'Kuroda Throws Down the Gauntlet' Weekly Playboy News columns go over the top 3S player's beginnings, tracks his progress in Ultra Street Fighter 4

Posted by Cheng Kai 'KarbyP' Sim • May 25, 2014 at 12:50 p.m. PDT

Before we even go into what these "Kuroda Throws Down the Gauntlet" columns are about, we should probably shed some light on what "Weekly Playboy News" actually is, first.

In Japan, publishing giant Shueisha owns the rights to the Playboy namesake, which they use to put out a weekly men's magazine -- Weekly Playboy -- that is really quite different in nature to the US publication of the same name.

And while the Weekly Playboy magazine is nonetheless naughty in nature, and does feature nudity, its Web presence, Weekly Playboy News, is more of a lifestyle and entertainment portal featuring content that is a little more well-rounded, and a tad bit more safer for work (though not a lot more).

Recently, the Weekly Playboy News portal has been running a series of columns where they interview Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike legend Kuroda, whom they're calling an "urban legend" amongst fighting gamers, on how he got his start in the game.

Three parts of the irregularly-published column has surfaced so far. And each one has Kuroda square off against a top fighting gamer (which explains the column's title), in either 3S or Ultra Street Fighter 4, on top of profiling Kuroda's past through interview snippets.

Hit the jump to read our brief, translated notes on Kuroda's humble beginnings as a fighting games player, and to watch Kuroda take on top players such as Vanawo (3S) and Eita (USF4) in first-to-10 sets.

Brief notes on Kuroda's beginnings as a Street Fighter player:

- Started playing fighting games when he was in 4th grade (9~10 years old).

- Kuroda was raised by a single mom. As his mother would often return home late from work, Kuroda was not allowed to go out at night, unless it was to stay at the game shop nearby; which allowed for Kuroda's mother to locate him easily when heading home from work.

- Mostly played SNK games such as Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters '95. Kuroda liked the speedy feel of SNK's fighters, and found the graphics to be appealing.

- Although games like Pokemon were popular at the time, Kuroda said he took to fighting games because they were the easiest to play -- all you do is hit buttons to throw out punches and kicks, beat the CPU opponents to clear the game.

- At that age, Kuroda did not go to arcades often, mostly due to middle school/junior high delinquents often hanging out at his local arcade.

- When he did go to arcades, however, Kuroda spent his time mostly spectating matches, and memorising combos and footsie tools -- which he tried out in single-player against CPU opponents.

- Kuroda did not take pen and paper notes, as he thought he'd look pretty silly doing that for video games. Rather, everything he learned he would commit to memory.

- When Kuroda was in 6th grade, he started going to a particular arcade in Saitama where Japan's no.2 KOF'97 player hanged out at. Kuroda never got to learn his name, but would often refer to him as "Macho", due to his body physique.

- In the span of about 3 months, Kuroda finally became good enough at KOF'97 to beat Macho for the very first time.

- At some point, Macho moved on to playing darts for a hobby. In the meantime, Kuroda looked up to some other players whom he'd gradually learn to beat at SNK fighting games -- mostly The Last Blade 2 and KOF'97 and onwards.

- Kuroda did not actually play any SF3 until two years after it had come out. He had tried it on a whim after beating one of his rivals in The Last Blade 2 and King of Fighters, and he was shocked to find himself getting completely bodied in SF3.

- Kuroda began to learn the game, and a friend of his advised him to take a look at the way "Riki", a top SF3 player who plays Q.

- At that point in time, Kuroda did not actually play against human opponents much for SF3; he had mostly spectated, and practiced the tactics he learned against CPU opponents.

- Kuroda then bought an SF3 mook (fighting game strategy guide) -- his very first mook ever -- that had frame data for the characters. This allowed him to better understand the timing with which Riki had been using Q's footsie tools.

MOV vs. Kuroda in Ultra Street Fighter 4
More videos of Kuroda playing against MOV and AO over at "Kuroda Throws Down the Gauntlet" #1.

Kuroda vs. Vanawo in Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, 1st to 10
A couple more videos of Kuroda playing against Vanawo are available over at "Kuroda Throws Down the Gauntlet" #2.

Kuroda vs. Eita in Ultra Street Fighter 4, 1st to 10
Commentary from Kuroda and Eita on their matches also available, in video form (and in Japanese), over at "Kuroda Throws Down the Gauntlet" #3.

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