• Konami and the first generation Xbox platform went together like fish and chips, with Konami releasing a huge amount of titles onto the original Xbox. Now of course is the time of the Xbox 360 and it was only going to be a matter of time before Konami were to show us what they were made of in the new HD generation arena. Konami have stepped into the 360 ring quite literally with their already famous all girl wrestling game that is Rumble Roses (PS2 Platform). So is Rumble Roses XX set to be a forearm smash or just a waste of your hard earned cash?

    So lets start by getting the standard web blurb out of the way…RR: XX as I will now call it features, over 40 female wrestlers, a whole host of gameplay modes including; Handicap Matches, 3- and 4-way Battles, Street Fights, Queen’s Matches and Tag Team Matches to name a few. RR: XX also features a collection system where by earning points, you are able to collect new costumes for your characters; penalty games and photo shoot actions.  And if all that was not enough RR: XX also has full Xbox LIVE Multiplayer support allowing you to participate in some tag team or one on one wrestling action over Xbox LIVE.

    Rumble Roses XX

    You start your RR: XX experience by choosing from a number of currently available female wrestlers, with more characters becoming available to you as you progress within the game. Having made your choice, you can then choose to instantly customise your fighter noting that at this stage those options are limited to a number of different costumes only, other options become unlocked later and I will explain more on that part later in the review. Another point I will add now, is that RR: XX supports custom soundtracks so you can choose your favourite tune and apply that as your characters entrance music. Finally before you are done with your characters customisation, you may want to take a wander into your characters partner window choosing your tag team friend…but be warned if you choose a character your creation does not get on with, then…well you could be left on your own rather than being aided when you need her.

    So having chosen your girl, and finished kitting her out in whatever takes your fancy from your current wardrobe choice, you are presented with the RR: XX World Map. The map is easily navigated by simply moving left or right with your left thumbstick or D-Pad, and is made up of various fighting arenas which cover all of the modes as mentioned previously. The map also contains a portal back to your locker room for further character changes; a tutorial is also present in the map, and finally as is the portal to some Xbox LIVE Multiplayer action.

    Now as I move into the actual gameplay, I will merge the good…the bad…and the damn-right ugly into the whole piece rather than feature the problems later in the review.Â

    When you choose one of the arenas off the World Map screen you are presented with your opponent or opponents dependant on the match-type before you actually launch into the fight…this is good in the way that if you did not want a tag-team fight as an example you have this opportunity to back out, back to the World Map to choose a different arena for a different style of fight. When you do find a match set-up you like you are then launched in each of the characters intros. These are standard affairs now for most wrestling games and you can either choose to sit back and watch them strut their stuff – or press the start button to accelerate straight into the action.

    The controls of your characters are fairly straightforward, but also very confusing. You have strike, grapple, run and pin moves assigned to your controller face-buttons. Moves then assigned to your bumpers and triggers are block, killer move and h-move, with combinations of face-button and trigger/bumper presses pulling off different moves. Now this is where I get to the confusing part… You pull off a move and think, “cool, will use that again” only to find you press the same button/direction on pad and you get a different effect. It just seems random and becomes a case of you never really understanding what’s about to happen next.Â

    A point you must remember is that this game is attempting to be a wrestling game so playing this in DOA4 style will only get your ass kicked, the strike move should only be used to stun your opponent with you then utilising your grapple move in the attempt to pull off some devastating wrestling throws, holds and submissions. Mastering these moves will win you matches…thinking you can punch your way through this game will be the daftest thing you every tried to get away with.

    Your aim for the majority of the modes in RR: XX is very straight forward in that your objective is to pummel the life out of your opponent to get them dazed/tired enough allowing you to pin them to the mat for the three count. If they get out of the pin move, rinse, re-use and try again until you are successful. This basically means some fights are over quickly and others take an age.Â

    Your character also has a killer move she can pull off, and filling a meter and then pressing the correct bumper button achieves this. Each characters killer move is different and some are pretty damn cool to watch, the killer move helps you in a fight but is not as devastating as it sounds. You also have a humiliation move you can pull off and if you humiliate your opponent enough you have a few seconds available to pull this special move off on them too. Finally other moves include a tag team special move and also reverse moves, which allow you to dodge strikes and grapple attempts from your opponent and reverse the effect onto them.

    The fights within RR: XX are repetitive and samey and by that I mean you are never really given enough variety to keep you entertained any longer than a couple of matches. That is poor…very poor, as this game demands a lot of unlocking from characters to items, and the only way to achieve this is to win and win a lot, but that also means playing a lot. My patience wore thin on this quickly with the game starting to bore me after the first few hours, play. If you have the patience and do want to play this game, then tell the world you are going to disappear for a wee-while as you will need a lot of time to finish this game.

    When you win fights you are awarded popularity points which eventually will allow your character to become a professional which in turn unlocks new moves for your character. Winning also awards you with style points, which become dependant on how you fought. You are also awarded cash, which you will need to purchase new items. The style points will allow you to further customise your character. So having won a match you are able to jump back into your locker room and see what changes you can introduce to your character. Now these come in two flavours, “I can see why they did that” and “what the hell is that in the game for”?Â

    The cool part is the ability to exercise your characters muscle groups and make her stronger…thus making you better in subsequent matches. The second part and the one I will refer to as the ‘pathetic’ part is the ability to increase your characters vital statistics and yes I am referring to the ability to give her a bouncier chest / bust / bra size. This part is slightly ridiculous and serves no use in the game other than giving some pubescent munkee his jollies over playing with computer game characters fun-bags.

    There is an awful lot to do in RR: XX and that in itself becomes a problem with the game. The light at the end of the tunnel if you are going to try and get all 43 achievements is a long, long way away from you. Don’t expect to just pick this up and be given some achievements. You have a lot of work ahead of you and with the issues I have highlighted above you would certainly be excused if you were to give up trying. Achievements are based on completing the game with each character, finding all the wardrobe pieces for each character and buying every single shop item.

    The graphics in RR: XX are good, but they are certainly not on a par with Dead or Alive 4, The intro sequences certainly are the best bits to look at with wiz’s and bangs thrown in for show. Sound quality again is best at the intro sequence for each fighter, but is pretty good when it comes to the actual fight. The sound of you smashing your opponent into the mat is pretty realistic, and seeing my character take a slap did make me wince a bit…so in that sense the developer has done their job.

    In summing up RR: XX is the first Xbox 360 wrestling game, and I could be accused of being too critical in this review and forgetting to treat the game for what it is, in that it’s a wrestling game, pure and simple. But the game in my opinion has a lot of issues and issues that have put me off wanting to even attempt to reach any of the achievements, never mind the issues coupled with some of the stranger aspects of the game, lets say, being aimed at the more excitable contingent in our gaming community. RR: XX is a poor mans wrestling game that attempts to get away with it by featuring more eye candy than you can shake a stick at. If you had enjoyed the previous version of Rumble Roses then you will probably enjoy this game…but if this is the first time you have thought about getting a wrestling game, then my advice would be simple, in that you would be best placed to wait for the real deal to arrive. Therefore RR: XX is certainly no forearm smash, and yep it really will be a waste of your cash.

    Score: 5/10

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