I didn't disdain of the first We Cheer because it was a cheerleading game, or even because it required so much shameless Wii-flailing. I sneered at it for being sexist.
Men can be cheerleaders, too, you know! George W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Michael Douglas, Trent Lott, Aaron Spelling, Jimmy Stewart, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Steve Martin and Samuel L. Jackson – a truly manly man if ever there was one – were all cheerleaders at one point in time. So can't either of the only two cheerleading games on the Wii give the Y chromosomes some credit?
What Is It?
We Cheer 2 is a dance game where players use one or two Wii Remotes to perform a series of arm-waving moves to pop music. Unlike the first game, the sequel features more character customization options, a new song list and finally the chance to play as a male cheerleader.
What We Saw
I did the "Mickey" routine in Championship mode as a male cheerleader.
How Far Along Is It?
Not too far. There were only two playable songs (the other being Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend") and the ship date isn't until fall 2009.
What Needs Improvement?
Dual Wielding Wii Remotes: In singleplayer, you have to hold one Wii remote in each hand to pull off the routines. On the one hand (no pun intended), this makes sense because a lot of cheerleading moves require your arms to go in different directions and how else would the Wii detect that? But on the other, you're killing twice as many batteries as you would with only one Wiimote. Additionally, other dance games like Boogie Superstar don't require two Wii Remotes, so how can We Cheer be competitive like you'd expect a cheerleader to be?
A Little Too Easy To Trick The Sensor: Most moves involve moving your arm in a wide arc with exact timing. But if you're late, you can trick the sensor by giving the Wii Remote a little flick at the endpoint of the arc. This might make it easy to shuck full-blown movement and just settle for lazy Wiimote jiggling tactics.
Your Feet Don't Do Jack: The Wii Balance Board has been around for a while, now – it'd be nice to see it integrated in a game about a sport that requires you to move your feet as well as your arms.
What Should Stay The Same?
You Can Play As A Male: Hooray for equality!
Character Customization: You can change the skin, hair and eye color as well as smile shape and uniform color of your cheer squad. With this level of customization, you could craft a virtual version of your own high school's cheerleading squad, if you wanted to (minus the token fat kid – they don't have that option in the game, sadly).
Oh, Mickey: You're so fine. So fine I don't see how the first game could have gotten on without you. Hey, Mickey!
Infectious As Only A Cute Wii Dance Game Can Be: I may be biased because I'm both a girl and susceptible to Boogie Superstar's toe-tapping charm. But I honestly appreciate games aimed at tweens that focus on the fun parts of being young. We Cheer might be cashing in on a stereotype, but now that they're on the gender equality boat, it's all good and I can enjoy the game without guilt.