D+PAD: Lips: Number One Hits Reviewed

When Microsoft first announced Lips, it wouldn't have been stretching the limits of cynicism to think that it was just another tick in the Xbox's 'casual market' checklist, with the console on its ceaseless drive to become all things to all people (or, depending on your viewpoint, innocently expanding its audience). It was only when I heard that iNiS were involved, cult creators of such rhythm-action classics as Elite Beat Agents and – best of all – Gitaroo Man, that my interest was piqued. Any hope that iNiS' grasp of eccentricity would carry over into the mainstream world of karaoke gaming was dashed when Lips eventually emerged last year; nevertheless it was a well-designed, exceptionally slick affair. The only surprise was how traditional their take on karaoke actually was (a bouncing ball for the lyrics the most pointed – and cute – addition). iNiS' involvement was also reassuring because it showed that Microsoft had an awareness of the history of music gaming, as well as a desire to release a karaoke game of real distinction. Did we mention that the wireless microphones had pretty lights?

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