Have you ever imagined a balloon getting into an epic duel with an angel? It’s a hard image to come up with. Well, thanks to Super Smash Brothers Brawl, this very battle can take place! From Nintendo’s little-known ‘Kid Icarus’ series comes the angelic hero, Pit. Serving the goddess, Palutena, Pit has faced the dark forces of the underworld and their leader, Medusa- as well as the eggplant wizard. Though his games on NES and Gameboy never achieved worldwide success, he flies again thanks to the Smash series. With his famed bow and blessed wings, Pit enters the Brawl cast.
When the first Super Smash Brothers game came out on the N64, most people didn’t understand why Jigglypuff was a combatant. A singing balloon Pokemon? Where’s Mewtwo? Where’s Squirtle? (They’d appear later in the Smash series) Most gamers could think of countless other fighters that would have been better suited for the game’s roster. Sadly, she was written off as a trash character by most- no doubt due in part to her ridiculous name. Eventually, someone must have played as Jigglypuff and discovered that ‘she didn’t suck’. Jigglypuff may have only gotten into Smash thanks to her popularity in Japan as well as the benefit of having another female on the roster, but she’s earned her spot through her fantastic aerial abilities.
Aerial Sniper Vs Aerial Comboist
Every character in the Smash series has a specialty and no two are exactly alike. Jigglypuff and Pit are both talented aerial fighters, but for totally different reasons. Each has a deep pool of specials and tricks to draw from that make them deadly in the air. Which has the better style and tools? Which truly rules the air?
Pit isn’t exactly an aerial comboist. It’s difficult to weave many of his attacks together the way Jigglypuff does- partly due to being slower in the air than she is. For an angel, Pit has trouble chasing and attacking in the air. What Pit can do is something called sniping. Whether it’s with his light arrows or a swift sword slash, Pit is great at dealing quick blows with little chance of retaliation. Through a combination of long-range combat and the occasional flurry of aerial sword strikes, Pit can safely rack up damage- especially when combined with basic ‘hit and run’ tactics. Though lacking in KO power, Pit is an evasive fighter with several defensive options. His moveset contains two reflectors- the ‘Mirror Shield’ and ‘Angel Ring’. Thanks to his triple jump, glide ability, and ‘Wings of Icarus’, Pit can quickly escape any skirmish and relocate to a safe place. Pit also happens to be a middleweight- meaning his won’t be too easily KOed.
What Pit isn’t, Jigglypuff is- an aerial comboist. In fact, many gamers consider Jigglypuff to be the character best suited for fighting in the air. Jigglypuff’s aerial prowess has been affectionately referred to as the ‘wall of pain’ by gamers since Melee on the GameCube and that hasn’t changed in Brawl. She can continually smack opponents around with her aerials and ‘Pound’ move thanks to her ‘floaty’ nature and high air speed. Like Pit, Jigglypuff has the extra jumps needed to keep the fighting airborne- though she lacks Pit’s other recovery options. Jigglypuff also comes equipped with one of the most powerful finishers in the game, ‘Rest’- though it is highly situational. Unfortunately, Jigglypuff is the lightest character in the game and can be easily KOed due to this. Jigglypuff’s shield is also an issue. If her shield breaks, Jigglypuff rockets straight up into the air- to her death if the ceiling doesn’t stop her. Jigglypuff has no projectile and her Smashes are all short-range making her rely on close-quarters combat. Finally, while Jigglypuff is fast in the air, she has the slowest dash speed in the game. Jigglypuff is simply a character of extremes and situational abilities.
Overall, Pit’s defensive style, versatile projectile, reflectors, and elusive qualities make him superior to Jigglypuff. Her lightweight and reliance on close, aerial combat hurt her too much in the end. Jigglypuff may have won the skies, but she lost this round.
Recovery! Wings of Icarus Vs Sing
If you’re a Smash veteran, you know the key to survival is recovery. Unlike traditional fighting games, Super Smash Brothers doesn’t use a life bar. Instead, KOs are scored by knocking your opponent of the stage. This features opens up all sorts of strategies for victory otherwise impossible. Both Jigglypuff and Pit have fantastic recoveries- who will take round two?
Though ‘Sing’ is Jiggly’s Up-B, it cannot be used to recover. Instead Jigglypuff has five jumps that are usually more than enough to get her back to the stage. By combining each jump with a ‘Pound’, Jigglypuff makes her already stellar recovery twice as good- this is known as the ‘Rising Pound’ among Smashers. Allowing her to swiftly cut through the air is the fact that Jigglypuff is both ‘floaty’ and has the second highest midair acceleration in the game- Yoshi being the only one above her. As an alternative for horizontal recovery, Jigglypuff can charge her Side-B, Rollout. This spinning special propels Jigglypuff through the air- also acting as a surprise attack for edge-guards. As a highly situational recovery option, Jigglypuff’s ‘shield break’ can be used. This risky option is only viable on vertical scrolling stages (Rumble Falls, Rainbow Cruise, etc) as a last resort. Even then, there has to be a ceiling above her or she’ll be KOed. But, being a lightweight, Jigglypuff will need all the help she can when she’s inevitably smacked away from the stage.
Pit has wings and can fly. I could probably leave it at that but that wouldn’t do Pit justice. His triple jump is usually all Pit will need to get back on the stage. If not, Pit can use his Up-B, Wings of Icarus’, to enter a period of flight. With his three jumps and up special, Pit is capable of recovering from almost any fall. If these aren’t enough, Pit can use his glide ability- a technique exclusive to Pit, Metaknight, and Charizard. By holding the jump button after his second jump, Pit will stretch out his wings and glide while being piloted by the analog stick. Despite his effective recovery options, Pit has one potentially fatal weakness. If struck while using ‘Wings of Icarus’, Pit will fall helplessly rather than regain his Up-B like most characters.
This isn’t looking good for pokemon fans as Jigglypuff has lost round two. Jigglypuff may have a fantastic recovery, but Pit’s is considered the best in the game. Not even the ‘Rising Pound’ can compare to ‘Wings of Icarus’ and the glide ability. Pit can secure victory for Palutena with one just more win!
Special Moves! The Backbone of Smash!
Another staple of the Smash series is its unique attack system. All characters come with a trio of ‘Smash’ attacks- moves best suited for finishing opponents. These are performed by pointing the analog in the desired direction while pressing the A button. Along with Smash attacks come four ‘Special Attacks’ used with the B button. Typically these are projectiles, recovery moves, or techniques meant for continuing combos.
Imagine this. You’re playing as Wario on Hyrule Temple. You and your opponent are on opposites sides of the immense stage. You’re hiding behind a stone column to boot. Just when you feel safe, an arrow of light bends over the column and hits you in the face. This is the reality of Pit’s neutral Special, ‘Palutena’s Arrow’. This move alone overshadows all of Pit’s other specials. It is excellent at damaging building, chasing, baiting, and (of course) sniping. Pit’s Up-B, Wings of Icarus, has no offensive capabilities. It does push opponents away slightly with an opening rush of wind- but that’s all. His Down-B, the Mirror Shield, can reflect most projectiles and flip around attackers much like Mario’s ‘Cape’. Pit’s Side-B, Angel Ring, is his second reflector. Using it sends him forward with his bow spinning to either damage enemies or reflect projectiles. Outside of his light arrows and reflectors, Pit’s Specials are lacking.
Jigglypuff’s Up-B (Sing) and her Down-B (Rest) rely on one and other. Jigglypuff does a little dance and puts enemies asleep with a little song when her Up-B is used. ‘Rest’ causes Jiggly to close her eyes and take a four-second nap- doing so unleashes a powerful (though short-ranged) burst of energy that KOs at ridiculously low percentages. The idea is you put them sleep then get and close and use ‘Rest’ when they’re helpless. However, both of these special moves leave her vulnerable if they fail. Jigglypuff’s Side-B, Pound, is a good damage-builder or aerial follow-up attack. Her neutral B, Rollout, is a great finisher when fully charged. Once the B button is released, Jigglypuff will send anyone that she rams into flying off the stage. Like many aspects of Jigglypuff, her Specials are highly situational. Sing is only effective against enemies with high damage- the higher their damage, the longer they sleep. Rest has extremely short range and the price for missing is heavy. Rollout can be suicidal if used foolishly.
Pit may be able to recover from almost anywhere and his light arrows might be a great projectile, but his Specials still disappoint. Players hoping that Pit’s specials will help his low KO potential will be especially disappointed- not a single finisher. Jigglypuff’s special moves might by risky, but the payoff is worth it. Can Jigglypuff manage a tie by winning our final round?
Final Smash Clash: Palutena’s Army Vs Puff Up
No fighting game is complete without an assortment of super moves. Brawl added an item known as the ‘Smash Ball’ to the series. Once shattered by a fighter, the Smash Ball grants its wielder one ultimate attack activated by the B button, known as a ‘Final Smash’. Each character has a different Final Smash ranging from transformations, gigantic energy blasts, stage-altering effects, and even two Eskimos that summon a glacier! Who has the better Final Smash? Pit or Jigglypuff?
When Jigglypuff grabs the Smash Ball, its best for her to rush to the middle of the stage before activating it. A press of the B button causes the balloon pokemon to begin inflating at an alarming rate. She grows and grows to the size of a blimp before shouting out her name. Enemies and teammates alike are then hit by the massive force of her enlarged body. If you’re wise, get away from her balloon thighs and take cover- because Jigglypuff’s Final Smash is almost a guaranteed KO if it manages to bump into you. On small stages ‘Puff Up’ is all but unavoidable. On medium or large stages, it’s downright useless.
Pit doesn’t have to go anywhere once he shatters the Smash Ball. With a wave of his hand he summons an army of Palutena’s little soldiers. Dozens of them appear from the background and rush at the nearest opponent in a final, sacrificial attack. Pit can run about freely during his Final Smash to take advantage of the chaos. Unlike Jigglypuff he isn’t invincible, but his little allies provide more than enough cover. They probably won’t KO at low percentages but Palutena’s followers are great at building damage. It works the same on any stage- small, medium, or large. Too bad it doesn’t make up for Pit’s greatest weakness- his lack of a reliable finisher.
Jigglypuff and Pit have totally different Final Smashes. Jigglypuff transforms into a giant balloon of destructive power, Pit summons an army of tiny angel-soldiers to fight for him. Both have noticeable flaws. ‘Puff Up’ is easy to escape on anything but a small stage; ‘Palutena’s Army’ is unlikely to KO. Because neither Final Smash has a solid advantage over the other, we have a draw. Thanks to his two previous wins, Pit proves victorious over Jigglypuff. Palutena would be proud.