Below you’ll find part 2 of Shoryuken’s exclusive interview with the EVO 2011 Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition Champion, Fuudo. He talks a bit about transitioning from Virtua Fighter to Street Fighter, where and with whom he normally does his training, and his advice for beginners. He finishes up the interview by talking about what his first EVO was like from his perspective, and where can see him next.
Fuudo Interview – Part 2
I wanted to play against strong players I had never matched against before, like Daigo, Mago, and Tokido. I longed for playing with strong ones. And there were many in the SF community especially with the launch of SFIV. The new title attracted so many players. The more players there are, the more fun to play the game. I used to live in Chiba back when it was released, but an arcade near in my neighborhood was packed. It was so much fun to be there and play against many players. I was not strong at all, and I lost miserably against strong ones. But given that there were so many people, the skill level range was wide, I could win against those who are not strong. And that made it more fun, and it kept me going. It was very exciting and fun, so I practiced hard.
In 3D games like VF, it’s all about you seeing through the other’s pattern and throwing a move to counter to win. But in 2D, that doesn’t work. You have to find a right moment for a certain move. In the beginning, I could not help but just automatically throw a counter move when I read the other’s pattern regardless of risks involved. Then he blocks it and I used to lose all the time. I have to be always prudent and smart in each moment in SF. I learned that in a hard way.
Q: Where are your main training grounds for SSF4AE? Who do you usually play against and talk strategy with?
I go to arcades and practice there. I don’t play at home at all. I talk to Itabashi-Zangief, if I really need to talk to someone. We live fairly close in Tokyo, so we often take a same train together to go home from arcades. Mostly I try to figure things out on my own, but I call Mago up when I really really have no way out. “Hey, does this happen to you? Isn’t it super hard? What should I do?” I say.
Mago goes, “Yeah, you are right. It’s hard… but you can do this and that…” He gives me very precise advice.
Until then, I try to figure things out on my own. Especially, because no one uses Fei Long in Japan., so no one understands my pain. “You have a strong character! What the hell are you wining about?!” that’s what others would say, why bother. I also watch how Mago plays and just copy him. I am very good at copying others.
Q. Any advice for the beginners or anyone who wants to get stronger?
I would say the fastest and most effective way is to keep playing against strong players, those who are stronger than you are. I, too, kept playing VF at home against strong players every day, and I became stronger by just doing that. The only strong players can hit you, beat you by surprise, and make you think hard. I personally think it’s so ineffective for players to try to get better at it by themselves. If you are only looking for fun, that should be totally fine. But if you want to become stronger, you gotta keep playing against strong players. It’s even better if that person can point out what you are doing is good or bad. I am sure Daigo has such deep insights, and just him sharing those with you can make you stronger. I am certain that there will be so many players who will improve their play by listening to his advice.
Q: This is your first Evolution? Did you enjoy it? What would you say to other Japanese players thinking of attending Evolution?
It was just as much fun as I always imagined. I went to EVO to have fun, and my goal was met. I didn’t go there to win, actually, but I wanted to enjoy it.
I also enjoyed gambling at night. Though I played a slot, I evened with $400 win on the final day to compensate the $400 loss from previous nights. I would have played cards if I could speak English. I didn’t want to trouble others by asking for help for communications or holding up the game. I drank a lot too.
I am looking forward to meeting many more people next time. Nobody knew me, then I won on the final day of the EVO. But there was not enough time left to get to know each other. Now people know me by name and face, I think there will be a chance next time to interact with overseas players. I also felt that I have to be strong in order to interact with them; otherwise, nobody comes to talk to you. Or if I could only speak English, there is a chance to make friends, but I can’t, and I am not the type of person who reaches out to talk to strangers and make friends…. So I have to be strong to be noticed and talked to.
I would love to make it to EVO next time again! Though I initially thought I had to make it there at least once, and I was not thinking about next year, but after experiencing the entire EVO, I am already feeling that I gotta make it there next year. Especially because I only play at arcades, I knew I had to make it this year while AE version is around. I’d never know if AE game would be featured at EVO. I felt this is my only chance in a life time. And I wanted to have fun. But I won!
My advice to Japanese players who haven’t yet made it to EVO is this – “EVO savings bank.” Shiro blogged about an importance of EVO financial planning in a year advance. Start now. Set a little aside per month. Don’t cry about money, just set a bit aside, little by little, and anyone can make it. And it’s worth it. If you are a fighting player, you have to experience EVO at least once in your life. It’s your mission as a fighting gamer.
Q: Will we see you coming to the United States more often for tournament play?
I haven’t participated in many overseas tournaments. I went to China two years ago, and France last year. This year, I came to the States for the first time for EVO. I would like to participate more if I have a chance to, but realistically it’s difficult with expensive travel cost, so I have to target for an event one per year, hence I chose EVO.
I won all my three overseas tournaments so far, so when I ever make it to the US again, I would like to win to renew my record. I am a lucky guy after all.
Q: Congrats on your wins, both at EVO 2011 and recently at GodsGarden #4! Where will we see you next?
Thank you! I will be attending Togeki (SBO) 2011 on 9/17.
I’m not really sure about overseas event at this point.
I will be teaming up with Itabashi Zangief for Togeki.