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Avoiding the Puddle Episode #13 featuring Tomhilfiger

We're back again and this time we interview the legendary Tekken 4 Nina, Tomhilfiger. Tom gives a history lesson on how competitive Tekken started in America and how it changed after the Koreans began attending American tournaments. He also gives his "old man's" perspective of how Tekken has evolved over the years plus much more.

Before that, MYK and I discuss the latest TTT2 trailer as well as talk about the announcement of the new Soul Calibur game. As always, feel free to leave questions or suggestions in the comments section or contact me at




MP3 - 01:13:12 - 69.8 MB


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To see Tom in action chack out the vids below.

Avoiding the Puddle Episode #13 featuring Tomhilfiger

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Reader Comments (42)

Good interview. I respect Tekken 4 more now than I did 10 years ago, but to me the series peaked with part 2. That was the ST of the Tekken series. That game was just so good. It's too bad there aren't any Tekken 2 masters around to interview.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterOld Fart

Fuck the console version graphics of Tekken 6. You guys gotta look at the Arcade version. That has the best graphics I have ever seen and the new TTT graphics aren't looking as good as the arcade version of 6 a.k.a. Tekken 6:BR. Great podcast as usual. I definitely agree with most of what Tom is saying about the game and what not. It is easy to play, and sometimes there can be a lot of bullshit. It's still a fun game IMO.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterwcgalo

Malice stop trying to defend SC4 so much. I understand you think it's misunderstood but people will not be willing to go deeper if they do not like the game and the community sucks atm. Aris rips on SC4 so much because he invested a lot of time into SC2. He had a deep love for that game and hoped the squeals would do it justice. They have a not and he feels that as a fan they just bitched slapped him with two SC that lacked in quality compared to SC2. Apparently A LOT of people feel this way. YOu just gonna have to accept the fact that SC4 is just not up to standard as a SC game.

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 4:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeBreezy92

Also why bash a series known for crap instead of bashing a series known for excellence? You seem a little jealous in that respect that MK9 is getting a lot more love that (so far) really deserves. Grow up.

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 4:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikeBreezy92

this was another awesome episode. i love the conversations about all the technical aspects of the game and i agree with a lot of what tomhilfiger said. good shit man. i hope to hear more stuff like this in the future

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 4:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterK-Keo

@jonsf: I don't see how learning more about a character that gave them trouble at MLG is dickriding.

@Old Fart: I will never understand this opinion. Tekken 3 added actual 3d movement while 2 was just a 2d game with 3d graphics. 2 just feels clunky and stiff to me.

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 6:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterQuadrupledragon

Ok so I figured I would feedback all that SC nonsense aris was on. I have to reference you because you made a great point about you need a community to really flesh out a fighting game. Then consider how many changes in the metagame after a year goes by... I don't pretend to know a damned thing about Tekken but I can guarantee that what worked at the end of month 2 in T6 was way different then what you were doing at the end of year 1. The same can be applied to all but the most basic aspects of any fighter.

SC3 had REALLY REALLY strong movement. You can step cancel into step as opposed to step cancel into 8wr. So where slidestep in SC2 was inapplicable in a tournament setting in SC3 you could move much more effectively then in SC2, but without the safety. The problem is outside of a few players who used and applied it well you wouldn't really see that. I'm not trying to say the game was balanced because it only had balance if you threw half the characters out of consideration. There were a good deal of characters with design flaws and a series of glitches that had to be banned.

When you want to talk about the game turned into A,A and B,B all day... are you still in month 1? All of them started out like that and evolved, because that kind of approach will lose to something as simple as block and then throw at advantage. Then you learn to deal with that and the game evolves.

SC2 IMO is the most boring SC of the past 3 games. You had no way to punish step G enough to make the risk/reward compare to the single time you get stepped and launched. Then the wakeup hardly feels like wakeup, you can stand in 1 frame and tech traps are so uncommon I can't remember one you would see at high levels of play. If you ask me the appeal that so many players had in SC2 was that guard always made you block, so it was easy to feel like you can compete. The simplicity was both it's strength and it's biggest weakness

In SC4 you have to take a much more though out approach to the game. If you don't think about why you should be sidestepping and just do it blindly it's easy to punish. If you get knocked down and you have to think about what side to tech to or if you should play dead and holding block from every knockdown can be almost as painful as holding back from the ground in Tekken. Taking a single minded approach to defense where you always hit G to stand up after a knockdown and always doing step guard will get you owned.

Just my opinions :)

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterBibulus

game's trash, community's trash...u mad?

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterumad?

@Bib, Thanks for the well thought out comment. On the issue of a game evolving, I have to say that if a game takes 5 months to figure out how to side step, it isn't a good game. Really the bottom line is, both your comments, as well as mine are opinion based while the facts are in the numbers. SC2 was by far the most popular SC game yet and it was played competitively by more people for way longer than any other SC game. If you thought it was boring, you are the minority. And though you are entitled to your opinion, just as I'm entitled to mine, the entire current SC community must try not to become what the VF community has become. The VF community is so in love with their game that they would rather it not change then allow it to evolve in a way to let new players enjoy it. The VF community is content to play a good game that has no competition. I love Soul Calibur, but not nearly as much as I love competition.

In my eyes, sacrificing whats popular for what you personally like is selfish. This attitude will be the end of the series and i don't want to see that happen.

The point of my statements on the podcast isn't that SC5 should be more like SC2. The point was that they should try to appeal to the much larger fan bases out there the way SC2 did.

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Registered CommenterAris

i thought maddogjin was the best on Tekkeb 4

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterShinBigboss

@MikeBreezy92: I wouldn't need to defend the game if Aris wasn't calling it a piece of shit all the time. SC4 is not without it's issues, but it's no where near being a piece of shit. Plus what fighting game doesn't have issues? Tekken 6 looks like a hot mess on console and has no record function. Does that make the game a piece of shit? Of course not. I'm trying to be objective, but his criticisms of the game don't make it a piece of shit in my opinion.

If SC4 wasn't up to standard, I would not be playing it. Simple as that. But the hate that this game gets is crazy.

As for the community being trash, I don't know what you are basing that on, but since I started playing competitively and traveling, all I have met were awesome people. It would be nice if there was more competition, but arcades are dead, people are too spread out and don't want to leave the house since they can play online, and people rather play SSF4 instead of Tekken and SC. It's tough.

To Aris's point about appealing to a larger fanbase, the game sold over 2.5 million copies. To me, that's not the issue. What the game needs is to be more attractive competitively. That would have happened if an update was done for the console, however the update came via the PSP. If you want to judge the game, then judge it by the changes that were done in Broken Destiny. Once BD came out on the PSP, most were done with the game except for a few areas where Calibur is popular.

But the thing that has been missing with the last few games has been the communication with Namco, and now we have that again. So if our input is considered and implemented, good things will happen. And if you are a fan and want to make your voice heard on the next game, go to the link below.

As for SC2, there's no denying how popular it was back in the day. But compared to SC4 today, the game is boring as hell. I rather play SC3 than SC2. However, I want the next game to evolve and appeal to as many people as possible. It's going to be tough since so many people have a different opinion on what to do, so we'll see what happens.

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterMalice

Is popularity of SC2 so many years ago means that it was so much better game? Or it was tekken4 that was not that good and some ppl's just change the game?
Back in the days of T3 we had have T3 tournaments here in Poland, for 300 or even for 600 players, does it means that T3 is better game then T5/DR/T6 when now there are 40-60 players tourneys?

Life's little questions.

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheese

As slips have mentioned, movement is very restricted in T6. And SS or SW is that great nor consistent. At least with T5 even though it had crush, you had the movement and wasn't FORCED into taking a very stupid rock paper scissor mixup. See, the reason other tekkens have been harder than T6 was MOVEMENT. Due to this, you couldn't ABUSE stupid lows and launcher mixups constantly every round.

Friday, January 7, 2011 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered Commentertomhilfiger

Tom - thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was hoping one day to take people back to let them know how things were back then, but you did a good job nonetheless. You conveniently forgot to tell people about your gay ass Tekken 3 Jin 1,2,4 nonsense!!!

Aris - You stated that arcades are needed for players to flesh out the game and to help balance it. Unfortunately for the rest of the US, they don't always have that luxury and aren't always as fortunate. I do miss the arcade scene from back in the day but things are changing (and you do recognize this change). Would you concerns about game balancing be alleviated if Namco did more frequent online updates for the game, balancing things out over time?

Another good podcast. I'm anxious to hear Michael Murray discuss Tekken game theory and balancing and the thought process of developing a Tekken game. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterQDogg

Hey mailice how could you say you'd rather play SC3 than SC2. That game was full of glitches and was totally unplayable! That makes no sense pal. You people will never except the fact that the SC franchise went downhill after SC3. Namco's gotta bring the series back to it's roots. Stick to what works best and then work from there. Just like Tekken 3 was a flagship for the series,SC2 was too,and was played competetively at the time. Im praying that SC and VF come back in full force bc as I stated before, Legendary fighters like that should be headlining Tournies and should be at the top with Tekken and street Fighter.

Saturday, January 8, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterIMFAMOUSMINDED

@Infamousminded: I'll play any version of SC because I am a fan of the series. I just have more fun playing SC3 today than I do with SC2. High level SC2 is boring. Plus there is nobody really trying to go back and play that game. I'll still support the game, but ain't much I can do if people aren't trying to play it offline.

SC3 was full of glitches, but there were still people who played the game and traveled to tournaments to play in it up until SC4 came out. If the game was totally unplayable, there wouldn't have been anyone trying to travel and play that game.

Here's my theory. If Soul Calibur was more popular in Japan and if arcades weren't as dead as they are everywhere else, SC3 would have just went straight to arcade instead of going straight to console. Why else wasn't there an arcade release after SC2? I would love nothing more than for them to come out with these games in the arcade first, but Namco is still a company trying to make money at the end of the day.

Also, people want to go forward and not back. There's some things that I would like to take from SC2, but I don't want to just go back to whatever game someone happens to be fond of. I want to evolve the game and have as many people playing it as possible. As long as the next game is fun and balanced, you will see a lot of people up on it, unless they decide to just stay in the house and play the game online.

And let's face it. The only game really making headlines is Street Fighter. Street Fighter headlines tournaments around the world. It's flashy, it's easy to get into, and there's competition for it pretty much anywhere you go. The same can't be said for anything else today.

Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMalice

Yo Aris he music is so good. What band(s) do you use for the podcast? Thanks for another great show. Tht baby looks angry as hell, but so cute.

Monday, January 10, 2011 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterForest

@Forest, All of the song titles can be found in the "Podcasts" link above.

Monday, January 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM | Registered CommenterAris

Great Cast!

Ogre - LOL

Dream Matches -

2011 TTT2

Thomas vs Honda
Thomas vs JOP

could break the bank

I'm also from the T3 days - and yeah, that's all we had in South Africa, fuckin 10 strings, death fists, and HALF a DemoMan. -_-
T3 was so epic, imo it changed what a fighter was to what it was supposed to be.

Really awesome, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterHotShot

I must say I´m impressed, i came from the SRK and watching the newest ATP podcast being shown frontpage plus that epic viking montage is truly lolworthy, anyway, its the first time in a long I read the word "someone AND ME" whch appears in the article description. Hence, even though the repeated middle fingers and shit talk, I was really moved to see educated people around this parts, don't get me wrong, the PCs and the articles are really worth reading and I think I'll be browsing this site more this days.

Greetings from Venezuela :(

Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterPepino

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