Wrestling games are big money these days and they are probably one of the oldest sporting style games around. We've seen attempts at combining sex appeal with gaming many times before, and in the sports arena with titles such as Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. However none of them hold a candle to Rumble Roses, a game which was developed purely for the male gamer in all of us, and the developer openly admits it was built for visual appeal. Perhaps the most funny thing about this is that other than the shocking storylines, it's actually quite an accomplished wrestling game, its a shame you'll be too embarrassed by the subject matter to check it out, however.
As was alluded in the intro paragraph, the game revolves around fictional female wrestlers who for one reason or another want to belt each other up. The thing is these storylines even make the WWE look realistic. When you have a teacher chasing a rebel student and then proceeding to belt her up to get her back to school, then you really are pushing the barriers. Then there's the nurse, the cowgirl and the young school girls to make up the roster. Basically come up with any male fantasy of a female and it's in the game, and it makes no qualms about it either.
When you actually get to the gameplay you will find a fairly accomplished game. This is because the developers have actually done some proper WWE games before, so it's not a case of women just slapping each other, they perform moves you're more likely to see in the upcoming WM 21 from THQ than a 'cat fight'. It features grappling, jumping off the top rope, and kicking the daylights out of each other until one can't stand up. The characters all have special moves as well and in some innovation there is also the ability to humiliate a character. As you play through the matches you will perform character specific moves that will make the crowd love you and in turn the meter rises, a full meter allows you to pull off a humiliation move. Some matches have specific instructions for victory but overall three pin is the main way to win.
Perhaps one of the most ridiculous additions to this game is the mud wrestling mode. This is really an 'aesthetic' addition to the game rather than anything else and quite frankly the game probably could have done without it. Then at least we could have seen the developer as trying to create a serious wrestling game rather than something which they want people to buy based on the looks of the girls. Ironically one of the 'best' graphical features is displayed here by mud falling on and off the girls. This real time update gives the game some realism and shows the power of the engine they have used.
The other game modes really are a bit of a joke and again rely on the females rather than any gaming. One of these modes allows you to zoom in at many different camera angles on the wrestlers while they train in the gym. As you progress through the story modes you can unlock new costumes for the wrestlers which is an ok touch but other than that there really is only two modes. It would have been nice to see a survival mode or career mode in terms of building a character up but there is no create-a-wrestler or anything even close to it.
The arenas are also boring as well, while the girls have signature introductions, most of the time you are fighting in the same arena, other than when your at the beach or in the final arena. This again leads to repetition and considering the game relies on its visuals so much as a selling point, it really goes against the trend displayed throughout the game. The graphics are probably one of the better aspects of the title with highly detailed character models and some excellent animation but the voice acting is incredibly cheesy and the soundtrack is hardly noticed. Not a memorable visual/sound experience to say the least.
Rumble Roses is a wrestling game that had quite a bit of potential which was lost when the developers decided to make it girls only and include modes that really move it away from being a serious game. It's a shame because under the skin of absolutely stupid game modes, there is a fairly accomplished wrestling game.