Almost As Bad As Laserdisc Karaoke, Sometimes Worse

User Rating: 5 | Lips X360
Lips is similar to dive bar, laser disc Karaoke. It contains none of the technical innovations created since the 90's.

Instead of showing the lyrics as a continuously flowing stream, the UI displays each line of lyrics one at a time, slide show style. This makes it impossible to know what's coming next, unless you move your eyes and read the next line which is displayed (sometimes) in the middle of the screen. Co-op mode makes this even worse, as it's often impossible to tell who's supposed to be singing until the actual line has already started.

To make matters worse, the pitch indicator is a large reddish white rectangle on the red rhythm indicator, making it very hard to see much less tell what pitch you're singing at.

Lips is only capable of displaying discrete pitches so any song where one note is tied to the next will display the two notes separately rather than a continuous line. Particularly hilarious is Beyonce's "To The Left" which ends with a wild voice fluctuation. Lips displays this as an impossible to sing series of dots that looks like an incomplete Connect the Dots drawing.

The much ballyhooed wireless mics work well for singing but are a pain to sync. Press the button for one second until the lights blink, press the sync button the Xbox then press and hold the button for three seconds until the lights blink rapidly. One problem: The lights randomly blink even when the not being synced, so who can tell the difference? And of course, the menu screens don't indicate whether the mics are detected. You have to actually start a song to find out. The shake-the-mic-for-percussion feature has a horrible lag so hitting the rhythm is impossible. Thankfully, there's no reason to shake on rhythm as wildly shaking the mic nets much more star power. Maybe this is Microsoft's answer to Wii fit?

Finally, the scoring system is atrocious, ranking the user with little indistinguishable icons for good pitch, stability, rhythm, party, technique and performance none of which are explained on screen. You must read the manual which is a big no-no for a party game.

Lips is a throwback to the 90's. And not in a good way.