RUMBLE ROSES XX
Genre: Simulated Professional Wrestling
Developer: YUKE’S Future Media Creators
Console: Xbox 360 Exclusive
Numbers of Players: 4
Co-Op: 2 Players
Online Multi-Player: Yes (2 to 4)
Online Co-Op: Yes (2 Players)
Arcade JoyStick Compatible: Yes
Memory Size: 928 KB to Save
Installation on Hard Drive Memory Size: about 3.7 GB
Vibration Support: Yes
Media Format: DVD-ROM
Voice Chat Support: Yes (via Head Set)
Custom SoundTracks: Yes
Audio: In-Game Dolby Digital
Instruction Manual: 20-Pages in Black & White
Series Legacy: Rumble Roses (Prequel on the PlayStation 2)
ESRB Rating: Rated M for Mature for Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Violence, and Mild Language (Author’s Note: This game also contains “Suggestive Themes” which isn’t listed in the Official Rating on the box)
PLEASE NOTE: This Review was updated by the Original Author (Game-Quest-Ex) in the Fall of 2012
An evil nurse name Anesthesia has a twisted and diabolical plan for world domination: she intends to lure the very best female wrestlers from around the world, into the “Rumble Roses WWX” tournament, where she will kidnap them, brainwash them, and force them to become cybernetically enhanced warriors, whom she will command to do her bidding!
Or, something along those lines, anyway.
Truth be told, there is no official storyline in “Rumble Roses XX” (RRXX). Most of the storyline is actually gotten from the main plot found in the previous game in the series, named “Rumble Roses,” released in 2004, on the Sony PlayStation 2.
The plot of the RR series is honestly silly, but that is what made it funny, and enjoyable. The games never take themselves too seriously. Unfortunately, there isn’t any real narrative in the sequel, RRXX for the Xbox 360.
To make sense of what is going on in the game, such as why certain wrestlers hate or like each other, why they say certain types of positive or negative statements to each other, etc, you really have to go back and play Part 1: the story is in there.
For Part 2 (RRXX), you have to listen to character dialogues, character quotes, and you have to observe the positive or negative chemistry between the female wrestlers, before you start to get an idea as to the storyline background, which ties each of these characters together.
In other words, RRXX missed the boat on telling a decent storyline in this outing.
GRAPHICS and ANIMATION
A lot of flashiness highlights the visuals of RRXX, which is a good thing. The lighting and shiny effects make the female characters look very good before the cameras in the game. The lights come from the sun in the game, from street lights, or flood lights, and they illuminate the objects and the bodies on-screen, and it all looks very nice.
The most pleasing aspect of the RRXX visuals are the female wrestlers themselves. They are rendered very well in 3D, as they throw punches & whip out kicks, or pick up and body slam each other inside and outside of the ring.
The WWX champions are designed to look very sexy in their various outfits, which range from their in-ring costumes, to their bikinis. All the characters are busty, which is no doubt intentionally done to attract mainly male audiences interested in those types of visuals.
The lady fighters’ costumes have extreme amounts of detail, which are very noticeable and can be more easily appreciated on a HDTV. For example, you can see the texture of their clothing, like if one outfit is made out of cloth, and you get to see the actual stitches in it. Other costumes are more latex, or rubber-like, and they tend to have much more of a smoother, shiny surface.
Each WWX wrestler has their own very distinct, signature costume that is completely unique to them, and that actually reflects an aspect of the woman’s personality, character, and her background.
For example, Dixie Clements wears a cowgirl outfit, which reflects her Texas background. Aigle is a wrestler whose garments points to her Mongolian origins. Candy Cane is student whose punk-rock rebellious nature is shown in what looks like her somewhat modified school uniform. Aisha’s love for song & dance is matched by her costume, which looks like something out of a hip-hop music video. Ms. Spencer is Candy Cane’s school teacher, whose outfit looks more proper and lady-like, in terms of what civilians might wear outside the ring (well, for the most part, anyway).
A large part of RRXX’s M-Rating actual comes from the visuals. Depending on what the female characters are wearing, you tend to see a lot of skin, in terms of tops, bottoms, hips, thighs, and almost everything else in between. This can be visually pleasing, depending on your personal tastes, or a bit distracting.
Animations are also very well done. From walking, to running, to jumping, and all of the attack animation; all of them have an almost even mix of the realistic with a slightly flashier arcade-flare. Still, on-screen movements look convincing, and change depending on how heavy or light, your character’s weight is. The lighter the wrestler, the faster she moves. The heavier the wrestler, the slower she moves.
Punches and kicks all have authentic impacts, as they make contact with the targets, causing them to reel back in their stun animations. From quick jabs, to slower clothesline swings, to one WWX Champion physically picking up her rival and performing a suplex, body slam, pile driver or atomic drop. The authentic look and feel of the physical combat, adds to the fun aspects of the wrestling in RRXX.
Each wrestler has an elaborate intro, which either involves her dancing, fighting off enemies, or performing some sort of athletic maneuvers. The intro are fun to watch for the most part, some being cooler than others, while others are funnier than others. Other intros are not nearly as good as others. Either way, you have the option of turning on or shutting off the wrestlers intros in the game’s option menus.
Performing Special Finisher Attacks, like your Killer Moves, Lethal Moves, Humiliation Moves, or your Double X Tag Team, triggers a brief cut scene, which lets you know that your attack has successfully activated. When you tag in your partner, there is also a short cut-scene, which has a different series of animations, depending of which two characters you have on your team, and depending on if they like or hate each other. Also, when your tag-partner jumps into the ring, in order to rescue you from a pin-fall, or from a submission, that action is also accompanied by a brief cut-scene.
On the Versus Screen, each of the wrestlers has a set of her own pre-fight animations, which are typically unique to her. Tag Teams also have their own set of character animations, depending on whether the wrestlers on the team like each other. If they do, there is a positive icon indicator in the corner, and the women pose together, facing in the same direction. Characters, who hate one another, have animations where they shrug in frustration, and turn their backs to each other. Neutral characters simply perform their typical pose by themselves.
A very cool Visual Presentation Feature in RRXX is your ability to control an in-ring camera during certain parts of a bout. If you catch your opponent, or if your character is caught, in any Grapple Attack, which involves the Color-Coded Grappling Gauge (see the GamePlay section below), then the game automatically gives you control of an In-Ring Camera, which you manipulate with the Left Analog Stick (to zoom-in & out), the Right Analog Stick (to rotate the camera around 360 degrees) and the Directional Control Pad (to move the video screen up or down). A Camera Icon pops-up on the left side of the screen to inform you when you can temporarily control the view of the scene. This video tool lasts for the entire duration of an active grapple attack. Basically, when you’re prompted, you can use this camera to get the best, sexiest, funniest or naughtiest view of the in-ring action involving the ladies of WWX! A very similar Camera Control Tool is also available to view the loser during the Penalty Phase at the end of a “Queen’s Match” (see Game Content Section below for more info).
The stages look attractive, mostly for their unique themes (like a beach stage and a street stage), and because of the great in-game lighting that illuminates the main characters. Unfortunately, as you switch your gaze from the center of the stage & from the middle of the ring, outwards, the graphics and animation quality tends to decrease. The sharpness & resolution drops, and the animations of the spectators begin to repeat a lot. It doesn’t break the game, but it could have been improved upon by the developers, to add to the overall visual appeal of RRXX.
Also, there are issues involving “clipping,” when two physical objects during actual gameplay, seemingly pass right through each other, instead of “colliding” with each other, like solid objects normally would. Some female wrestlers have their body parts pass through the ring ropes, or pass through each other, just to highlight a couple of these problematic examples.
AUDIO & MUSIC
RRXX has a theme song for each of the WWX lady wrestlers. Each theme song tends to match the personality & the background of each of the brawlers. Asian characters then to have a bit more traditional oriental-inspired music (Aigle & Makoto are good examples of this). Aisha and her alter-ego Sista-A, both have more dance & hip-hop inspired soundtracks for their different intro sequences.
Some songs feature lyrics, while others don’t, but the music mostly matches each of the wrestler’s overall theme. Music varies from rock, to rap, hip-hop, symphony and pop. Clearly, some tracks are better than others, but it ultimately boils down to your personal taste in music.
Slapping, punching and kicking all sound appropriate once they are executed within the game. They are all adequate, and their impact on-screen matches the buttons you press. The usual slams & crushing sounds from suplex attacks, bear-hugs & body slams are all present once you activate each move on the control pad, or when the CPU does it. Performing just about any wrestling moves, including Killer Moves, Lethal Movies, or Humiliation Moves, also get a series of accompanying audio effects to them, for the duration of the attacks.
Each of the women has a series of verbal phrases, which they say, or shout out, depending on what they are doing on-screen, or depending on what other wrestlers are doing to your character. For example, if your character counters a physical strike or a grappling move, they would call out a taunt to their opponent, as the dodge, retaliate, or escape from danger. Other voice-overs includes when the wrestlers tag each other, when the wrestlers call out to the crowd for encouragement (or insult them), or when they execute their Special Finishing Attacks. In fact, almost every on-screen action, whether it is in the ring, or outside of it, is usually accompanied by a funny, witty, embarrassing, or angry quote from any of the female fighters involved. There are new sets of voice-overs in other modes of the game, such as the Photo-Shoot area, when you are taking pictures of one or two of the female wrestlers.
When you get to a Championship Match, there is a particular theme song that plays during the “Versus Screen.” When you win a match, a different theme song also plays. Another type of song plays in the Locker Room, while yet another track runs when you are on the world map. Other sections & modes of the game each have their own tune, which keeps the audio from getting repetitious or boring.
There are some instances when the audio cuts out completely. For some reason, as you perform attacks as you normally would, sometimes the sound effects accompanying your actions, glitch. Basically you never hear the character voices, or the impact of their wrestling moves. This does not happen often, but when it does occur, you will notice it.
The gameplay is actually very responsive in RRXX, which is a good thing in game like this, where you have to rely on wrestling strikes, grapples, Irish whips, and high-flying attacks.
All of the face buttons, triggers, and shoulder buttons, as well both sticks & the directional pad, on the controller, are used during activate gameplay in RRXX.
LEFT ANALOG STICK/CONTROL PAD: Move Your Character
RIGHT ANALOG STICK: Taunt your Opponent, Encourage yourself or Call out to the Crowd
A-BUTTON: Dash/Run Towards Opponent
A-BUTTON + LEFT ANALOG/DIRECTIONAL PAD: Change Direction of Dash/Run
X-BUTTON: Strike (Punch, Slap, Elbow, Forearm, Kick, Knee, Weapons, etc)
X-BUTTON + LEFT ANALOG STICK/DIRECTIONAL PAD: Strike Attack Variations
Y-BUTTON: Grapple (Grab, Hold, Submission, Standing up Your Opponent, etc)
Y-BUTTON + LEFT ANALOG STICK/DIRECTIONAL PAD: Grapple Attack Variations
RIGHT SHOULDER BUTTON: Block/Guard against Physical Strikes only
RIGHT SHOULDER BUTTON + X-BUTTON: Counter/Reverse Physical Strikes
RIGHT SHOULDER BUTTON + Y-BUTTON: Counter/Reverse Grapple Attacks
LEFT SHOULDER BUTTON: Activate KILLER/LETHAL Move (Requires at least 1 Special Move Meter)
LEFT TRIGGER: Activate “HUMILIATION Finisher” (Requires both a Full Humiliation Meter for your Opponent and at least 1 Special Move Meter for your wrestler to work)
RIGHT TRIGGER: Tag-In Your Wrestling Partner during a Tag or Handicap Match
LEFT SHOULDER BUTTON + RIGHT SHOULDER BUTTON: Activate “DOUBLE X Finishing Move” (Requires at least 2 Special Move Meters and 2 Characters on the same Tag Team, to work)
B-BUTTON: Perform a 3-Count PIN-FALL on a grounded opponent; Climb up or dismount the Corner Post Turnbuckle; Enter into, or Exit from the ring; Pick up or Put down Weapons; Release Opponent from a 3-Count Pin-Fall, Release Opponent from a Submission Hold, E.T.C
Mistress, Candy Cane, Great Khan, Rowdy Reiko & Sgt Clements, all start with their signature weapons in hand, at the beginning of matches on the following stages only: Red Valley & Arena. Candy Cane has a Guitar, Great Khan has a Flaming Torch, Sgt Clements wields a Baton, Mistress cracks her whip, and Rowdy Reiko swings a Wooden Sword. Each of these 5 WWX fighters has a unique Lethal Move, which only they can execute, but only as long as they are holding their own personal weapons. To attack with weapons, press the X-Button, with or without the D-Pad/Left Analog Stick inputs (for strike variations). Press the B-Button to drop or to pick-up the weapons. Any wrestler can take away the weapons from others, and make use of them (minus the Lethal Moves). You cannot grapple, block or climb up the corner turnbuckle while holding any weapon. You can run and perform a Running Weapon Strike while being armed.
All of your Physical Strikes are done with the X-Button. These work to wear down the health & stamina of your rival, once each kick, elbow, punch, knee, forearm, headbutt, etc, fully connect.
Use the Left Analog Stick or the Directional Pad, in conjunctions with the X-Button presses, to unleash a variation other physical attacks, like Clothesline, Flying Drop Kicks, Elbow Drops, Shoulder Rams, Haymaker Punches, Flying/Hopping Knees, Basement Drop Kicks, e.t.c.
All of your Grapple Moves are performed with the Y-Button. When facing your foes, pressing the Y-Button, in conjunction with using the Directional Pad or Left Analog Stick activates the initial grapple. Then, pressing the Y-Button plus the D-Pad/Left Analog Stick again after that will prompt your character to fully connect with her powerful wrestling attack. Grappling foes from behind is also possible, with new sets of moves.
Grapple attacks can target different parts of the body, from the head, to the arms, to the torso or the legs. This is true whether your targeted opponent is standing, lying down, leaning against the corner turnbuckle or the rings ropes. Strike attacks can also target different parts of the body, but they are not as consistently precise as grapple moves are.
Certain initiated grapples will activate a colored Grapple Meter. Blue means that you or your opponent will escape the grapple applied to them. Orange, yellow & green mean that either you or your opponent are in danger of tapping out. Red means that you or your opponent are definitely going to tap out under the pressure of a grapple attack. If your character is the victim of a grapple, you must rapidly press all the face the buttons in order to escape. The faster you press them, the faster the grapple gauge changes from red through all of the other colors down to blue so you can get free. If you don’t do so, your character will submit and lose the match. This system works pretty well, because it gives you a useful visual clue, as to how much damage you are taking from, or are giving to an opponent, during any given match.
Depending on the standing, lying down, leaning on the ring ropes, or slumped-over in the corner turnbuckle position of your opponent, all of your character’s grappling and striking Attacks, completely change, which is good, because it points to a wide variety of moves available to each character. Your character’s Grapple Attacks change even further depending on if your opponent is lying face up or face down on the mat. From this position, you can attack her upper or lower body.
Climbing up the corner turnbuckle sets up your character to perform High Flying Moves, provided that your opponent is lying down on the floor, or is standing close enough, for your attacks to properly connect.
Quickly pressing the Y-Button twice, will have your woman wrestler, initiate an Irish Whip, which is a powerful pull & push maneuver, which forces your opponent to run helplessly into the ring ropes (and sets them up for more attacks upon their return trip from the ropes), or to ram them into the corner turnbuckle for extra damage.
Running towards your foe also opens up opportunities for a new series of Running Strikes, and Running Grapples, which enables you to close the gap between you and your opponent, and continuously take the fight to them.
Whenever all strikes or grapples properly connect, a numerical indicator pops up, letting you know how much damage you attack has done to your foe or to you if you are the one being attacked. The damage is indicated in percentages out of 100, so the lower the number, the less the damage, while the higher the number, the more the damage.
Constantly playing with your wrestler, builds up her overall wrestling skills. If you use her physical attacks more during a match, those strikes improve and do more damage from that point onwards. If you emphasize her Grapple Attacks during your matches, those move-sets of hers get better, and will do more damage during that match & also in later fights. This applies to Aerial Attacks, Suplex Moves, Submission Holds, etc. This is all true for the Regular Roster, as well as for your own Created-Wrestler.
When the character you are playing with encounters a rival, friend or relative of hers in the ring, the Profile-Pic in the upper-corner above your rival’s meters, will change in color. “Black” is the neutral & default color. A “Red” pic means your opponent hates you and she will actively counter your attacks more ferociously and will attack you more aggressively. If you constantly beat up on any foe in the ring, their Profile Pic eventually turns Red as well. A “Blue” image means that she is reluctant to attack, and or, to counter you as much. In other cases, when you beat down your foe, her profile pic changes to “Yellow,” which indicates she is getting worried she might lose to you, especially if you gain the upper-hand over her early in a match. A “Purple” profile-pic pops-up when either you or your opponents are gaining the upper-hand or completely dominating in a match (she basically becomes over-confident & boasts about it). Whenever you or your opponent are forced into a “humiliated stated” (i.e. your Humiliation Meter or that of your opponent, is now full of Pink Energy, after the wrestler gets hit by certain types humiliating strikes or grapples), your profile pic or that of your foe will now turn “Pink” in color.
These audio & visual indicators tell you the current status of your in-ring opponent: whether she hates you, likes you, or is worried about you defeating her. Pay attention to what your opponent says & to the color and pose of her profile-pic, so you know how their A.I is going to react to your attacks. The color & image pose of your own wrestler’s profile-pic also changes in very similar ways during the course of a Singles or Tag Match, so pay attention to them so as to know the current status of your character, and or, her Tag Partner.
During a Tag or Handicap Match, you can simply tag in your partner, by pressing the RIGHT TRIGGER. Each time you tag, you automatically switch over to the partner you just tagged in, while the CPU takes over control of your first character, who just tagged out. When you are playing on a Tag Team, you can now perform newer Tag-Based grappling & striking attacks on your opponent.
If you want to go the more aggressive route, grapple & hold your foe, and then tag-in your partner. Now, your first wrestler will keep on holding your foe, and wait a few seconds for her partner to attack the hostage opponent.
Gameplay problems are few, but they do exist. For one thing, Running Grapples & Running Strikes, which were very precise in the first Rumble Roses game, are not very precise here. In fact, there are some instances in RRXX, in which your characters Running Grapple or Running Strike, completely miss connecting against your foe, even though you line-up the attack perfectly. This is frustrating because missing fast moving attacks like that opens you up to some serious counter-attacks from your rival, who will usually take advantage of your apparent “mistake.”
Also, the ability to grab you opponent’s head and drag them by their head, to any part of the ring, had been removed from RRXX. It was possible to do this in Part 1 of the series, but not anymore. This gameplay feature, is especially needed in Handicap, Tag Team, 3-Way, and 4-Way Matches, where you may need to isolate your opponent from their tag partners, or just to drag them to another part of the ring, and defeat them there.
Tagging in Tag Team Matches and 2-On-1 Handicap Matches (where you have the Tag Team versus the Single CPU opponent), has some unrealistic animation. Pressing the RIGHT TRIGGER, no matter where you are in the ring, will instantly make your current wrestler tag-in her partner. A short cut-scene instantly plays, once the tag fully connects. You never see your character walk over her corner and tag, unless you already have her standing there when you do tag. It’s not really a big deal, but it seems that the developers took out the ability to drag a character by her head/hair into the corner, in favor of this unrealistic method of “instant-tagging-from-anywhere.”
Other frustrations come from a problem with “DOUBLE X” Moves. Once both you and your Tag Team Partner, have at least 1 Special Move Meter full, you are supposed to be able to execute a Double X Tag Attack, by simultaneously pressing the Left & Right top Shoulder Buttons. Unfortunately, doing so does not always work as you plan. Sometimes, instead of getting your desired Double X Tag Team Attack, you accidentally get a Killer or Lethal Move, completely by mistake. For some reason, you have to wait until you are prompted by an on-screen message to press the Left Button+ the Right Button to perform the Double X Super. Even after following that instruction, pressing both buttons together does not always result in the Tag Team Special you want. You end up doing something else, and wasting your Special Move Meter in the process.
On a more Positive Note, Double X Finishing Moves are context sensitive. In other words, depending on where your wrestler is in relation to her opponent, the type of Double X Move will automatically change, adding a large variety of different ways to destroy your opponent together with your Tag Partner. For example, if your foe is standing in the middle of the ring and you successfully activate your Double X move, your wrestler and her partner will perform a very specific Tag-Team Finisher Attack on your target. This Double-Team Finisher is different when you do it standing in front of your foe, or standing behind them. But that’s not all: the types of attacks and attack animations for you Double X Moves change, based on standing, lying and running positions. You get alternate Tag Team Finishers done on your foe if she is on the mat lying face-up or face down; or if you are standing by her head or by her feet; or if your foe is slumped over in the corner turnbuckle, facing in or facing out; or if your opponent is returning from being sprung back off the ring ropes. Your Tag Teams’ Double X Attacks are different based on both your opponent’s position, as well as your own position in relation to them. Double X moves can only be executed on one opponent at a time in the ring, and these attacks cannot be performed outside of the ring.
There are some glitches which surface if you have played RRXX for prolong periods of time. Most notably is the turnbuckle glitch, which occurs when you throw your foe into the corner post. Her stun animation changes and you are unable to perform your usual set of corner grappling moves, or tag team attacks. The solution is to save you current game, exit it and reset the whole thing (load your game from the Xbox Dashboard).
The Default Mode on the in-game World Map is the Single Player Mode. This leads to either the Single’s or to the Tag-Team Championship. You build up your wrestler by playing through this mode.
EXHIBITION MODE: Here, you pick from the roster of wrestlers, for a variety of matches, and you can select from almost any stage, provided that it is available for the match-type you selected. You don’t build up your Wrestler or Win any ChampionShip Belts in this mode.
Within both the Main Single-Player Mode (where you Earn Money, Buy Items, Win Championship Belts, Build Up Your Wrestler & Unlock Content) and the purely-for-the-fun-of-gameplay Exhibition Modes, you have the following content:
SINGLE: 1-On-1 Wrestling Match
PHM: stands for “Pure Humiliation Match,” in which you can only win with your H-Move
QUEEN’S MATCH: 1-On-1 in which the loser is forced to perform a funny, sexy or embarrassing penalty after the match
STREET FIGHT: a 1-On-1 Street Fight, with a Set Number of Timed Rounds, and Depleting Health Meters, like in more traditional Fighting Games! No pin-falls or submissions, only KOs!
TAG TEAM MATCH: Your 2 Wrestler Tag Team versus another 2 Person Tag Team Match.
HANDICAP MATCH: 2-On-1, in which a Tag Team versus a Single Wrestler
3-WAY ROYAL: 3 Female Wrestlers Fight against each other to win by Pin or Submission
4-WAY ROYAL: 4 Female Wrestlers Fight against each other to win by Pin or Submission
Each match has specific requirements on how you must win. For example, the absolute only way to win a PHM is to build up your opponents “Humiliation Meter,” by constantly connecting specific Strikes, Grapples, and Combos against her, which adds more energy to her H-Meter. Once her H-Meter is full, and your character has at least 1 Special Move Meter full, you can now perform your wrestler’s signature H-Move, which is a very painful looking Submission Grapple. Basically, you defeat your opponent, by locking her into a Humiliating Finishing Move (which is always a Grapple Attack), and thus you force her to submit and to lose the match.
Street Fights play out like timed matches in Tekken, Dead or Alive, or Virtua Fighter, in which you have 1 to 2 rounds (with a clock counting down) to wear down your opponent’s Health Bar, until it drains completely. At that point, you knock them out cold (KO them), and win the round. In Street Fights, you can use the walls and fences to your advantage, by literally throwing your enemy into them. Impacts into walls, will cause her to crumble down to the ground slowly, while impacts into fences, leaves her standing & stunned (dizzy state). That also leaves her open to further attacks from you.
Queen’s Match is essentially a Single Match, in which both female wrestlers typically wear sexy swimsuits by default, and they can win by Pin-Fall, or by Submission. The catch is that the loser must perform a “Penalty” which you have to select from a list, prior to the match starting. You not only select the activity the losing lady must do (like scrubbing the floors around the pool, to dancing, to sexy poses, to using a jump rope, and a lot more), but you also get to select the outfit which she wears, while engaging in her penalty. The costumes range for funny-looking, to odd/weird, to very risqué & sexy.
Playing RRXX on higher difficulty settings, earns you more RR Credits. On EASY Setting, you don’t earn as much money. However on NORMAL Setting you earn more credits, and you definitely get the biggest bang for your bucks on HARD Setting. So there is a risk-reward system going on here: to earn enough in-game money to buy the items you want/need from the store, you are better off playing a more challenging game. If you go easy on yourself, you will take longer to earn in-game money.
You use the RR Dollars you earn from winning matches to shop at the in-game store. There, you can purchase new Costumes, Outfits, Bikinis, Swimsuits, Character Artwork, a Camera, Uniforms, a Radio, the two End Game Bosses, Gym Clothes and even “Actions Poses.” Action Poses are used in the Photo Mode to pose one or two female wrestlers in a scene before you take the desired photos of them that you want, which you can then save and even share with others online. You can also buy “Queen’s Match Penalties” which are action poses you will force on your defeated opponent (or that is forced on you if you are defeated). These penalties are actions that the loser of a Queen’s Match has to perform after the bout has ended.
In the Main Single-Player Mode, you get any and all of the Match-Types found in the Exhibition Mode, but all of the matches are now random. The CPU generates different match types, which you cannot select ahead of time. Basically you finish your current match, and wait to see what the next Match Type is on the Next Stage.
And speaking of stages, there are very few (5 to be exact). There is the SKY SCRAPER, RED VALLEY, the ARENA, the STREET Stage, and the BEACH Stage, and that is about it. The Street Stage is the only one where you can use the non-in-ring environment (the fences & the walls) to inflict extra damage onto your opponent, in order to win. You can’t traditionally wrestle, like you would in-ring, on the Street Stage. There is water surrounding the ring in the BEACH Stage for the Queen’s Match, but it does not seem to affect gameplay in any significant way.
Outside the ring on the Beach Stage, Red Valley & Arena, your character can run to any of the 4 corners, and pick up other weapons like brass knuckles, which they can then use to fight in match.
What really hurts RRXX in terms of content is its utter lack of a Story Mode, or Plot of any kind. Wrestling as “Sports Entertainment,” is typically full of funny & cheesy storylines, just like what is found in the first Rumble Roses title. Sadly, that is not the case here. There are no story-based cut scenes in which the characters confront their rivals. There is no storyline ending at all; in fact once you get to the end, you fight against either the Singles Champion, or against the Tag Team Champion, depending on how you played in the Main Mode. But once you beat them, credits roll and the game ends. That’s it! No ending video or cut scene! No plot-reveal or storyline!
It seems the developers were content in removing one of the best parts of the Rumble Roses series: the ridiculous, but very entertaining storyline, which is briefly described at the start of this very review. Simply put, having no Story Mode or storyline (especially with the new Tag Team feature added in) is a huge missed opportunity in RRXX, and it noticeably hurts the replay value of this game.
In addition to the BabyFace & Hard Heel alter-ego female wrestlers, you can also get SuperStar BabyFace & SuperStar Hard Heel versions of each of them (except for the End Bosses and the Hidden Characters). To get their SuperStar (SS) Versions, make sure that their current Popularity rating is from 80% to100%. If you meet this condition, you automatically unlock them. If your rating drops below 80%, you lose the SS version. Winning matches increases your Popularity Rating, while losing matches decreases your Popularity Rating. The SS version of the regular face or heel wrestler has a few more attacks, builds up their Special Meter a bit faster, does a bit more damage with some moves, and their Finishers now vary, with some of them even having extra attacks mixed into them. This makes them look flashier & gives them more damaging attacks. You can’t edit, alter or change the costumes on the SS Wrestlers. They have only one default outfit, which is different from their normal look. In fact, some characters like Dr. Anesthesia & Evil Rose have SS alter-egos that look COMPLETELY different from their normal Hard Heel personas.
SS Versions are an okay addition to the roster, but they aren’t really necessary, as you can always get the job of winning done with their regular versions. True, you do get extra Strike, Grapple & Finisher Attacks, which is always cool, but the developers should have just gone ahead and created 100% brand new Female Wrestlers, instead of focusing on just making SS alter-egos. More original cast members would have been more welcome than having yet another version of the same character.
One of the biggest draws to RRXX is the new Wrestler Customization Mode. In it, you can change the clothing, weight, height and muscular look of your personal custom character. Essentially, this is the closest you will get to a “Create-A-Wrestler” in RRXX. Your custom wrestler is called “Lamda” by the Ring Announcer; you can’t change her name. That’s because Lamda is supposed to be the newest WWX roster member, but she is actually the default model, which you use to create your own original character. In other words, you can alter her looks, her Name-Text, but not her verbal name the Ring-Announcer calls out before and after any given wrestling match.
Another limitation to the Customization Mode is that you really cannot select your own attacks, like you can in the Custom Modes of most other Wrestling Games. You are limited to picking from a series of Wrestling Styles, which you have no way of knowing what the move-sets of them will be. Also, you can only pick the Finisher, based on the name of your Wrestling Skill/Ability. Again, you can’t know what the Finishing Move truly looks like until you exit Custom Mode, and go and try it out in an actual match, which can be a time-wasting drag, especially if you don’t like the Wrestling Style/Skill/Ability you initially chose. To change it, you have to finish or quit the current match you are in, go back to the Custom Mode, and tweak your character again. Bear in mind that you constantly have to wade past loading screen after loading screen, throughout the whole process.
The Custom Mode is very welcome in RRX, but it’s very limited when compared to other wrestling games like the popular WWE SmackDown vs. RAW series. In RRXX, you can’t fully customize individual body parts, with unlimited control over the process. Instead, you are allowed to increase or to decrease body parts like the arms, legs, hips, thighs, and breast size. Yes: you can control the female wrestlers’ boob size to an extent. You can also make their skin look much more muscular in terms of the tone, or less so if you like.
Overall body weight & body height can also be adjusted in Customization Mode (only your own original character’s height can be altered, and not that of the Main Cast), and the interesting thing is that these types of physical changes will have a direct impact on your wrestler. How? Many of her wrestling moves will change, and become totally different from her default character model, which means you can literally move the custom scales, up or down, to make her more of a slow-moving Powerhouse Grappler, or more of a fast-hitting Speed Acrobat. The choice is yours, and it can be fun to experiment with your character in this mode.
Customization is also available to the regular WWX Women. You can pretty much do any & everything to them, which is listed above, except you can’t alter their Personal Profile or their height in any way. Also, to change the WWX ladies’ weight, you can only do so by increasing or decreasing the sliders which affect the sizes of the different parts of her body. In addition, to get these sliders to change, you first have to play with the main character roster in a series of matches. Your actions in those matches will have a permanent effect on the sliders in the Custom Mode. After fighting in a series of matches and you return to the Custom Mode, you should be able to move the sliders left to reduce the body part size, or move it to the right, to increase the body part size. You can also increase and decrease the WWX lady’s muscle tone, using the slider that controls that feature. It is also affected by actions you perform in the ring.
SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
Brawlers, boxers, powerhouse fighters, ninja warriors, traditional wrestlers, judo experts, high-flying acrobats and everything else in between: these are all the brawling styles represented by each of the women of WWX in this game. It’s a good variety, considering that the roster is essentially made up of about 11 to 12 characters, 2 Bosses, and 2 Hidden Wrestlers. The roster is doubled by the fact that each wrestler has a “Good” Side (Babyface) and a “Bad” Side (Hard Heel), which are their alter-egos. They are essentially the same person, but just in a very different mood, and interestingly, with a different move-set. The bad girls tend to have moves that fill up the humiliation meter fastest, while the good girls tend to have more traditional wrestling moves. On some stages, some of the “heel” ladies also begin each match with a weapon, which they can use against any foe inside of or outside of the ring.
Fun as it is to play, RRXX does not always respond as fluidly as the controls do in the first game, which was fast & almost arcade-like in some instances. The running attacks here in RRXX occasionally miss their target and some of the button presses for special moves simple don’t work reliably for you when you perform them.
Something else rather odd to note is that in RRXX, the Singles & the Tag Team Championship Belts are not strongly emphasized during the Visual Presentation of the game. Once you win them, you get no end of game cut-scene; just the end credits right afterwards. Also, following all that, your female wrestler is never shown actually wearing her Championship Belt around her waist. In a very short cut-scene, you only see her holding up her prize belt, right after her SuperStar Intro, which occurs right before a Championship Match, in which she has to defend her title. If you successfully defend her Championship Belt, a message pops up at the end of the match stating your successful title defense. Aside from that, you only see a still image of your Championship Belt underneath the Versus Screen Animated Image of your character. This is also true for the Tag Team Championship Belts, only this time, the brief cut-scenes show both your character & her Tag Team Partner, showing off their titles to the audience. The Versus Screen also displays the Tag Team Titles under the animated pics of both of your championship characters.
But the fun stuff out-weights the ugly stuff. RRXX has an extremely high replay value, mostly from your desire to win matches, earn money, unlock outfits, and try to buy up everything in the in-game shop (hint: there are achievements related to doing this).
The Custom Mode is fun, since altering your character’s physical make-up, directly impacts your gameplay, because her move-set will keep on changing, depending on if you want her slow but powerful, versus having her fast, but weaker.
Xbox Live Online gameplay for RRXX is difficult to find now, because this is a Generation 1 Xbox 360 title from 2006. If you can find people to play RRXX with, there are still servers up & running for this game, at the time this review was written, and the online games ran smoothly for the most part.
RRXX gets it M-Rating mostly due to the partial nudity of the female wrestlers (depending on what revealing outfit they happen to be wearing), or based on the sometimes sexually suggestive wrestling moves that they can execute on one another (during which you actually gain full control of the in-game camera, so you can rotate, zoom in or zoom out on the view). There is also a separate, non-gameplaying Photo Mode, in which you can pose the WWX ladies either by themselves, or with another wrestler, and take pictures of them wearing different costumes. Some of the M-Rated content can also come from this mode, because if you are “creative” enough, you can come up with some very sexually suggestive poses. RRXX may be a wrestling game, but it is an M-Rated affair, that is not meant for younger gamers.
The first sets of Achievements are fairly easy to obtain in RRXX, but once you have all of those, the next sets of Achievements are EXTREMELY difficult to obtain, even when you know what you are doing. Challenge yourself and try getting the rest of them: it’s not an easy feat, primarily because it simply takes up a lot of free time to complete.
RRXX may not be the perfect sequel to the first Rumble Roses, but it is close enough. Over 20 characters to choose from, fun and surprisingly deep gameplay, a welcome new Tag Team Mode, a worthwhile Customization Mode, an in-game shop, a variety of Match Types, and Online Multi-Player to boot, means that you will enjoy stepping into the ring with these Strong Women of the WWX, and fighting your way to owning & defending, the Singles and the Tag Team Championship Belts!
Reviewed by GAME-QUEST-EX