THE CHEETAH GIRLS / Buena Vista / Gameboy Advance
 
 
I only played the Cheetah Girls because I heard it was a Parappa-like rhythm game (which I love) and because I thought maybe it would be the heartwarming story of a team of those fat trashy women who decorate their houses in cheesy leopard print stuff from K-Mart rising up above their humble roots to form an incredible R&B supergroup. Turns out it's some show that was on Disney about ten years ago for tween girls. Hopes dashed :(
 


So these four girls have to perform gigs in a series of events that was probably based on the show or something. The gigs are where the Parappa-style action comes in, but there's also some stuff going on in between. Sometimes you'll have to perform some other task that requires rhythm action like flipping burgers or taking a dance class to learn new moves. In between gigs you can switch between the girls like they were the Ninja Turtles, and for some reason only the one white girl is allowed to go to the dance studio. I guess they're either saying she's in need of the most help or she's the only one they trust not to steal all their clothes. It's some kind of racism, I just don't know in which direction.
 


Anyway. The game map is just one city block that wraps around and there's a convenient auto-map that keeps track of the girls and lets you warp anywhere at any time. So that's all fine. Good performances in the gigs and mini-games earn hearts, which eventually you can start using to buy lighting, effects and new outfits for the gigs. You'll also have to "lay down tracks" at the studio at certain points, though this just involves picking one of three pre-selected bass, melody and percussion tracks. I tried intentionally to make something weird and they all came out sounding at least passable so I don't think you can fail there.
 
                           That's OK, that game sucked anyway
 


In fact, since the game is clearly pitched at girls who don't usually play games, I don't think you can perma-fail anywhere. The game has a much lower difficulty level than other similar rhythm games. It does gradually incorporate more buttons and more sequential presses but it ramps up very, very, very slowly and even the later stages never get very hard. Galleria and her girls are in much less danger of you wrecking their careers than they are from the knife-wielding maniac that appears to be lying in wait in her living room:




Oh well, I guess that's a problem for another game! Scream 5: Hunting Big Game.

Anyway, I don't think rhythm fans will get much out of it - even if you can put up with the general tone, the difficulty is just too low and the gigs too repetitive. And I don't think the tween girls the game was marketed at will care for it now as all of the dialogue is in "hip" 2003 slang which will probably sound like moon language to the tweens of 2014. Overall I thought the game was surprisingly competent for what it was, though, and bits of it actually look quite nice like the streets with large car sprites going by. Far from the worst game in the world.
 
 
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