I love this game for the fighting, really.

User Rating: 7.2 | Rumble Roses PS2
You can call it crass, you can call it shallow, but don't call it subtle: from the Showgirls-themed opening movie to the wrestlers' individual entrances, from the barely-there costumes to the suggestive movesets, this game has one word clearly written all over it: S-E-X. Whereas Tecmo's DOA girls enticed gamers with their subtle teasing and coquettish playfulness, RR's bevy of buxom beauties go all out in their campaign to become the pixelated objects of every male gamers' fantasy (or passing amusement, at least). In the same way that the Mortal Kombat series has reveled in its over-the-top fighting and plentiful gore, this game makes no apologies on what it has set out to be in the crowded brawling game arena: an overindulgent, so-campy-it's-amusing, candy-coated fighter with a pick-up-and-play level of difficulty. (To those who think the game sexist or even misogynistic: yes, it is. Now turn off your PS2s and go join Greenpeace. This game is clearly NOT for you, or anyone with a deathly serious sense of political correctness). Off the bat, the game impresses with its graphics: the fighters look amazingly detailed, and move and grapple fluidly. Even the audiences here are better animated than those in the recent Smackdown vs. Raw and WWE: Day of Reckoning (GC). Sure, there's still the occasional clipping here and there, but not enough to distract from the gameplay. The girls' individual entrances are, uhm, bouncy and entertaining, and incorporate a lot of excellently motion-captured (?) sequences. The arenas are highly limited, but considering how you barely see the entire ring during the fight, that makes the dearth of choices relatively insignificant. And the girls? Boy, do they have personality. Sure, their characters may cater to the usual stereotypes (the prudish teacher, the incorrigible schoolgirl, the leather-clad dominatrix, the naughty nurse, etc.), but considering that they were created solely for the game, its commendable how they are still able to convey distinguishable, individual personalities from each other, unlike many new fighters/brawlers (here's looking at you, Fight Club). But what's with the eye candy if the fighting's no good at all? Fortunately, RR delivers on this as well, at least for the most part. Sure, fighting purists (read: annoying people) may sneer at the wrestlers' limited movesets, the bare-bones game mode features and, as mentioned, the severely limited number of arenas, but then again this game's never been touted as the next Smackdown or Virtua Fighter now, is it? Like in the recent Dragonball Z: Budokai 3, the fighting in RR, despite not being highly technical, is decent enough to require more than just simple buttom-mashing from the player. The fighting engine, in fact, picks up a few movesets from the Smackdown series, while those that are unique to the game look just as solid in execution. Of course, there are letdowns: certain grapples are prone to abuse (like the one where you step on your prone opponent's head/neck area; I've had this done repeatedly and successfully on a few bouts), while reversals are a finger-numbing chore. The voice actors sound horrible, and the dialogue even more. And where the hell is tag team? You bring these great-looking gals to the table, then deny us the chance to see them in a four-way free-for-all? Oh, the humanity! Then there's that bogus bonus-unlocking requirement: not opening up the same character alter-ego in Exhibition Mode that you unlock in Story Mode, and vice-versa. But then, with the game's aforementioned bare-bones game modes and all, this was probably the developers' way of beefing up what would have been a dismally replayable game. And the story, what is up with THAT? I wasn't expecting Scorsese, but man, that premise about a mad doctor designing an android wrestler from the DNA of... ah, forget it. It was so beyond campy, it's just head-scratchingly "huh?" Thank god for the skip button, I guess. Confession time: I'd actually had to sleep over my decision to buy this game, because of the generally middling reviews it's received the first time out. But, having played AND enjoyed RR, personally I would think the unenthusiastic reception to it to have come not so much from the game being totally useless (it's not; ask any gamer who's played a Smackdown title before), but on it being worth the price it's asking for, in light of the lean game modes it offers. As nice-looking grappler with a decent fighting engine, RR is a good buy, but only at a much CHEAPER price.