We’re only in March yet just a few months after the release of a sequel to the Xbox 360’s attempted take on the popular Karaoke genre, Party Classics has arrived.
There is no doubting that Lips Number One Hits was a disappointment for many; a lack-lustre song list and the awful disc swapping system which sadly rears its ugly head here as well. What it did do was try and improve the overall interface and it appears developers iNIS have found a system for the time being that they are happy with.
Dubbed Party Classics, it is hard to digest the song list without throwing a few curious glances at some of the additions. We’re not sure a Mika song or Rehab by Amy Winehouse is the best aural delights to throw on at your house warming party, without most of the audience glaring at you for ruining the atmosphere.
That said the songs that appear on the disc, forty in all, are a solid improvement on the previous update and even to an extent the original instalment. Most of the feedback from the community when the songs were announced was positive and it is nice to see a disc try and fulfil its name label.
Not much has changed with regards to the engine on the previous Number One Hits. What you’ll see is a return to the streamlined approach the second update took, alongside some minor updates. The first of these, a bonus for those who never forked out for wireless mics, is the ability to use Rock Band or Guitar Hero USB microphones amongst other popular USB devices. This could mean a cheap upgrade for those looking to test the waters out without shelling out fifty-quid for the full blown wireless microphones. However those using USB mics won’t benefit from the additional features such as avatar movements and the percussion instruments.
As mentioned previously, the disc swapping element makes an unwelcome return. Despite all the petitions, iNIS has still failed to implement an easy-to-transfer system such as those found in Rock Band or Guitar Hero. This means that users of the original game and Number One Hits have a total of 80 songs which they’ll need to swap over too if the needs must at the party.
Interrupting the flow of play during a game which is solely relied upon to be dug out at a party is not the way forward. Not only this, but the cover art not appear making the menus appear messy. The best way to get rid of this is by sorting the songs by disc, but it is still a far cry from what should have being implemented in the past game.
If there are any positives though, swapping back to the original Lips only requires a disc change twice over. Once you’ve swapped to Number One Hits, you can leave this disc in to continue playing the songs featured on there. It’s a small consolation for those frustrated last time around.
All the other features will be familiar as usual with the need for you to try and sing to the best of your ability or warble (much like myself) to achieve the highest scores. The scoring system rates you on an overall scale and you’ve the ability to win cups based on your leader board rankings across the world.
Despite the full retail disc, the achievements once again add another 250 Gamerscore to the original Lips title meaning you’ll need the other discs to take full advantage of the points on offer. This also seems like a cop-out to not offer the usual 1000 Gamerscore for a disc based title. On a positive note, the game retails on average for £20 which is great value when songs cost on average £1 each to download.
Those disappointed by the lack of achievements will be pleased to hear that there are additional awards to unlock avatar clothing on the Xbox Live Marketplace, along with the cups available for the placing in the Top 10, 100, 500 and 1000 on the online service.
Sadly the challenge mode is still a hindrance to being able to play alongside friends with the service rarely functioning or challenges disappearing. It still looks like we’ll be waiting until a proper sequel for this to be updated.
The playlist may be the strongest to date, but with a lack of new features and direction for the game, it is unlikely that Lips: I Love The 80’s (yes another is on its way shortly) will enhance the engine any further. That said for a bit of fun to dig out on a Saturday night, for £20 you can’t go wrong. Just don’t get caught singing ‘I’m Too Sexy’ in your pants.