The last time I reviewed a Lips game, I deemed it to be full of interesting ideas, but ultimately lacking compared to SingStar. The core gameplay just wasn’t as simple and crisp, so it didn’t matter how many flashy bells and whistles they threw at it.
But that’s in the past. I have now played Lips: I Heart the 80s, and it’s an improvement, even if the name is a bit silly.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: yes, it seems like half the track list from SingStar 80s has been reproduced here. Songs like Karma Chameleon, Our House, and Just a Little Respect have long been staples in our flat’s trip to the decade that taste forgot. But the double-ups aren’t unwelcome here – generally speaking, they were the cream of the crop from Sony’s game anyway.
In addition, you get treated to awesome-to-sing-intoxicated numbers such as Relax, The Power of Love, Centerfold, Bette Davis Eyes, and Don’t Get Me Wrong. You might not know you know those songs, but trust me – you do. And they’re good fun to sing.
In total, there are 40 tracks present, and as with the last Lips title, there seems to be fewer duds in the mix than in a typical SingStar release. But that won’t matter for anything if the core game is just not fun to play.
In this regard, I’m happy to say that things seem to have been tightened up. I’m talking purely about aesthetics, because that’s really what annoyed me the most in Lips: visually, there was simply too much going on while you were playing. I still think that’s the case here, but for whatever reason, I found it easier to knuckle down and concentrate on belting out my best David Bowie impression. I still think the representation of notes isn’t as good as SingStar, but it’s far from being a deal breaker.
The miscellaneous game modes you knew (and loved?) from the original Lips all make a return here, and they’re extraneous as ever. One Lips feature I really appreciated this time round, however, is the option to put on a virtual video clip in place of the original band’s video. Because let’s face it: it’s the 80s, and therefore most of the music videos suck. Now you can pretend the singer of your favourite song doesn’t have an awful, awful mullet!
As with SingStar, it all comes down to this: do you like the track list? If so, go ahead and enjoy I Heart the 80s. But unlike SingStar you also have to throw in a proviso: if you already own a SingStar game or two, there’s nothing truly substantial here to make you switch teams. But if you only have an Xbox 360, then Lips: I Heart the 80s is worthy of your tone-deaf attention.
The Look Of Love - ABC
Forever Young - Alphaville
Cruel Summer - Bananarama
Dreaming - Blondie
Video Killed The Radio Star - The Buggles
You’re The Inspiration - Chicago
Don’t Leave Me This Way - The Communards
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club
Boys Don’t Cry - The Cure
Let’s Dance - David Bowie
Whip It - Devo
Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners
Rio - Duran Duran
Mirror In The Bathroom - The Beat
A Little Respect - Erasure
A Good Heart - Feargal Sharkey
Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
The Power Of Love - Huey Lewis & The News
Don’t You Want Me - Human League
Centerfold - J. Geils Band
Bad Reputation - Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
Kids In America - Kim Wilde
Celebration - Kool & The Gang
Our House - Madness
Blue Monday ’88 - New Order
The Riddle - Nik Kershaw
Love Is A Battlefield - Pat Benatar
Roxanne - The Police
Don’t Get Me Wrong - The Pretenders
Super Freak - Rick James
Alive And Kicking - Simple Minds
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Gold - Spandau Ballet
Shout - Tears for Fears
Mickey - Toni Basil
Vienna - Ultravox
Don’t Go - Yazoo