If you were disappointed when you found out that We Cheer had only female cheerleaders, you should be happy to know that Namco has addressed those concerns in We Cheer 2. You can pick a male or a female avatar this time around, customize their outfits to your liking, and shake your pom-poms to the latest pop songs. We had the opportunity to wave our makeshift pom-poms and channel our inner preteen yesterday at Namco's press event, and we found that once you get over your embarrassment and lack of coordination, cheerleading with a Wii Remote can be quite a workout.
There were only two songs available for the demo, Toni Basil's peppy cheerleading song "Mickey" and Avril Lavigne's spunky "Girlfriend." There will be more than 30 licensed songs to bounce around to when the game is done. We chose to play in the two-player co-op mode in which each player takes one Wii Remote--essentially one person is the left arm and the other is the right--and follows the blue and pink arrows onscreen. There are three levels of difficulty, but on normal, there's a good range of sweeping circular arm motions and jabbing in the air to keep you fully occupied.
We Cheer 2 sticks to its previous formula in terms of gameplay, so not much has changed except that a few new cheerleading moves have been added. New features have been added, however, so there's a ton of customization available this time around. Your cheerleader's hair can be any shade of the rainbow, and you can make yourself stand out with a variety of stickers and accessories. You can customize your entire squad as well and sort through the different styles of cheerleading outfits, right down to the kind of stripes you want on your shoes. There are more than 40 long-legged male and female cheerleaders to choose from, and you can cheer day or night, since the stages now come with the option of switching the time of day.
Cheering is done with the Wii Remote only, so other than going through the championship mode on your own, you can play a two-player game cooperatively or competitively in a cheer-off. There's also a four-player mode, so you and up to three friends can flail to your heart's content. For a full-body workout, if you want, you can do the high kicks too by following the girls and boys onscreen. There is the option to see the entire routine before you jump in and play, in case you want to prep first or just cheer along for fun.
We Cheer 2 clearly has its target audience in mind--which may or may not be you--but it's an upbeat rhythm game that will have girls on their feet, fantasizing about being in the movie Bring It On. Visually, it looks pretty similar to last year's We Cheer, but we noticed that the characters' looks have been softened a bit in an attempt to make them look more mature. We'll admit that we had fun during our brief time with the game, so if you know someone who's eager to cheer, the pom-pom party begins when We Cheer 2 is released this fall.