I don't want to laud myself as a singing game expert or anything, but I must admit that I'm eying Microsoft's casual-gamer bait Lips with a measure of curiosity. It's quite clear that MS expects Lips to net it some of the mainstream appeal it wants so badly, but it remains to be seen whether or not this will put the Xbox 360 in a position to compete with the Wii. Something tells me Nintendo isn't losing sleep over it.
Nevertheless, as Christmas draws near, you can expect to hear more about Lips than you ever wanted, and we'll be doing little to stem the flow. Forty songs have been revealed for the karaoke game, including Ah-Ha's "Take On Me" and Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus." The game will retail for $69.99 with two wireless, motion-sensitive microphones. The motion sensing will create on-screen music videos by mirroring your movements while characters lip-sync with you. Kind of neat, actually.
As far as game modes go, we kick off with Freestyle Mode, which lets you plug in an MP3 player and use your own music ... provided of course it's DRM-free. Because they're your own songs, lyrics will not appear on-screen. A small price to pay in order to finally get some Electric Light Orchestra into one of these games.
The various Party Modes include a Vocal Fighters sing-off in which players compete to win fans or get the boot offstage, Time Bomb, where friends must sing together in order to push back a ticking bomb, and the saucy Kiss, where players have to "hit the notes and gestures together [and then] meet in the middle to share a kiss." There's more after the jump, including a full tracklist, so hit it.
Some extra bullet-point notes:
Downloadable songs are planned for the future. Estelle's "No Substitute Love" is a confirmed launch song. Never heard of it.
Although singing is two-player, up to four players can work together with the additional two using 360 controllers and "choosing from a variety of percussion accompaniment to play along with the music."
Songs with multiple vocalists will have their melody and lyrics split between each part during Duet Mode, to create a more natural experience.
Finally, here's the full tracklist. Most of it's crap, with a scant few gems thrown in:
a-ha -- "Take on Me"
Alicia Keys -- "No One"
Aly & AJ -- "Potential Break Up Song"
Avril Lavigne -- "Complicated"
Ben E. King -- "Stand by Me"
Beyoncé -- "Irreplaceable"
Blondie -- "Call Me"
Chris Brown -- "With You"
Coldplay -- "Yellow"
Depeche Mode -- "Personal Jesus"
Destiny's Child -- "Survivor"
Dido -- "White Flag"
Duffy -- "Mercy"
Duran Duran -- "Hungry Like the Wolf"
John Denver -- "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
Johnny Cash -- "Ring of Fire"
Leona Lewis -- "Bleeding Love"
Lil' Mama -- "Lip Gloss"
Lupe Fiasco (featuring Matthew Santos) -- "Superstar"
Maroon 5 -- "Makes Me Wonder"
Nirvana -- "In Bloom"
Peter Bjorn and John -- "Young Folks"
Queen -- "Another One Bites the Dust"
R.E.M. -- "The One I Love"
Radiohead -- "Fake Plastic Trees"
The Ramones -- "I Wanna Be Sedated"
Rascal Flatts -- "Stand"
Rihanna -- "Umbrella"
Roxette -- "Listen to Your Heart"
Sara Bareilles -- "Love Song"
Sheryl Crow -- "Soak Up the Sun"
Taylor Swift -- "I'm Only Me When I'm With You"
The Bangles -- "Walk Like an Egyptian"
The Fray -- "Over My Head (Cable Car)"
The Jackson 5 -- "ABC"
The Police -- "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
The Raveonettes -- "Love in a Trashcan"
Trace Adkins -- "Ladies Love Country Boys"
Weezer -- "Island in the Sun"
Young MC -- "Bust a Move"
You know, I have to confess that this actually looks quite promising. At the very least, it's not going down the Rock Band/Guitar Hero squeaky plastic toy saturation road. I'm going to be paying more attention to this one from now on because you never know, it might not suck at all!
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