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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Wrestling

 

Publisher

Konami

 

Developer

Yukes / Konami

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q1 2006

 

 

- Check out those bouncing graphics!

- Fun in short bursts

- A decent number of modes and customizable options

 

 

- After about 30 minutes the novelty wears pretty damn thin

- Repetitive wrestling

- The camera isn't panned out far enough during matches

 

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Rumble Roses XX

Score: 6.0 / 10

 

A sequel to the original Rumble Roses (available on PS2) was inevitable.  The titillating wrestling game featured a roster of super-endowed female fighters, grappling and sweating, often wearing bikinis, for dominance in the ring, and sometimes in a big mud pit.  What corporate lackey wouldn't greenlight a sequel?

 

rumble roses xx          rumble roses xx

 

Not much has changed from the PS2 original.  Rumble Roses XX still pits super-endowed female fighters, grappling and sweating, often wearing bikinis, for dominance in the ring. (The mud wrestling from the first game is not included.)  Besides the massively upgraded graphics -- look closely and you can see veins! -- and some tweaks to the general modes of play there's not much to recommend Rumble Roses XX over its predecessor.

 

After the initial "wow!" factor of the graphics searing mammary-shaped holes in your retinas the novelty factor quickly wears off. Even as you earn money after successful bouts to purchase skin-tight clothing of various colors and naughtiness or purchase poses so you can play photographer (then creepily upload those pictures to Xbox Live for access by other players), the repetitive nature of the wrestling -- smash, grapple, pummel, super move, leap off the turnbuckle, body slam, submission, repeat -- simply sucks all potential enjoyment out of the game.  That is, if you play for longer than 30 minutes.

 

I found that in 30 to 40 minute play sessions, Rumble Roses XX could actually be entertaining.  Even then you have to contend with a camera that is simply too close to the action.  Unless your wrestler is outside the ring, the view feels almost claustrophobic. While it forces you to appreciate the graphics, a slightly adjustable view would have been more appreciated.  When the action moves outside the ring, the view pulls back considerably.

 

It seems inescapable with wrestling games, but there's a fair amount of button mashing involved.  There's a certain amount of finesse involved in successfully warding off opponents (either human or computer AI), but not in the technical 

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sense.  Anyone should be able to pick up Rumble Roses XX and start hammering away, even when facing off against two opponents or in a tag team match.  Depending on how  you play, your chosen wrestler will "beef up" in a subtle, quasi-RPG way, which can open different moves but doesn't affect the basic control mechanics.

 

Match types aren't very different from one another, with the exception of Street Fight 

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which plays out much more like a traditional 3D fighting game (work your opponents health to zero), though with a lot more grappling.  Single matches, handicap, tag team, triple threat, and four-way bouts are capped by something called a Queens Match.  In a Queens Match, once you win, your opponent must perform a "humiliation" such as forcing your opponent to dance the Samba.

 

The varying match types are all well and good, but I still recommend play times in the 30 - 45 minute range if you want to remain entertained.

 

rumble roses xx           rumble roses xx

 

Rumbles Roses XX also features play over Xbox Live and the ability to upload/download pictures of the fabulous females in various poses and outfits.  The picture exchanging is kind of creepy because you can almost be certain that anyone using this feature beyond a few times might not just be appreciating the pictures on a purely aesthetic basis.  The wrestling is actually solid over Live, with only the typical instances of chop or lag depending on where your opponent is located.  If you subscribe to the "Fun for 30 Minutes" philosophy, it's the perfect way to enjoy the game. 

 

rumble roses xx          rumble roses xx

 

Rumbles Roses XX throws in a character creation mode.  When you look at it objectively, it's a hell of a lot like dressing up your sister's Barbie dolls when you were six-years old.  But with bigger and extremely animated breasts.  Beyond creating one character just to see how it worked, I didn't spend much time with the character creation.  It is relatively, ahem, robust, with plenty of sliders to tweak for appearances and many different costumes to swap out.  It's not quite the in-depth experience of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, where you can spend hours adjusting and re-adjusting your character's features to create the perfect effect.  Still, the character creation is a great option to have in a wrestling game. (There would be more heavy-handed criticism if the feature was missing.)

 

On the outside chance that some nameless gamer out there is thinking about picking up Rumble Roses XX on the basis that it will provide an excellent wrestling experience, I should plainly state, that the actual wrestling action is just average.  The package though... well, the package is one of the best for Xbox 360 -- Rumble Roses XX looks and sounds great.  One only need to watch one of the elaborate ring entrances to see that, but the gameplay doesn't lend itself to long play times.  Basically, it's popcorn.  Good-looking popcorn, but still popcorn.

 

- Omni

(June 21, 2006)

 

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