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Preview: Lips

The Xbox 360 may have been lacking in the casual game department recently, but when Lips was confirmed at E3 2008, my faith in the department grew. If I’m honest, the Lips trailer is one of the only trailers I remember watching at the conference back in July.

The trailer showed a party with a man and a woman sitting at either end of a sofa. The man then picks up the wireless microphone and starts to sing along to Peter, Bjorn & John’s ‘Young Folks’. He then hands her a microphone and the two start a duet of the song. Another lady then connects a Zune to the console and the woman, still holding the microphone from before, sings along.

From this trailer alone we learnt that the ability to connect a digital music player would be present and it was confirmed that the game will feature vocal reduction and will score players based on their performance. We also got an idea of the type of songs that would be featuring in the game. With everyone’s favourite Welsh singer (Tom Jones) Duffy performing her number-one-hit ‘Mercy’ at the event, the intended ‘pop music’ audience was made quite clear.

It was also confirmed the game would come bundled with two motion-sensitive microphones, one of which is black and the other white. As seen in the trailer, a second player can join at any time in the song by shaking the microphone. In an interview with Keiichi Yano, he revealed the microphones contained LEDs which will “pulsate with your voice, with your music and with any type of interactivity you might be doing with the microphone.” Yano also revealed that extra points will be scored within the game for certain movements with the microphones, so even those who aren’t the best of singers will be able to score points (all of the CM staff then – Ed).

The Xbox 360 controller will be used as an instrument for the game. It works by the player “mashing some buttons here and there in rhythm.” The Xbox 360 controller support takes the total amount of players available in the game to six. A few of the game modes have been announced; though at the time of writing not much is known about them, some are pretty obvious. They are, single player, two player, duet and harmonising modes. Online play for the game has been confirmed; though once again, we have little knowledge of what it will include.

Since all those features were confirmed earlier this year, Microsoft has kept their lips sealed and very little information has been announced regarding  the title, with the exception of the game’s soundtrack. There’s some of the more recent hits such as Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ (ella ella) and Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love’, to some classic songs such as Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ and Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’. All the tracks featured on Lips have been confirmed as master tracks. When the game releases, Microsoft claimed there will be around forty songs on the disc and confirmed new songs would become available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for download. Similarly to the PlayStation title Singstar, each track will feature the song’s music video in the background.

Lips is expected to release on Friday 21st November 2008. Personally, I will be picking this up as it’s a game I feel all the family will enjoy, perfect for Christmas.

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