What can I say about Rumble Roses XX that hasn’t already been said everywhere else? It’s basically the late night Cinemax of the video game world. Made by Konami, Rumble Roses will make 12- 13 year old boys more aroused than Ellen DeGeneres at a WNBA game. Sadly though, all the game has going for it is its shock value (which wears off rather quickly). Rumble Roses XX is a prime example of what happens when developers go for style over substance. It’s even worse when the style isn’t very, well . . . stylish. XX feels more like a music video than a video game. Konami wants to be nasty and dirty with Roses but they don’t really have the guts to go all the way so what you get is a big mess with the occasional panty shot.
The controls are extremely simple to learn (they’re actually too simple). You press X to punch and kick, Y to grapple, LB and LT (left bumper and left trigger) for special grapple moves, and RB (right bumper) for blocking. There is some variation, depending on how you move the left analog stick, but basically that’s it. The tutorial makes the game seem like the fighting engine is much deeper than it is when in reality it’s even shallower than the pool the little kids play in. While it’s always key to make the controls as streamlined as possible, at the same time it’s also possible to take the notion too far. Ideally, you want a game to be easy to get into but still take a good amount of time to master. Since nothing in any category gets built upon you end up doing the same handful of slaps and grabs over and over again. The game unintentionally devolves into a mindless button masher. This wouldn’t be so bad if Konami would’ve adjusted the gameplay to suit the different style of play, but the end result feels like they tried to force Roses to be something it isn’t. You can have all the nice, pretty graphics you want, but the ultimate goal is to have the gamer want to keep playing the game. Things get old far too quickly to keep even the most patient (and horny) of gamers interested.
There isn’t even a hint of a story here, so from beginning to end none of the characters are even remotely interesting. No one develops, so besides their skin tone and different special moves, all the characters feel like the exact same person. There is no direction in the game because of the lack of any kind of structure in the absence of a story mode. It all feels like a giant random disaster where anything goes. You have no idea why anything is happening (or why this game was made, for that matter) which, as you might have guessed, vastly detracts from your want to keep playing Rumble Roses.
A few different types of matches spice things up somewhat, but there just isn’t enough variety. There’s a street fight where you try to drain your opponent’s power while pins and submissions don’t matter, queen match has you choosing a reward for the winner and something humiliating for the loser to do (e.g. play Limbo, pose sexy, or rub lotion on the winner), tag team, and three way fights which are more annoying than fun.
As far as visuals go, the crowds and arenas are a joke. The audience clips in and out, and there are only a few people in the stands anyway. This is next generation hardware. We should be seeing thousands of fans in the background of every venue, of which there are only a smattering as well. How you can make a fighting game with only about five places to fight is beyond me. It’s totally inexcusable. At the very least, each character should have their own level. Then again, giving each girl her own arena would lead some to believe they have their own individual personalities, and nothing could be further from the truth. If Konami was going to skimp on so many other things in the game, they should have gone the extra mile in the places where they did things right. There should be different rings (not all the levels have to be traditional rings), multi tiered rings, loads of destructible objects, and breathtaking backgrounds (e.g. huge waterfalls, explosions, and rabid fans).
That being said, the women dp look amazing. You can play as a nearly naked ninja, nurse, police officer, cowgirl, and dominatrix- just to mention a few. The characters’ clothes (what little there is of them) definitely deserve mention as well. They’re almost all customizable and there are quite a few to unlock. The minus side of the unlockable items, though, is that it takes too long to buy them. The wrestler entrances are quite sexy, but again, variety is the lacking component- basically, it’s one entrance per girl. The developers really worked with the camera angles so the player can always get some kind of panty or boob shot. This is especially apparent during submissions where the player can manipulate the camera themself to get the most perverted and explicit view point. It’s just too bad Konami didn’t put as much thought into the gameplay and characters as they did with the sexually suggestive outfits and camera shots.
The music is surprisingly good, and each character’s theme song matches what you think their personality would be like if they had one. The announcer is repetitive and ridiculous. I guess it’s a small blessing that she doesn’t talk that much. The sound effects are a little above average, but nothing truly stands out. Rumble Roses disappoints in the audio field mostly because the ladies hardly ever speak (which just adds to the total lack of personality for the game) for some strange reason.
If your curiosity gets the better of you, make sure you rent Rumble Roses XX, so when you realize there’s nothing in this game you won’t be kicking yourself for wasting $60 on it. If you really want to see naked women that bad just go download some porn, or better yet clean up a bit and get a girlfriend (not the made up one that lives in Montana). Don’t fall for XX’s good looks. For all its focus on T and A, it ends up being SOL. Lord help us when XXX comes out.