If our message boards are any indication, you guys are in love with (among other things) wrestling and hot women. If that's true of you, then rejoice, because come November 9th your day will finally be at hand. That's the day Konami will ship Rumble Roses, their all-female totally-unabashed wrestling game for the PlayStation 2. It, and this preview, are rated "M" for Mmm Mmmmmm.
Now, the biggest concern most people have when they hear about Rumble Roses is that it'll either be too heavy on the skin and too light on good wrestling, or, alternatively, too heavy on the wrestling and too light on the titillation. Konami provided us with an early build of the game ahead of the final build's release, and we can tell you (at least from subjective impression) that they've gone to great lengths to make both aspects worthy of admission.
On the hot ladies front, the game will include approximately 11 different female wrestlers. Sort of. Each wrestler comes in two selectable forms--face or heel. The "face" version is the goody-goody version; she'll wear less revealing costumes and won't have any cheap attacks. The "heel" version is just the opposite; she'll wear lingerie or skimpy thongs into the ring and her repertoire will be loaded with sneak attacks and humiliation moves. Since the face and heel versions of each girl have totally different move sets, one can make a case for the game including 22 different wrestlers as opposed to 11. We'll let you decide on that one.
The wrestler models and costumes look very attractive, but the most obvious thing you'll notice when you first play Rumble Roses is how freakishly high up on the "jiggle" scale it is. When you make a wrestler run or throw one onto the ropes, her breasts and butt will bounce just like you want them to (and we know you want them to). Put one of the girl's in a submission chokehold and you'll actually see her bikini top strain tight around her breasts, enough to show a little extra nipple. No kidding. The camera has a penchant for zipping around for embarrassing crotch and butt shots when you go for the pin, and if that weren't enough, every girl has her own set of humiliation moves (some of which avoid an X-Rating only because of a quick camera cutaway), which function like the finishers in traditional wrestling games.
Take note: one of the included rings is a mud wrestling court. The mud doesn't seem to slow the girls down much, but it sure does cling to their bodies and make certain, um, curves more uhhh obvious. Scantily clad women wrestling in mud in a video game. Yes, your dream is coming true.
Luckily, if you're a fan of actual video game wrestling, you're also in luck. Co-developing the game with Konami is Yuke's, the company responsible for the engine used in THQ's WWE Smackdown games. Not surprisingly, Rumble Roses plays quite a bit like Smackdown. The X button controls fists and feet, the triangle button enables running and climbing, the circle button initiates grapples and leads into takedowns and submission moves, and the square button lets you counter attacks and squirm out of grabs. The play engine seems to put a great deal of focus on grabs and submissions, as is also the case in the Smackdown games. Unlike the WWE-licensed series though, the grabs and submissions in Rumble Roses have a level of naughtiness to them that's tough to fully put into words. Put it this way--the camera zooms right in on a girl's breasts when she's in a half-nelson. Also, one character has a humiliation move where she grinds her crotch on the victim's face.
There's no need to say more. We don't know how many total arenas will be in the game or how involved the championship mode will be, and most likely, no one is going to care. Sure, when we get a final retail copy, we'll review it and let you all know, but let's be honest--the prospect of an all-female wrestling game is enough to make many of us part with fifty dollars.
Don't be ashamed. We haven't resorted to buying underpants out of vending machines... yet.
10/26/2004 Frank Provo