Reality Fighters is one of the first games to go all out and use augmented reality for the PlayStation Vita, in fact the whole concept of the game is built around it. While the popularity of this technology is still somewhat unproven amongst gamers, Sony seems determined to make its stay a long one, so just how far does Reality Fighters go to helping its cause?
The premise of Reality Fighters is really a simple one, using augmented reality technology you can take pictures of yourself and friends, then create your own personal fighter, complete with custom hairstyles, fighting style and some of the most bizarre clothing you have ever seen.
Reality Fighters can be played with the AG card (you can use up to six, all of which come with the system at launch) or without, meaning that if you don’t wish to be, you’re not confined to a certain area to play. Using any number of the play cards certainly has its advantages, this is because the cards act as a reference point, meaning you can point the rear camera in various directions to view the action from any angle, while also being able to zoom in on your fighter. You can also take pictures of your fighter in any background while using the card, so if you are out and about you can take pictures of your creation fighting it out on the bus, in the park or even in the pub.
Using the card is very easy, you simply place it down on a flat surface and point the camera at it, then when the fight starts your fighters will appear, no matter where you are. Although choosing not to use the card limits camera angles and cancels your ability to take pictures of your fighter in any background, it does at least let you play the game on a much bigger scale, as well as taking away the embarrassment of trying to place a card on the ground when you are out in public.
When you load up the menu for the first time you will notice quite a few options, these include Training, Single Player, Multiplayer, Score (online leaderboards) and the ability to create and alter your fighters.
Creating your fighter is the perfect place to start really as it’s great fun. First up you must take a picture or yourself or your subject. The Vita will direct you here, telling you how good the lighting is and if you are close enough for the perfect shot, then it’s simply a case of taking the picture. Once this pleasantry is out of the way, it’s then a case of choosing the body, clothing, hair style, recording your entry and win voice and most importantly of all, your fighting style.
Although you cannot choose all of the fighting styles to begin with (you can unlock more as you earn stars throughout the game), there are still quite a few to choose from. These include Ballet, Boxer, Kung Fu and Zombie. Later on you can choose between others such as Break Dance, Karate, Sorcerer and Super Hero. You can even unlock weapons later in the game (which are very bizarre and range from garden gnomes, mops and electric guitars to more sensible items such as swords, mallets and a plastic chicken) and as you fight you will also unlock other items, such as boxing gloves and a disco jacket.
It has to be said that jumping straight into the game can be quite amusing, especially at first, when you choose a fighting style such as Ballet and watch as your custom made fighter prances around like someone out of Swan Lake.
While the novelty of quick fights soon wears off, there is at least other modes to keep you entertained. Included within the single player mode is a story mode, here you will find yourself fighting all manner of opponents, including boxers, ninjas, zombies. These all take place in the background of your choice, or if you wish on a custom made background such as the English countryside, Russian forest or Shangqiu, China, to name a few. Within the Single Player you will also be able to unlock Time Attack modes, as well as having to option to take part in Survival mode.
The single player mode is certainly pretty deep and fun enough to be able to load up for a quick game wherever you are. Thanks to the incentive of earning stars to unlock new characters, styles and items, there is always a reason to play, which is all you can ask for really.
As mentioned earlier, Reality Fighters also includes a Multiplayer mode. This takes the form of both Ad-Hoc and Infrastructure mode, unfortunately we have been unable to test the latter out due to the lack of a population on the servers at the time of review. However, it looks simple enough, matching you up to whoever is available, or offering you the chance to invite a friend to play against.
Reality Fighters seems like Sony’s big push to get Augmented Reality into gamers hands on day one, through what it will consider to be a full retail title. In some respects it has succeeded in providing a great experience which works well using AR. However, I’m just not sure how well this game will perform, not only against Sony’s other big name launch titles, but also against more serious fighters such as Marvel vs Capcom and Blazblue.
The problem with the Vita having so many launch titles is that the lesser one’s will be overlooked. Reality Fighters seems to fall into this category, because although it is a fun game with quite a lot of depth, it feels very much like a novelty that will wear off once the serious gaming starts. It’s a nice idea, but it never quite reaches the heights Sony may have wished for.
Rating: AverageReview Policy(version tested: PS Vita)
You can order Reality Fighters from ShopTo here.