Lips Review “Release Me”

What comes to mind when you think Music based video games? Is it Rock Band or is it Guitar Hero? Or is it Singstar? Well, probably one of the most over looked downfalls in this gaming generation has to be the fixation on the casual gaming market, and sadly this game doesn’t divert from that manner. But, none the less, Lips is a party game that has one of the greatest bonding powers of getting friends and family to play with on another. However, one can only wonder if Lips is going to be just another video game face plant or an instant sensation?

After previous failed attempts by Microsoft at trying to recreate the fun derived from group gaming, with such examples as Scene It! and You’re In the Movies, Lips is another offspring of the guys over at iNiS in Japan, which is known for games like Elite Beat Agents – another party-driven game – and many others. Opinion-wise, I really do not think that it was a great idea to name the game Lips, which brings up the games first downfall. We really don’t think we need to go into detail about that.

However, with the game having a somewhat bad name, it does differ from its predecessors. The game has a start up track of about 40 songs, all of which are master tracks including music videos and select previews. They also have different videos other than the original video made for the song that the gamer can pick from. The game has a multiplayer feature that pits you against another player, or against the computer. As for mics, Lips has two beautifully designed wireless microphones that light up as you sing.

When singing, the upcoming lyrics will be highlighted in gray, and the current lyrics will be highlighted in white. However, in two player mode, where player one is on the top and player two is on the bottom, you sometimes fix your eyes on the gray lyrics if you are player two and end up singing the wrong words, which becomes a problem. Also, when singing in the right pitch and balance, the word bars will be colored in the the color of your mic (ex. player one red, player two blue).

Luckyly, the guys over at iNiS knew that you may not be able to hit all the notes so, unlike other music games, you are unable to fail any songs, which is both its strength and weakness. It’s just like the problem that many people had with Elika from Prince of Persia in his newest adventure. It really takes away from the challenge, I mean would you really want to play a game that does nothing to challenge the gamer? I think not.

If you add all those things together it really does make for a weak single-player experience, but this game is really strong when you play it was a buddy. Which brings me to the co-op and mutliplayer part of the game. When in this mode, you can take on a song with a friend (ex. Umbrella by Rihanna). This song has a better co-op standard then other songs in the game, for example Another One Bits The Dust by Queen. But, lucky the mutliplayer works great for this game.

Closing Statements:

I really had alot of fun playing this game. It is really strong in most aspects of it and will surely keep you playing for hours on hand. The interface is remarkably easy to use, the initial track list is solid, and the microphones are outstanding. But, there is one problem, it does not push itself as being a game that a hardcore gamer would want to pick up and play. The game also has the ability for you to transfer music from your iPod, but what really makes me mad is that you can’t upload music from an iPhone or iTouch. That is one reason we couldn’t put that in our review. Also the quality of the videos are mostly in SD, which doesn’t fit this game at all.

Score: B-