Behind The Stick: An Interview With Fame

I had the chance to talk to Fame, a world-class Blazblue player, who has placed highly at several tournaments in both Blazblue: Central Fiction as well as Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle. In this interview we discuss: His history with fighting games, his thoughts on Cross Tag Battle, some of his issues with the game, what he wants to do in the future, and more.

Q: I’m very excited to get the opportunity to talk to you man. This is one of my first Blazblue interviews (I normally do Guilty Gear and UNIST) and while I’ve played the game a decent amount I’m excited to pick your brain a bit about the game, the scene, and more about yourself. But before we get into that how are you doing?

Fame: I’m doing good right now. Mostly just checking out how other players are holding up and taking a breather. It’s good to not burn myself out.

Q: Absolutely. Too much of anything and you’ll burn out, regardless of how fun it is. Everything in moderation as they say. So, let’s get right into it. For those that might not be aware of who you are could you give us a brief history into your time as a fighting game player from when you first started to where you now?

Fame: While I have played fighting games ever since I was a kid, I did not start competing seriously until around 2015. I started as a Blazblue player in CPEX, and with the help of other players, built myself up into the force that I am now. Often practicing on netplay to build myself up. Once I started playing offline, I knew what I needed to look for and my play improved tenfold.

Q: Always great to see people who haven’t been playing for over a decade do well. It gives me hope for myself as I am a relatively new fighting game player. So what was it that attracted you to Blazblue over other fighting games in the first place?

Fame: I played Blazblue since CS1 but until CP I never really liked it. I was more interested in marvel back then. When CP came around, the system changes really clicked with me overall, and the game felt much better overall. The game gives you a good bit of freedom to get stuff done as well as having a lot of depth at a higher level which makes matches that much more enjoyable.

Q: Speaking of high level matches EVO announced recently that they’d be featuring Blazblue Cross Tag Battle. I know you’ve been playing it quite a bit. Are you feeling confident that you will do well going into tournaments leading up to and including EVO?

Fame: I’m not too sure if I’ll be able to go to many tournaments in the coming months. A few hiccups on my end I have to take care of, but I feel very confident in my abilities. I have fought the best both here and Japan have to offer, and I know that so long as my mind is in the game I can beat anyone.

Q: I wanted to ask what tournament do you think was your crowning achievement? Either one that you really think put you on the map as a player or one that held a lot of weight for you personally.

Fame: While most people would say my 2nd place finish at EVO. I moreso hold my 9th place at ARCREVO Japan in a higher regard. That tournament served to help me solidify my strength as a player on an international level. Helped boost my confidence ever since.

Q: That is unfortunate. But I’m sure you’ll come back just as strong as before! On the topic of Cross Tag Battle I wanted to get your thoughts on it. I’ve heard mixed things from people both in my personal life and online. Some people seem to love it and some people seem to hate it. What are your thoughts on it? How does it compare to other Blazblue games in terms of your enjoyment?

Fame: I personally enjoy BBTAG just as much as BBCF. They are both very different games. BBTAG is probably the most volatile game I have played but it is the most fun I have had with a tag fighter since MvC2. I do have my problems with some of the decisions with the system/characters but I am more than willing to play it in its current state.

Q: What are some of the problems that you have with the game?

Fame: My main issues with the game are assist>dp and Mitsuru in her current state of the game. Assist>dp while it can be tame in a lot of situations, in tournament it can be pretty difficult to deal with on the spot. Some teams are specifically used to fulfill this function. Mai being the biggest offender of this. Mitsuru at the moment I feel is far too little effort for how effective she is. She is an extremely volatile character with two of the best teams in the game at the moment. She is so good that she greatly gimps the value of two really strong characters, the characters being Narukami and Orie.

Q: Interesting, so in Crosstag you play Yu/Jin. Can you explain a little bit why you run that team? What is it about them that you enjoy either together or separately?

Fame: I mainly enjoy it because of how stylish it allows you to be at times as well as the damage output. When they work in sync it is a feast for the eyes, and you are rewarded heavily for it. Yu/Jin arguably has the highest skill ceiling out of all the Yu teams that are really strong. There is so much you can take apart but it is up to the player to make the most of it.

Q: It’s always great to watch high level players execute crazy combos. So a part of why I do this series is to get a more in-depth look at the player behind the controller/stick. So I wanted to focus on you for a bit. Do you remember your first time competing? Do you remember how you felt back then? How does that compare to how you feel now when you compete?

Fame: When I first competed, I was not familiar with gaming monitors and how it affected performance. So all of my timings were off. On top of me being a nervous wreck, I’m surprised I even did remotely well back then. Now I am far more calm. I still get shaken up at times, but I can keep in under control more often. I can adjust to my environment much faster than I could before so I don’t let different equipment hold me back as much.

Q: Yeah wow, I hadn’t even thought of how impactful some of the other equipment could be towards your performance. Speaking of competing was there anyone you played as you worked your way to the top that you would say really helped you reach that next level as a player?

Fame: I feel that fighting TempestRomeo definitely helped with that a lot. He has been my training partner for a few years now.

Q: What sort of advice would you have for players trying to get into Blazblue? Is there anything you’ve learned over the years that you think would be useful to help new players? Things like the how to approach matches or anything else you can think of.

Fame: I highly recommend that you use all the resources the game gives you. The tactics mode gives you a good amount of information at the start. Take full advantage of it. Also I recommend that you play what you are comfortable with. While playing what is strong is preferable, if you do not feel comfortable with the characters you are playing you aren’t gonna be able to play to your fullest.

Q: Which is tough for me haha. I always want to play the characters I think are the coolest. But for the life of me I can’t do negative edge stuff. So part of why I do these interviews is to get a better look at the player themselves outside the game. What can you tell us about Fame outside the game? What are some hobbies of yours or what are things you do outside of games?

Fame: I mostly do a lot of reading. Be it something informative or some manga that i really enjoy, i often can be found reading something.

Q: What are some of your plans for the future? Do you plan to compete more? Stream more? Or something else?

Fame: Mainly want to get out to more events and improve my stream. However, until then I will be finishing up school.

Q: Okay man, well that’s all I got for you. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to talk to me. Before I let you go is there anyone you want to shout out and where can people find you on social media?

Fame:@TempestRomeo my main training partner.
@Shinku_DZ , @baceNYC and @RinoNYC really good bbtag players coming up and getting results recently.
Fame’s netplay group= they’ll know who they are when they see it.

You can follow Fame on twitter @OrochiFame96

You can follow me on twitter @itsfrail

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