Reviewed by Jimmy | 04.05.06
Introduction:In Konami's first Xbox 360 offering they serve up an upgraded version of their female wrestling game Rumble Roses. If you're not familiar with the Roses, it's not about the wrestling, or the modes. It's all about the ladies, the costumes, sexual innuendos, and then the wrestling. Read our review Rumble Roses XX the first North American wrestling game for the 360 console.
The Game:I can understand if you are unfamiliar with the Rumble Roses franchise because Rumble Roses XX is only a sequel. Released for the PS2, Rumble Roses tweaked the male demographic of pubescent teenagers while proving they have some of the sexiest polygons this side of Zack Island. Rumble Roses XX is an upgrade of sorts to the PS2 version, and it happens to be a first in a number of areas. This is the first North American wrestling game for the Xbox 360, it's Konami's first Xbox 360 game, and the first time Rumble Roses has been offered to the Microsoft crowd. Even though Rumble Roses is a lot of eye candy, there is a game buried underneath somewhere.
To cover the action or to uncover the ladies that is the question. Rumble Roses XX is a mix bag of tricks and ultimately falls a little short on both ends. It's interesting that Yukes can develop the "ultimate" wrestling series in their Smackdown games and then fall short on another wrestling game. Rumble Roses isn't too horrible, but it defiantly doesn't hold a candle to a Smackdown game. That's not the main point, and Rumble Roses aims for a more action approach then any aspect of simulation. Even with the main goal is for an action/wrestling feeling, I have to wonder if if Rumble Roses is better then the last Xbox wrestling game, Wrestlemania 21? If my memory servers I right, it's just about the same. Rumble Roses has a fair amount of moves and wrestlers that will keep you entertained in matches, but it seems as soon as you start to master the characters controls, it gets a little boring. It's good that Konami made it simple to switch up your girls in the strange move to make one profile contain every wrestler.
Now let's uncover the girls, woo. I'm sweating. Umm, well not really. Rumble Roses obviously has sex appeal, and if you are into women then you'll take a few peeks at the screen, even if you're one of those many who say pixels can't be attractive. From cowgirls, to ninja's to devil women, Rumble Roses has quite the variety in female performers. Even Canada represents in RRXX with the "No Future" punkette Candy Cane. You'll have all the chances to stair at these digital beauties because you can pose them, dress them, and even share pictures over Xbox Live. It strange, creepy and entertaining all at the same time. The most interesting part of playing camera man is looking at other snapshots from gamers around the world, and let me tell you some have an imagination. Rumble Roses is rated "M", so parents take note, kids shouldn't be playing this one.
Rumble Roses is simplistic in its controls and you should get the grasp quickly. You're manly using two buttons "Y' grapple and "X" strike. Add the reversal command using the 'right bumper" and you'll be ready for challenge for the gold. Thanks to the often challenged collision detection you connect even if you're not close to really hitting. For example when you use your finisher it will go to a Dragonball Z type flash screen and you'll go into your move if you are just around your opponent. No setup, no connection, just instant fisher. The same goes with tagging, and tagging in out partners.
If you prefer a style like Tazz the human suplex machine, you might have a problem. Rumble Roses is awkwardly balanced between the WWE style of wrestling with a bunch of perverse sexually suggestive moves. Yukes had to throw them in, and to add to the already creep factor, you are given full camera control over submission moves. Ah, yes, Rumble Roses is obviously being suggestive. There is a good amount of "real" wrestling hidden between the obscene submission holds, that shouldn't be a surprise given the knowledge of wrestling moves Yukes posses.
Now, so far the game holds up for an entertaining simplistic wrestling game with a bunch of hot ladies wrestling in reveling outfits. But, Rumble Roses has wilted with a number of annoyances and gaming flaws. They all can be excused from the style and gameplay, and fall more towards goals, and navigation. Rumble Roses is bland to look at for the main part of the game you have a few options to wrestle a few locations, most normal matches, and the two gimmick matches (Queens, and Street Fight), there is no story mode like the original game, and you'll just have match after match, after match with no clue if you're coming towards a title shot. Besides popularity you have Rumble Roses leaves the player clueless to how you're progressing and after five hours, I didn't even know if I was near a title shot or even in the running. I later found out that you need to win roughly thirty matches for your title shot to appear. Rumble Roses sure skimped out in the main mode, a simple DOA short story would have been something, wait... even a ranking chart would have been nice. Without this Rumble Roses ends up feeling more empty and shallow then it already is.
Graphics & Sound:Rumble Roses also has shortcomings in the audio and graphics department, with boring environments, bad music, and under par intro animations. The game doesn't feel natural when it really should. The upside to the graphics is the girls, and that's not because they are physically perfect. They characters have a nice level of detail, and realism. Their bodies are nicely sculpted, but the best thing is that you can see veins, and muscle tone. Rumble Roses also claims that over the matches depending on how you wrestle the girls will gain and loose muscle in the appropriate spots, although you notice this in the gameplay, I couldn't notice it visibly. Even though it's not that noticeable, it is still an awesome feature, which is a definite nod towards the good.
The audio in Rumble Roses, like the subject matter is cheesy. From the cover of David Lee Roth's Yankee Roses to the in game moaning, Rumble Roses just coasts along. Why didn't they go with another theme song if they couldn't even get the rights to the original Yankee Rose?! I don't even want to think of each girls intro song because the are unimaginative and forgettable. The sound also carry on the same amount of un-enthusiastic luster and make it seem like the devs where on auto pilot. Add one annoying and screeching voice of the announcer and I had to peel my ears off the ground. What happened to the sexiness of the Roses in the audio department? Brutal!
Lowdown:Rumble Roses XX is like blow pop candy without the good stuff inside. Rumble Roses isn't a total sham and it can be entertaining, but there isn't any real substance. The lack of a story mode or any sense of achievement or goals is pretty depressing and makes this one hard to recommend besides a rental.
I'm actually more impressed with the PS2 version, graphics aside. In the original we had the girls, mud wrestling, and a patched up story that could keep you interested enough to finish it a few times. I think Konami would of benefited more if they would of ported this version rather then rebuild a this half full version of what could be a decent wrestling game.