Friday, June 05, 2015

Internet trouble and Nishikin

You may have noticed an increasing gap in between episodes of Fight Meee! That's because recently the quality of my internet connection at home has taken an unexplained turn for the worse. When I go online to look for matches, I see loads of green, four-bar connections. Then I get into the match and lag takes over. The latency is so bad, in fact, that it ends most matches after less than 20 seconds, often with an error message telling me that I "have been disconnected from Xbox Live."

One theory is that a rash of earthquakes over the last week and a half may have disrupted internet services for much of the population (a theory supported by the fact that some of my gaming friends have also experienced difficulties). The latency isn't bad enough to ruin everyday internet use, or even some online games (Destiny has been much better by comparison), but it completely ruins Street Fighter.

This would only be a minor annoyance, except that apparently Ultra Street Fighter IV's netcode is blaming me for the disconnections. My "disconnect rate," which was 0% until very recently, has suddenly jumped:

This unjust mark of shame weighs on me like a scarlet letter. I have prided myself on sportsmanship, and now, thanks to crappy internet service, I am branded a rage quitter. Is there no justice?

Equally troubling is that, in reaction to this sudden trend of mid-fight disconnection the game thinks I'm causing, I have been punished by having all my PP (player points, which measure overall proficiency) taken away:

Not that I had that many to lose in the first place.

Thankfully, my hard-earned BP (battle points, which are earned per character) are intact, but it still stings a little to know that I've been punished for something that isn't my fault. At any rate, Fight Meee! will return when the internet situation gets better.

Now, on to happier news.

Last night I had just finished work and was heading to Shinjuku Station when I crossed paths with none other than Nishikido Hiroshi, better known as Nishikin, Japan's top Blanka player in USFIV (currently ranked the #36 USFIV player in the world according to SRK). Commence geek-out.

He seemed a little surprised to have been recognized and/or greeted*, and even more surprised when I told him I was a fan and fellow Blanka player. He told me he was on his way to a bowling alley (weird small talk, but OK), and asked me if I ever play in arcades. After a brief discussion about the arcade (and how much I lose there), he told me to look for him at Taito Station if I ever wanted a game.

Maybe he was just being polite, but if I ever see Nishikin at Taito Station, I will absolutely mirror match him. It will be an honor to lose to the best.

* This is the second time in a month that I've spoken with someone with a connection to Street Fighter who was surprised to have been recognized and/or greeted. In May, I rode the Saikyo Line with some staff members from UDON Comics, including founder Eric Ko (foreground) and artist Vostalgic (Long Vo, background right), who were just returning from a meeting with Capcom in Osaka.

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