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Rumble Roses XX Review

Developer: Yuke’s Publisher: Konami
Release Date: March 28, 2006 Also On: None

There are two types of men in this world. There are men who like girls with a little class, girls who have a grace and elegance as well as some sense of intelligence. Then there are men who just don’t care. These men would prefer their women to get down and dirty and would sacrifice IQ for a bra size in the snap of a finger. In this sense, the former men are playing Tecmo’s Dead or Alive 4. The latter are going to want to play Rumble Roses XX instead. I must say that I’ve never laid hands on openly sexual or perverted games like Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, Playboy Mansion, or even the original Rumble Roses on the PlayStation 2. Rumble Roses XX didn’t break the sexual game ice for me—it shattered it. It is a game of fetishes, a place where the sexually intrigued (or frustrated) can enjoy watching cowgirls, S and M slaves, and school girls bitch-slap each other into submission.

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This disturbing and extremely shallow premise doesn’t make for much of a story, and it seems to me that both Yuke’s and Konami preferred to focus on watching rather than playing, because Rumble Roses XX is a disaster. None of the dozen-plus “Roses� control well, and while wrestling games are almost always slightly sluggish, Rumble Roses XX is painful by direct comparison. Yuke’s, prior to creating this total lack of class, made a wrestling game that even I enjoyed, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 and it was extremely entertaining. The controls were much better and the reversal system that worked well in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 is shot dead and butchered by Rumble Roses XX. On top of it all, each Rose has only a handful of striking moves and grapples, few of which are very interesting or flashy.

It’s surprising to me, even after playing Rumble Roses XX and swearing at the television, that a game featuring sweaty men in tights is much better than a game featuring more panty shots than a year’s subscription to Maxim. Rumble Roses XX only features a few different game modes, and nothing pounds the trashy button like the Humiliation mode. In this mode, the loser of each match is forced to suffer through some sort of embarrassing event. The events range from tickle sessions to embarrassing poses. Whichever one is preferred can be chosen at the beginning of each match and only an embarrassment meter and time limit stand between the player and a ridiculous display of virtual, pixilated, girl-on-girl play. Of course, there are traditional modes like Tag Team and Battle Royale for the few who will play this game for the actual wrestling.

What might be the only real “good� quality about Rumble Roses XX are the character models. Though they’re pretty similar in battle, the characters all display a different sort of fetish and they animate perfectly. From an art sense, they’re very interesting and respectably detailed. Most of the characters are proportionally correct and traditionalists will be happy to know that there are some stars in this game whose bra size stays in the lower twelfth of the alphabet. It’s too bad that the girls are displayed in such a trashy fashion, because a few of the characters (namely the cover girl, Reiko) are less trashy than eyebrow-raisers like Candy Cane and Miss Spencer. Also, anything else that could be considered a visual oddity is low-quality: the backgrounds and crowds surrounding the fights are boring and sometimes ugly, the menus are confusing and almost randomly organized, and the animation is stiff and jumpy. Sometimes you’ll see characters initiate grapple moves from several feet away and clotheslines simply don’t look right.

I’m pretty disgusted that Rumble Roses XX is such a trashy fighting game, because the Dead or Alive series has already proven that it’s possible to be sexy in video games without losing all traces of professionalism and decency. Even more unfortunate is that the game actually plays so badly, especially when Yuke’s has had such an extensive a history of high-quality grappling projects. If you’re looking for a quality Xbox 360 fighting game, look in Tecmo’s direction. I can’t say that Rumble Roses XX isn’t entertaining, at least it’s possible to laugh at the outright indecency of the action, but it’s not worth $60 and it’s not worth your time.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 4
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.5
Written by Cliff Review Guide