Amid the chaos of Konami's E3 booth and right next to an elevated ring containing some real-life rumble roses, we got to try out a couple of matches in the company's new wrestling game, Rumble Roses for the PS2. If you've somehow managed to miss the game up until now, imagine DOA Volleyball with the volleyball replaced by wrestling and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. From what we played, though, Rumble Roses has a pretty hearty wrestling engine hiding behind the flashy visuals.
We got to try out two different types of matches against the game's artificial intelligence. In the first match, we were simply battling it out in a typical ring, and it played out like most any other wrestling game (which shouldn't come as a surprise, since Yuke's is developing the gameplay). We found the moves to be pretty easy to pull off even though we'd never played the game. However, that fact didn't stop the CPU from trouncing us after a few minutes, finally ending the match with a humiliation move. The match was preceded by lengthy in-engine cutscene intros for the two wrestlers, Reiko and Dixie Clemets, who were reminiscent of the kind you'd see on any cable wrestling show.
The second match took place in a setting that generated some ballyhoo at this E3: The mud wrestling mode. The mechanics here are pretty much identical to wrestling in the ring, from what we could tell, aside from the fact that you don't have ropes or turnbuckles to work with. Rumble Roses certainly has a realistic mud effect, as the two girls (clad in bikinis in this mode) become covered in the stuff while grappling on the ground. Interestingly enough, producer Akari Uchida told us that mud wrestling was not in the original spec for the game, but the team got so much feedback from American players demanding its inclusion that the decision was finally made to include it.
According to Uchida, each of the game's wrestlers will have an alternate costume to unlock. Perhaps "persona" is a more appropriate word, however, because the alternate costume will bring with it a new personality and, more importantly, an entirely new move set. It's probably no coincidence that these alternate costumes will be decidedly skimpier than their characters' default outfits. Rumble Roses is due out in November, so look for more on the game in the future.