This game was just handled terribly.
-Advertising was virtually non-existant
-The wrong 3rd party characters were added, if they weren't going to get the big guns they shouldn't have bothered
-It honestly looks like a poor man's Smash Bros
-There clearly wasn't enough money behind it
-They gave it to a new team, instead of some one with experience in quality game development
-It has an identity crisis - does it want to be a competitive fighter (evidenced by ranked and the awful belt/title system) or a party brawler?
-It's buggy as hell
-Lack of content (there could have been tonnes more items, stages, music, unlockables)
-Lack of modes - at times this feels only a tad less barebones than UMvC3
-It feels pretty bootleg sometimes - none of the MediEvil, Patapon, Loco Roco, Wipeout, Gravity Rush, DmC, Metal Gear music is actually from anything and is just made up, this is something you just don't get with Smash
-First party IP's are strangely absent - GT and Ape Escape are the biggest selling 1st party IP's Sony has and only the latter has any representation and even then it's not much. Where are Legend of the Dragoon, Syphon Filter, Shadow of the Colossus etc
-Stupid decisions - Example: Most Ratchet & Clanks remember them from the PS2 days, yet they steer more towards the PS3 games which are much less popular (still great though) and polarising. Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier is unanimously disliked, yet they focus on trying to capture that part of Jak & Daxter and even give us the voice that nobody likes, instead of the original VA Mike Irwin. Things like this tend to put off the PS2 fans because their favorites aren't quite as they remember them.
-Innaccuracy - this game is riddled with them. Jak's Hellcat is red when it should be blue, Drake's level 3 zombies look nothing like the ones in Uncharted etc Again this shows a lack of care and polish that you just don't get with Smash Bros.
-Bias - There's a heavy bias towards God of War and it's far from their best franchise. Naughty Dog is their best developer by far, yet their representation is utterly poor in this game
All that aside, it's a really fun game, especially with friends. But Sony really didn't put enough time, effort or money into it to make it anywhere near the quality of a Smash game. Sad, but true.
To expand on that, I think all this talk of 3rd parties not playing fair was BS. Think about it.
Who was by far the most requested character for Brawl? Sonic. Nintendo got him.
Who was by far the next most requested 3rd party character in Smash? Mega Man. Nintendo got him.
Who were the most requested 3rd party characters in this game? Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Solid Snake, Lara Croft, Cloud Strife and Sora. Sony didn't get one of them. Instead we got Bioshock and Dead Space, which don't really scream "PlayStation" to me.
Reason being, Sony didn't care enough about this game. Nintendo cares about Smash Bros. As long as this is the case, Smash will always be the far better game.
leostrike, if you're talking to me I think you need to reassess what I said.
This game could have been great. The idea and premise is great and it's got a very interesting gameplay mechanic that has plenty of potential.
The truth of the matter is that Sony just didn't care. Try and tell me otherwise and stop being such a kid about it.