Lips: Number One Hits

It’s odd but the predicted take over of this generation of consoles by karaoke games didn’t really transpire. After the success of Singstar it was assumed the genre would drive forward music games in the casual market, the integration with “always on” services expanding the genre and online gaming in general. It just didn’t pan out that way though, Singstar hasn’t exploded with vigour on the PS3 in the same way it did on the PS2 and Lips received average reviews with average accompanying sales. A year on and the first retail expansion to Lips is here looking to reignite our love of singing like a fool and waving around absurdly high quality microphones. Will Lips: Number One Hits top the charts?

The fundamentals of the game are of course identical, you sing and in doing so set a pitch bar on the screen which you match up to pitch indicators the game puts down which reflect the song in question. Match them up, do well and get points… it’s interspersed with doing poses (which the motion sensors in the mics detect) and making percussion sounds in time with the beat, again with help of motion sensors. In the spirit of casual games today there is no “game” element or progression. It’s all for fun and nothing else! The song listing is “number one hits” and gives a good range with everything from Rihanna to Pet Shop Boys and your DLC from Lips carries through to this disc, which is a thoroughly nice touch. Like its bigger brother the song listing is one dimensional though, aiming not to exclude anyone but equally lacking the depth to give the game true character. As such DLC is crucial to the whole package and it’s largely expected that you will pad out the game with your favourite songs, as such the game store is now built into the game. Combined with the new store fronts for music games on the 360, DLC is the big push and one which is well integrated.

Presentation-wise the game has come on leaps and bounds from the rather bland original. The song previews are now nicely integrated into the song selection scheme and the menus are generally slick affairs. Avatars play the stars this time, dancing away whilst you choose and acting out the poses when you are singing. Their character shines through making the game warmer and more amusing, it’s hard not to smile when your avatar excitedly watches your score rise after a song before holding a gold trophy proudly. Avatar use continues with the addition of unlockable clothing for doing well giving the package that bit more value.

The issue of value was always going to be the killer but Lips: Number One Hits does everything a new software entry to the series should do. It rejuvenates the interface, gives you full backwards compatibility with Lips and gives you an in game store for new songs. It’s simply a much more pleasant place to play Lips in, and with avatar support it feels more like a modern casual Xbox 360 game, which is what Microsoft were clearly wanting all along. If you love your karaoke games then seriously consider picking this up, it’s a tidy package that doesn’t fail to impress.







Leave a Reply