directly into my blog because I don’t like clicking thumbnails to see photos one by one. This means longer load times but hopefully won’t be too inconvenient. You are free to use these photos on your own site however you wish as long as my watermark is present.
Warning: 5-6 MB of photos
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As I mentioned previously, Season’s Beatings 4 was my first ever tournament experience. I wasn’t expecting to play well for a variety of reasons, so I set a goal of beating just one person. There were 8 pool brackets in total with ~30 people in each. Aside from top players who were seeded so that they didn’t knock each other out early in the double-elimination tourney, the brackets were randomly generated.
Unfortunately for me, my first two matches were against good players who ended up advancing relatively far in my pool. I lost to both players and just like that, I was eliminated. Interesting aftermath: after my losses, I was rooting for both to win and go far in the pool so that I could justify my losses and not feel too badly. Funny how that works.
However, I primarily came to the tournament not to prove myself, but to watch some of the best U.S. Street Fighter 4 fighters battle it out in person. In that sense, this event was a massive success for me and I had so much fun watching the fights. The talent exhibited was breathtaking. I found myself shaking my head repeatedly, stunned by the tricks and clutch performances they delivered. The event was a showcase for the competitors to display the results of dedicated training. It’s hard not to be inspired by the pride and love these players have for their craft.
This weekend I’ll be at Season’s Beatings 4, a large fighting game tournament that is generating a ton of buzz. Not only is there a ~250 person Street Fighter 4 tournament with some of the best players in the U.S. competing, but Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara will be playing an exhibition match, first to 10 wins. They are indisputably two of the best fighting game players in the world so the hype is through the roof.
This is my first ever tournament of any kind. While I’ve been trying to train sporadically, school prevented any serious practice. My goal is to beat just one person!
My second goal was to meet Daigo Umehara and get his signature. I wasn’t sure when he was arriving or whether he would be participating in anything other than the exhibition match, so it was awesome that he showed up on Friday and entered the SF4 3 on 3 tournament. I approached him during a lull in the action and…
I’m starting a new page dedicated to all the lovely rage-quitters on Street Fighter 4 who disconnect during the match while I’m delivering a beatdown. I actually look forward to these sore losers now because I can add them to my collection!
This screenshot is so perfect.