Is Super Smash Brothers a Fighting Game?

Super Smash Brother for the WiiU
Super Smash Brother for the WiiU

One of the most heated debates within the Fighting Game Community is whether or not Smash Brothers is a fighting game. For many people, it’s solely regarded as a party game, but the emergence of SSB Melee and its very fighter-like mechanics made some people begin to take it more seriously. It made it’s debut at EVO in 2007, and again in 2013,2014, and will be there again in 2015. There’s clearly some competition going on in the Smash community, but is it comparable to other Fighting Game giants like Marvel versus Capcom 3, Ultra Street Fighter IV, Guilty Gear Xrd, Tekken, etc?

Smash Brothers Melee
Super Smash Brothers Melee

One of the main differences argued over is the general layout is very unlike a fighting game. The goal in most fighting games is to deplete your opponents life bar by dealing more damage than they deal to you. In SSBM, there is a platform in the sky and the players must ring each other out. The more damage one player has on him, the easier it is for him/her to get rung out, losing a life (in Smash tournament play, each player gets 4 lives). This style of play is so diverse from the traditional fighting game stages, which generally involve a flat plane with walls on either side.

However, despite the difference in stage and style of play, the basics of a fighting game is present. The competitive play, the blocks, the grabs, the reads, the punishes, combos, it’s all there. There is even a 9 part documentary about the competitive world of Smash Brothers and the players who live off the scene, called The Smash Brothers. The debate has never been entirely settled, and may never be, but in my personal opinion I think it is without a doubt a fighter. What do you think? Leave your thoughts on what you think about Super Smash Brothers, and what you would like to see next!

The Smash Brothers is a 9 part Documentary all about the competitive SSBM scene and its main players
The Smash Brothers is a 9 part Documentary all about the competitive SSBM scene and its main players
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