I believe my man-card has just been revoked.
I want to say I was talked into playing this (Nick, you just might owe me one!) [Well, you looked the best in a skirt. ~Ed. Nick]. But I took it for mainly two reasons: First, I enjoy my music games; and second, I figured that it would be horrible and cheap, which would make this review all the easier to write up.
[image1]This really is a sequel, which surprised me since I’d never heard of the first one… and I worked the gaming retail for over a year, including the launch of the Wii and PS3 (admittedly,
no one is I wasn’t looking for a cheerleading game to whet my appetite). It starts out with only a handful of songs, a couple of outfits to personalize the squad with (though if you’re creative enough, you can find a way to throw some bad words over a logo) and a pom-pom full of dreams for your up-and-coming squad.
After a few plays of a few songs, another group of tunes will be unlocked along with a few new squad-mates, and after another few rounds of play, a third batch. And that’s really about it… after an hour or so of play, everything will be unlocked, and unless you have a serious attachment to “GNO (Girls Night Out)” by Miley Cyrus, the “charm” wears off quickly.
We Cheer 2 is really just Dance Dance Revolution with a cheerleading twist: move your arm(s) to 30 songs, ranging from the expected cheerleading staples (“Tubthumping” and “Mickey” being two stand-outs) to songs I was surprised to see. Like “Beat It", originally by Michael Jackson, but covered by Fall Out Boy featuring John Mayer… it makes me feel dirty just typing that. Compared to DDR though, the list might be of overall notable quality – there are groups and artists that normal Americans have heard of – but it’s a much shorter list, which is disappointing compared to anything Bemani-made.
[image2]One notable disappointment is that each animation is static; nothing the player does directly affects what happens on the screen. Whether you miss one or two swings or a handful in a row, the characters on-screen will just keep going along in a fixed canned animation as if nothing happened. There are no stumbles or missteps that impact the song or how well any character is dancing and cheering, which keeps a lot of the personality that could have otherwise been in the game from reaching the player. And with each character looking like they belong on the PS2 (at best), watching each animation is almost like watching skinny little stick figures kick at ghosts and faux-hump the air.
But wait! Did I mention that you can customize your characters and squad? You can actually choose to doll up these Bratz doll wannabes just the way you want. Adjust their tops, their bottoms, their accessories, and even their shoes (but that’s all, nothing weird) to your liking, and watch them perform in your colors and in your carefully selected outfits. After only four songs or so, you will find yourself with plenty of cash to buy whatever you like from the shop and will be able to do whatever you like to your pixilated teenagers.
And even though there are plenty of outfit pieces to choose from, a lot of them look similar enough to each other that they’re not really “new” pieces, just barely-different versions of each other. It’s a letdown to be buying the same style of top twice or more (not that I bought anything, that would be silly… except that I bought out the shop’s tops my first time in… don’t judge me, it’s my job!).
[image3]I have to admit, though, that waving my arms around like a wild twelve-year-old girl is, surprisingly, quite amusing. Even if the lines are very easy to hit on the default setting, it’s enough of a workout for the arms. Players can choose to use one or two Wii-motes to play with, each controlling one side’s pom-pom. It’s about as simplistic and natural as the Wii gets, which is the game’s strongest point. Though it’s not that strong a point, since the limited playlist and bare-bones extras don’t make the game appealing for long.
I guess if you find yourself in need of a game for a preppy young lass, this could be a recipe for success. If you’re a fan of rhythm games, there isn’t anything here of substance, so any fun you have while waving to an imaginary virtual jailbait kid won’t last too long.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I haven’t bought every pair of shoes yet… and they need a blue stripe! Light blue, not too dark, or it’ll clash! Dammit, KICK HIGHER, KIMMY!