Friday, January 10, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 194 - Rumble Roses XX

Rumble Roses was always seen as an even sleazier take on the Dead or Alive formula and while that isn't necessarily false, it's actually kind of a decent wrestling game in its own right. More people would probably know that if they weren't only interested in it enough to play for five minutes so they could then run to Kotaku or wherever to rant about how terrible boobs in video games are. But, whatever. I played it and was surprised with how fun it is. Read on for more about Rumble Roses XX and to watch gameplay.

Rumble Roses is an all girls wrestling league where a diverse cast of women of all shapes, colors, and sizes duke it out to become the champion. There are normal wrestling matches, street fights, and more each with unique mechanics. The visuals are quite solid, depending on the arena you're fighting in, the music is great, and all around the presentation is better than you'd expect from a trashy premise like this. They actually put in work. There are tons of characters, loads of match types, and lots of unlockables, too, so there is a lot to do if you get into it.

Of course, actually getting into it is the hard part. This game is really, really sleazy and kind of uncomfortable, honestly. It ratchets the sexualization up to an absurd degree above anything Dead or Alive ever really attempted. Humiliation and embarrassment were always part of DOA, but they kind of danced around it. In Rumble Roses, humiliation and embarrassment are the whole point. Different moves are made to just be lewd and awkward and gross and it's pretty darn ridiculous, all in all. 

Underneath all of that, though, is a pretty solid wrestling game. My experience with all of these fanservice driven games is that you eventually get numb to the butts and boobs, so the actual gameplay needs to still be solid to keep you playing. Rumble Roses XX is that and then some.

I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it. I've played the PS2 original game as well as Rumble Roses XX on Xbox 360 in the past and didn't remember much. It's fun. Kind of surprising that Konami didn't keep making more of them, but the discourse around games like this was already shifting even 10-years ago, so I can understand why they didn't.