Sometimes I get a bit…enthusiastic when it comes to games. In some instances, like Double Dragon II: Wander of The Dragons, this gives me the will to power through the rough parts and really appreciate the game’s good points. In others, it sets me up for massive disappointment.
Precure All-Stars is the latter.
At first glance it appears to be a new rendition Should-Be Cult Classic: We Cheer but with a Pretty Cure skin. In fact, that is exactly what it is! The devil, however, is in the details…or lack thereof.
We Cheer 2 utterly blew me away with its boatloads of content. Tons of stages with day and night variations, complete character customization for the whole squad with hundreds of unlockable clothing parts, 3 difficulty levels, dual Wiimote support for 2 handed play, 4-player multiplayer, an Exercise Mode, over 100 achievements, the works! We Cheer 2 was unquestionably my most played game on Nintendo Wii.
To say PreCure All-Stars does not have this would be an understatement. To call it We Cheer Lite would, in fact, be an insult to the word “Lite”.
In Pre-Cure All-Stars all you do is pick one of 12 songs, 1 or 2 players, and if you want arrows displayed on-screen.
That is it.
That is all there is.
There is no stage selection. There is no team customization. You can’t have the Fresh Pretty Cure girls dance to a Pretty Cure Splash Star song. You can’t make your own Dream Team of Cure Peach, Cure Melody, Cure Sunshine, Cure Black, and Cure Happy. There is no dual Wiimote mode, no option for 4-player play, not even a Hard Mode!
…or Normal Mode really.
PreCure All-Stars Zenin Shuugo * Let’s Dance! is Easy Mode Only, 1-Wiimote Only, Super Basic Just-Pick-A-Song We Cheer.
Now, I’m sure someone is going to say “Well of course it’s simple and easy! It’s aimed at little girls!” which raises one very important question: Who the heck was We Cheer aimed at then?! In case you hadn’t picked up on it yet, it’s kind of a Cheerleading Game! More than that, it’s truly underestimating said little girls to think they needed We Cheer to be watered down even more. Most reports from friends (and YouTube comments) indicate that little girls will utterly destroy most seasoned gamers, even hardcore music game fans, at We Cheer.
To it’s credit, you do unlock a handful of cross-over stages including two that feature every Pretty Cure ever dancing in unison, which is actually impressive. However these stages just recycle the existing 12 songs and even with their blatant padding it only adds up to 20 stages. Significantly less than We Cheer 1 and 2’s 30 songs or even the lackluster Happy Dance Collection’s 25 song!
Sillier still is one stage has you dancing to a Suite Pretty Cure theme with a team that does not contain a single Suite Pretty Cure character.
There is not much else to say about the game. It’s We Cheer, meaning arrows appear on-screen which coincide with the dance routine. Move the Wiimote in the right way at the right time and you get points.
On the down side, there is no letter grading system to encourage you to do better and try to S-Rank every song. Then again, these songs are so easy that your goal should be 100%-ing them though again, there is no indicator to say “Congratulations you did Perfect on this song!”
On the up side though, a quick waggle stress test delivered the same results as We Cheer. Merely letting the Wiimote sit there and do nothing will not cause you to occasionally get points and rapid waggling produces no good results. Spinning the Wiimote in a gentle big circle will nab you a few points here and there, even some combos, but will not be as effective as trying to dance.
Yes, sadly, this counts as “impressive” when it comes to Wii games.
Visually the game is a mixed bag but mostly disappointing. The cel-shaded characters in some cases look nearly identical to their End Theme counterparts despite a drastically lower polycount. In other cases, however, little inaccuracies like their eyes being too close together or hair not curving enough ruins the effect. Meanwhile the backgrounds are just a random smattering of pinkness. Dancing on a pink cake, a random pink stage with pink jewels against a pink background, or some generic fountain area that is shockingly not that pink. Not a single background impresses and none of them have any sort of visual effects when you start doing well. The only effect you get for having a good chain is an overlay of sparkles on screen.
…and that’s about all you can say other than pointing out that there is only one Fresh Pretty Cure song in the entire game despite Fresh being the dancing themed series and the Fresh Pretty Cure emblem appearing as the “Now Loading” icon.
So that’s it. The last Wii game out of Japan is a sparse, stripped down, and incredibly barebones reskin of We Cheer. On one hand, it’s not bad. The controls work, it has all the characters, and the cel-shading is often okay.
On the other hand, I 100%ed the game in 36 minutes.
2.5 out of 5
I’d give it a higher score for being a perfectly functional dancing game, but it is just that sparse on content.