|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Inis||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 2, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Karaoke games are certainly popular, and Lips is no exception. It has been almost two years since the first Lips was released, and since then, fans have lauded the new approach Lips has taken to this genre. The first title did a great job of establishing the franchise, and the second title, Number One Hits, worked well as an expansion pack of sorts. Although the second title didn't change the formula much or add any new features, it wasn't too big of a deal. After all, we were certain to get some new features by the time the third title rolled around right? Well, unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case.
The only real addition to the Lips franchise in Party Classics is the added ability to use a USB microphone instead of just the Lips Microphone (or in addition to it if you are going two-player.) This is an important feature, as you can now buy this title as a standalone disc and use your Rock Band (or any other USB microphone) to sing along. Although the mini-game functionality will be disabled when you use a USB microphone (as well as the dance function in-game), if you just want to sing, you will not have any problems with the USB microphone.
Aside from the new microphone functionality, Lips: Party Classics is the exact same Lips game we have been playing for the past two years. Should you be disappointed with this? Maybe. The first game showed a lot of promise with its three mini-games, and when I first reviewed it I was hopeful that they would include more in subsequent releases. However, with the same three mini-games shoehorned into each subsequent release, the charm is gone.
However, despite the complete lack of innovation for this title, at least the tracklist is good. The name "Party Classics" is quite fitting here, as the tracks included have plenty of high-energy songs from different eras. Highlights include Amy Winehouse's "Rehab," The Village People's "YMCA," and "I'm Too Sexy" from one-hit wonder Right Said Fred. There are also some slower tracks including "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt and Don McLean's classic "American Pie".
The tracklist is really an improvement over the Number One Hits expansion pack, which was a little too varied and didn't include a lot of wide-appeal songs. However, if you do want to play a song from number One Hits or from the original Lips, you will need to use the game's disc-swapping feature. Although this type of technique has been used in the past with franchises like SingStar, I wish they would include an import feature like what has been done with Rock Band and Guitar Hero, so you wouldn't have to pause mid-game every time you wanted to play songs from a different game. The good news is that purchases made through the Lips store will carry over no matter what version of the game you have. This also applies to songs you have downloaded from an external device (like an iPod or Zune) to the hard drive for use in the Freestyle mode.