So the latest JoJo game, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure All-Star Battle R will soon be making its way to modern consoles and it added four new characters as DLC, and one of these characters happens to be a pretty little bird named Pet Shop.
Why does this matter? Isn’t Pet Shop just a minor character in the JoJo manga? While that is true, he has an infamous reputation in the realm of fighting games to the point that seeing him back in a semi-2D fighter is likely enough to send FGC veterans into a state of sheer terror!
Ok, probably not, but let’s talk about Pet Shop anyway.
Who is Pet Shop
Well, let’s start by saying who Pet Shop is. Pet Shop is a falcon that works for Dio Brando, the main antagonist of JoJo Part 3: Stardust Crusaders. He appears right near the end of the part guarding Dio’s residence against intruders and ends up getting into a fight with the Jojo team’s not so faithful dog Iggy.
Pet Shop puts up a good fight with his stand Horus, which allows him to manipulate ice but ultimately Iggy manages to kill him.
Even though he doesn’t have a big role, Pet Shop is fairly important in JoJo Part 3 as he is Iggy’s only solo fight in the story and the fight that truly cements him as a member of the Stardust Crusaders. He also saves Jotaro and the others the trouble of dealing with the brutish buzzard when they make their way to Dio’s mansion. Unfortunately the wounds Iggy sustained fighting Pet Shop would also partially lead to his demise against Vanilla Ice.
Pet Shop in the fighting game
Pet Shop’s reputation comes from his appearance as the playable character in the fighting game JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Heritage of the Future, developed by Capcom.
Here Pet Shop is a zoner and soon became known for his nigh OP capabilities. Here is just a basic combo of Pet Shop from Youtuber Aleph Null. It does 80% damage, and as many of the comments in the note: “One [basic] combo. That’s all you need to win”.
As a fighter, Pet Shop has a number of things going for him. He’s small and he flies meaning that low attacks will pass under him and he can easily get out of other characters’ reach. Considering how important high and low mix up attacks are to fighting games, this makes the falcon far more difficult to deal with. Some characters like Dark Polnereff rely heavily on their low kicks, rendering them more or less unplayable against Pet Shop.
That being said, a lot of these factors are actually manageable and even workable for veteran players. The things that really make him truly OP are his unblockable setup attacks that are really easy to combo into and the fact that said combos deal way too much damage.
A local Jojo player I spoke to who plays the game competitively best summed Pet Shop up as such:
“[Pet Shop has] free unblockable setups that convert into touch of death combos. Icicles are the best pseudo guard cancel ever, making pressuring him unsafe (he can buffer them while blocking, which also means he sets up his touch of death combos), icicles basically lock the sections of the screen under them which can make approaching or even turtling difficult.
He is lightning fast because he not only has an 8-way dash but an extremely fast wave dash via 662a (dashing low). Even his most basic combos do 70-90%. He can also fly into the air, that’s not what makes him OP but he can use that to his advantage.”
Interestingly he also mentioned that generally Kakyoin is actually seen as higher tier than Pet Shop to the point that he’s been banned from many community tournaments. But the Cherry man still requires far more practice to use well while Pet Shop’s simpler combos take less time to learn.
Pet Shop himself has been banned from many Heritage of The Future Tournaments and has made many top 10 lists for most broken fighting game characters.
Future Jojo Games
Pet Shop would be playable once again in Cyberconnect24’s PS4 Jojo arena fighter, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven.
While Eyes of Heaven isn’t a competitive fighter most still agree that Pet Shop has been toned down since his Capcom glory days. Eyes of Heaven being a 3D arena fighter means Pet Shop can’t fly away from people and he lacks his previous unblockable combos.
While All-Star Battle R will see Pet Shop return to a 2D battleground we doubt that he’ll be made as sadistically good as he once was.
JoJo’s Bizarre Bird Fighter
Pet Shop is an odd pick for a fighting game character, an ice-shooting falcon who can fly around the stage. Perhaps this raptor is just too powerful for us pitiful human beings. Playing as such an OP character can be fun but after a while, it does make the game a little boring as nine times out of ten, you know he’s going to win with little to no strategy involved.
That being said, I still like Pet Shop as a character. A bird as a fighter is an interesting idea, one that along with his nemesis Iggy the Chewing Gum Eating Boston Terrier, certainly made a game that already has such a weird and colorful cast all the more unique.
These sorts of smaller stranger characters tend to appear every now and then in fighting games. You had Yoda in Soul Calibur IV, Neco Arc in Melty Blood, and The Sony Cats from Street Fighter x Tekken. You could say make fighting games a bit more fun and… bizarre.
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