Its Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Singstar series of games, but does it shine as bright as Sony’s star or is it too dim to be the talk on everyone’s lips?
Lips gameplay is simple, you sing along, hopefully well, to popular songs of today and yesterday. When you are singing you have to follow the wave of colour as it passes through the lyrics bubbles on the screen. If your singing matches the timing of the lyrics and the pitch of the music, the bubbles fill with colour and your score increases. As you are doing well your Star stream meter fills up. Once it is full, a mic gesture appears on the right of the melody bars and if you strike that pose you will trigger Star Stream, which lasts for a limited time, but sing well whilst it is on and your score will increase at a rapid rate.
Lips includes, Single play, VS play and Co-op play. Single mode has you taking centre stage and trying to score as many points as you can to level up and earn those achievements. In VS mode, you take on each other and whoever scores the most wins. In Co-op mode, you team up with someone for a combined score. Your scoring is based on your performance, that’s musical and stage performance. You can get six different medals while singing and they are Pitch, Stability, Rhythm, Party, Technique and Performance. Your total song score will fall in one of the following ranks, from worst to best: Biscuit, Rock, Meteor, Asteroids, Planet, Star, Super Nova, Galaxy, Universe and Big Bang. You track your performances in the “My Lips” section. This is where you can see your personal scores and history, your friend’s status and your top 10 info. Unfortunately, you can’t play online against anyone, but you can send him or her score challenges. Another way to play Lips, which the whole family can get involved in, is with the controller. While people are singing, you can use the Noise Makers with the various buttons on the controller. This lets those that are missing out on singing still participate in some way.
There are 40 songs included on the disk, which includes songs from popular artists like Queen, Missy Higgins, Silverchair, Coldplay and even Johnny Cash for the oldies among us. For a full list of songs included, go to www.xbox.com/lips. Microsoft will make available more songs via downloadable content for a small fee and it is reported that they will release one song per week as DLC. You can import songs of your own from you USB devises or your hard drive and sing along to them in Freestyle mode. The only problem is that no lyrics appear on the screen to help you sing along with the song. Microsoft needs to build a catalogue of songs, which are recognized when you load them from your USB device or hard drive, and give them the ability to display the lyrics. Your own music collection is best used in Lips in the “Jukebox” mode. This is a great mode that allows you to customize your own list of songs from the 40 included on the disk along with anything from your own collection and let them play like a Jukebox! You can even jump in at anytime and sing along if you wish.
There is no online play but with this style of game, it is all about getting friends and family together and belt out some tunes. For this, Lips is the ultimate party game and with its great selection of music and the ability to load your own into the game, as well as DLC, you will sing with friends and family for a long time to come.
There is not much to say about Lips in the graphics department. Lips consists of flashy menus but you’ll be mainly looking at DVD quality video clips, which look good, but would have been even better if they’d been HD videos.
This is one of the most important area of Lips as if the soundtrack on Lips was of poor quality then Lips would be a poor experience. However, the music in Lips sounds fantastic, especially through a good sound system.
Lips is a fantastic party game, which rivals Sony’s Singstar very well. Whilst not having the video upload options of Singstar, Lips does everything just as well if not better than Singstar and is a great addition for all the family to enjoy.
Lips is just pure fun to play, especially with friends and family.
With flashy menus and DVD quality music videos, Lips looks great for what it is, but would have looked so much better if the videos were HD ones.
All the music that is played in Lips sounds fantastic, as it should.
Lips is the ultimate party game, although an online VS mode would have topped it off.
With 40 songs included on the disc that covers a wide variety of tastes, plenty of DLC to come and the ability to load your own collection into the game, Lips is a great party game that will be played by all for months to come.
Reviewed and Written by Craig Cirillo