Not the breast it could be.
After suffering through scores of games where sweaty men forcefully slap flesh together, the universe balanced itself by tossing Rumble Roses XX
on my lap. In spite of its lithe vixens, reviewing this game was a heavy burden, one I accepted almost unwillingly. Almost. I know pitting beautifully rendered models against each other in flashy battles for popularity sounds rock solid on paper, but after wrestling with these ladies for awhile, you'll find the weak content distracts you more than the cleavage.
This is where I’d talk about the back story, if there were one. Instead, you pick a wrestler and randomly choose battles from a map screen. As you win, your popularity increases a little, and when you’re as popular as you can get, you’ll eventually land a title bout. There is no aim, context, or guidance, just battle after sleazy battle.
The match types themselves include singles matches, tag team, the always necessary two-on-one, and three-way and four-way free-for-all battles as well as Queen, Humiliation and Street Fight matches. A Queen’s match is just a regular match where the loser has to do something embarrassing after the fight, like pose on a gymnastics horse, do jumping jacks, bounce on an exercise ball, or play this game in front of their parents.
Humiliation matches require you to fill your foe’s humiliation meter by repeatedly landing certain attacks, then finish them off with a Humiliation move. These matches aren’t nearly as fun as they sound, because both fighters are just doing the same moves repeatedly, and the Humiliation moves themselves aren’t any more over the top than any of the other moves.
There’s also Street Fight mode where each player has a life bar. When one player runs out of life, they lose. It’s not very exciting, but it's the fastest way to gain cash to spend in the Shop. The shop sells outfits, accessories and Queen’s Match penalties, as well as a camera which unlocks Photo Shoot mode. As in Playboy: The Mansion, you can choose a girl, dress her up, choose from a couple of posing animations, and take as many screenshots as your hard drive can hold, you sad, sad man.
The downside of the shop is that you only gain cash with specific characters. If you earn thousands of dollars with one girl, you can’t turn around and spend it on another’s accessories. So if you want to see the PVC nurse fetishista in the catsuit, but only have naughty professor cash, you’re out of luck. Aside from all the stuff you can buy in the shop, you can also unlock evil counterparts and two boss-type wrestlers.
You can also take any character and change her costume, bodily proportions, musculature, fighting style, entrance theme, and so on. However, the extent to which you can alter any wrestler depends on some unknown variable. It might be time played or victories won, there’s really no way to know because the game doesn't tell you.
The only thing that really makes sense in Rumble Roses XX is its fighting engine, which is a stripped-down version of the one found in WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006. You have a strike button and a grapple button that serve as your major guns, reversals are easy and tight to pull off, and these are backed up by short lists of moves for each wrestler. Most of these are recycled, and almost none are funny or crazy. They're hardcore wrestling moves, and they seem out of place in such a soft core game.
There is neither a stamina meter nor body diagram, making it hard to tell at a glance how you’ve hurt your foe, although their posture changes depending on whether they’re giving a beating or taking one. There is a special meter, though, that fills with every move that connects. When full, you can perform an unblockable “Killer” move with a simple button press, which jumps into a three second cut scene of you performing some outrageous maneuver on your opponent.
If the thought of beating a hot, mostly naked video game girl into submission while listening to the guy playing her shout obscenities doesn’t completely turn you off, you might be interested to know you can play every match type online, lag free. You can also upload the pictures you’ve taken of your girls or look at other people’s. We won’t tell.
In any case, the girls look realistic without entering the uncanny valley. The framerate is smooth as butter, and the attention to detail is unreal – you can see the veins in the girls’ boobs, which isn’t something I ever expected to say in a video game review. Konami didn't pay nearly as much attention to the music, and neither will you since it's all a bunch of canned techno and guitar lines. And no, the girls don’t have anything interesting to say.
Rumble Roses XX obviously could have been a much better game, but it also could have been a lot worse. It’s powered by a solid engine, features a ton of unlockable content, and is rife with humorous potential, which we hope Konami taps in the inexorable Rumble Roses XXX. In the meantime, though, we recommend keeping your hands to yourself.