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We Cheer is one of a new generation of dancing games on the Wii. Like the recent All Star Cheerleader Wii, Samba de Amigo Wii, Boogie: Superstar Wii and High School Musical 3: Dance! Wii it uses gestures to get the player flinging their limbs around. Here the focus is on exuberant placed movement rather than precision something that makes it great for burning the calories.
Rhythm action games combine the enjoyment that comes from creating music with the challenge of video game scoring. The player is usually tasked with dancing on a mat, tapping a touch screen, pressing a button, singing into a mic or strumming a fake guitar controller in time with the music.
We Cheer brings broad sweeping choreography to the dance rhythm genre. It is similar to All Star Cheerleader although it focuses on fast impact action rather than the more tricky placed gestures of THQ's game. Whereas All Star Cheerleader encourages players to rehearse and learn routines, We Cheer places more emphasis on fun and energy.
The player is tasked with executing a variety of sweeping arm movements in time with the music - as indicated with the on screen guide. As the song plays, a series of gestures is painted onto the screen. These are made up of various combinations of up/down/diagonal directions, swirls and spirals. The aim is to move the Wii-mote at the appropriate time and finish the motion in sync with the beat.
Unlike All Star Cheerleader that adds the Balance Board into the mix for added complexity, We Cheer keeps things simple. Players can opt to use just one Wii-mote and follow one half of the movements, or sync another Wii-mote controller to get both arms involved. It's an interesting control scheme that was first seen in Sambe de Amigo, and it certainly feels like using two Wii-motes (rather than the usual Wii-mote Nun-chuck combination enables the game to better judge your performance.
In addition you can go head to head against up to four other players, or play co-operatively with a friend. Provided you have enough controllers to go around. You can also customise your own cheerleader - to an ever greater degree as you unlock clothing and accessories.
The game also lends itself to high energy work outs. There is a dedicated exercise mode that gives an indication of the calories being burnt as you dance. This also changes the dancing up to be more instructor lead - akin to a fitness class.
Players will be attracted to the game as a high impact alternative to the more serious Dance Dance Revolution dance-mat controlled games popular in the late 90's. It does a great job of getting everyone up out of their feet and moving around. Combine this with the speed and various of gestures and players soon find themselves out of breath and laughing.
Stood in the living room, moving and pausing in time with the music (and the rest of my cheer-troupe colleagues) was more fun than I had imagined. The game's focus on sweeping movement required a lot of energy, but was a nice change to the often fiddly controls of other dance games. Pulling off a combo of perfect moves was more than enough to be punching the air in jubilation.
The cheer sets themselves are only as long as a single music track. There is less padding around this than other dance games - although there is a fare amount of loading that adds a bit of time to each session.
The nature of the game means you need a good bit of space in which to play. Players fitness and workout routine will also determine how long they want (or are able) to cope with in one sitting.
Very young players will enjoy the visuals, and should have a better chance of scoring well than in the more technical dancing games.
Junior children and newer players will have great fun learning the different cheering motions and putting them together in a routine. They may find there less variety here than in the excellently pitched High School Musical 3: Dance! Wii, but this shouldn't stop them getting a lot of enjoyment here.
Intermediates may find the more technical demands of We Cheer more challenging. That said those looking for help with their fitness workout will get more benefit here.
Experts and students may find the kiddy cheerleading theme a little hard to get past. They may find more to challenge them in the more technical All Star Cheerleader - whose precise moves and gesture require more precision than the hardcore favourite de Amigo.
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