English Title: The Rumble Fish
Japanese Title: ザ・ランブルフィッシュ
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Dimps
Genre: Fighting
Released: Mar. 17, 2005
Product Codes: SLPM-65919 / JAN 4974365831011

One of the many 2D fighters on the PS2. This one comes courtesy of DIMPS, who had some prior 3D fighting game experience with Dragon Ball Z Budokai and Demolish Fist, but this was their first attempt at a 2D title. While the game itself is bog-standard in just about every way, there is one unique thing here: the sprite animation. Instead of your character being one large sprite, they're made up of multiple segmented sprites that move and animate independently, sort of like Wolfteam's Earnest Evans.

In theory, this means that hair, clothes, or exaggerated female anatomy can bob and sway (un)realistically, no matter what the character is doing, and clothing can take damage as a fight proceeds. In practice, while it's an interesting technique, it winds up looking incredibly bizarre in motion. The smooth movement of the limbs clashes greatly with the limited frames of the individual component sprites, and it winds up looking smooth and choppy at the same time. The characters themselves are also not very detailed, with large swaths of solid color to minimize aliasing with all the rotation and deformation going on.

In the hands of a more capable developer like Treasure, this could have really worked, but here it winds up as little more than a curiosity. A sequel, The Rumble Fish 2 was released in arcades, but never saw a home release. There must be some life in the game, though, as Dimps has continued to update the game's website as late as 2012, and still posts on a Twitter account for one of the characters.