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Rumble Roses

A commonly known theory states that men think about sex every few seconds of their waking existence. While this idea may or may not be true, we as a society can’t avoid sexuality in our daily lives. The pressure to be attractive is a constant force, driving young women to show some skin, lose some weight, and get dolled up all for the sake of catching that ever-horny male. Think about it. What was the last movie you saw that didn’t have a smoking hot female lead, a fair amount of innuendo, or a muscular hero saving the day? How many times have you enjoyed watching a woman with a low-cut top go about her daily business, or see a guy wearing some horribly tight pants in a bold attempt for attention? How much porn have you watched in the last week? Come on, don’t lie. In this day and age, we’re constantly bombarded with media that are meant to stimulate our cravings. Rumble Roses is no exception.

Those shorts just couldn’t get any tighter.

It’s dark inside the arena. The stragglers are just settling into the stadium seats, their arms filled with overpriced popcorn and too-sweet soda. There’s a loud murmur of anticipation, the cool breeze of the air conditioning, and the aroma of beer and pretzels wafting through the air. Out of nowhere, the theme music starts up, the crowd goes wild, and spotlights shine forth in all their glory, focusing squarely on the center stage. Female wrestlers from around the world have gathered for a competition of wrestling skill, personal glory, and scantily clad combat. This is Rumble Roses, the tournament that will separate the girls from the women. However, not everything is as it seems; the epic bouts are merely a front for something far more sinister behind the scenes. Will these athletes figure out that they’ve been duped, or will they all succumb to the evil driving the competition?

Mud wrestling? Brilliant!

Okay, so a bunch of female wrestlers have been tricked into combat for some ill-conceived plot for world domination. But let’s face it: Nobody cares about the story, the backgrounds of the characters, or even the horribly dull cutscenes between each bout. This game is about one thing: hot polygonal women beating the hell out each other and enjoying every minute of it. After a few bland introductions, you’ll finally get to step into the ring with a character and go mano-a-manicured mano with another femme fatale. These ladies not only have looks that kill, but they come with a decent variety of punches, kicks, holds, and plenty of other brutal moves to use on your hapless adversary. The goal of the game is to knock your opponent silly, pin her for three seconds on the canvas, and proceed to the next round of the tournament. The opponents will range from mere pushovers to inhuman warriors of the evilest kind. Each bout will test your character’s prowess as a fighter, utilizing her skills to the fullest. If you manage to do enough damage, you’ll get to perform a few special moves, like suplexes, extended holds, and finishers. For all the teenage guys (aka the target age group), there are some deliciously perverted “humiliation moves” for you to use at just the right moment. Should you win the day, you’ll unlock the face or heel (good or evil) version of the character, complete with new costumes and different moves. Rinse and repeat half a dozen times, and you’ll fill your Rumble Roses roster.

That was some sneeze.

Of course, that’s assuming that you have the patience to actually subject yourself to another helping of this substandard stuff. Rumble Roses may be designed for the right age group and audience, but it falls flat once you look past the glitz and glamour. The majority of this game focuses on technical combat, yet every bout feels slow-paced, sluggish, and bland. The women plod around in their skimpy outfits, lumbering around the ring with seemingly wooden movement. The AI is pathetic, giving you plenty of time to dodge attacks or counter grabs. Hell, you can lay down on the ground and wait for your foe to help you back to your feet. Chances are, you’ll get fed up with waiting, put your opponent in a submission move, and end the match as quickly as possible. Considering how utterly dull the matches are, there’s no shame in using cheap tactics to get the job done.

I don’t quite know what to say.

At least Rumble Roses gives you something to ogle amidst the boredom. These wrestlers have all sorts of backgrounds, complete with a corresponding fetish outfit for the audiences’ enjoyment. You’ll get to control naughty Catholic schoolgirls, irritatingly cute cheerleaders, bondage vixens, ninja models, cowgirls, divas, and everything in between. There are plenty of cutscenes that not only perpetuate the poorly written plot, but show off the luscious skin and risque attitudes of all characters involved. They won’t seem quite so pretty once they start talking, though. The dialogue is bland and unemotional, making the characters seem more like mindless robots as opposed to muscle-bound eye candy. The in-game graphics aren’t quite top notch either, but at least everything jiggles and stretches properly. Too bad the attack animations and basic moves are nothing more than repetitive images that get stale after a few matches. If all else fails, you can participate in a badly designed bikini mud wrestling match inside what looks like a giant tub of chocolate milk. Yummy.

Maybe those shorts could get tighter after all.

Rumble Roses proves something that rings true even in our own lives: Looks aren’t everything. Sure, this game has vivid images of hot women beating each other up, dominating them with eyebrow-raising moves and sultry attitudes. If you’ve got a fetish, chances are that one of the many unlockable characters and costumes that suits your…interests. But once you’ve stripped away the enticing pictures, unquestionable innuendo and blatant sexual undertones, you’ve got a wrestling game that is mediocre at best. The story and characters are laughable, gameplay is dull and sluggish, the presentation is a mixed bag, and the incentive to actually complete this game is practically nil. Even if you’re desperate enough to buy this game for its images, don’t bother; you’ve got the Internet to back you up.

4 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is a Senior Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2005.

Gentle persuasion

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