In The Cheetah Girls: Passport to Stardom, a new Nintendo DS videogame, the Disney-created girl band of Aqua, Chanel and Dorinda (aka "The Cheetah Girls") jet-sets around the world to compete in international dance and singing competitions. The game's debut coincides with the release of The Cheetah Girls One World movie on the Disney channel, and picks up where that movie stops – in India.
This music/rhythm game follows the exploits of the Cheetah Girls as they travel from India to Spain and then onto the New York City in search of fame. Players use the touch-sensitive screen of the Nintendo DS to help the performers sing, dance and design costumes. The game features five songs from the new movie as well as five other songs from the two previous Cheetah Girls movies.
It's best to start by playing the Story Mode so that you can unlock all the features of this game. The Story Mode is playable on three levels of difficulty, a designation which applies to the minigames within the story.
There are three kinds of minigames: Performance, Cheetah Fashions, and Gita Says; and once unlocked, these games are playable separate from the Story Mode.
The Performance games are music/rhythm games, similar to what was first introduced in Elite Beat Agents, where you tap colored circles in time to the music. For example, while in India, the Cheetah Girls tryout to be the opening act for a local Indian band. The girls are shown performing on the lower touch-sensitive screen and as they sing and dance, colored circles with numbers in the center appear on top of the singers. Each circle has a large ring around it that decreases in size until it matches the outline of the circle. If you tap the circle at the moment the ring matches the outline of the circle, you attain the maximum points possible and the singers keep performing. Miss too many of these, and the tryout stops. However, you can repeat the tryout until you succeed.
Cheetah Fashions is a memory game where you are shown an article of clothing and then asked to reproduce it in a limited time period. You select the pattern of clothing, the material, and the flair (a small insignia placed on top of the item). For each article you create, you earn it and money to buy other clothing. With the Gita Says minigame, you must memorize dance moves by recreating a sequence of arrows.
In addition to playing the game, girls can use the Nintendo DS to listen to the ten Cheetah Girls songs. If you plug in headphones, you can listen to the song list even when the Nintendo DS is closed. This game also supports D-Gamer, an online community where you can chat with friends, see the achievements you have unlocked in Disney games, and create an Avatar that can be seen by others as you chat.
In the Multiplayer Mode, the Performance minigames can be played cooperatively or competitively using the local wireless capability of the Nintendo DS; and if both friends own the game, they can trade fashions they have made or bought.
While the game's shallow themes of fashion and pursuit of fame may cause some parents concern, the game does encourage girls to read the story and two of the three minigames require the player to practice her memory skills. These minigames appear in variety of formats, are all fun to play, and get progressively harder.
If you have a Cheetah Girls fan in your house, this game will be a hit.
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