Konami turned heads for most of the wrong reasons on the PS2 with the release of Rumble Roses, a wrestling game which featured scantily clad women who’d perform moves that varied in degrees of raciness. They even went as far as including a mud wrestling option for the discerning players who like their ladies covered in simulated muck.
Cue the next generation of video games and a whole new era of high definition gaming. What better way to show off the power of a system than with a game that offers a great demonstration of gravity and its effects on women’s body parts; we get just that in Rumble Roses XX (double X). Rather than bombard you with double entendres and clever wordplay, let’s just explore the game shall we?
The core wrestling engine in RRXX does show some potential to be a decent one, however something seems just off in the way it plays from the start. Initial matches quickly degrade into button mashing contests while your character either doles out or receives some humiliating punishment, usually far out of your control. Once a few matches are completed, the method to the button mashing can be singled out and what surfaces is a fairly good system for punishing opponents. Different degrees of grapples happen depending on your control stick placement while grappling, which then leads into various other moves that are performed to wear down your opponent. Simple and effective; but almost too effective. In the tips displayed during loading screens, it mentions that the more you use a move the stronger it gets; while not entirely accurate you can use this to your advantage to end fights within two or three minutes if you tweak your character.
As you use your moves, either strikes, suplexes or submission holds, the move rating increases and you can tune your character’s body parts to enhance their skills. The enhancements don’t always need to make your character stronger either; you can increase or decrease any option; ranging from leg muscle tone to your bust size. Why would you want to decrease you might ask, well some moves cannot be performed as well when your muscles get in the way, so a more slender character will lend itself better to a certain move set.
One of the biggest issues noticed was the match selection screen and how minimalist in detail it is. To start a match, simply choose from one of five different venues and a random match type will start against an opponent that the CPU decides on. So if you’re not in the mood for a 2 against 1 handicap match in one location, you might have to end up fighting in the weak street fight mode to by pass that particular round. The only method to choose what type of match you want to play is in exhibition mode, but there the matches do not count towards granting you a title shot or unlocking other items. Even the characters you go up against are randomized, so there will be stretches where you’ll wrestle against the same opponent multiple times in a row. So much for variety.
The Street Fight mode is essentially the same as the wresting mode with pins and submission moves removed. While the general move set is exactly the same as it is in wrestling, thankfully the matches don’t last nearly as long as you are limited to a life bar. The other unique mode of play is called the Queen Match which allows you to choose a humiliating task for the loser to do once the match is over, these range from being shot at with a water gun to dancing the Para-Para Dance, whatever that is. Oh, and of course you get to pick your favorite skimpy costume to put the loser in adding an even larger creepy factor.
To further push the game into DOA volleyball mode (if the Queen’s Match wasn’t enough), there is a photo shoot mode where you select your favorite outfit, a pose to perform and your favorite wrestler or two. These pictures can be stored on your console for later viewing or in a move that distressed this reviewer; the images can be uploaded to Xbox Live and viewed by players around the globe. The majority of the photos posted online end up being a shot where the character looks as if they are either engaged in some sort of perverse 14 year old fantasy, or they are made to look as if they are wearing even less clothing than they might be. This mode could really have been omitted from the title to help put the focus on the gameplay, rather than the female body parts.
Even the graphics seemed a little sub par for a title that could have really shown off some of the processing power of the chipset. Blur was used extensively and even causes the title to look very soft around the edges for the majority of the game. The character design was almost over engineered as the designers tried to put too much into the women’s design and as a result over tuned the appearance to be even more artificial looking.
As a whole this title really doesn’t show much in the way of harnessing the power of either the console or the powers of the Xbox Live service. Online matches had potential for great amounts of lag, and seeing as the majority of the players encountered were based in Japan; the lag can be a huge issue. That coupled with the disturbing online photo gallery makes the online portion of the title almost not worth it. The single player game is fun initially but the monotony of the game sets in within the first few hours of gameplay.
- Gameplay: 5.5
- An overly simple control scheme and literally no guidance into character evolution degrade this game heavily. Even the street fighting mode was tedious.
- Graphics: 7
- Sometimes extremely fuzzy graphics coupled with the Barbie like appearance seemed just creepy. Honestly I see no reason why graphics like this couldn’t have been done on the previous generation of consoles.
- Sound: 6
- The poorly mixed audio made it near impossible to hear anything the wrestlers said pre/post-match. Not to mention the disappointing in game musical selection wore tired very quickly.
- Replay: 4
- Online mode is limited due to the small number of people playing, and the single player mode gets tired after the first dozen or so matches.
- Overall: 5
- A very disappointing game, even when you strip it down to pure wrestling. Fuzzy graphics, mindless fighting, and poor audio make for an expensive game of dress-up.
— Jeff Paramchuk