Cheerleading is an extremely important and historic sport, beloved by fans around the world and totally deserving of not one, but two motion sensitive Wii games this fall. Personally, I can't wait to "spin, kick, jump and dance" to the "hottest music" and customize my "perfect competition outfit" to look "super cute"...
No, I'm not writing this article only because I get paid to do so. No, I'm not combining a pair of previews into a single arbitrary showdown to save some time, sanity and dignity. No, I'm not overcompensating for my insecure fear of bubbly "girl games" by overusing italics and "quotes" for sarcastic effect.
Stop being so damn cynical. And let's, er, "bring it on."
So, as you can see, these two games are both about cheerleading. You can tell because they both have the word "Cheer" in the title. Now I am going to compare them in five categories, because that is what you do in features like these. WHO WILL WIN???
Although We Cheer and All Star Cheer Squad are both about cheerleading and both include the word "Cheer" in their titles and both contain a bunch of cheerleaders and cheers and cheering, the two games are actually... different. Huh. In fact, they seem to approach the sport from entirely unique directions.
All Star Cheer Squad is similar in style to Guitar Hero; you must get the remote and Nunchuk into the right position at the right time. Indicators flow by on a timing bar that tell you when, for example, to put both arms forward, both arms up, one arm to the left with one arm to the right, and so on.
Conversely, We Cheer asks the player to trace complicated lines, loops and patterns on the screen using a pair of remotes, almost like paintbrushes. While the experience feels more like a high school dance team than a high school cheerleading squad, the result is more flashy and energetic.
Uh oh. Did I seriously just write over 150 words about that? Did I just use the words "complicated" and "conversely" in reference to cheerleading games? Did I admit to knowing the difference between a cheer squad and a dance team? Crap - better distract everyone with some BLOOD!
WE CHEER WINS!
While I appreciated We Cheer's bright and colorful graphics, with cartoon bobble-headed dancers and lots of sparkly stage effects, a true fan of cheerleading will probably prefer the relative realism of All Star Cheer Squad.
The moves, while more rigid, feel like actual cheer routines - especially if you add the optional Wii balance board into the mix. The characters are closer to life, wearing school uniforms and mascot costumes. The game's choreographer even did Bring It On. Hey, that movie was about cheerleading, too!
Damn it. Not again, not again. "Appreciated"? I'm supposed to appreciate chainsaws and guns and sports cars, not pep routines. "Closer to life"? "True fan"? Um, how would I know anything about that? I wouldn't, that's how! Gotta keep moving...
ALL STAR CHEER SQUAD WINS!
Okay, okay. Keep it together. Keep moving. Do not show weakness. Do not succumb to the irresistibly infectious sounds of genetically cloned Disney teen sensations. Do not dance. Do not tap your foot. No - don't even nod your head! The other editors are watching.
Let's see. I heard Hilary Duff in We Cheer and she's a girl. I heard Jonas Brothers in All Star Cheer Squad and they're kind of a bunch of girly dudes, right? Better stick with the girl... nobody can ever discover I recognized the Jonas Brothers.
WE CHEER WINS!
Oooh, customization! I can change my cheerleader's eyes, skin, hairstyle, skirt length, shirt logo and even the alternating colors of her pom-poms! In both games! I'm gonna make this one a Goth! And this one looks like Rainbow Brite! So many options!!!
... My God. What have I become? Why am I enjoying these games this much? Is this normal? Maybe Wikipedia can tell me... Hey! Apparently, some of my favorite macho celebrities have been cheerleaders. Off the hook again!
Yes, yes, excellent. That image took up a lot of space. I'm almost home free. Oh, and because All Star Cheer Squad bothered to include male cheerleaders:
ALL STAR CHEER SQUAD WINS!
Time to face the terrible, unavoidable truth. Despite my every effort, I had fun playing both We Cheer and All Star Cheer Squad. Quite a bit of fun. And you know what else? I was good at them. Really good.
Am I embarrassed? Yes. Am I secretly proud? Yes. Hey, laugh all you want, but if you enjoyed the DDR series, Wii Fit or maybe even Guitar Hero / Rock Band, you'll probably want to give We Cheer and All Star Cheer Squad a try too. At least once. Seriously. You'll see, jerks.
Oh man, that image didn't have any blood in it at all. They look so shiny and happy and family friendly. Better forget this entire incident ever happened with the help of some...
Sept 1, 2008