As you painfully know, there are plenty of people who keep calling PSASBR a “Smash Clone.” While that is true to an extent, it’s a rather sloppy term. Putting aside any possible negative implications that such a term could carry, it also ignores the fact that there are a number of other games that have the same kind of gameplay. Hell, I have a stack of such games on my desk right now. It is clear that there is a nameless sub-genre of fighters that separate themselves from traditional fighting games by using these following mechanics and characteristics:
Individual playfields have different features, layouts and even hazards
Power-Ups and useable items
Matches are score-based, as opposed to round-based.
Aside from Smash and All-Stars, other games like this include:
Power Stone 2
Jump Super Stars
Jump Ultimate Stars
DreamMix TV World Fighters
Guilty Gear Dust Strikers
Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL
…and perhaps others that I don’t know about. Point is that there are a number of games that are like Smash and there is no doubt that there will be more in the future. Thing is, we can’t just keep calling them “Smash Clones.” I mean, people stopped using the term “Doom Clone” for first person shooters by 1996, and can you imagine if you were playing a KoF game and someone walked up and called it a “Street Fighter Clone?”
So a simple, clear term is needed. The problem is that there has yet to be one that has taken hold. I’ve seen them called arena fighters, party fighters, brawlers… I’ve personally used the term “platform fighter” since they incorporate many of the elements of platformers, but that’s just me.
So let’s pick a term and stick with it, just for the sake of convenience and the benefit of future game developers. Suggestions?