Xbox 360 Review: Lips

The 360 gets its first full Karaoke game..and it’s quite good

Singstar is the obvious competition for a game like Lips. Although having played some Singstar games, I fail to see what the hype is around it. The game only has a few select songs, while Lips has that plus the option to import your own music.

Importing music was easy enough for me, the game read all my music from my computer and played it without any problems. You obviously don’t get lyric prompts and it’s very easy, but that doesn’t matter because it’s the first singing game that lets you do it and it does it well. You get 2 wireless microphones with the game so you can do duets with the game’s track list or you can try and do it with your own music.

The microphones are great and have lights on them that you can alter in-game to change the colours and type of flashing it does during songs. It also has a motion sensor built in so you can perform a few moves with the microphone along with the on-screen prompt to activate a multiplier, much like Star Power in Guitar Hero. It can be tricky to pull off some of the moves, but the game usually goes into the multiplier if you just wave the microphone around.

Songs are incredibly easy to get points in, I’m a terrible singer and was able to get some very high scores. That could be its big drawback, but I personally had a much better time with Lips than any other Singstar game. I know by saying that, I’ll appear to be a 360 fanboy…but I assure you I’m not. While I do prefer the 360 to the PS3, I’m waiting for that PS3 game that will blow my socks off, which hasn’t happened yet.

There are a total of 40 songs that come with the game and the ability to download more from Xbox Live. Plus with your own music, it almost makes the package unlimited with quality. Sure it may be the easiest Karaoke game ever made, but it’s still a good game..which would you rather have? Fun or realism? I know which one I’d pick any day.

Achievements unlock over time like singing a number of songs or gaining so many stars and medals for your performances. There’s also some mini-games that you can take part in during performances. One example is a bomb that has been lit and you must put it out with water by singing well and filling your glass with water then tilting the microphone to pour it on the flame. It’s really easy but adds a bit more variety to just a standard background video.

The interface for Lips is slick and very easy to use, it couldn’t be any simpler to use. While Lips feels like a clone of Singstar, it feels like a more improved one because of the additions made to it. I can’t see Singstar letting you import your own music or play mini-games, I think it’s been a bit underrated by others because they’ve tried hopelessly to compare them and to find fault. What I see is a fun game that surpasses Sony’s game by a mile.

Besides all I’ve mentioned, Lips doesn’t have much else to offer. But it doesn’t really need anything else, it does exactly what it says on the box and doesn’t falter. I’ve heard complaints about bugs but have yet to come across one myself, so I don’t know what they are talking about. Microsoft’s attempt at appealing to the casual gamer and families is starting to pay off, first with Scene It and now with this. It might have been nice to have some Avatar support so you can see him/her singing, but it’s not a problem that ruins the game.

The Verdict

Lips is perhaps the greatest Karaoke game ever. Sure, it’s probably the easiest too but its damn fun and impressive. It has more replay value than a lot of music games thanks to the choice to import music and will keep you entertained for ages.