Wii

North America

We Cheer

by Carmine Red - December 23, 2008, 10:55 pm PST
Total comments: 27

8

This is DDR for your arms. Bring it on.

Have you ever had to memorize a choreographed routine? It takes dedication, plenty of practice, and mental concentration to correctly hit move after move. That's what it's like to play a fast song over and over in We Cheer, concentrating on staying on beat, performing to the best of your ability, and eventually clearing the stage. It's a great feeling.

Okay. Let's back up. We Cheer, from Namco Bandai, is a game that uses the Wii's technology to simulate cheerleading. You're not actually performing jumps, wearing a uniform, and performing fully choreographed cheer-dance routines along with an entire squad of cheerleaders, but the game's characters are (imagine Bratz dolls with cute anime faces). Your challenge is to keep up with them by moving your arms and the Wii Remote(s) according to the game's onscreen indicators.

As a Wii game, good gesture recognition is highly crucial for We Cheer. Fortunately, the gesture recognition technology works, and I never felt like the game was short-changing me when I knew that I was doing the moves correctly. This is tricky though: games like Wii Sports aren't very picky about the motions you make, but We Cheer expects you to make specific movements. For example, a downward stroke isn't lowering the Wii Remote and suddenly pointing it down at the end; in my experience the tilting of the Wii Remote to point downwards has to be gradual throughout the motion for it to register. Sure, you're moving your arm down either way, but only the latter technique will be recognized by the game.

The tutorial starts you on the right path demonstrating the moves by displaying 3D Wii Remotes performing the motions on-screen. However, the tutorials cover only the basic gestures, and you won't be warned or prepared for advanced moves, many involving moving the Wii Remotes in 3D space. Fortunately, the characters on screen perform routines that are highly analogous to your motions as a player. If ever you need to figure out exactly how to move your arms, copying the on-screen characters is your best bet.

My brother has informed me that cheerleaders do mirror each other as a way to practice. Don't ask me how he knows that.

Be warned though: this is exercise, and just like DDR can leave you winded, so too can We Cheer. It doesn't drive you as hard as DDR, Wii Boxing, or Wii Fit, but continued play in We Cheer is an exertion, especially for the joints and muscles in your shoulders and arms.

That the game requires some effort (both mental and physical) from you is a definite hurdle. Thankfully, the developers have taken steps to lessen the impact. You only need to nail about 70% of the moves during a song to complete it (though this can still be a significant challenge), and each song includes some moves, which, if you execute them all successfully, activate a high scoring bonus sequence that almost guarantees success. Songs also benefit greatly from repeated practice since you'll be much more prepared to tackle moves that you know are coming. In the case of repeated failure, it's comforting that the game is always encouraging and never lambasts you. However, there's nothing quite like the feeling of beating a song the first time you play it by virtue of sheer mental reflexes and skill.

If the challenge is too much, however, you can play with one Wii Remote instead of two since this generally makes routines more manageable, if much less engaging. Alternatively, We Cheer supports two players completing the story mode cooperatively and using one Wii Remote each. We Cheer does not use the Nunchuk controller in any form.

The game supports multiplayer, but if you want to play with three or four people everyone will only have one Wii Remote. Since everyone is displayed on screen together, having many players significantly shrinks the size of the visual indicators on smaller televisions. Additionally, only 16 songs are available for play at the beginning of the game. You'll have to progress through the story mode to unlock the hard routines for each song as well as the rest of the soundtrack.

When not doing a routine to one of the game's 30 energetic songs, We Cheer lets you choose members for your squad and change their hair color and skin tones. You can also customize your team's cheerleading uniforms with new styles gained as you progress through the game. You can't customize facial features, but you will gain additional characters for your squad as you complete levels and progress through the thin and forgettable story.

One thing that can't be overlooked given the ascent of Wii Fit is We Cheer's workout mode, where players can choose either a short or extended workout session. You play workout mode just like any other mode of We Cheer, but instead of cheerleading you're doing a full-blown, fast-paced, high-powered aerobics session. This is another way for you to earn extra costumes for your cheer squad.

Overall, We Cheer's challenging gameplay is exhilarating. However, it does shatter preconceptions about the game. We Cheer can't be played casually and it can't be played carelessly. It's plenty of fun, but whereas Wii Sports was happy to have you simply move, We Cheer challenges you to perform.

That's a good thing.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
7.5 7.5 8 9 6.5 8
Graphics
7.5

We Cheer is not graphically ambitious. It focuses on delivering appealing characters in a simple Bratz/anime style, displaying fun cheerleading/dance routines, and providing short and almost negligible load times. However, the fact that these routines match what you're doing is a major plus. The visual indicators for your movements can be too small in multiplayer.

Sound
7.5

We Cheer revolves around a soundtrack of 30 energetic and exciting dance tunes from "Footloose" to "Calibria 2008," with artists from Moby to Hillary Duff. The game does not support Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound.

Control
8

We Cheer doesn't do as well a job of preparing you for its complex moves as one would hope, and players will have to learn on the go, but the fact is that the actual gesture recognition technology works.

Gameplay
9

The concept of We Cheer is exciting, and as long as you're in tune with the controls, the experience is everything it promises to be. We Cheer is also a good solid challenge, and practicing and completing routines gives a good sense of accomplishment. Playing with two Wii Remotes is plenty of fun, and the multiplayer options round out the package very well.

Lastability
6.5

Beating the story mode will take a good eight or nine hours for most people. Beyond that, players can go back to tackle more complex, and hence more exciting, routines for the songs. Multiplayer can also extend the play experience. The game offers 30 songs, but more would've been nice.

Final
8

We Cheer requires focus, energy, and what the game calls "awesome cheerage." If you can bring all that and get in rhythm with the controls, We Cheer becomes DDR for your arms.

Summary

Pros
  • Memorizing cheer routines is engaging and fun
  • The cheer gestures actually match the character's routines
  • The gesture recognition works fine once you understand it
  • Two Wii Remotes is a great way to play, but one Wii Remote works fine too
Cons
  • Not as easy as it looks, hence not as immediately accessible
  • Some weird interface quirks
  • The game's tutorials don't teach you complex moves; you'll have to figure those out on your own
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

I'd like to make one more important note for our discerning readers:

We Cheer does NOT offer the song track "We Like to Move It."

I know that Crimm will be relieved to hear that.

ShyGuyDecember 24, 2008

Good heavens man, GOOD HEAVENS.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 24, 2008

When any other reviewer feels like a tool Kairon will come in and finish the job.

Actually, Crimm seemed to end up reviewing a lot of our more off-beat games this year. For example, I probably should've reviewed Miami Nights: Singles in the City, but he got to it first. I've actually envied him a lot, but yes, a lot of games he reviews seem to end up less than perfect.

I think I got very lucky with We Cheer. ^_^

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 24, 2008

There should be a video review of this where Kairon is on cam playing.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusDecember 24, 2008

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

There should be a video review of this where Kairon is on cam playing.

Seconded!!! Where is Chessa, I know she had this same idea...

KDR_11kDecember 24, 2008

DDR for the arms? Like Helix?

StogiDecember 24, 2008

An 8?! Really?!

This game is better than WiiMusic?!

LuigiHannDecember 24, 2008

Quote from: KDR_11k

DDR for the arms? Like Helix?

It'd actually be nice to hear how this game compares to Helix. I bought Helix, and while it is interesting, it's not a whole lot of fun.

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 24, 2008

We Ceer boy in boxers?

Quote from: LuigiHann

Quote from: KDR_11k

DDR for the arms? Like Helix?

It'd actually be nice to hear how this game compares to Helix. I bought Helix, and while it is interesting, it's not a whole lot of fun.

To begin with, with Helix you copy movements after the fact. With We Cheer, you do the movements at the same time as the characters. This is a major difference that helps We Cheer's immersion factor along with the fact that We Cheer displays actual choreographed routines.

Of course, Helix and We Cheer also feature different styles of music.

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

There should be a video review of this where Kairon is on cam playing.

I'll try next month...

nickmitchDecember 24, 2008

I correctly guessed the score before clicking on the review.  It was so weird.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 24, 2008

Quote from: NinGurl69

We Ceer boy in boxers?

I'm honestly torn between "eew I don't want to see that!" and "I wonder if Kai is ballsy enough to actually do it"...

Quote from: Stogi

An 8?! Really?!

This game is better than WiiMusic?!

If there isn't a clause in the forum rules regarding haphazardly juxtaposing review scores from different NWR reviewers on different styles of games, there should be. It's an excellent way to start a troll-fest. Kairon makes it pretty darn clear in this review that Wii Cheer requires precision and focus, which Wii Music (or at least its main mode) by design avoids this in favor of a community experience anyone is capable of picking up and playing.

StogiDecember 25, 2008

Ok, but even though you are different people with different tastes, there still has to be some sort of uniformity. Not for you, but for us.

Well, there is uniformity in this sense: an 8 means more or less that the reviewer things it is a very good game. Not top-tier, but still worth players' time. What constitutes "very good" varies among reviewers, and even among a single reviewer as they change as individuals. As far as I can tell, it's impossible to standardize what a number or quick descriptor means. We've considered it in the past, but in the end, it has little value.

StogiDecember 25, 2008

Well maybe the quick descriptor shouldn't describe the review, but rather the reviewer.

Quote from: Stogi

Well maybe the quick descriptor shouldn't describe the review, but rather the reviewer.

Who will review the reviewers eh?

StogiDecember 25, 2008

I'm not trying to talk shit, Kairon.

Skeeter8887Chuck Jose, Staff AlumnusDecember 26, 2008

Despite both games assisting in making a fool of myself, I highly enjoy the complexity of We Cheer over the simplicity of WiiMusic. Good review Carmine. When's that video review coming?

MaxiDecember 26, 2008

He said next month Skeeter.
What does it matter if you look like a fool.If you are having fun than it shouldn't matter if you look like a fool.
Don't let other people's opinion ruin your fun.

IceColdDecember 27, 2008

Would you say this is the F-Zero GX of casual games?

MaxiDecember 27, 2008

If that was directed to me. I think you can't really compare GX and this in terms of controls.With GX you look like a fool through your own ability.If it isn't good.With We Cheer some might say the way you play makes you look like a fool.I disagree with such notions.Ask me again when F-Zero Wii comes out.

ShyGuyDecember 27, 2008

Bring it on, Kairon!

DAaaMan64December 27, 2008

F-Zero GX = sex

ZapDecember 27, 2008

Falcon KICK-KICK-KICK!

... WE CHEER 2!!! YYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY

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Genre Rhythm

Worldwide Releases

na: We Cheer
Release Sep 30, 2008
PublisherNamco Bandai
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: We Cheer
Release Mar 12, 2009
PublisherNamco Bandai

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