Rumble Fighter is an MMO that isn’t quite an MMO. It is completely room based and can be somewhat confusing at the start because there is a tutorial which teaches you fighting basics and then throws you in to the lobby to fend for yourself. Rumble Fighter is, in that sense, a casual fighting game which is reminiscent of Power Stone and Super Smash Brothers.
Rumble Fighter is frantic, full PvP style fun. Most of the action will be completely multiplayer. Recently, there has been an adventure mode added giving the game a more versatile and RPG feel with a map located deep within a jungle ruin and a Zombie survival mode. These can either be played solo or in a party and gives the player more options than just PvPing now. Still, the meat of Rumble Fighter is competitively challenging and winning against your opponents.
Default character against a train full of Zombies.
Adventure Mode Start
Getting Started: The Rumble Fighter experience starts with the player choosing a class. This class determines what kind of fighting styles and Exo-cores can be used. Fighting styles are equipped by buying different scrolls from the in game shop and changing them in the inventory. These different fighting styles have different stances, kicks, punches and combos. Exo-cores are transformations that change your fighter by giving him different gear or even making it something not even human.
Battling: The experience of each battle in Rumble Fighter changes with the mode chosen, but all end the same. The winner is chosen by a few different criteria: Best Combo, Hardest Hit (whoever dealt the most damage), Best Point (whoever had the best ranking at the end of the match), and Best Down. There are other awards which either multiply or detract from the bonuses at the end of the match, but these are the four most common in Battle Mode. At the end of each match, Carats, the in game currency, are awarded based on the ranking of the players. Awards add Carat multipliers.
Game Modes: Rumble Fighter offers many modes that have been implemented in many console fighting games down the ages and players can quickly familiarize themselves with. It has a King of the Hill mode, a Potion Battle, which has almost the same premise, Arena mode (survival death match), Caged Beast mode and a Moving Screen mode.
Caged Beast mode and Moving Screen may be the only modes which aren’t instantly reminiscent of your 16-bit days. Caged Beast involves beating your opponent up while the rest of your team is locked in a cage. These cages can be broken down to mob your opponent, but you also have to protect yourself from inevitably being wailed on. As each player is defeated, another cage is automatically broken to beat the victory until there is no one left standing from the other team.
Moving Screen mode is a death match in which players have to ascend to the top of the map. Those who aren’t good at plat forming and fall off the screen or who are knocked out of the screen are counted as a ring out.
The problem with Game Modes: There usually are only two modes that players actually want to play, King of the Hill and Arena, if they play Rumble (rule) Mode at all.
The problem with Battles: Rumble Fighter is big on latency. Players with bad latency actually have a type of advantage in this game, because when a fighter lags, they cannot be hit, they can appear as if they were rung out and stay on the map, invisible and they cannot be thrown out of defense. These players are known by a derogatory, but appropriate term, “laggers”. Since most of the game is PvP, this presents a huge problem in game play.
Games are separated in to rooms, which are only available based on the tier your character is in. Tiers are separated in to Beginner, Amateur, Semi-Professional and Professional leagues. As you win matches, based on your win rate and matches fought, you get automatically bumped up to the next step in your journey to become champion. There are hot keyed buttons at the top of the screen to automatically join an available room, based on whether you want to play free for all or on a team and if you want to have a Mode-match or play normally. An Open league is available for those who want to battle with other players, but don’t care about level or skill difference.
The Game Lobby
The problem with the game’s Organization: You are bumped up ranks whether you like it or not. This means you may not be high level or even prepared for the skill difference of the players in the next tier. There is also only 1 character per account, so if you want to fight players in the previous league, you would have to make a new account and character. There is an Open league, but you can be completely outmatched by better equipped or more talented fighters.
Cash Shop Feature (and the Problem with It): 3.5/10
The cash shop is the biggest drawback to Rumble Fighter and the greatest advantage. By purchasing Astros, OGPlanet Cash Shop currency, players can buy clothing which not only customizes their character, but gives stat bonuses, buy new martial art scrolls to change and better their fighting styles and buy special items which can change the flow of battle by stunning enemies, prevent ring out, giving extra carats (game currency), along with other advantages. There is a huge difference in strength and technique of those who do and don’t pay to play. Cash Scrolls have infinite combos and air launches which aren’t available with most non-cash scrolls. Cash Shop gets a 3.5/10 because of the inequality it promotes in the game. If you are the one with Cash Shop though, there will be very little complaints on your end.
One of the new Rumble Fighter stages.
The graphics in Rumble Fighter are nothing to jump at. Given the date it came out, most players could come to the assumption that it is an adaptation of a Super Nintendo game or that they could easily play it on a Game Boy Advance if it was ever ported. Exo-cores have flashier and supernatural special attacks, but these are usually no more impressive than how attacks normally look outside of transformation. In certain stages, it is more noticeable that an effort has been made, but at best, the visual aspect is anime-styled and outshined by a Sega Genesis.
The sound in Rumble Fighter is one of its redeeming qualities. The lobby has a short theme which loops as you wait for matches, but its funky groove is surprisingly catchy. Each stage has its own theme and since most matches are short, it is hard for the soundtrack of the game to wear on a player. Most of the background music is multi-genre, instead of the quickly spliced standard.
Because of the reliance on cash shop, there are a ton of beggars and scammers to be found everywhere in RF. Most MMO gamers also know that PvP can bring out the worst in people. Since RF is completely PvP based, that fact alone speaks volumes for how you will expect and come to see players to behave. There are friendly members, as in any game, but their level of friendliness could be a far cry from what you can find in a RPG. There is also a phenomenon called NHAA, No Hitting At All, rooms in RF Moving Map mode. If no one dies, gets rung out or gets hit in Moving Map, each participant (usually all 8) get full Carat bonus. In every bout, there is almost always someone who will kill another player on the last round of the match to get 1st place. That sentiment is reflective of most of the RF community.
If PvP is your style, Rumble Fighter can be hours of nonstop fun. Because of the strength difference of serious players who buy Cash Shop and those who do not, most people will play RF as it is intended to be played, casually. It is a good game to enjoy while waiting for you main game to finish patching, come out of maintenance or if you need a good stress reliever. Rumble Fighter, although it has a steady following, is an underdog in the league of MMOs, in my opinion.
Cash Shop: 3.5/10
Final Score: 6/10