Wow, anyone watch Matt and Woolie of Fighterpedia (Matt who's also part of TheSw1tcher aka, Two Best Friends)?
They bring up one of the most highly debated subjects in video game history - Is Super Smash Bros. a "fighting game" and to a greater extent, what qualities as a fighting game? They make some very good points but at the same time, but I think some points could have been stronger.
So Kotakuites, what does qualify as a fighting game?
If someone was to ask me if Smash Bros. was a fighting game, I would say that the intended design was not meant to be a fighting game. So in a way no. though if you look at the options for it, it can be turned in way that is a traditional fighting game.
What I mean by intended design is that with items, stage direction (as opposed to opponent direction), outside 1-on-1 2-player vs. and stage hazards, Smash Bros. is more like the crazy cousin genre, as many would call it, BRAWLER. Games like Power Stone, Max Anarchy and Battle Royale would be considered a brawler.
I don't believe some features like stage hazards is what decides what isn't a fighting game though - Dead or Alive has plenty of stage hazards and in a way, rings outs are somewhat of a hazard. That would bring Virtua Fighter into the fray as well. Tournaments don't allow for picking Hazard stages, but there's more to fighting games than official tourney rules. (Smash Bros have neutral stages which is what most tourneys use too!)
What I believe throws a game out of the fighting game genre and into a brawler is having to go outside 1-on-1, 2-player vs, (all out 3-player vs., 4-player vs.) When that happens, the game becomes too chaotic to have a fair, balanced match. Fair, balanced matches is what makes a fighting game. (again, Smash Bros has the option of 1-on-1 - of course!) That means no items too.
So with that being said, I can't wait for friggin' Max Anarchy (Anarchy Reigns) with 16-player all-out battle royale!!!