• Bakacon 4-5th October 2008 - Wroclaw, Poland

    This weekend we went to a Polish anime/manga convention in Wroclaw. Me and NX, we were taking ITG multiplayer system, IIDX and PNM with us so Polish people could try these games out.

    We arrived about 1 am and that's about the time when all the preparations for the convention started. That was the first surprise at the convention. Not to mention that there were like 300 people preparing the convention.Now imagine that we have like 300 attendands at a convention in out country^_~.

    We got all the stuff out of the car and set the gaming room with PNM, Taiko no Tatsujin, Para Para Paradise and Beatmania IIDX.

    In the dance game room someone tried really hard to run Pump it up. When he finally got it at like 4 am (might be exaggerated but it was exhausting for the person) we had to try it. Ryouko tried first. She said it is offsync. Others tried as well and had f\mixed feelings about it. So I tried also to see how it was. I played, played got like 150 combo and then realized "hey, shouldn't that judgement be more blue?". I concentrated a bit more on the text and I read "GREAT" in green letters. I started laughing finished the song with LOADS of greats. I gave another try on a different song, got such a nice great attack that it almost beat Suikun's 95% great award. After that I tried few more charts and realized that there is no constant offset and that some of the songs have wrong BPM even. So I gave up (as well as the rest of the people there at the moment).

    At like 5 am we went to our classroom on the second floor and tried to take at least 2 hours nap. But at about 6:30 it seemed like 500 hundred people approached the school and were waiting outside. Some time later all these people were let inside the building and the worst nightmare begone. The people started to look for places where they could sleep or put their stuff there. The problem was that there was TOO MANY people for the whole school. So we ended up with people in the corridors etc. Most of them were pretty loud and really looking forward for the start of the convention. In the morning everyone was also getting dressed in their lolita dresses and cosplay costumes. Which meant for me that finding a toilet without like 10 people in line was quite difficult.

    Anyway I got up, dressed in Nyah costume and went directly to the music game's room. I switched on the consoles and TVs and played a bit of PNM. Then I went to console games room to play a bit of Tekken. I was watching people play and few people were good at the game. After some time I had to ask if I can play as they seemed to "ignore" me. I was probably considered as an easy opponent so I surprised the player and got a nice bunch of Polish swear-words directed at me^_^. That day I also noticed that there was Lil running around. Soon after I saw Anna, Hwoarang and Asuka. Played some Tekken with them too, got beaten mostly but I got respect from them and I was considered a good Tekken player after this. (ok, I have to say that Christie killed my Nina with ease).

    Later on, there was Buzz quiz session so I left and went back to our stands. In the meantime the people who took DDR pads with them and computers to run SMLAN started to put all the things together. The pads were some Polish handmade hardpads costing about 300 zloty each. For that price the pads were really good. They weren't the best but weren't bad either. I was just getting lost on them resulting in few misses on each song. Once I got lost so much that I almost failed a song.

    As I mentioned earlier it was 4 player SM LAN setup. We could choose songs from the original DDR mixes from 1st to Supernova 2 and anime mixes mostly. There were three albums made by the Polish step artists and on Sunday I had the chance to play those charts. I was surprised how much people played the songs from SN and Sn2. Songs by the Polish artists were played a lot too and were really appreciated. Bad Apple seems to be the most played and liked song. The level of Polish player was pretty mixed. Most of the players were not doing crossovers at all. One girl who saw us play (me and Chmurek) some song full of crossovers asked us after that song how the hell we do it. So we let her play Sync to see if she can run the song and not double step it and we explained her how to turn. I think she might get it quite soon and start being good at this^_~.

    At 17:00 on Saturday a DDR tournament began. First we played two songs of our choice choosed from four random songs. After everyone has played the songs our percentages were summed up and the best eight of us continued in the tournament. Double KO system was used. Each player could choose a song of his will. The percentage of both songs played was sumed up and if it was almost even a third song was played. (I don't know the exact rules so I won't even try describing it). What is important is that the tournament was 1x, no bar.

    I was seeded 5th I think. My first round was against Chmurek (who is the author of the rules set and the person responsible for the DDR stand, also one of the step artists). I picked Afronova and Chmurek decided to kill me on Kanoko no [something] song from Supernova. Never heard it, never played it but after seeing the graph showing the percentages of voltage/stream/chaos/freezes/air I knew my score on the song would be pretty low. The third song played was Volcano Expert. I already heard that song and played it in one of the SN missions but never played it on expert, 1x. Hopefully the song BPM is already quite high. I full comboed the song to my surprise but even that did not help win the round (I lost by 3 percent). I ended up in loser's bracket where I encountered Kabot, another Polish step artist and a player known for clearing difficult songs. I was pretty angry about this because kabot did not actually enter the tournament (or he might but not qualify). So I went to play PNM, IIDX to calm down a bit but that did not help much. I went over to the ITG MP system and someone was playing Vertex^2 expert. He was somewhere in the middle so I joined and played the rest of the song. On the result screen we could see that me starting after the middle of the song I still managed to get 43% and the person who deliberately played vertex^2 got like 48% or something. After this I had to go back to the DDR tournament.

    Kabot decided to choose PSM against me which turned out as not really a good idea for him. He even failed the song in the end (I think, not entirely sure). I chose the same song again and won once again. The third random song was a random ten - which in the end showed to be FELM. People hearing a sample of the song started to come closer to the stand and waited for us to start playing. Before playing this Fascination song I cleaned the pads so I wouldn't slip on the everpresent dust which was pretty annoying.

    The beginning of FELM is pretty slow but I managed to read it somehow - my only part where I could fail was over me and I could just play the rest. Kabot on the other hand had problems with the "faster" parts. I had many spectators and many of them had really surprised expressions on their faces, others were just stunned and gaping at me. I won this round but only to find myself pitted against Ryouko who loves slow BPM songs. I decided to play Max300 but she did not want to play that song as she already played it in the tournament. So I chose The Legend of Max. After that it was my turn to get a really lousy score. The chosen song was My Summer Love. I love the song, can AAA it on 3x but 1x...that's like "OMG, when do I have to step on those arrows???".

    At 9pm a seeding round started for ITG tournament. Everyone was really tired for high level songs. Already the seeding random songs were tiring - Boogie Down, Incognito, Pandemonium Medium and [I forgot what song]. The rules were the same as for the DDR tournament except this tournament was bar, speed mods allowed. As a bar we used the central heating (which was placed higher than ITG bar).

    I won the seeding round so I was also the first one to play. For me the tournament was quite an obvious win at first but later on I started to feel really tired after not sleeping the day before, a long way trip to Poland and setting everything up. I also played DDR/PIU/ITG a lot which tired me too.

    My round against Chmurek who knows my technique well was thinking about songs he should pick against me. The most annoying chaos songs in ITG ever are D-Code and Euphoria. So we ended up playing those. I sent Chmurek to loser's bracket and I thought that I would meet him once again in the finals. But it did not happen.

    Chmurek met Tuminure. Chmurek has a good technique and that's Tuminure's weakness. Even though this guy managed to DOUBLE STEP Paranoia Survivor Oni!! Chmurek picked The Beginning as the song has pretty nice crossovers at the end. Tuminure was doing fine and was winning till this point and than failed. Vertex was Tuminure's pick. On this one it was Chmurek who failed. (I don't remember the last song... but it was Tuminure who ended up against me in the finals). In the finals I decided to choose something easy too warm up as Euphoria in the last round almost killed me (you know winner's bracket has it's own disadvantages have to wait, wait, wait play one round wait, wait, wait...). It was up to me too chose so I thought of My favorite game. Easy song which is not really physically demanding. My last song in the ITG tournament which decided who about the winner was - Pandemonium Expert! So this time I grabbed the heating with both of my hands and tried my best.

    That was the end of the ITG tournament. Everyone was really tired and we went to bed quite early. When I entered our classroom most of the staff was gone (probably decided to sleep elsewhere?). I also so that someone put his stuff really close to NX which also meant that it would be me without a place where to sleep. Someone else blocked my little space on the other side. So I had to fit in like 70 x 90 space. I made a small glomerule out of myself and layed down on a hard foam dance pad I had there. I felt really bad after the food I ate that night so it was pretty difficult for me to fall asleep but finally the exhaustion won.

    I woke up few hours later (at 8am) completely lost, without any idea where the hell I am or why I couldn't straighten my legs or arms (or the body itself). I don't know why but the first idea that came to my mind was Pandemonium Expert. That woke me up enough to realize that I'm at a convention and that I should get up, get something to eat and drink etc. But it was 8 am and Sunday meaning that all the shops were closed. I got some water from the console game room but it contained sugar so I continued my quest in search of water. At 9 am I went to the shop near the school which just opened and I outran all the people who had the same idea as me - get something to eat and drink before everyone wakes up.

    After getting myself something that could be called a proper breakfest I went to play DDR. Chmurek, Lisek and Kabot were showing their own charts. Most of them were funny, some were normal but still nice stepcharts. We even played one 15 minutes long marathon that I really enjoyed (except two pad misses I got and two broken freezes because of unexpected hands). We talked a lot about DDR, DDR scene, step charts, idance, PIU and tournament rules. I had a really great time and ... I played stepcharts that were really made for people who want to enjoy music games and have fun. For this I have to say Respect to Chmurek and Lisek and also bravo for syncing the songs and charts.

    What was a real surprise for everyone at the convention was the ITG Multiplayer. There was always someone playing. Easy, Hard or Expert everyone got the chance to play what they wanted. It was nice to play with more experienced players, it was beautiful to see beginners trying their best and the rest of people watching and clapping their hands to the rhythm of the song.

    It was nice to see people playing PNM or rather trying their best. Some were playing on 5 buttons, some where trying to pass 9 button songs. Usually two or three people were playing one 9-button chart and that was quite fun. I was surprised that there were people switching pop-kun to beat-kun. I wonder if that was by accident or not, because I always put it off (it's my default setting).

    People were trying also IIDX even though many had problems with even getting into the song select screen. But those who found it out and tried their best were usually coming back to play few more songs later.

    Really the music games/console games part of Bakacon was really great. I met many nice people, had fun playing all those games and I would come once again. Maybe next year^_~.