Out of the box you’d be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t much to separate Lips from Sony’s SingStar series. But buying a karaoke game is a long-term investment, one that only comes to fruition once there’s a wealth of downloadable content available. For this reason it seems unfair to review Microsoft’s casual music game so soon, but there are at least two features that make it stand out. The microphones.
Bundled with the game they are vastly superior to those sold with SingStar. They’re wireless, they light up, are motion-sensitive and generally a lot more pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately the gameplay itself offers little new, and what there is just isn’t that inspiring. The various party modes are solid and enjoyable but far from revolutionary, and the slightly differing scoring system is an arbitrary tweak at best.
Worst of all, the much-touted ability to use songs from your iPod is depressingly basic. Simply put, the game will play tracks over a dynamic backdrop and you’ll stumble through without any lyrics. You could petition Microsoft with song requests, but it’s only likely to result in more mainstream content hitting the marketplace. Lips is an admirable attempt to dethrone SingStar, but by offering only a mildly different experience, it’s hard to recommend a mere 40 tracks over PSN’s hundreds.
Dec 3, 2008