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Rumble Roses

Developer: Yuke's | Publisher: Konami
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/09/04 | Genre: Wrestling

If you’re a pervert like me, then you know that the only thing better than a great video game is a great video with a generous portion of pr0n thrown in for good measure. Luckily for people like us, the industry seems to be taking some strides in the right direction as of late with more adult content in games than we’ve seen in the years leading up to now. The downside is that these games are usually terrible The Guy Game anyone? Right, well, Konami has decided to throw their hat in the ring with their latest offering Rumble Roses.

The concept behind Rumble Roses is pure genius; get a group of fantastically hot women, put them in revealing outfits and have them wrestle one another. Hey, it works for me. The game features an all female cast and pits them against each other in the squared-circle. The game doesn’t just stick to the canvas though, you will also get to see the buxom ladies wrestle in a mud pit; and let’s face it, that is pretty sweet.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty gameplay aspects, let’s take a moment to reflect on the story of the game. Check this out: some crazy scientist lady (who cosplays as a sexy nurse) is using the wrestling tournament, The Rumble Rose, as a means of collecting DNA from other incredibly hot and strong women. Her diabolical plan? She is using the DNA to create a supreme weapon, an ultimate warrior capable of decimating normal humans in combat. She calls her super weapon Lady X. A story like that has got to grab someone’s attention.

Of course, what good is any story if you don’t have interesting characters? Well, the gals in Rumble Roses are fairly diverse. You have your punk rock girl Candy Cane, the requisite cute Japanese girl Reiko Hinomoto, cowgirl Dixie Clemets, pop star Aisha, Judo expert Makoto, Ninja Bloody Shadow, overly-protective teacher Miss Spencer, broken English speaking Aigle, the not-so-mysterious Evil Rose, and the aforementioned nurse Anesthesia. All the girls also have “alter-egoâ€? characters that you can play as once you finish the game with the first version of them. Finishing the game with all characters will unlock a special secret that I’m not going to tell you about.

As far as game types, your options are pretty limited. You can play the story mode, and mercifully the developers were astute enough to include the option to skip over the cut scenes between matches. You can also select “Exhibitionâ€? to do a one on one match without the insane story elements. In this mode, you can utilize the “vowâ€? system to gain points towards “Faceâ€? or “Heel.â€? The vow system allows you to stake up to three claims before a match, such as “Win in a Humiliated Stateâ€? and successfully completing these vows is the key to making your character a contender for the championship belt. By getting one hundred points under either Face or Heel you become eligible to fight for the belt.

Once you are able to compete for the belt, you can select the option to challenge the champion from the exhibition menu. If you are successful, your character takes over as champ AND you unlock your character in the game’s gallery mode (more on that later). Once you are champion, you can also go to exhibition and choose to defend your title against a challenger. If you are victorious you unlock another setting for your character in gallery mode.

Ok, so what’s this gallery mode all about? Well, it’s pretty much your voyeur dream come true. You can sit and watch as the camera pans over your character getting in some rather gratuitous shots of the girls’ more curvaceous assets. You can also view the character’s profile information, sample their voice clips, or take control of the camera yourself. If you don’t press any buttons, after a minute or so you’ll be treated to an interview with your favorite leading lady.

Judging by the cover, the seven minute long boob-filled intro video, and pictures you’ve seen on the ‘net, you might be inclined to think that this game is all about girls, and it is. However, there is a fighting element to the game. The wrestling isn’t incredibly deep, but each character does have a nice set of moves. By using the triangle button and the d-pad you can pull off various wrestling moves. As you pummel your opponent, your special meter will rise, and once it reaches one or above, you can pull off one of your special moves. Two specials, the Killer move and the Lethal move, can be performed by pressing the L1 button when you are near your opponent. The other special, the Humiliation move, also requires that your opponent be in a humiliated state, then by pressing L2 you can perform the attack.

The visuals in the game are both good and bad. How is this possible? Well, the girls all look impressive as the developers let the PS2 do what it does best: push polygons. The girls are made out of a retarded amount of polygons, and as a result, look fantastic. The textures in the game are where things start to look a little stale. The arenas you fight in are also uninspired, granted you probably didn’t buy this game to look at the environments, it is still worth mentioning. Also, in the mud pit arena, the mud effect when it’s on the girls is great, but the pit itself looks…well, bland.

One of the game’s most noticeable weak points is the audio; absolutely abysmal voice acting and generic rock n’ roll themes dominate this aural arena. A few catchy beats did manage to sneak in there, as well as some over the top cheese lines such as “Cowgirl teats are more magnificent than my sheep!â€? Yeah, you’re laughing because you think I’m joking, but you’ll laugh harder when you find out I’m not.

If the audio were the only problem, this game would be great, but sadly, the trouble is more than skin deep. The gameplay itself feels boring and repetitive. Eventually every match is exactly the same and playing matches becomes a chore as you work towards your lofty goal of unlocking the gallery mode for all the chicks. This problem cannot be overlooked and as such, keeps Rumble Roses firmly in the rental column.

In the end, Rumble Roses delivers on its promise of babes wrestling in sexy outfits and plays to that strength well. However, the gameplay itself is weak and tired. With a few adjustments here and there this game could be great and I hope to see more games follow in the footsteps of Rumble Roses as developers strive to come up with a fun, and more importantly, sexy game. For now though, only the biggest wrestling nuts will want to buy this game, the rest of you should definitely stick with renting.

By Ryan Schaefer - 12/02/04
ESRB Details: Sexual Themes, Violence
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Screenshots for Rumble Roses

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