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Cheerleaders, eh? The candy floss of the human race, are they not? Sugary, fluffy, and without much substance, they might be eye-catching but they’re also rather likely to make you feel a bit sick and rot the metaphorical teeth of your mind.
But not in games. No, aside from their appearances in trite motion-controlled kidcentric guff-fests like We Cheer, cheerleaders in video games can be pretty damn impressive. Deadly even. Perhaps even culturally significant. You’re doubtful, we can tell. But we can prove it.
How can we prove it? We can prove it by collecting together a list of seven. The seven we would deem to be the “top”.
No piece of entertainment focusing on a high school is complete without some stuck up head cheerleader bitching about her fellow pupils. Step forward Mandy Wiles of Bully fame, who represents this acerbic character so well you’ll scream obscenities at the screen every time you see her.
Above: Ever wondered what the bottom of a cheerleader's shoe looks like...?
From the needless scorn Miss Wiles pours on those less prettier than her to siding with the Jocks whenever they attempt to rough up our hero, Jimmy Hopkins, her cheerleader persona is spot on. And because she’s such a bully to everyone else, it makes it all the sweeter when you get to prank her. Like this…
However, Mandy has a softer side that comes into play later in the game as she confesses to Jimmy that she’s insecure and just wants to be popular hence her being a mega bitch. You then soften your stance, and feel a tad sorry for her. Jimmy even comes to her rescues and spray paints over some sexy posters of Mandy to spare her blushes. Oh, and rescue her from a fire. Jimmy also stiffens his <ahem> ‘stance’ again once he gets to lock lips with Mandy too. Sexy times!
Rumble Roses has two versions of each of its cast of all-female fighters. So on the one hand, you have Candy Cane – the punk-rock lead singer of the Killer Barbies, who enjoys mud wrestling and thinks school is for losers. Then you've got her flipside: The sweet-as-American-pie cheerleader Becky Welsh who… also likes mud wrestling and thinks school is for losers. *facepalm* So the difference is that she cheers? Brilliant. Or, come to think about it… brilliant!
So why is she so great? Well, firstly, look at that routine. Dreadful music, yes, but there's no denying she's doing actual, modern-day cheerleading. Neck-risking aerial throws, closely-synchronised dance moves… it's a proper spectacle and no mistake. Speaking of spectacle, that mud-wrestling mode is quite the eye-opener too…
Above: Looks more like hot chocolate wrestling. Mmmmmmm... hot chocolate
Taking the 'sexy cheerleader' to its logical conclusion, Becky's probably about as far as you can go in a videogame. Why only 'about as far'? Because there's one crucial yet easily-implemented element missing, and one that's knocked her down this list. What's that, you ask? We'll tell you: NO POM POMS. She must have left them at home. Well, you wouldn't want to get them muddy, would you?