Real Roses Have Thorns
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One of my favorite websites is called Wrestlecrap. On it, the very worst angles, characters, and gimmicks in pro wrestling are exploited, and at the beginning of each year, they come up with the annual Gooker awards. Named after the infamous Gobbeldy Gooker incident at Survivor Series 1990, the Gooker award is given to the absolute worst angle to come out this year. In the past the award was given to David Arquette winning the WCW title (2000), the failed WCW/ECW invasion of the WWF (2001), Triple H engaging in necrophilia with a cheerleader (2002), and Torrie Wilson's dad Al being sexed to death by Dawn Marie (2003).
This year's Gooker awards provide a good choice in what could be considered a subpar year for the WWE. Sure there were some memorable moments in the last year, like Eddie Guerrero winning a Smackdown! Royal Rumble (which I attended) on route to the WWE title, as well as Chris Benoit's WWE victory, but sadly they were overshadowed with the likes of JBL and Triple H hogging the spotlight, rookie Jon Heidenreich making a career out of poetry and Michael Cole, Mordecai's short run in the WWE, and my personal favorite, Gene Snistky killing Lita's unborn child, then punting a baby doll into the crowd a la South Park.
But in the end, this year's Gooker award will go to the Raw Diva Search. Basically just an excuse by Mr. Vincent Kennedy McMahon to exploit beautiful women on a weekly basis (as if they didn't have enough already) with insane events like foxy boxing and seducing a fat has-been slob like Kamala. It was pretty much a waste of Raw air time, but then again, it would beat more of Triple H.
Now if Mr. McMahon took the idea from Rumble Roses, then maybe the Diva Search might have been more interesting.
Konami's new all-female wrestler, ironically, is developed by Yukes, the same people responsible for THQ's WWE Smackdown games on the PS2, and it couldn't be more evident than in the game's control. The game plays like a dumbed down version of any Smackdown title, which will make it easily accessible to anyone new to a wrestling game, but might seem too shallow for WWE purists.
In addition, the number of wrestlers might seem light as well. With only 10 females available at the start, anyone used to the large rosters from Smackdown will feel left out. Konami remedied the situation a little by making each wrestler have two separate roles for being a face (good guy) or heel (bad guy). Case in point, the character Candy Cane (a heel), starts off as a rebellious Catholic school girl who smashes a guitar and punches a cameraman in her ring entrance, but as a face, she becomes Becky, a cheerleader type with an entrance reminiscent of the opening to Bring It On.
Personas can be changed by use of a "Vow System." By choosing up to three vows (such as not using weapons, taunting five times, or executing a successful finisher), wrestlers earn percentages, and only a wrestler with a 100 percent rating (face or heel), can compete for the Rose of Roses Title. Winning the title opens up the gallery for that wrestler and a successful title defense will open up another gallery setting.
One disappointing factor in Rumble Roses is the lack of game modes. There is only the Story Mode, Exhibition Modes, and Title Matches. As for gimmick matches, there really is only one gimmick: the Mud Match which is nothing but two swimsuit clad wrestlers fight in a pit of mud. Aside from the setting, the wrestling is identical. In an era of gimmick galore matches such as the Elimination Chamber, Hell in a Cell, and TLC, one gimmick match is just not enough.
Even worse is the fact there is not a Create a Wrestler mode. I would have loved to have to ability to create my own Diva to kick some butt with. I would have even put my girlfriend in as a wrestler (which, ironically, she is actually in training to become).
On the bright side, the catfight and wrestling is generally enjoyable, if for a short time, and the graphic engine is absolutely gorgeous. With each wrestler consisting of over 10,000 polygons, they put the grapplers of Smackdown to shame, and the ring entrances are some of the best I have ever seen, true WWE quality.
Too bad there are only three true wrestling venues to fight in, in addition to the Mud Match setting. And speaking of the Mud Match, is it me, or does the mud seem a little too thin? I thought mud was supposed to stick on skin, not drip off like water?
Rumble Roses is best suited as a rental. It's not a bad wrestling game by any means, there just really isn't enough to warrant replay value.(Credit must go out to R.D. Reynolds for the Gooker Awards.)
Todd Hargosh is GiN's Product Testing Manager. He enjoys any game that gets his adrenaline pumping. Todd can be contacted at : firstname.lastname@example.org.