As a games reviewer you have to take the rough with the smooth. For every Call of Duty, there’s a Barbie game that wants reviewing. Sometimes reviewing a game that’s off the radar yields a surprisingly good gaming experience that may otherwise have been overlooked (I thought, to my shame, that Batman: Arkham Asylum was going to be a bit poo).
When I was asked to review Lips: Number One Hits, an eyebrow or two was raised. A karaoke game isn’t the usual fayre of a male gamer in his late thirties (as I was back then).
As I gave it more thought, I started to appreciate the challenge that had been presented to me. I was hardly likely to buy a copy of Lips, shit, I was hardly likely to give Lips a go totally inebriated either. Reviewing something like Lips would force me to be subjective and test my skills as a reviewer-in-training to the max. It would be no good simply burping into the mic and then writing a review lamenting on the game having no shooting or stuff being blown up.
And so I threw myself into Lip: Number One Hits. Check out my review below, as published in NetGuide magazine back in 2010.
Game Console’s Darren Price recently swapped his Xbox 360 gamepad for a microphone and treated the neighbours to some of his “singing” courtesy of Microsoft’s Lips: Number One Hits.
Lips: Number One Hits is a tweaked version of last year’s Lips karaoke game, featuring 40 “Chart-topping Hits”. The package also comes with two of the rather snazzy wireless Lips microphones.
Compared with the mundane microphones supplied with Rock Band, the Lips microphones are a bit of hand-held, neon lit, Vegas. They flash away to the beat of the song and, when your vocal cords can take no more, they also double as noise makers when shaken to create a hand-clap, finger-click or tambourine sound.
I know it is a bit of a cliché to say that there’s is something for everyone, but with a track list that ranges from Marvin Gaye to Lady Gaga, Lips: Number One Hits really tries to cater for all musical tastes. If you are not keen on the available tracks, you can import any DRM-free songs on your Xbox 360 hard drive, portable USB device or media centre capable networked PC into the game. The song import function does not include the lyrics so you’ll have to know the songs.
Lips: Number One Hits is compatible with the original Lips downloadable content .There are over 200 additional songs available for purchase in the Xbox Marketplace. You can easily browse and preview downloadable songs from within the game before you buy them.
Being familiar with the naff pub karaoke set-ups of old I was rather hoping that Lips: Number One Hits would offer players something more than the pretty rudimentary modes on offer. The solo/vs mode allows a second vocalist to join by simply shaking the second microphone, turning the song into a head to head sing-off. Duet mode allows players to sing together and harmonise for extra points.
Lips: Number One Hits does what is says on the tin. The track list is a well-chosen spread of songs that are guaranteed to spice up your summer parties.
A edited verison of this review first appeared in the February 2010 issues of NetGuide magazine.