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Lips 360 Review

15/10/2009 Family Family Gamer Review
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Lips 360




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Family Guide Gamer (360)

Despite a questionable tracklist that seems devoid of any major pop songs, Lips is a fine karaoke style game that brings your friends and family together. With the ability to jump in and out of games, your family will be picking up a microphone to croon away the evenings with you. The addition of wireless, motion sensing microphones ensure that not only singing, but dancing and posing will ensue. I love Lips, my wife loves Lips and even the kids will jump in a warble with us, a true party game.

I'm not a fan of karaoke, in fact I hate it, and so it's very strange that I have a passion for singing games. As a huge fan of the SingStar series on the PlayStation I jumped at the chance to play Lips, a karaoke game for 360. It plays in the same vein as Singstar, with a music video plays behind the lyrics displayed and you have to sing along as best as you can to score points. Quite simple really, that must be why I enjoy it so much. There's no need to remember control schemes, adjust difficulty levels, I can just pick up a microphone and sing, albeit quite badly.

The beauty of Lips is the ease in which a group of friends and I can create a laugh.

The beauty of Lips is the ease in which a group of friends and I can create a laugh, with wireless microphones that you shake to begin playing, one of us will be warbling along and anyone can just jump in. As with any catchy songs, once one person starts singing, another person will join in and all of a sudden you're a duo. Although I do have a few gripes with Lips.

There are some great songs on the disc but there are a lot of bizarre choices too, who can actually sing Leona Lewis' 'Bleeding Love'? I do get the feeling that there wasn't a vast amount of research put into the set lists, where is 'The Final Countdown' or 'Come On Eileen'? Having a limited amount of songs does mean that we sing the same songs all the time. There is an ability to add songs from you iPod or CD's, but they won't have any lyrics so it makes it harder to sing along with friends.

My wife, who would blush if she sneezed in public, can be found singing along to The Kooks in our living room.

There are a few other issues, the latency on the singing can sometimes spoil your score, so even if you start singing /before/ the line starts, you will often miss the first note. It's also quite easy to cheat, by talking instead of singing, or humming. This ruins any playing by yourself as there isn't much of a challenge pushing you onwards. The same can be said for the challenge mode where you battle friends on a leaderboard, you'll never know whether they're just holding the microphone up to the speaker to perfect the scores.

But these are all quite minimal when you remember that this is a party game and best played with as much company as possible. The great thing about Lips is because it's in the privacy of your own home; you're more likely to drag your friends and family up to the mic. My wife, who would blush if she sneezed in public, can be found singing along to The Kooks in our living room. Even my two year old daughter will dance around with one of the microphones as Daddy sings.

With the ability to download more songs via Xbox Live, you'll never run out of songs to sing, but at 160 MS points each, they're quite expensive to me and I think that maybe you're best waiting for the inevitable sequel.

I tend to let my daughter tap away at the buttons, adding percussion to my performance.

There are some great features included, battle mode encourages you and a friend to outdo each other, the motion sensors in the microphones ensure that you will be out posing each other when prompted on screen and this feature can also be used to mimic tambourines and cow bells. These extra instruments can also be activated on a controller, which is another great option for younger children that want to join in; I tend to let my daughter tap away at the buttons, adding percussion to my performance.

Lips is a standout game for parties but can fall short on your own, whilst it brings some great ideas, they're not particularly well implemented. If all you want to do is sing, then Lips will allow you to do that, although it may not improve your voice, or make your neighbours forgiving.

Written by Andy Robertson

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Andy Robertson writes the Family Gamer column.

"Videogame reviews for the whole family, not just the kids. I dig out videogame experiences to intrigue and interest grownups and children. This is post-hardcore gaming where accessibility, emotion and storytelling are as important as realism, explosions and bravado."

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