The Super Smash Bros. series has had its fair share of weird, odd, or seemingly out of place characters. Previously the top spot was far and above held by the….. let’s call him “classic”, Mr. Game & Watch but there are quite a few other characters that when they were first announced made fans go “……….wait what?” and now we can not only add another name to that list but can, in my own opinion, crown a new king of bizarre.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Piranha plant.
Now some may argue that he isn’t as far out of place as some of the others like Mr.Game & Watch, or Duck Hunt, or Pac-Man and what I have to say to defy every single one of those arguments is………..have you tried playing as him? Seriously, the Mario enemies weirdest part isn’t the fact that he’s still in a pot when he fights, or that he has no real reason that he his so much tougher than all of his brethren, or that he is so gosh darn adorable, it’s that his move set is so far and removed from every we have come to expect from this generation of Smash Bros.
Let me give you a full breakdown of what I’m talking about. First and foremost his movement which is already weird considering, as I mentioned earlier, he is still in a pot so him moving forward is honest just a confusing and horrifying experience where he seems to be spinning on the rim of his pot and then transitioning into what essentially looks like him just shimmying very fast towards you. What only the careful eye will notice is that the bottom of his pot is broken and his little legs (Legs? Vines? I have no clue) poke through when he decides to move faster. Honestly, I get intimidated at the very sight of him moving towards my character and like any reasonable person run in fear. Naturally, rational thought would dictate that with no real legs he would be a slow movement style character. WRONG. All of his primary movement is actually shockingly fast, and in rounds that I have played, I had trouble keeping up with him as Incineroar who, although he is a slower character, still has two actual working legs.
We haven’t even gotten into his move set and already the fiendish flora takes the top spot on the weird ladder for me, but while we’re here we might as well explore that too. Now if you play enough Smash Bros., you know that every character has a unique move set with moves based around their respective games attacks or lack thereof, but if you play for long enough, you start to notice a pattern in a lot of the moves. Up B’s typically are some kind of recovery, neutral B’s are generally stationary specials that are dependent on which direction you are facing, so forth and so on. While there are plenty of exceptions to these patterns, there are few who so blatantly disrespect them to the degree that Piranha Plant does. His side B is a charge poison attack that as of writing this still have not figured out the timing on, his down B is a dodge into stretching himself upwards across half the screen, his side smash has him grow spikes and slam his head (which is one of his primary tactics, it’s either bite or headbutt) into his opponent. Most confusingly of all his neutral B, which consists of him spitting a spike ball, that he produces out of literally nowhere, into the air which floats at changing heights depending on how long he holds the attack, did I mention that he can also launch this ball of death in different directions by merely tilting the joystick in either direction while it’s in the air? Yea, that’s a thing, it even changes the distance it goes depending on how high up it is, absolutely wild.
Now I can understand the opposition’s position on this, sure you could compare Piranha Plants neutral B to King Dededes side B, and his down B to Snakes down smash. To be fair to everyone I try to see both sides to every argument, but with this one I find it hard to. The picture of Piranha Plant that all of these pieces create is like some sort of surrealistic Picasso piece than the usual Michelangelo mosaic that we are used to from this series, but please don’t let this fool you into thinking that I don’t legitimately love our new peculiar potted plant. He more than earns his spot among this already diverse roster we all know and, mostly, love. It’s because of how bizarre he is that I can’t get enough, and can only wait with bated breath like the rest of the Smash community for my heart to be stolen when Joker takes the next spot on the roster sometime this year.