Round1 Japan National Event Results with Q&A

Contributed by: Aaron Tokunaga

Round One Japan National DDR Roundup
(with Q&A)

First, this was more of a social exchange/gathering than a hardcore tournament. It was held over the weekend of the 25/26th (of February 2017) depending on branch and any Round One with a DDR machine was offering the chance to join at their store. There were about 250 players in total across Japan (estimated). Not every branch with a DDR machine held the event, though, and some had no entrants and thus cancelled the event.

Game tournaments at Round One are common, but nation-wise ones are a bit uncommon. I’m not sure why this was organized the way it was.

I will post as many photos as were taken or I have from friends and staff.

Some of the recorded media was on video, to which I will link a few tweets with the videos. The Sakai branch where Brosoni played is here, as is the crew in Oita-ken. For some reason.




After some pleasantries things started on schedule.

A) First, it was a VS tournament first based on a set of pre-selected songs (beginner or basic mode), though it changed for each branch. Some of the picks were:

  1. Gaia Beginner
  2. Pluto Relinquish Basic
  3. Paranoia Hades Basic
  4. Possession Basic
  5. Valkyrie Dimension Beginner
  6. Pluto Basic
  7. Rakugaki Basic

Many of the winners apart from places visited by a more expert player (*cough* DDR-KOJI going to Warabi just to blow them away. Takaske in Fuji there to drop a bomb on everyone, etc.) were not scoring PFCs or even score AAs, but it was more about the fun of playing with a group of players that enjoyed the game. Winner was determined by machine score.

B) Next there was the team battle section. Teams played the same songs (different for each team) and the machine score for both songs was tallied and the sum was used to determine the winner.

Here players were balanced out a bit more in terms of skill, but it differed by branch. Here are some of the variations on the rule, also dependent on number of entrants in some cases:

1. Play any X-Special song
2. Play any song with shock arrows
3. Best 2 of 3 (any song)
4. Players had a “specialty” song they specified before the tournament and both players on their team would play it (any difficulty)
5. Play one Difficult and one Expert song (any level rating)

That’s about it. The tournament was only an hour to and hour and a half or so (some places like Yokohama and Fukuoka ran late due to the large number of entrants). Afterwards everyone held their own DDR sessions to try and share knowledge with each other.

At my branch (Asaka) the biggest request was for shock arrows. People were really struggling, as some would jump really high and try to hold themselves in the air, and one tried even resting his foot on the main unit (I was going to smack him in the face for that). There was some heated discussion on flat-foot vs toe play. In the end toe play won out as everyone playing flat foot was really strugging compared to the toe players, but that is an unfair comparison, because the toe players all played longer anyway, and many were also double players.


I took the opportunity to ask a few branches and players some specific questions about the game, skill and even hinted at the western DDR communities and related scores/accomplishments. I’ll obfuscate names to protect the guilty, but the points are pretty straightforward anyway. Multiple answers for each question in as much as I could squeeze out of them.
(Note that data samples may not be representative of the whole; this is an isolated sample of DDR players that happened to attend the event and/or play DDR at least casually at Round One)

Q: Why do you play DDR?
A1: It’s a fun form of exercise
A2: I used to play this in school and it’s nostalgic
A3: I like the novelty
A4: My friends talked me into it

Q: What aspects of the game do you like the best?
A1: The physical aspect
A2: The music
A3: Personal scores and records
A4: Socializing
A5: I like the arcade atmosphere
A6: Linking events and songs across multiple Bemani
A7: Striving for Machine/Area records

Q: What difficulty do you primarily play? (Approximate % over 80 people)
A1: Basic (65%)
A2: Difficult (5%)
A3: Beginner (5%)
A4: Expert/Challenge (25%)

Q: Do you play single or double? Or both?
A1: Single (25%)
A2: Double (27.5%)
A3: Both (47.5%)

Q: Do you feel stressed when going for a new personal score record?
A1: Yes (25%)
A2: No (28.75%)
A3: Sometimes (46.25%)

Q: Have you ever gotten a PFC on anything (any difficulty)
A1: Yes (77.5%)
A2: No (22.5%)

Q: Have you ever gotten an MFC on anything (any difficulty)
A1: Yes (15%)
A2: No (85%)

Q: What would you say is your greatest DDR strength?
A1: Keeping the beat
A2: Minimizing movement
A3: Ability to hear the beat and score well better than visually
A4: Sightread ability
A5: Knowing when and how to twist your waist to hit awkward patterns
A6: Steadily improving
A7: Feeling the music
A8: Nimble legs
A9: Attracting friends to play

Q: What would you say is your greatest DDR weakness?
A1: Gradual BPM changes
A2: Awkward triplet and 24th patterns I can’t read
A3: Shock arrow charts
A4: Sudden BPM changes
A5: Sightreading
A6: Jump streams
A7: Any song above 12 or 13
A8: Quiet songs
A9: Any song with a fast URD or ULD pattern
A10: Anything too fast
A11: Anything with BPM stops or pauses

Q: (I showed a handful the DDR Players and DDR+ITG Players Facebook wall) What do you think of these accomplishments?
A1: Are these cherry-picked? These are just too good for an average group of players
A2: It’s humbling. I can’t even get a PFC and there are people I’ve never heard of not only getting PFCs, but complaining it isn’t closer to an MFC.
A3: Are the average players too intimidated to post? All I see are expert player scores.
A4: Cool
A5: I wish you hadn’t shown me that. That makes me feel so small I don’t feel like I can even compete. If they were entering a tournament I was planning on entering, I wouldn’t enter. (But I might go see them play)
A6: Can they come here and show me how to do that?
A7: PFCs on Expert songs 15 (and above)!? How!?
A8: I simply cannot understand MFCs on expert songs like that. I’ve been playing for almost 10 years and am no closer now to an MFC than I was when I started.
A9: I know some of them are those KAC guys but there are tons of players I’ve never heard of just casually doing similar high level scores. I never see anything like that. The better players are well known and seeing someone come out of nowhere with scores like this just doesn’t happen around where I play.
A10: That’s so cool. I wish I could see something like that in person.
A11: I guess it makes the machine records here look terrible. (ha ha)
A12: How can people sightread PFC an Expert song like that (level 14 or above). That’s just unfathomable
A13: Does anyone play Basic or Difficult? At least I see some double accomplishments.
A14: Why are their scores so much better than the ones here?
A15: Are the white cabinets that much better to score on or something?
A16: Maybe I should play in America.
A17: I remember when the best players in this country were all around here in Kanto. Then it was Osaka, and then Korea and now the US. Oh well, I can’t say Kanto didn’t have a good run.
A18: I need to watch (more) videos of them playing. Why does everyone play flat foot?

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