Konami
Konami
Wrestling / Fighting
1-4
03.28.06

Rumble Roses XX (Xbox 360)


The mention of Rumble Roses always splits the video game community in half; there are the fighting-game pundits who love the idea of a babe-based fighting game, and there are the gamers who are also wrestling purists, who refuse to give such obvious eye candy the light of day.

As a participant in many Street Fighter tournaments and a former writer for a wrestling fansite, I have taken it upon myself to give Rumble Roses XX for Xbox 360 a fair, non-partisan chance to express itself.

Gameplay

Rumble Roses XX does as its predecessor had done before it; pitting bodacious babes against one another in the confines of a wrestling ring (the mud pit from the original game is not included this time around.)

Unlike major franchises like the WWE who wave their professional license in your face while offering you tedious feature sets and unimaginative character designs, purely fictional wrestling titles like Rumble Roses XX had better bring a punch, or will be thrown over the top rope and sent home. Rumble Roses packs a punch behind its stunning visuals and glamorous, anatomically-correct character designs.

I’m going to ignore the painfully obvious visual offerings of the game and go straight into gameplay. At first you’re bogged down by a tedious menu system that forces you to select your wrestler (and in some cases, a tag partner) before selecting a mode. Once you’ve selected your match, the action yields once again with the generic load screen/tip page before wrestler’s entrances begin. The entrance videos of the wrestlers rival those of WWE’s games, and are worth watching.

Once in the ring, Rumble Roses XX handles like a decent wrestling title. While button mashing is integral to this game (as it is with any fighting game), RRXX will strike a chord with the hardcore crowd with its clean-cut and well-integrated combo and reversal system (although the computer always out-reverses you…always). The handling of the game takes a while to get used to, mostly due to the universality of the B button, which lets you pin your opponent, climb the top turnbuckle, enter/exit the ring, or take a weapon. This causes some confusion, as sometimes you’ll go to pin your opponent and will instead climb out of the ring. But these are bugs that most wrestling titles have in their first few titles, and is nothing to dog RRXX for.

The game itself offers a wide variety of match types that are improvements upon its predecessor and offer a level of replay value to the game, even if the “unique” modes won’t inspire much enthusiasm in well-versed players.

RRXX, unlike the PS2 version, features a tag team mode. RRXX’s tag team mode not only allows for a more customized gaming experience, but a change-up in wrestling game tag team modes. The game features a “Double X” move, which allows a team to perform a devastating double team on an opponent, putting them out of commission. As the game’s package advertises, there is a level of chemistry involved in the tag matches; striking your tag partner for no reason does, in fact, affect gameplay. This differs greatly from other wrestling titles, where your partners are just too happy to take a chairshot from you for no reason.

RRXX also features a handicap match mode, which is just as good as any handicap mode on any game. It serves the purpose of showing off your ability to the computer (or a couple of friends) while having some nice eye popcorn to look at while you do so. The game also sports a three-way and four-way battle royal. On top of being good for multiplayer sessions, these modes also, like the tag team mode, allow you to see more than two gorgeous women at once.

The Queen’s Match is a match where the loser is forced to complete a chosen Penalty game. These penalties range from striking a sexy pose to performing the mamba (camera angles included). There are seventeen different diversions, and all are good, albeit naughty . Though not by itself a game-making feature, the Queen’s Match Mode is something different. And in a game of half-naked women fighting each other, you have to give credit to those who try to be different.

The Pure Humiliation Match, or PHM match, is your standard “finisher move” match with a twist. Instead of filling your gauge until you can get your finisher, the aim of the match is to humiliate your opponent until their humiliation gauge is filled, and after watching a brief display of their shame, it’s time to hit them with the H-move. Destroying a woman’s self-esteem is a new concept in a video game, and is strangely satisfying.

The Street Fight mode, however leaves a lot to be desired. Instead of a match, the Street Fight mode is a three-round “fight” in the style of Street Fighter II or SNK vs Capcom. Though a novel idea, there is an issue with endurance; the finisher gauges fill up far too fast, leaving you feeling unfulfilled when the round ends prematurely. Although fun for a quickie, the mode itself doesn’t lend much value to the overall game.

The wrestlers themselves are amazing. Over 20 girls are available for the action, from cowgirl Dixie Clements to evil nurse Anesthesia. Each girl has a list of moves and taunts that comprehend with each character’s exuberant personality. All have a range of skimpy outfits that can be acquired by winning matches in the single player mode. The outfits range from Playboy Bunny outfits to thong bikinis. Another feature of the game allows you to play photographer and take pictures of the divas in their various outfits. These pictures can be exchanged with other players on Xbox Live (which can be a little creepy).

The Live experience is pretty standard for an online wrestling game, albeit a little laggy depending on where your opponent lives. Online play adds some replay value to the game; if the game becomes monotonous for you, you can at least derive pleasure out of being better at it than other people.

Graphics

Simply put, the best female character designs on the Xbox (and that includes the Dead or Alive series). The women are beautiful, well-endowed, and move about fluidly around the ring. It may be eye candy, but it is the best put together eye candy available.

Sound

The sound effects of the game are realistic. Matches are surrounded by a pleasant, though not spectacular, ambient noise. Though the weapons may not sound entirely authentic and a little exaggerated, it does add to the cartoonish aspect of the game. The sound of woman pummeling woman, though nothing to write home about, is something a gamer can appreciate.

Replay Value

The trick to keeping this game fresh and fun is to play it in 30-45 minute stints. If you play any longer than that, you may find the game’s limited variety of gameplay a little tedious. Online play helps with the monotony, as Live as oft to do with games. While those in favor of voyeurism will find much more replay, hardcore fans of wrestling/fighting games will yearn for more than the game currently has to offer.

Bottom Line:

Rumble Roses XX holds its own in the ring, but it’s not ready for the championship. An innovative and mechanically clean-cut wrestling title that lacks the muscle necessary to be a genre-defining title. It’s best played for amusement, and best kept as something to put into your Xbox 360 when you get tired of playing Halo 2 or other “heavy” games.

Related Links:

Official Website for Rumble Roses XX

-Jimi Robertson




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