RUMBLE ROSES is a professional wrestling video game that was developed by Yuke's Future Media Creators and Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo, and published by Konami in 2004 for the PlayStation 2. The game uses a similar engine to Yuke's 2003 release WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain.The Sequel, Rumble Roses XX came out two years later in 2006, on the XBOX 360. There have been rumors of a planned third installment in the following years, though no formal announcement has been made.
The game offers the player the chance to explore the world of the Rumble Roses Tournament through the actions and story of each member of the all-female cast. Using a Face/Heel system, the game features eleven distinctive ladies with unique fighting styles, plus their alter egos - making for a total of 22 playable characters in all (including Lady X who is playable only in exhibition mode). Most begin as good or Face characters, but can change to Heel (usually a more evil personality) in a variety of ways. A few characters also begin as Heels and can change to Face.The fighters come from around the world (the US, Canada, Japan and even the Steppes of Mongolia), and each one of them is pursuing something- such as fame, a long-sought truth, and even revenge in some cases. Regardless, each girl has something to win... and something to lose. As the story continues, further revelations about the sinister secret behind the Rumble Roses tournament emerge.
While the game's top priority is fan service, game play has been by no means neglected, using the popular WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain. wrestling engine as a foundation. Players can employ a wide variety of moves, strike or suplex and make maneuvers using the turnbuckle or ropes. Victory can be achieved using 3-count pins, submissions and even humiliation. The pace of the game is brisk but not as intense as some fighting games; tactics are as important as speed, as well as simply having fun (the inclusion of mud-wrestling mode and weapons such as a tickling stick or a fly swatter reflects this).
In addition, a good deal of time and effort was also put into developing stories and motives for why the girls are fighting. Each character has a linear story that plays out over a number of days, with various factors (rivalries, challenges, etc.) coming into play as the game goes on. It is the unique quirkiness of the characters and their tales which give Rumble Roses its distinctive flavour.
Featuring only in the Original game, story mode begins with the character reflecting on her reasons for entering Rumble Roses. Then the actual tournament follows over five days in which cut sequences telling the character's story are interspersed with matches. These are elimination-based, but there's the option to instantly replay a match that has been lost. The second day always features a mud match, and the fourth is usually a match of special significance, involving a shocking revelation or an encounter with a rival. The climax comes in a final boss fight against the mysterious Lady X and the resolution of the character's story.
Defeating Lady X unlocks a new alternate story mode, featuring the characters alter-ego. It may be supposed that this takes place some time later after the character has 'turned'. In this mode, there are cut sequences only at the start and finish of the character's story. In between she fights a number of matches against various opponents (including one mud wrestling). The final match begins with a cut sequence, and is usually against a special rival (though in a few cases its Lady X again) and winning this match completes the story. It also unlocks a new costume.
Sex Appeal and CostumesEdit
It is often suggested that a large part of Rumble Roses draw is the sexually appealing nature of its cast of female characters. The original Playstation character designs were high quality for the time, with a typically Japanese manga style and an emphasis on the beauty and physical assets of the women wrestlers. The sequel, Rumble Roses XX, features some of the most realistic modelling of the female body on any console so far, using as it does the more powerful Xbox 360.The developers have made no secret or apology for this aspect of the game, and the sequel appears to have taken this fan service even further. In an interview , game developer Akari Uchida suggested that "since we are just human" watching (female) fighters is "naturally quite interesting to us". He also candidly agreed that many would buy the game for its erotic qualities
The game attempts to build on the appeal of attractive women wrestling intimately with one another by emphasizing certain fetishistic aspects of the characters and their appearances. For example included are a nurse, a cowgirl, a school girl and a teacher. Heel characters take such fantasies even further, including a dominatrix, a police officer and (possibly) a geisha.
Fetishism aside, the many varied and colourful costumes are another aspect of the game designed to be appealing, and have inspired much fan art, as well as cosplay. The sequel also features a greater variety of costumes, and puts the emphasis on unlocking them. Both games, especially the second, also have a wide selection of swim suits with varying degrees of revealingness.
Each character (in both personas) has a special main theme/anthem (usually with lyrics) composed specifically for them, which plays during her entrance to the ring. Many of the songs were created by the acclaimed composer Akira Yamaoka (of the Silent Hill series). The game does include a number of songs made by other contributors... Most notable is David Lee Roth's 1986 hit "Yankee Rose" (covered by Teresa James). Other music includes "Have Some Fun" by the Killer Barbies (from their Sin Is In album).
Both of Lady X's surnames could be viewed as references to the Metal Gear series, also by Konami. The bonus re-releases of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater have the subtitles "Substance" and "Subsistence" respectively. However, the "Subsistence" surname is only used in Rumble Roses own re-release, Rumble Roses XX, "Substance" being Lady X's original alter-ego.