Ten minutes after my first fight, I was a mess. Stumbling around my house, disoriented and upset, I somehow made it to the bathroom, collapsed onto the tile floor and threw up. Next to the toilet. From this, I learned one important lesson; if you’re going to play Reality Fighters, you’d better have steady hands.
Designed to show off the Vita’s AR capabilities, Reality Fighters makes use of the system’s camera to place combatants wherever you are. Want to see a 200lb ballerina knock out a kung-fu master on the bus? Just point the camera at the seat in front of you. Boring fountain? Throw down next to the cement cherubs. Dropping down one of the Vita’s bundled AR cards lets you view the fight from all angles.
The AR features really do show off how much the Vita can handle – animations are smooth and pulling off combos and special attacks warp environments, cracking surfaces and obliterating scenery.
Unfortunately for me, and any gamer with a sensitive constitution, moving the console shifts the view even with a pre-rendered backdrop. After a few minutes, you feel like you’re at sea and it can become difficult to focus (or hold onto your lunch).
The customization doesn’t end with where you can fight. The Vita’s camera comes into play once again – snap your best mean face and wrap it onto a body of your choosing. A boxing sumo wrestler with rippling abs isn’t the most orthodox style but it’s how I chose to express myself. You start with a limited range of options and items but winning matches in the time attack, survival and story modes unlocks more props, clothing and fighting styles to create a true, ass-kicking monster. You can even record your own sounds.
It’s the ability to show off your creativity (or lack thereof…) that’s Reality Fighters true appeal. Sadly, the only opportunity you really get to unveil your avatars is through the combat, which is disappointingly limited. Vita players can expect to enjoy the likes of Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter X Tekken and BlazBlue, and Reality Fighters has neither the mechanics nor the depth to compete with any of them.
That said, it is incredibly accessible. New players can choose to make the most of the touch controls, swiping the screen to perform combos and special attacks to make it easier to keep up with more seasoned fighting game opponents. It keeps down the issues of newbies spamming single easy attacks and keeps fights relatively fresh.
Reality Fighters goes a long way to show off the power of the Vita and what can be done with the system to add a twist to handheld gaming. Unfortunately, it comes across as little more than a tech demo that’s been fleshed out to warrant a higher price. Fighting fans may be disappointed but for new players, it presents a potential introduction to the genre with some interesting and original features.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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