GerbilMechs 115: Medical Attention

07Dec2004 (Monthenor): After extensive research, I have come to the conclusion that Rumble Roses is not the greatest game ever made. It is certainly up there, up among the recent greats, but it doesn't have the depth that true greatness would require. It is a perfectly valid wrestling game, a genre never known for its complexity, and on top of that the girls are very...well put-together. Yes, that sounds respectable. Graphical clipping glitches are frequent during the close-ups and cinemas, mostly in the hair and around the feet. And despite the crowded character screen, there's really only 13 usable characters at a time...more on this later.

Those are the problems. Those are all of the problems. A decent wrestler married to hot stereotyped women characters would make this a good game all by itself. That the developers tried to stick in a story as wellspeaks to their dedication to digital women groping each other. Each character has a motivation to explain their presence in the Rumble Roses tournament. In fact, less than half of the characters have come to the tourney in order to win the tourney itself. Those few then have rivals who chase them down, and in one case even a tertiary rival who chases them. It hangs together in a silly mess of intersecting stories revolving around brainwashing and black market cyborg research.

In short, it's no better or worse than the average Street Fighter game. It held my interest, if only through the sheer insanity of it all. That's not to mention the additional sex appeal that has been injected above and beyond the traditional wrestling divas. The roster is complete with a Catholic schoolgirl, her uptight schoolteacher, a pop superstar, a cowgirl, a dominatrix, a stripper, a leather-bound slave, and other assorted fantasy icons. Real wrestling is interspersed with ludicrous joint-busting moves designed to put the women in compromising positions. Completing skill challenges during a match will help unlock each character's alter ego -- which is good -- but which also locks the original character -- which is bad. While it makes sense from a story standpoint that Judo Babe can't meet her geisha counterpart, wrestling games do not need to make sense from a story standpoint. Anyway, only half of the 26 possible characters are available for play at any one time. It's a little annoying, but each character generally has one side that's cooler than the other. Only a few make the decision difficult (schoolgirl or cheerleader? schoolmarm or dominatrix? pop star or stripper?).

Everybody needs to play this game a little bit. Just a little. If you're into chicks, you'll find lots to like, and if you're into can watch somebody who's into chicks play. Or laugh at the dialogue.