I enjoyed the original Rumble Roses on the PS2 despite some rather disappointing features the game had such as the rather lame voice acting and convoluted story mode. Regardless of the game’s negative components the fighting engine was of a pretty decent standard and was fairly fun to play. Well it came as a big surprise when I found out that Rumble Roses XX was to appear on Xbox 360 not only was this to be a sequel but also the first game to appear with the power and muscle of a new console.
Lets get this straight from the beginning; Rumble roses XX features women only wrestling and yes the women featured wear skimpy outfits such as bikinis and tight leather or PVC outfits. Naturally, some of the positions the women get in and out of are rather revealing and will often allow anyone who is playing or perhaps passing by to see up skirt shots of polygonal knickers. There are also plenty of breasts on display which bounce around as you would expect (although they are a little “floaty” looking in my opinion). Lets face it Rumble Roses is a fetish wrestling game and this is most evident when looking at the costumes that are available to the wrestlers. There’s all sorts of fetish catered for such as the classic French maid, cheerleader, school girl, dominatrix, bunny and more. However rather than be prudish towards the game’s adult angle there is actually a whole lot more beneath the surface that makes Rumble Roses XX more than just “tits and arse”. For those of us that are older than ten years the novelty of looking at scantily clad polygonal representations of the female form wear off within about 5 minutes although the odd smile is often given from time to time. Once this mental barrier has lifted then gamers can get on with the real meat of the game which is to wrestle, and that means beating up opponents which not only is very satisfying but also competitive. Two things that I like in games and I assume many other gamers enjoy as well.
When you begin to play Rumble Roses XX you are asked to select a character and then you are entered into the main menu where from here you can choose to play exhibition fights with any characters you have unlocked or from the default 10 that are available from the offset. There are various match types including Single, Tag, 4-way royal, 3-way royal, Handicap 2vs1, Humiliation, Street fight and queens match where you and some friends can play until your hearts content or simply fight against the computer.
Rumble Roses XX ditches the conventional career mode that you would normally find in a game of this type and offers an approach whereby your chosen character can pick fights from five locations on a map screen. There are three locations that will offer a random generated mixture of the various match types and verses a random mix of opponents. The other two locations, Street Fight and Queens match allow you to fight only those match types. Street fights are different from the other modes and uses characteristics of fighting games such as Dead Or Alive complete with life bars and juggling combos. The Queens matches are wrestling matches held at the beach front whereby prior to the fight a penalty task is chosen and where the loser has to perform the task. The tasks range from doing the Samba to silly things like being tickled or pushed into a swimming pool. Again this mode nods to the fetish roots of the game especially as players can choose which outfit is to be worn when performing the task; such as making the loser wear a Playboy bunny outfit whilst bouncing up and down on a pogo stick. These are fun to watch for about five minutes and are mildly amusing although what is probably more amusing is seeing the reactions of the characters after they have performed the penalty.
In true fighting game tradition there is some sort of closure when your chosen character has opened up a championship match and won the title and thus the credits roll. However this is only really scratching the surface as there are simply many more things to unlock in the game including more items of clothing for your chosen character and of course hidden characters.
The actual fighting itself is of a high standard and features plenty of traditional wrestling moves, holds, counters, strikes and throws as well as some unique stuff thrown in for good measure. Player’s moves are accessed by pressing directions on the d-pad or stick in combination with a grapple or strike button. Different moves are performed depending on your character’s position in relation to the opponent and also what state your opponent is in. So up and grapple might perform one move on a standing opponent where as another move will occur if up and grapple is used on a grounded opponent. There are a fair number of different moves available to each of the characters and these are also accompanied by some special finishers each character has. Naturally in tag matches there are even more moves available which combine the talents of whoever is in the tag team.
Whilst many of the moves are faithful to their real life counterparts there are some issues to be had with certain characters. Now I am not sure whether this is simply bad testing or deliberate but some characters are able to perform infinite moves on opponents which is pretty cheap. Luckily the computer does not perform these combos on you but the fact that the player is able to do these means that it might encourage the cheating amongst us to use these. I guess its no big deal to players engrossed in the single player portion of the game but when these same moves are also frequently used in Online competitive matches things can turn sour. Hopefully as with Dead or Alive 4 the developers are able to patch the game to address these issues.
Rumble Roses XX features a unique player development system whereby the shape and power of the wrestler changes over time and in part is determined by how players choose to fight. There are various factors involved which can make your fighter suppler, faster, more powerful and so on. Different moves can be gained as well depending on how your fighter develops. It’s a feature that gamers can either look at in depth to hone the skills of their characters or something that for the most part can be ignored if you so choose and simply let your character develop naturally.
Players can also change the shape of their character and give them or reduce muscles and body mass. This also includes enlarging or reducing the size of breasts which as already stated is something that 10 year olds might snigger at if they got their hands on the game but for any serious gamer above that age will find amusing but not paramount to enjoying the actual game. Rumble Roses XX allows players to create their own superstar although the visual options available are rather limited especially compared to other games. Its inclusion is a welcome one and better than not being able to edit characters at all.
Rumble Roses XX is all about eye candy and I must say is visually pleasing to look at and more so if you are male. Rumble Roses XX features a photo shoot mode where players can choose a pose and then shoot their character and keep the pictures stored in the hard drive. These photos can also be uploaded via Xbox Live for others to look at. Like some modern art the depiction of the female form is of a very high standard and combined with some impressive animations, lighting, shadowing and focus effects provides characters that look very detailed indeed. The self shadowing is subtle but works really well creating more realistic looking characters; however is more noticeable during the impressive ring entrances before fights. The beach area seems to also use some over saturated colours which I assume is to mimic the brightness of the sunshine however to me this simply created un-realistically glowing characters! The animation is very good for the most part although during fights there is some stiffness to the movement especially in street fights. Clipping (where polygons merge with each other) is a major issue for many fighting games and from the many hours of play I’ve had I didn’t notice too many occasions where clipping occurred so kudos to the developers for getting this aspect sorted.
The game presentation is a little on the basic side especially the navigation and menu screens however it seems to work especially when the fighting is what gamers are playing for. Other than the beautifully rendered characters which as previously mentioned feature Breast and buttock jiggle, the arenas and background details are pretty low resolution although some focus effects are used which does create a realistic looking audience at a glance.
The sound is very average and whilst all the girls are very vocal in and out of matches the overall voice acting does the job. Other sound effects are as you expect and of course there are lots of groans and grunts from the female combatants. I actually hated most of the game music other than the tune that plays during customising your character. Luckily you can switch it off and what is more you are able to use your own and even have a custom soundtrack for your character’s entrance although for variety you would need to create several play lists from the dash first.
Well other than witnessing the 10 default character intros and fighting against them you’ve pretty much seen what the game has to offer within a short space of time. What really drives the game is the un-lockable content. Each match win earns your character money which can then be spent at the shop to buy outfits and other goodies. Then there’s unlocking each of the 10 characters alter ego and getting all of the costumes and content for them as well. I must say that getting all the stuff for just one character will take days of solid play and with some cryptic clues on offer to unlock outfits means that longevity isn’t really an issue here. I think the developers decided that players should be in it for the long haul and shouldn’t expect to unlock everything in one day like some other titles allow you to. This creates a situation where no matter what you are doing you always have something to work towards. I actually like this approach and it will no doubt separate the men from the boys here especially if you are looking for easy achievements. My best recommendation is to use the mindset that completing the game 100% is not going to be a quick process and get on with enjoying the game knowing that one day you will eventually have everything unlocked! Although some die hard gamers will no doubt have everything unlocked within weeks. Rumbles Roses XX features online play which means you can enter into ranked and un-ranked Queens, street, tag and single matches with up to four players in tag matches.
Rumble Roses XX is a fairly decent wrestling game which to be honest feels a little bare boned. Whilst I continue to enjoy entering matches and developing my characters I can’t help but feel there is plenty missing here. For example there’s no back story or true information regarding any of the characters in the game. There are also plenty of match types that are omitted such as a Royal Rumble which as the name implies would have been a perfect inclusion. Then there are absent things like true rivalries between characters where opposing players step in to matches at random. All these things are featured in other wrestling games bar this one.
Some gamers might argue that the monotony of playing 1000’s of matches to unlock stuff is perhaps too much to bear and I guess for some this is a genuine concern especially as plenty of time is needed to accomplish this. That said, in smaller doses Rumble Roses XX remains a very fun game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Once you look beyond the obvious breasts and buttocks and concentrate on actually fighting then there are plenty of tactics and variations to apply during matches. I think that if you like fighting games in general then Rumble Roses XX might be right up your street. However the skimpy nature of the basic game means that you are left wondering, (well I was at least) what could have been had the developers fleshed out certain aspects of the game. Rumble Roses XX is an enjoyable, solid title marred by an overall lack of true features, ambition and the odd glitch here and there.