We Cheer 2 review: two poms up
My review of We Cheer 2, also posted at Amazon:
We Cheer is one of my favorite video games of all time, and We Cheer 2 makes a great thing even better. Cheers to Namco for making big improvements based on people’s feedback.
Perhaps the biggest complaint about the first game was that it was a struggle just to pass a song! The two levels, normal and hard, were more like harder and hardest. Not with We Cheer 2. The new (default) beginner mode has the fewest lines and you will score points even if you’re too slow or fast, making it very easy to fill up that megaphone-shaped life gauge. The rainbow bonus round is also back – you spell words instead of lighting up stars – but this time you’ll go into bonus mode even if you don’t get all the letters; you just get less time to wildly shake your wiimotes for extra points. Beginner level is ideal for kids and newbies; my 7-year-old daughter, who was easily frustrated at the first We Cheer, happily tore through We Cheer 2. Even beginners can move up through the ranks and unlock songs and LOTS of stuff.
Seasoned We Cheerleaders like me will probably want to start with intermediate level. As with the first game, the squad always does the same routine for any song on all levels, but intermediate adds more lines. Advanced (which you unlock for each song by passing it) has the same lines as intermediate, as far as I can tell, but the grading’s more strict – you only score on “cool” which is a perfect move, and the card bonus is taken away, making it truly a challenge to fill up that gauge. Like others said, the controllers feel more responsive, and they fixed the no-quit bug so you can go back to the Wii Menu at any point in the game, even mid-song.
More improvements: the main game mode (Competitions) now has a choice of two games, Championships and Squad Challenge. Squad Challenge is much like the game mode from before where you have dialogue screens with cheerleaders between songs and challenge them on various stages – fine for kids or those who insist a video game must have a storyline. But if you’re like me and want to skip all the chit-chat, go to Championships where you just play one song after another. Each song gives you more cheer points to buy clothes and accessories in the cheer shop, additional cheerleaders and their uniforms, and of course new songs and stages. (You can even see all the unlockables listed under “Rewards” on the options menu.)
Wait, there’s MORE! You can now customize hair styles, faces and even names. The uniform logo is now your team name, so you can have your school name or fave sports team or whatever you call your team on a big banner on the menu screen. Head for the cheer shop and spend your cheer points on clothing, hats, hair decorations and face paint. And you can save your favorite outfits, or take and save photos of them. Multiplayer still has cheer-off (2 to 4 players) and 2 party games, Hot Balloon (similar to Hot Potato) and Balloon Survival (where you try to hit all your moves to keep balloon from popping).
And even more: Workout mode is back, and you have a choice of 2 songs/routines in short or long versions. (Unfortunately the “calorie” counter is still bogus.) There’s also a new “cheer camp” where you learn actual cheerleader moves; young aspiring cheerleaders should enjoy this part. And there are now records, and – well, I shouldn’t spoil everything. Just buy it!! Young or old, if you like to get up and cheer, this is your game.