In 2004, Konami
decided to put a foot in a genre that is rarely touched by video game companies, the wrestling genre (well, at least outside Japan) which in the last years was in the hands of THQ
, the holder of the WWE
license. However, to the surprise of many, Konami announced that this game would feature an all female cast (this may have been related to the announcement of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
around that time). The end result was a big fanservice
extravaganza, with 10 ladies (each with her own face
and a heel
persona) wearing quite revealing
outfits, appealing to various fetishes. Aside from these regular in-ring costumes, they would also wear swimsuits for beach-side mud wrestling matches. Fanservice aside, Rumble Roses
actually has good gameplay and nice graphics.
The story modes for each wrestler persona are also notable in a B-movie
way. But let's go into a little more detail. It's set up more like a fighting game
than a wrestling game
, the big bad
of the series, wants to take over the world. She plans to use a wrestling tournament to do it, offering a large cash prize to the winner as an incentive. She plans to take the DNA of the tournament winner to make an unstoppable cyborg army. Each of the girls has their own reason for being involved in the tournament. Reiko Hinomoto is trying to live up to her mother's legacy and search for her lost sister. Aisha is obsessed with a rematch against Dixie Clements, who she was never able to beat. Makoto Aihara is an Olympic judoka seeking competition. Candy Cane wants the cash prize to save the orphanage she grew up in. Miss Spencer enters the tournament accidentally
while trying to chase down a recalcitrant runaway student (Candy Cane). Anyway, at the end of the tournament, the player fights one of Anesthesia's cyborgs, Lady X, and whoever wins goes home happy.
As right now there is one sequel
, Rumble Roses XX
for the Xbox 360
. It introduced three new modes (Tag Team, Queens Match and Street Fight) as well as a very unelaborate create-a-wrestler feature. It also introduced "Superstar
" personas for each character's face and heel modes. Unfortunately, it featured no storyline mode at all, and an incredibly labyrinthine and time-consuming method of unlocking characters and rewards. Additionally, the extras like Queens Mode, Street Fight, the shoddy create-a-wrestler system and the playable bear proved very unpopular overseas. While Rumble Roses
is generally considered to be a decent game, Rumble Roses XX
was enough of a flop that it seems to have brought the series to an end
. Oh, and there's also a Japan-only slot machine game called Rumble Roses 3D, but that's another story.
Now with a character sheet
Tropes that are present in the games:
- Action Girl: Everybody, naturally.
- Always Someone Better: Dixie to Aisha.
- As a more minor case, Aigle to Makoto.
- Beach Episode: There's a beach arena. There's also the option to wrestle in swimsuits. Oh, and by the way, there's also a mud wrestling match, which takes place at said beach arena, and the only selectable outfits for that match type are the swimsuits.
- Bears Are Bad News:
- Subverted in The Black Belt Demon's entrance.
- But played incredibly straight with Non Non in Rumble Roses XX.
- Carpet of Virility: Disturbingly sported by Sebastian the Clown.
- Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle: Queens Mode in RRXX. The idea was that the girl who lost the match would suffer a penalty, like having to sweep around a pool with a push broom, and then she'd react to it by getting angry, sad or embarrassed. This was supposed to be a selling point of the game. In Japan, it was. Western audiences, however, found it to incredibly weird and creepy.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: RR has the same control scheme as the contemporary games in the WWE series, but the actual buttons aren't mapped exactly alike, so get ready to run headlong into your opponent a few times when you meant to grapple them.
- Defeat by Modesty: Sort of. Using a hold that presents your opponent to the audience in a suggestive way fills up the humiliation meter. If it fills up all the way, it triggers humiliation mode, a temporary stun that opens up special finishing moves, and a special victory type. Some maneuvers add to the attacker's meter, or to both, if it puts them in a compromising position. There's a special match type that only allows victory by humiliation.
- Excuse Plot: Described in the intro.
- Face & Heel: Gets a little weird. See, each character has a face and a heel persona. For some though, it is not as simple. For example, Bloody Shadow is a good, if not nice person. However, because Bloody Shadow's dressed darker than her alter ego Judgment, she is labeled the heel persona. Same thing goes for Candy Cane to Becky. Likewise, Anesthesia, the face persona, is lighter than Dr. Cutter despite also being presented as evil. This aspect is actually more accurate than most wrestling games since heel and face doesn't mean "good" and "evil", but who is "cheered" and "booed". Everybody else plays this straight, though.
- Fanservice: The main selling point of the series.
- Foreign Fanservice: Provided most blatantly by Dixie Clements with her height, blonde hair and having the largest bustline of the cast, although Miss Spencer could be argued to provide it as well.
- Guilty Pleasure: The series was, and still is, seen as this overall.
- Idol Singer: Reiko and Makoto.
- Jiggle Physics: Yup.
- Leotard of Power: Noble Rose/Evil Rose, Benikage/Yasha.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Evil Rose is actually Reiko's Brainwashed and Crazy older sister while Lady X is a cyborg made from Kamikaze Rose's DNA (Kamikaze Rose is Reiko and Evil Rose's mother).
- Male Gaze: Everything.
- Moe Couplet: Reiko and Dixie; Miss Spencer and Candy Cane; Makoto and Aigle.
- My Hero Zero: Reiko as a face is nicknamed "Zero Fighter" (having the word stamped on the outfit helps).
- Ninja: Bloody Shadow and her alter ego, Judgment.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- Noble Rose is blatantly inspired by Cutey Honey.
- Aisha is sort of a portmanteau of a few different pop starlets, including Britney Spears, Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Lopez.
- Also there's Becky, Candy Cane's face gimmick, who looks like a cross between Spears at the start of her career and Emma Bunton.
- Candy Cane is a teenage punk rocker from Canada. Although she is a lot "meaner" than Avril Lavigne, thus making her personality more akin to American female punk rockers like Kathleen Hanna or Brody Dalle, the similarity is obvious.
- Candy Cane plays in a band called "The Killer Bambies", an obvious nod towards Spanish punk band The Killer Barbies, who provide her theme song "Have Some Fun" in the original Rumble Roses.
- Much like Ryoko Izumo and Ryoko Kano, Makoto Aihara was almost certainly based on real-life judoka Ryoko Tani.
- Obvious Beta:
- Rumble Roses had a couple of really blatant flaws in the AI ("ignore the running opponent", "continually go for pins in submission-only matches" and the usual "just doesn't work right outside the ring"), one completely finished ring that just wasn't included in the final version along with a couple partly-finished ones, a match type that wasn't actually selectable (although you could configure the rules to get the same thing).
- Dixie's swimsuit character model had a glaring mesh error on her right hand.
- Rumble Roses XX's labyrinthine unlocking system is believed to be the result of inadequate playtesting.
- The One Guy: Sebastian the Clown (the gimp with clown makeup who accompanies Mistress Spencer during her ring entrance) is an unlockable character in the Japanese version of the first game. He is unlockable is all versions of Rumble Roses XX.
- Pro Wrestling Is Real: Real enough that an evil overlord wannabe is using the DNA of pro wrestlers to create an unstoppable robot army.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Lady X/Lady X Substance/Lady X Subsistence.
- SNK Boss: Lady X Substance. She has a ridiculously overpowered unblockable move for a taunt, but even without the taunt, most of her regular moves are other wrestlers' finishing moves, and her humiliation meter fills at about a tenth of the speed of anyone else's.
- Stripperiffic: Everybody except Lady X. Lady X wears a full suit and tie ensemble. Other than that, Makoto and Noble Rose have the least skimpy outfits in the game. They wear a judogi and short-shorts and a backless leotard with thigh boots, respectively.
- Super Move Portrait Attack: All the wrestlers' finishing moves fit this.
- Third-Person Person: Aigle/Killer Khan.
- Virtual Paper Doll: In Rumble Roses XX, there are outfits that can be unlocked, although the process of doing so is as labyrinthine as everything else in the game. The girls also come with a slider that can cause them to gain muscle or gain fat. This slider is adjusted by which moves you use in the matches.
- Walking Swimsuit Scene: The girls fight in swimsuits in mud wrestling matches.