* Prices may differ from that shown
=== The product ===
This is a singing came for the Xbox 360. You receive two microphones in the box meaning that you can either have one as a spare or play with friends and family. You also receive 4 AA batteries.
=== Where can I buy this & for how much? ===
This can be purchased from numerous stockists. Mine was purchased, with additional microphones, for just £12.00 from eBay quite a while ago. My main reason for purchasing this was that I wanted the game and when I spotted that I could have two back-up microphones for just £1.00 more than the price the game only was selling for I snapped it up! This version, with microphones, can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £15.99 or disc only for £14.99 (prices correct November 2011) so it would seem that the similar prices are common across the board.
=== The microphones ===
Each microphone uses 2 X AA batteries. I find that the batteries I use, rechargeable ones, usually last for about 5 or 6 hours of singing time before I have to change them. I think that this is a fairly low amount of time, however, this is probably due to the fact that the microphones are wireless, that they can be used as 'noise makers' and they light up and flash in time with the music and their use. The batteries are fairly simple to fit but not so easy to remove! You unscrew the top of the microphone, open the microphone cover (by removing a plastic piece with a thumb groove it in) and then place your batteries in. I find that I have to use the plastic piece, upside down, to pry out the batteries as they tend to fit very snugly but this could just be the rechargeable batteries that I am using.
These microphones can be synced up easily to the Xbox 360 and there is a button on the front of the Xbox 360 and on the bottom of the microphone that should be pressed and/or held (a combination of the two that I can never remember!) so that the Xbox 360 and the microphones will 'find' each other and work together.
=== Achievements ===
As this is designed to be an 'add on' game but can be used independently there are 12 achievements worth an addition 345 points for your Xbox 360 gamer score. These range from hitting a specific note to a song to earning an extremely high point scoring in a specific song. These achievements were fun and I believe that I actually earnt all of them, bar one, on the same evening that I got this game.
=== Gameplay ===
You can dive in and begin singing as soon as the game has loaded. The load times are a little longer once you've been playing all of the games as there is more load data and I also have about 20-25 songs that I have downloaded so all of these are loaded from the hard drive. You can decide to play the 'Jukebox' which allows you to play songs at random, ideal for parties, and you can add songs from your media device such as an iPod which is fantastic although these obviously do not have their own music videos for them.
The game is really simple to get in to. Everything is well laid out, it is simple to understand and it takes just a few minutes, even with the length loading time if you're a regular Lips player. The graphics are good, each song has either its original music video or a custom video available to you and your avatar will feature quite heavily throughout the game.
The song singing is very simple. The lyrics will appear on the screen and I believe that you can have a couple of different display options to ensure that your preferred method of lyric displaying is met and you can sing along easily, even if you don't normally know the words or even the song. Throughout the song you will need to strike poses or bang your microphone to trigger off special features such as earning bonus stars (all counts towards some achievements!). You earn points throughout the song which work towards being on the leader board and if you have friends who play the Lips games they will be able to see your scores at the end of their song for comparison and I love rubbing my husbands nose in the fact that I am better than him at basically every single song even though my singing voice is terrible!
You can play against friends in a battle mode or play together in the co-op mode, these are both ridiculous fun and it is amazing just how quickly you and your friends will get in to the game and stop being shy about singing in front of each other.
=== Overall opinion ===
This game is absolutely fantastic. Whether you are playing this as a stand alone game, trying Lips for the first time or you are a seasoned hand at playing the Lips games you will be ridiculously drawn in by this game, especially if you love the 80s.
I was born in the 80s so I was never really involved in listening to much of the music at the time, however, I feel that there are some classics on this game that just never get old or tiresome to listen to and while there are a few songs that I don't like as much on here I have happily played through every single one several times now.
I found the achievements fun to work on. On occasion it meant that I had to play a specific song a few times to achieve the high note or the specific minimum high score that I needed but then I felt immensely pleased with myself for managing to unlock these achievements and build up my gamer score some more.
Overall I love this game. Some of the songs include Culture Club, Dexys Midnight Runners, Duran Duran, Erasure, The Pretenders & The Police so if you love the music from the 80s you should be sure to find a few songs here that will wet your whistle and warm up your vocal chords!