Reality Fighters is a very silly game. Itís built on the gimmick of using the Vitaís new functionality to put yourself in a fighting game, but thankfully that isnít its only trick. The act of taking your picture with the Vitaís camera takes all of five minutes.
Align your face into the designated lines, make sure thereís good lighting. Remain expressionless (the fun facial contortions will come later), and snap that shot.
Then, the fun part. Out of the 15 fighting styles in Reality Fighters, about half are the usual fare - kung fu, boxing, capoeira - and half are ludicrous, such as the ďzombieĒ style of fighting I was instantly drawn to.
When your style is chosen, the game will automatically contort your face accordingly. For my shambler, that meant eyes rolling into the back of my head, and an appropriate slack-jawed grimace to moan through. Novarama have done a surprisingly good job with this, and in a game where the big questions clearly lie around how quickly the main gimmick will get old, it was always cool to see my face pop up at the beginning of every fight with a bloodcurdling zombie scream.
The next step to creating your fighter - and of vital importance to fighting everywhere - is picking an outfit. These again range from the standard white robes, samurai gear, and armour items to the completely insane. All of the aforementioned styles have a set that goes with them - the ďDiscoĒ style of fighting needs platform shoes and flares, of course - and there are plenty of extras.
Your style and wardrobe can be changed at any time, and more of each is unlocked as you go - with a similar proportion of serious items to those with their tongue firmly in-cheek. When you decide the time has come to swap to breakdancing in a banana suit, a quick trip to the menu will sort you out.
Once in the game, a floating Mr Miyagi head will usher you through a campaign consisting of every fighting style you spurned on the list just before. Itís under the guise of teaching you, but itís not so much a case of getting harder as it goes along as showing off everything Reality Fighters has to offer.
Of course, no one expects this game to have a combat system rivalling that of a Street Fighter, and thatís exactly the case here. Given the fact it doesnít even have a combo system, that puts it below even Street Fighter 2. You can expect the basics: light attacks, heavy attacks, special moves, and super moves, and hold back to block. Thatís it.
Such is the simplicity, youíll be able to button mash your way through the entire campaign. After realising the actual fighting was about as deep as a contact lens, I began switching outfits and styles every few matches, just to see the new moves and have a bit of a laugh. My special zombie guy dragged opponents underground for a good bitiní. It all stayed novel until the end of the story mode - and although there isnít much in the way of extra modes - the survival mode can finally provide some challenge, once youíre about ten to fifteen victories in.
Reality Fighterís ease can be considered a blessing though, when you come across its worst flaw: giving you complete and unwelcome control over the camera.
Before each match starts, you ďsetĒ the Vita into position. This uses the camera in conjunction with the motion sensors to make that very spot the centre of battle - where your fighters will spawn - and where youíll need to keep the Vita as still as possible for the next two minutes.
Premade backdrops are available, or you can use the camera to make reality itself your arena. Host the fight on your lap if you so desire, or a tabletop. Battle it out over your bowl of 2-Minute Noodles, the soggy stepping stones making for a precarious encounter with a scalding broth below.
Itís part of what puts the ďrealĒ in Reality Fighters, but no matter what you choose as backdrop, any time you shift position, you take the camera away from the battle. This makes playing while laying in bed, or even relaxing in a chair much more challenging than it should be (it shouldnít be challenging at all). Last time I checked I didnít have any nervous disorders or ticks, and I certainly tried to keep that camera in one spot for two rounds (seeing the fight tends to be a requisite of winning), but each bout was as if filmed by Inspector Gadget in a jumping castle.
All this would be fine if you could simply lock the camera off - taking a photo for the backdrop - or providing some static backgrounds to choose from. If there was just some kind of setting in the options menu to guarantee youíd see what was going on. Not so.
Given the type of game it is, you can almost forgive a subpar fighting system. Itís expected - the gimmicks are elsewhere and the focus is on silly fun. But the issue of complete camera control is unforgivable. Here, time and effort have gone into creating something thatís simultaneously a feature and a flaw. Not quite game maker, but certainly game breaker.
Reality Fighters is crippled, but not useless. Even though its main story mode presents no challenge whatsoever - you can find that elsewhere - going through all the special moves was fun enough for the first little while. Itís a game built on gimmicks, and gimmicks rarely last on their own. Taking it online will extend the life of it somewhat, but without depth thatíll fade quickly too. Itís moreso the type of game youíll keep stowed away until friends come over; a ďHey, look what my Vita can do!Ē, before attentions turn to something else. Is it worth it for that? Up to you.