We ran into Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi yesterday at the Tokyo Game Show. The talented multi-fighting game pro chatted with us about two games he’s been playing – Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Street Fighter X Tekken – and one game he’s stopped playing: Persona 4 Arena.
—Hey Tokido, what a coincidence. What’re you doing wandering around on the TGS showfloor?
Tokido: I’m waiting for Fuudo to finish up at his booth, so we can both go back together. Fuudo’s home is very near to the TGS venue [Makuhari Messe], I’m staying over at his place tonight.
—Nice! So what games have you been playing recently?
Recently I’ve been playing Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which has just come out last week.
—Who do you use in Tekken Tag 2, and why?
I use Kunimitsu and Lars. Kunimitsu because she is console-exclusive character, so the people who have been playing the arcade version do not know very much about Kunimitsu yet. That levels the playing field a little for me. Also I think Kunimitsu has potential, so that’s why I picked for.
—Right, Kunimitsu. Yeah, and she appears to be invulnerable to mid attacks.
Yes, some mids.
—What about Lars?
As for Lars, he’s just really good. Lars makes a very good tag partner for any character in the game, because he has a good Tag Assault combo. 6+LK (f+3) to go into back-facing stance, then while rising RP (2), 6+LP (f+1), LK (3) (note: the commands listed here may be inaccurate; we’ll check with Tokido again later today).
—Other than Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are you playing anything else at the moment? Last time we talked you said that you were going to be picking up Persona 4 Arena.
Ah… Persona 4 Arena… I’m not playing that anymore.
—Huh? Why not?
Now that Arc System Works has announced the new Guilty Gear and the new BlazBlue, all the Persona 4 Arena players have gone back to playing those games, including me.
In general I buy every single fighting game for consoles when they come out, but if a game turns out to be “no good game”, then I stop playing.
—So by that do you mean Persona 4 Arena is a “no good game”?
[I’m sure a lot of people like the game but] it’s just not for me. I found it to be a little boring.
—I actually thought you might like it more, since Persona 4 is similar to Street Fighter in the sense that SRKs/reversals/invincible moves are fairly important.
Yes, but the reversal is too easy, just press two buttons. I didn’t really like that.
—I see. Are you still playing Street Fighter X Tekken?
Yes, in fact that’s my main tournament game right now, because of the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary.
—Now that the new characters for Street Fighter X Tekken are out, who do you think are the top for characters in SFxTK?
Of the new characters, Cody is really strong. And after the patches, Dhalsim is strong too, especially now that Ryu has become weaker.
And then… Rolento is still very strong. And of course, Chun-Li is top-tier.
So my top four are (not in any specific order), Cody, Dhalsim, Rolento and Chun-Li. Ryu, although not as good as before, is still very good.
—That’s an interesting list. A while back Sako said in a Famitsu SFxTK column that his top four picks were Ryu, Ken, Kazuya, and Rufus.
Yes, that was before the patches. Now, a lot has really changed in the game.
—What criterion do you look at when determining if a character is strong or weak in Street Fighter X Tekken?
Mostly I look at the reach of the attacks, and whether the moves are safe from a distance or can be punished from far away.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask Tokido, post them in the comments below today. We’ll pick some good ones and try to get them to him.