Sabin shares Street Fighter 4 experiences from Japan

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • August 21, 2009 at 9:27 p.m. PDT
Sabin shares Street Fighter 4 experiences from Japan Over the years there's been a lot of myths and some truths spoken about how Japanese Street Fighter players differ from their American (or other country's) counter-parts. To offer his own insight into how things are in Japan, Arturo "Sabin" Sanchez is currently fielding questions from other players on his Street Fighter 4 experiences in the land of the rising sun.

We've grabbed some of the most interesting responses here. Questions and answers have been edited for length and language, but if you can still scope out the full thread on if you want to see the other stuff. We've just grabbed the most noteworthy things here.

To view a larger transcript, click the link below.

Q: So far, where do you think the biggest difference between Japan and the West is? Is it mainly execution, or are they pulling tricks you haven't seen yet?
Sabin: Mostly they are pulling tricks I haven't seen yet... unless you are here to see them. I don't really like when people judge Japanese play based off the match videos because they represent like 1% of Japanese play overall and its like 1 match.

Q: How can players in the U.S. improve when they only really play each other at tournaments?
Sabin: U.S. players don't share information. Japanese players talk about why said player lost and how they can lose, that's the main difference.

Q: What do you think of Japanese Balrog (Boxer) players compared to American Boxers in terms of style/skill? I heard Japan's Balrog players aren't as good as they are here.
Sabin: Japanese Boxers are better than people think they are. Like i said people base TOO much off match videos. I played against Aojiru Guile and he's not far behind Justin Wong's Balrog.
America is probably a month behind Japan (talking their top players vs. ours) the gap doesn't feel as impossible as say, Street Fighter 3 Third Strike, people are super good here but not unbeatable.

Q: Do Japanese players talk smack while playing the game? It seems like they're not as hostile/more civil than other places.
Sabin: Newsflash — Japanese players talk smack just like the rest of the world. I hate when people assume they are humble especially when they don't speak Japanese. Of course, not everyone talks smack. If you've ever watched a TRF ranbat the announcer is talking hella smack and laughing at the players. They get hype in tourneys just like we do, it's a different kind of hype though.

Q: Do players in the Japanese scene help each other out more?
Sabin: Japanese players give each other advice, if I remember correctly, and spread information freely. New strategies get dissected really quickly whereas we save that stuff for nationals — since there is money on the line. I guess because there is no money, no incentive to save information besides glory.

Q: Tell me about the Japanese Zangiefs. What about them gives your Dhalsim trouble?
Sabin: They understand the wheel of options better than most western Zangiefs.

Q: Do Japanese players mostly play the console version of Street Fighter 4?
Sabin: No Japan doesn't play console mostly and they have a ton of arcades. It's not that Japan doesn't want to play console, but why play console when there's million arcades here?

Q: What's the max Arcade Battle Points you can win from a single fight?
Sabin: Depends on the Battle Point disparity.
I beat Daigo Umehara several times and got 300 BP each time.
Battle Points don't tell the WHOLE story. It's just like XBox Live/PSN, people can have a crapload of points and still be average, the average 20k BP player at Bigbox Arcade is usually better than a 50/70k BP player from another arcade. Reason is it's so hard to go on a winning streak at Bigbox so they can't rank their BP up.

Q: How do Japanese Zangiefs do against Sagats over there? Is it still a beatdown?
Sabin: I still see them lose but its not for free... they are psychic with EX-Green Gloves for real. Also, they do a lot of advancing and blocking. They have no problem blocking like 20 Tiger Shots in a row just to get close that one time... which is all you need to vortex. It's still a grueling match but sometimes Zangiefs get too random with EX-Green Gloves which is why Sagat players might be scared.

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