Rumble Roses PS2 Review

Sex has played quite a part in games in recent years, though with the likes of the Dead or Alive series and Leisure Suit Larry, as well as the many other titles that feature scantily clad leading ladies, it’s without doubt at its most prevalent today. Rumble Roses is yet another example of the ever increasing sexual themes in games. The game is a wrestling title with a twist, featuring an all female cast, with not a single muscle bound man in sight. But is this just a cheap ploy to sell the game or is there a decent title under the skin?

Rumble Roses is an all female wrestling title from Yukes -the developer of Smackdown VS Raw as well as a myriad of other wrestling titles over the years- featuring 10 scantily clad ladies to choose from each with their own individual storylines. Reiko is trying to seek out her sister, who mysteriously disappeared after joining the roses tournament. Candy is solely in it for the money, whilst Dixie wishes to follow in the footsteps of her wrestling hero the late, great Kamikaze Rose who is coincidentally also Reiko’s mother and so on. The plot is rather daft, involving such things as friendship, rivalry and err…robots.

These are played out in the obligatory Story mode where players participate in a set of matches. The mode is interspersed with amusing cut-scenes which features some laughably (and possibly intentionally) bad voice acting and cheesy scripting, but do flesh out the motives of why your chosen rose is in the tournament, leading up to your eventual confrontation with the ludicrously cheap final boss (who ironically can, for the most part only be bested by returning the favour and utilising some cheap tactics of your own) Completion of this mode with any individual unlocks their nastier alter-ego (as well as some skimpy new outfits) who not only look different to their angelic counterparts but also boast some new moves and ring entrances. They can also be taken in to the story mode, albeit with a far more stripped down storyline than their nicer versions.

Besides the half decent Story mode, Rumble Roses features some genuine innovations in its Exhibition mode. A feature called the vow system, allows players to compose three things that they will/won’t do during a match (examples include using your finishing move in under three minutes, not leaving the ring once during a match and achieving five successful counters). Carrying out these tasks successfully will alter your characters alignment to either a good or bad girl (or in wrestling terminology face and heel) leading to a title shot, which once won will unlock a gallery mode, allowing teenagers with raging hormones and unbelievably desperate men to admire the “beautiful” digital women on display, complete with camera functions, which allows you to alter the perspective and see the incredible detail up close.

Rumble Roses severely lacks match types, with the aforementioned exhibition and the mad-mud match (which is nothing more than a regular exhibition match, with the ring replaced by a pool of mud, but is technically pleasing nonetheless) However there are no tag team matches, ladder matches or any of the other matches we have come to expect from the genre in this day and age. With the wrestling genre usually being some of our favourite multiplayer games, it’s disappointing, that it’s not possible to have any more than two wrestlers in the ring at any given time and this is most likely to do with the increased detail in the pugilists (no ref to beat up either, damn) which is a sad case of sex before gameplay, but thankfully the game isn’t like this in its entirety.

For you see, despite all the womanly flesh on display, Rumble Roses is an accomplished wrestling game, with most features you’d expect to find in the genre today and we’d expect no less from the developer. Body parts can be strategically worn down, finishing moves can be reversed and all the moves have a suitably high impact and brutal look. The grappling system is a tad old fashioned however, meaning each of the ladies don’t exactly have the most extensive of move-lists, though the relatively brief matches do save it from becoming too repetitive.

Rumble Roses may have sexed up polygonal women featured, but thankfully they included some sound gameplay too. However some of the frustrating omissions (chiefly the lack of match types) are likely to do with the developers “generous” attention to their meticulously detailed characters. Other than this admittedly major annoyance, Rumble Roses is a highly accomplished wrestling game that fans of the sports entertainment are sure to enjoy and for the teens out there, the game features the hottest bunch of women since Dead or Alive first bounced on to the scene, what a bonus, eh?