Fight where you want, how you want, wearing whatever you want – Really!
Have you ever imagined yourself as a hard-as-nails Sumo wrestler, dressed in an ill-fitting shirt and tie, with some serious Ballet skills? Or a stick-thin, banana suit wearing loon who moves like a Zombie? If you have, then maybe you should get help. Or you could always pick up Reality Fighters and fulfill your dreams…
Reality Fighters, from Novarama, is one of the Vita launch titles and offers what is fairly straight forward fighting game with more than one gimmick up its pixelated sleeve.
With only a couple of modes available and a very simple fighting mechanic which will likely be scorned by those more used to the likes of Street Fighter of Tekken, it may well be difficult to take Reality Fighters seriously. But as a fighting game, it is not supposed to be serious. In fact, it is laughably stupid. Button mashers will be pleased to know that the entire campaign can pretty much be completed with almost no knowledge of the moves whatsoever.
Where Reality Fighters can be taken seriously is in the way it uses the new PS Vita technology. Gamers who are familiar with Novarama’s Invizimals may have an idea of what to expect in this Augmented Reality title. One of the key gimmicks to the game is the ability to have your fights play out pretty much wherever you want, thanks to the Vita’s camera. The pixelated fighters are imposed upon whatever background you choose in an impressive way. As the player moves their Vita, the background pans in a realistic manner which can often move the focus of the player away from the actual battle. If the player feels uninspired by their surroundings, or just can’t hold still, there are a number of pre-made environments in which to fight, with more unlocked as the player progresses. It is a nice effect, but only a gimmick which doesn’t really bring a lot to the game.
What does make the game more interesting, for its novelty value and the laughs which will inevitably result, is the character creation. Using either of the Vita cameras, the player can map their or someone else’s face onto a fighter. The process, which has been available in other games on other systems, is surprisingly simple, and the results, which are in no way perfect, are easily recognisable as the subject. Once this is done, the fun can begin.
To start with, the player is able to customise the shape of the body and can make their fighter closely resemble themselves, or look completely different. Then there is a wide variety of different outfits and accessories that can be used on the fighter, resulting in some quite bizarre creations. The final choice comes from the fighting style.
There are 15 different fighting styles in Reality Fighters, each of which offers different special moves and a different challenge to master. There is the usual selection of well-known fighting styles, such as Kung-Fu or Boxing, and then there are the more “interesting” styles that bring with them obvious comedic value. Shuffling around like a Zombie or prancing like a Ballerina may not seem obvious choices for a fighting style, but they work well and are incredibly fun to watch.
The appeal of Reality Fighters comes from being able to kick your buddies virtual butt in the office whilst they are wearing a tutu, or laying the smackdown on a banana suit wearing friend, on top of your Sunday roast. The game gives a good idea of what the Vita is capable of, at least from a technology point of view, and will provide the sort of laughs that are usually found with gimmicky apps found on iOS devices.
But as a game, Reality Fighters just lacks depth and replayability. Once everyone has stopped laughing at how they look and move within the game, there is nothing here that can’t be found in other games, generally cheaper and better.
Reality Fighters is a novelty, the type of which often accompanies the launch of new technology. It gives players an idea of what the tech can do and what will be possible in the future. But sadly, the game doesn’t really offer anything more than the free AR games which are available on PSN. The character editor is good, and the AR features are impressive, but the gameplay just doesn’t offer enough to keep the average gamer entertained.