We Cheer Wii Review
Cheerleading with a pair of Wii remotes acting as a pair of pom-poms sounds like a great idea and Namco Bandai’s We Cheer allows you to do exactly that, although mistakes have been made and the end result is a frustrating and unresponsive mess.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried the tutorial and I’ve attempted some of the easiest songs, doing everything that the instruction manual and game told me to do, but still I most regularly tasted bitter failure rather than the success I am always aiming for with each and every game that I play (cheerleader games are something I don‘t generally play very often).
I felt that my failure wasn’t down to my own ineptness at the game but rather poorly judged motion control, and perhaps, pre Motion Plus, Namco Bandai was just expecting too much from the Wii. The idea behind the controls is to follow trace lines displayed on the screen, although in my experience it was hit or miss whether the controls would respond to my, admittedly, ungraceful movements, this was using both the control options of either one or two remotes.
On the brighter (literally) side, the visuals are pleasantly colourful and sure to appeal to the young female gamer that Wii Cheer is obviously aimed at. The cheerleaders themselves are anime-esque in appearance and move nicely to each of the tunes. On the subject of tunes, there’s an impressive 30 of them for budding cheerleaders to attempt, the thing is, this will probably be 29 too many for some as they’ll simply give up after repeatedly attempting and failing their first song.
As for options, there’s a championship mode that sees you journeying around the country, recruiting members (you can customise the uniform of your squad, including everything from the style to the colour of tops, skirts, shoes and poms), and doing the thing that cheerleaders normally do (don‘t worry, you don‘t literally have to do the splits), that’s dancing in a highly athletic manner, of course. If you really want to break some of the furniture or a nose of a rival or spectator, The Cheer Off sees you and up to three other players attempting to perform the chosen routine to the highest quality, thus earning the most points. Finally, the workout mode is an exercise program that, according to the instruction manual, shouldn’t be used as a substitute for regular exercise or fitness, although sticking with it may actually have some benefits, as even if nothing seems to be responding on the screen you’re still waving your arms about and likely burning some calories as you do so.
I’m certainly open minded when it comes to games like We Cheer on the Wii, SEGA’s Samba De Amigo proved initially frustrating, but I was able to eventually find a decent comfort zone. Sadly, with We Cheer I couldn’t really find a comfort zone and I knew things weren’t right when a one star rated difficulty song had to be attempted over and over again, I even tried standing on my head but it was to no avail. The cheap £19.99 retail price, the number of songs and the attractive visuals are all redeeming points, and, even if the game is as responsive as a sulky teenager, as absurd as it sounds, there‘s ridiculous fun (don’t take this as a recommendation) to be found in waving arms around and then failing badly, albeit very mild and limited fun, but really, it would have been common sense for Namco Bandai to wait for MotionPlus.