March 13, 2012
To start, you’re asked to make your own custom fighter. To do this, you have to use the PlayStation Vita’s front-panel camera and it’s a bit more cumbersome than you might expect, especially if you’re a perfectionist. Getting the picture to line-up properly with the rest of the face is a real pain and you’ll end up with weird shaded areas and popping in places. That’s all rather pedantic though, as it is pretty cool to be able to put yourself in the game.
Once you’ve done that, you’re of course able to choose your body type and teach yourself a fighting style. And from there, you’re all set to take on the world of reality fighters.
You’re able to fight on a selection on pre-generated levels, but perhaps the game’s most interesting feature is its use of augmented realities. You’re able to use a dynamic background that’s generated using the Vita’s real-panel camera, but unfortunately it adds little to the actual gameplay. Well, aside from looking pretty cool when taking pictures from certain angles.
Something neat is the fact that levels are more expansive than they first seem. This applies to both the augmented and pre-generated. Fighters can go off the edge of the screen and you have to use the gyroscopic functionality to bring them back into focus. This is fine if you’re in a suitable location, but if you’re out and about it could prove to be a little bit troublesome. You might also miss some attacks if you don’t position the console in an awkward position.
When it comes to the actual fighting mechanics, they’re basic, very basic. You’ll find pretty much every major trope in here from fighting days of olde, but aside from a few special moves, they’re all pretty much identical. The overall design just isn’t conducive to anything that’s all that fun and when you couple this together with the camera, it does become rather frustrating to play after a little while.
Perhaps the game’s only saving grace is the customisation and item collection. Beating opponents will unlock different items of their clothing, which you can then put on your own fighter. If you beat them multiple times, you’ll get multiple items. This gives the game some real merit as a portable fighter, as you can just fight quick rounds and still get something out of it.
You can also unlock quite a selection of fighters as you battle though. And all the time you’re guided through the game’s story by the spitting image of Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.
After each battle, you’ll receive a performance rating, which in turn will reward you with funds. You can then spend these funds on items to make your fighter stronger and you will also notice that your opponents will have pros and cons in each of their different statistical areas.
Aside from the weird warping on your character’s face, the rest of the fighters in the game are also rather bland. Considering the power the Vita is packing, it’s a bit disappointing that so little time was put into the game’s presentation – it really is rather lacking. Models are warped and their animations are poor.
Reality Fighters is a disappointing launch title for the PlayStation Vita. It displays poor gameplay mechanics and presentation levels that pale in comparison to those attained by other titles at the console’s launch. The augmented reality is a neat addition, but it only serves to make Reality Fighters seem like a tech demo, as opposed to a full-on game that warrants a purchase and any time investment.