Lips Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

Karaoke game from Microsoft.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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This is the only song we haven't tried
This is the only song we haven't tried

This is the only song we haven't tried

At first glance, Lips is Microsoft's SingStar killer. It's a karaoke game with graphics that look remarkably similar to Sony's effort, but scratch beneath the surface and you realise that Lips is much more than that. It forms part of Microsoft's three-pronged Christmas 2008 assault on the casual gaming space, sharing responsibility with party title You're in the Movies and quiz game Scene It? Box Office Smash. Lips isn't just gunning for SingStar, it's gunning for the Wii, the DS, and anything else that's vying for position underneath your Christmas tree.

And yet, working out whether Lips is any good forces you to compare it to SingStar (and rope in your better half, preferably brandishing a bottle of wine). Undoubtedly Lips' microphones are the best on the music game market. They're wireless, from this point forward a requirement for all rival products, and that technology is utilised well. You're able to join songs at any point with a simple shake, BUT, in order to get them to work with your console you have to press and hold a small button at the bottom of each microphone and press the sync button on the front of the 360, then wait for the rings to flash as they do when a normal controller syncs. No-where in the game or in the game manual is this explained, which led to one hell of a struggle getting the damn things to work in the first place.

Still, they feel great. They have decent weight and as a result don't feel like a cheap piece of plastic that might snap after a clumsy, alcohol-fuelled fall. On top of that, there's shining LED lights that adorn the bottom end of each microphone that pulse to the rhythm of each song. This is largely pointless in my view, but that won't be the opinion of everyone. The ball and chain, for example, loves it, bless her, and even made me turn the lights off in the bedroom to make the most of them.

She also loves being able to use the wireless mics as if they're Wii Remotes. Sing well enough and an image will appear on screen that shows a silhouette of a singer prompting a mic gesture, like holding both hands in the air, for example. Strike that pose (or don't - simply violently jerking the mic is usually enough to convince the game you're doing what it's asking you to) and you'll trigger Star Stream, which gives the tone bars a shot of glitter juice and grants you a short period of bonus star potential. Again, I wasn't particularly enamoured with the prospect of actually having to do more with my muscles than hold a mic a couple of inches away from my mouth, but then I'm a 'mourngey git', apparently, and, admittedly, you'll have to at least try if you've got a competitive streak burning somewhere inside of you, since it increases your high score potential. You don't want to trigger it just before a period with little singing, since you'll waste the score bonus period - instead you'll want to save it for just before you have to belt out more banging lyrics than in an Arctic Monkeys tune.

Lips is also pretty competitive. VS is our most played mode, and trying to beat the 'trouble and strife's' end score, dependent on your ability to sing a song's lyrics on key and in time, was my primary motivation. The game is actually pretty forgiving, I found. You don't need to sing like an angel to fill the bar with red or blue. You don't even need to pronounce the words. You can slur your way to victory, if you can slur in tune. For the mega competitive among you, vibrato and well placed Star Stream will be a must - myself and the missus managed 2.37 million singing Coldplay's Yellow cooperatively, which is such a good score it's classified as a Big Bang. Beat that.

This is the only other song we haven't tried

This is the only other song we haven't tried

The point? There's medals to go for, awarded after every song. You'll get these for pitch, stability, rhythm, party, technique and performance. There's also a ranking system, which every point scored contributes to. You start off as a lowly 'Shower Dreamer', but soon enough you'll be climbing the ladder to inevitable stardom. Still, Lips is unmistakably non-hardcore, the antithesis to Gears of War 2. You can't fail a song, which means you can simply sit back and enjoy the music if you fancy it, but you'll get nul points if you do.

The menu system has awful lounge music but it's accessible and easy to navigate, as well as very, very white. From the main menu you've got a number of options, all scrolled through horizontally. Sing is where you pick songs to sing, obviously. There's a number of options available with any given song. If it's one of the songs on the disc, or a song downloaded via Xbox LIVE Marketplace, you've got three options: You can sing along with the original music video (and perv over a writhing Rihanna in the rain), or have what's called a 'Virtual Music Video' (a dynamic, iPod dancing silhouette advert-esque video that can be manipulated with mic movement) play instead, or pick from one of three mini-game type challenges. One of them, called Time Bomb, requires you to sing well enough to prevent a lit fuse from blowing up a bomb - if it does the lights on the mic flash quickly before turning bright orange. Another, called Vocal Fighters, sees two Guitar Hero type 2D rockers swinging a mic about as if they're having some kind of epileptic fit - swing the wireless mic around during quiet periods of a song and they'll swing their heads around. Rock and roll.

Jukebox mode plays songs randomly, like shuffle mode on your iPod. Get Music is where you, literally, get your music. Here, you can sift through the 40 tracks that are included on the disc (more on that later), any tracks that are on your Xbox 360 hard drive, a USB connected device (more on that later) and anything on a network, like a nearby PC. This is also where you'll be able to buy songs from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

And finally, My Lips is where all the online features are found. You're able to check out your personal score and history, but best of all it contains a friends list of sorts, which allows you to see what your friends are up to and compare Lips achievements. Although we haven't been able to check it out yet, you can play Lips online, too, which I reckon might be an odd experience, but hey ho.

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User Comments

chez's Avatar
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Hi i wonder if anyone can help, ive got singstar on playstation 2 which i love but ive been told that lips alow u to sing any song u want to via downloading it on to lips cd... is this correct or is there a catch???
Posted 22:20 on 08 February 2009
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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OK so i have written bout this already....this game is great but i have one problem....ONE BIG me and my family were playin this last nite the only game i can get everyone to play ok so my mom gets tired of singing and just starts makin up her own words and blowing into the mic....and what did i see her score going through the roof.....what is up with that is ne one else havin this same problem
Posted 06:26 on 31 December 2008
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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Got this for christmas and i must say it is a blast i really like jukebox mode u nver know what ur gonna b singing and when u add two ppl who don't know the wrds to the song it equals and extreme laughin-a-palooza really...but....what i don't get is that my sister is not a good singer and im way better at singin than she is and when we compete she is off tune squeaky and a discrace to the ears but....yet she scores off the charts and i am simply just is this soo i no im a better singer but this game says she is i don't understand but ne way its still alot of fun even when you lose to someone who sucks to the 10th power
Posted 09:37 on 29 December 2008
MeeShelle's Avatar
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Brilliant game, however I have played on it none stop since yesterday and now i'm bored and want MORE songs! I must admit I thought it would have more FREE downloads - impressed with the game not overly impressed with the lack of FREE downloads - come on XBOX pull your finger out!
Posted 20:11 on 26 December 2008
Jonny's Avatar
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Yeah just one problem, according to manuals as well as some extra digging up, if your songs d have lyrics on them they should be visible on your xbox, problem though, adding the lyrics takes hours, anybody know where to get a automatic lyric downloader that actually works because all the ones i tried so far dont work...
Posted 22:39 on 25 December 2008
KingRichard's Avatar
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I got my wife LIPS for Christmas... I got the 360 last Christmas.
It's nice... my wife can finally sing her heart out at home. However, the library of music to purchase is lacking (24 songs on Christmas day, with 2-3 of those coming tomorrow). Sometimes when you're shaking the mics, singing and it lines up the score, vibration bonus, etc... the video/singing/scoring lags with horrible visual choppyness... the music stays on queue as does the lyrics, they just skip and get really choppy... horrible code I would have to say... I hope there is a massive update before 2009 or I will send my Wife to Redmond, and she'll give them an earful...
Posted 20:05 on 25 December 2008
Jamesss's Avatar
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Shall I Get It Or Not I Dont No Because There Is 2 Sides To This And I Dunno Which 1 To Believe
Posted 23:49 on 20 December 2008
CJ's Avatar
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You guys rock!! I've been trying to sync my mics for 30 minutes and finally resorted to looking for help on line and this was the *only* place that had exact instructions to explain the process. Thanks so much!!
Posted 18:22 on 13 December 2008
Princess R's Avatar
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Princess R

Lips sounds great! Its gonna be my first singing game and it looks sooooo good! I'm 13 so yeah, thats my view! :) Xbox 360 is my first console and I think I got the best console ever available at the moment! :) Great games and lips is so good! WAY BETTER THAN SINGSTAR! I mean honestly they have made loads of singstars and still wired microphones?!?! SONY PEOPL SHOUDL HAVE THOUGHT UP WIRELSS BEFORE MICROSOFT!! Lol :D

Basically, I <3 the Xbox 360 & Lips :)
Posted 21:08 on 08 December 2008
Princess R's Avatar
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Princess R

I have the xbox 360 arcade but lillie do you have a hard drive? Most big games needs a hard drive :)
Posted 21:05 on 08 December 2008
Lillie&7's Avatar
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Very good rewiew, but i have an "normal" Xbox 360, and it can't play the game :s
Anybody know why? :)
Posted 19:24 on 03 December 2008
BIG WILL29's Avatar
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They need to come out with a patch for the microphone audio delay
Posted 19:48 on 30 November 2008
beaker151's Avatar
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have the game would like to play it but the frickin thing locks up repeatedly in the loading phase, not the box just the game microsoft finest once again
Posted 03:47 on 29 November 2008
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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Well i have heard both sides of this story i read on review that said this game is way to easy and easily forgotten, you can just scream in the mic and you will get an amazing score then i read ur review and you gave the game a pretty good score and i was thinkin mayb it depends on the person and i like singing and it seems pretty great...problem though bout the ipod well i recently tried to play my ipod touch on my 360 and well a no go... what is up with that does that mean it won't work... i also have an ipod video and i wrks on my 360 what is the diff.
Posted 04:46 on 28 November 2008
liquidkool's Avatar
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can u use the usb mic for lips
Posted 21:07 on 26 November 2008

Game Stats

Out of 10
  • Play DRM-free songs from your iPod
  • Wireless microphones are great
  • Playing your own songs doesn't include lyrics
  • No video uploading
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/11/2008
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Music
No. Players: 1-6
Rating: BBFC 12
Site Rank: 2,657 19
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