Jason Hill writes:
"Among the new titles that Microsoft hopes will help expand the Xbox 360's audience this Christmas, karaoke game Lips is the most likely to be a major success.
Not only does it build upon the solid foundations of Sony's astonishingly popular SingStar franchise (which has shifted over 14 million copies, including over half a million microphones in Australia) with some pleasing innovations, but the game is being developed by legends of the rhythm action genre.
Japanese studio iNiS, creators of Gitaroo Man and Elite Beat Agents (Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan) might have been a surprise choice of developer for an important Microsoft title, but they are a very welcome one.
At the recent Games Convention in Leipzig, Lips Global Product Manager Glen Gregory gave Screen Play a tour of the game and its wireless microphone controllers, which feature flashing lights and motion sensitivity to be utilised in various rhythm action mini-games.
The microphone's motion sensors are also utilised when crooning. Good singing fills up a special meter that allows you to earn bonus points for increasingly elaborate crowd-pleasing gestures, from a simple tap on the hip to swinging the microphone over your head.
Screen Play also likes how anyone can pick up a microphone, give it a shake, and then instantly join in singing a song in progress, or use the mic like a tambourine if you are too bashful to sing.
Up to four other people can join in the fun using regular 360 joypads, pressing buttons to
make percussion sounds like claps, maraccas and cowbells in time with the music (or deviously try and break the concentration of the current singer) - another example of how Microsoft is committed to making Lips a casual and social experience that anyone can enjoy."