09th Mar2011

2011 South Korea Visit – Part 1 of 2

by Rip


First off, I would like to thank Check 6 Gaming for helping me get to Korea for Tekken Crash Royal Rumble. I had an absolutely amazing time out there so figured I should write up a quick report about my experience.

Although I’ve traveled to Japan in the past, this was my first time to a non-English speaking country completely on my own. I was to land at the airport, take a bus to some city, then meet up with ldMaxi (aka David from GosuTekken) who would take me to the hotel. While completely intimidating, it ended up being easier than expected. Public transportation in Korea is very good. Bus and train systems are easy and the cabs are relatively cheap.

After the bus ride, I met up with Anakin and Maxi, and we took a cab.. directly to Green Arcade! Suitcase in hand, we went up the stairs where I got my first peek at the legendary arcade. Having been to Japan twice, I figured that I would be prepared to see multiple machines, but seeing FORTY Tekken 6 cabinets in ONE room is truly unreal. Much larger than it looks in the videos, however I’d find out later that was only because it was a weekday and not at its busiest. For those that don’t know, Green Arcade is pretty much a Tekken only arcade (there are 2 music games U Beat I think its called), but other than that, its all Tekken.

Soon after arrival I was introduced to the co-owner of the arcade aka the ‘mom’ of Green Arcade. I had heard that people at the arcade called her ‘mom’ etc, but figured it was kind of like a joke thing. When she saw me though, she came up, grabbed my hands and was just smiling really big. She put both her hands on my face and said some stuff in korean (that I couldn’t understand of course), but it was obvious that she was extremely happy to have me at her arcade. It was quite surreal and I ended up giving her a hug even though I didn’t know her at all. At the end of the trip when we had to say bye to her she was very sad, she shed some tears and kept asking us when we were coming back.

The sense of community/family there is unmatched at any arcade I’ve ever been to. From what I’ve heard she has basically promised the guys there that she’ll run the arcade as long as she lives. Looking back on it now, I really can’t say enough about how much of her life she puts into that arcade. Regularly she makes coffee and brings it out to everyone. The arcade stays open until people stop playing (the less people in the arcade the more machines she turns off the later it gets). So if theres 16 people at 3am, then theres still 8 back to back machines running. She goes into her office and sleeps inside. If people need change late at night (300won per game = ~$0.27 US), some of the regulars go open the door and get themselves change! There is just so much trust in the arcade.

Which reminds me, one of the days I forgot my ps2 controller on one of the cabs at peak time and left to go get dinner. I realized my mistake at dinner and was hoping it would still be there and when I got back it wasnt! I asked if anyone had it, and of course, someone had returned it to the office and it was wrapped up PERFECTLY. I mean, I have never wrapped my controller up that perfectly and I’m not sure it even comes out of the retail box treated so well.

So anyway, after that initial introduction to the arcade, Knee joined us and helped get me checked into the hotel. Maxi, despite living there for a year and a half still only knows about 8 things in korean (left, right, forward, hello, thank you, bye, sorry). As limited as his korean is though, the trip would have probably been disastrous without him there to help us get around/setup dinners/wake us up etc so a HUGE thanks to Maxi. The next 3 days would be spent 30% asleep, 50% green arcade, 20% eating/alcohol, 10% discombobulated. I don’t think I’ve ever played that much Tekken on a regular basis ever.

The skill level at Green Arcade is probably the highest in the world. I found myself constantly trying to compare it to the skill level I played against in Japan (Ive been to Japan twice in the last 2 years) and at first I couldn’t say that one was better than the other. Most of the time I kept flip-flopping between the two, but overall now I would say that Korea’s average skill level is higher. Its hard to say it with absolute certainly because the playstyles are very different between the two, but also very different between some korean players as well. My feeling though, is that USA and Japan play similarly or have similar understandings of how to play the game primarily on spacing/punishing/whiff punishing and using their reactions to maximize damage from those things. Korea, on the other hand, seems to rely more on overall character knowledge and using their reactions to guess better based on their knowledge of what the opponent is doing/going to do and their own character’s best options in those situations. The other thing to consider is that Japan has a couple of good arcades for top players to go to, while in Korea its pretty much just Green Arcade so theres a higher concentration of top players.

Personally, I had an EXTREMELY difficult time with my playstyle in Korea. MUCH harder than in Japan. I chalk this up to Japan not having top Law players (thus inexperienced versus Law) while Korea has MULTIPLE top Law players (Malgu, Isaac, No Name, etc (and of these I only got to play Malgu in my time there)). Playing in Korea made me feel like the USA does not know how to play against the character Law. I felt like all of my offensive options were 50/50 either I get minor damage on the opponent or I die. Another problem I ran into was that early last year I decided to dumb down my Law (simple combos that do ENOUGH damage), however in Korea they play on +1 (about 10% more health) so VERY often I found that I wasn’t doing enough damage to kill off my opponents. Another smaller issue was that there was a small noticable amount of lag on the ps2 converters. Fab and I both found it harder to punish correctly/break grabs when playing on the converters but not as much on the sticks. The majority of my time there I spent playing on the sticks because 1) I’m not terrible on stick anymore and 2) I can slide faster on the sticks than I could on the pad. Come Royal Rumble time though, I felt kind of obligated to play on the ps2 converter and didn’t want to deal with people asking me why I played on stick when I could have played on pad.

In the next part I’ll write about my experience at Royal Rumble itself!

NSFW – After dinner with Barcas, Tuhon (2nd Qudans), Easy Combo Mania, Maxi, Fab, and Anakin

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25 comments
Faith
Faith

Major thanks for the article post. Will read on…

K-Keo
K-Keo

rip i'm glad you wrote about your experience in korea. i've been wondering how it went for you guys over there. been hoping for a podcast or something, but i'm glad i found this! waiting on part 2.

AZ4L
AZ4L

Wow, very inpspiring report, with interesting stuff I never knew regarding Green Arcade. AZ

Theda
Theda

Bookmarked, I love your site! :)

Mundo
Mundo

This post has encouraged me to teach my child(ren) how to play on a fightstick at a very young age.

boff
boff

Interesting read!

HS K, S. Korea
HS K, S. Korea

Good writing! ps : the last place showed in the youtube video is korean karaoke that can play with womans dancing and singing and ect... of course the number of common karaoke is extremely big than those karaoke :)

KenmasterX
KenmasterX

There are no good Bob in Korea like Japan. Pekosu will destroy Koreans 4 sure

ExtraCheese
ExtraCheese

Koreans don't have good Bobs? You're wrong. Ji3moonace's Bob (TG) is crazy, so he'd put up a fight against them. Binchang was TE with a solid Bob and there's this another guy in Korea named YoungKyo who's TE with a beastly Bob with a 76% ratio win (vids of him are rare BTW). Also, Help Me's Bob is beastly as well, if you haven't seen his Bob.

someone
someone

you're an idiot! malgu beat pekosu at sbo in 2008 or 2009. japan doesn't have a good law player, not even bryan, steve, etc. their best players are only ao, furumizu, nobi, honda, pekosu. and they all got their ass whooped by koreans and americans. rip beat furumizu, jfj beat honda, bronson beat ao. LOL

KenmasterX
KenmasterX

Some Tekken Gods in Korea are boosters! JI3AMOONACE is one of them. SOMEONE stop talking out your ass moron! WTH no good Steve, Bryan, Law?! You know nothing about Japanese scene! PEKOSU won SBO 2008 and Malgu didn't even beat Pekosu in SBO 2009! Tekken 6 (3 on 3) SBO 2008 result 1st Place: Egurigori: yoo-sama (Anna) / Haaguu (Roger) / Pekosu (Bob) 2nd Place: RevoLution: Deku (Kazuya) / Yuukun (Anna) / Yuki (Julia) SBO 2009 Team Korea(help me, soyongdori, malgu) lost early as usual. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcM62INu3RE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcM62INu3RE Koreans lose a few match to US players, so Korea suck too??? Japan whooped America best everyday, so what's your point? LOL name one TEKKEN tourney abroad where US has won.

KenmasterX
KenmasterX

Why is my post moderated? Someone you know nothing about Japanese scene noob!

ExtraCheese
ExtraCheese

Some TG Koreans are lvl boosters? Are you trolling here fool? Don't claim garbage here without any evidence you retard. Your groundless accusation just made your entire post invalid. BTW, Togeki isn't a good tournament to gauge players skill lvl, since it's played only in single elimination. Look at all the tournament results for Tekken 6 BR outside SBO. Most of those tournaments were won by Koreans. Where was Japan? LOL

ExtraCheese
ExtraCheese

Don't get me wrong here. Japanese are strong as the Koreans, but from overall tournament results over the world, Koreans have proven themselves to be stronger. I find it funny how you're starting his tier bullshit by saying how Koreans don't have good Bob's and one Bob player would somehow destroy Koreans. Typical fanboyism comment right here.

ExtraCheese
ExtraCheese

Also, I have add that at those tournaments (besides SBO) that had both Korean and Japanese players in it, Koreans have reigned supreme. So there's my rebuttal to your moronic comments.

dan
dan

KenmasterX, japanese only win in sbo cuz there was only 2 korean teams and the rule is very strict, outside of japan they always lose to koreans. sunchip and malgu won UT13, nobi lost to malgu and furumizu lost to malgu and rip 3-0. and Ao lost to bronson tran at mlg dallas and knee at wcg 2010. and jfj destroyed honda in the 32 man tourny, got perfected 3 times! lol japan's best law player is naoking, but he is shit compared to malgu, no name, isaac. buriburimaru is japan's best bryan player, but he stinks compared to knee. and foxstar and jiro are shit compared to nin and fight spirit. etc. their best players are bob, dragunov, feng, lei, alisa, and lili players. Pekosu is japan's only hope! WHAHAHAHA.........

Harry
Harry

"BOJI JOAYO!!"

Fong
Fong

OMG Rip, nice writeup, can't wait till part2 =D

JAG
JAG

Props Rip, Hoa and Fab for reppin' the USA well. Korea looks super cool!

unknown
unknown

watch anakin play against tuhon/fight spirit/2nd qudans in deathmatch, he broke most throws. but had trouble breaking drag's throws when he fought gakxini in deathmatch.

Rip
Rip

hehe I dont think I need to watch anything to see that he broke throws, I was there! But yes, it wasn't impossible to break grabs, you just have to be really sharp (which Anakin is). Like I said, the lag was small but noticable. As for punishing incorrectly, I found the korean style unpredictable which made it harder to punish correctly.

unknown
unknown

you guys prolly don't know that dragunov has faster grabs that's why even anakin who's typically very good at breaking throws had trouble breaking drag's throws. and punishing correctly is inconsistent even without lag. i've even seen top koreans punish incorrectly.

HotShot/FoxSteve
HotShot/FoxSteve

This is a befuck write up - awesome shit RIP and a great breakdown on how you feel about the differences in the scenes. Mom is too good - there is no ways GreenGreen if it is standing in 50 Years with Tekken Tag 11.5 will not have full commemoration to Mom. gs RIP - will watch the vid when I get home and then read up on the Royal Rumble. PADPORTS - OMG Yo! (just a pity on the lag though, damn)

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