Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

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Infinity's End

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Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

Postby Infinity's End » 09.21.14 10:59am

I say no.
It's King of the Hill.
If you consider a "fighting game" in the traditional sense, SSB is not one.

Main gameplay consists of you attacking your opponents to get their damage % higher, and then knock them off the stage. So in fact, (as many SSB veterans recognize) the stage is just as important as what fighter you choose. That's why these stages are so varied and why there are so many different tools and items that allow you to knock your opponents off.

Fighting games: usually 1-v-1, each with a health bar, in which you must master the moves of your character and make your strategy based on what your opponent does. Defeating your opponent's character directly by making him/her lose all their health is usually the only way to win.

Smash Bros: 4 players versus each other in a number of combinations (2v2, 3v1, etc) where the main focus is making your opponent's health higher, which makes them weaker in order to be knocked off the stage more easily.

Even though you are attacking your opponents, the goal is distinctly different. You are not trying to defeat the character itself, you are just trying to raise each other's percentage. In most traditional fighting games (if not all), when your character loses more health, they do not become weaker, or slower, or less strong - in fact, they remain just as good as when you first started. Smash Bros. relates "health" with "damage" and when your damage is high enough, you fly through the air much more quickly and easily.

I hope we can get some good discussion on this - but in my opinion, SSB isn't a fighting game. Thoughts?
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Apothem

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Re: Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

Postby Apothem » 09.21.14 12:14pm

I would argue it is a fighting game, simply of a different variety, the same way many genres have sub-genres. If I had to ascribe a name to it I'd call it an "Arena Brawler" versus the more common "Precision Duelers" that make up most Fighting Games. It's an inherent problem with the nomenclature of the medium: it often doesn't make a lick of sense and at best isn't typically very accurate, especially as games continuously blend elements from so many different styles. I see Smash Bros. to fighting games the same way I see Metroid Prime in relation to FPSs: still apart of the broader super-genre but unique enough to stand in its own sub-genre. Smash Bros. is in every way shape and form about directly combating one's opponent(s) which literally makes it a fighting game, but I wouldn't call it the same kind of fighting game as Street Fighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur, or their contemporaries.
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Zynux

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Re: Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

Postby Zynux » 09.21.14 2:40pm

Smash Bros. is a 2D fighting/Brawler platformer with party elements.

Traditionally, it's not a "2D Fighting game" like Street Fighter. Traditionally, it's also not a "Party Game." Both of these labels and categories do not adequately categorize Smash Bros. IMO.

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With that said, I like your analysis Infinity End. King of the Hill? It does explain the core objective of Smash bros pretty well. I also agree with Apothem that Smash Bros is a fighting game like Metroid Prime is a First Person Shooter; still could be categorized in the sub-genre but unique enough to stand on it's own.
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Re: Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

Postby Doc Scratch » 09.22.14 4:57am

II think it's a bit too constricting to the genre of "fighting games" when you restrain them to Street Fighter clones. Many people consider the Gundam Vs series "fighting games", even though tournaments are 2 vs 2 and the camera puts you behind a character in a large 3D arena.
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Apothem

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Re: Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

Postby Apothem » 09.22.14 5:59am

That's another good example of where genre naming conventions can fail. Gundam vs. probably makes enough sense to qualify as a fighting game of some sort, but it sounds to me more along the lines of Armored Core, which I think most people would be hard pressed to consider a genuine fighting game, despite the series having a traditionally competitive community around it and every game including a PvP competitive mode of some description. Just goes to show that you can place any game in nearly any genre if you break it down far enough.
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Meta Ridley

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Re: Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

Postby Meta Ridley » 09.24.14 8:22pm

Pretty sure everything I think was already said by the above posters but lets pretend I didn't read any of that.

I feel that Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game even if it may not share the traditional features of its progenitors.
It's something much different from a standard button combo health bar fighter yet still a fighting game at its core.

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Re: Is Smash Bros. a "Fighting game"?

Postby Luminoth Prime » 09.25.14 2:12pm

I find this video by some of my favorite YouTubers does a good job on analyzing this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o8yWSmkMMQ
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