Lips: A Great Series Gone Bad

By Lonsta DaMonsta, 8 years ago
On November 18, 2008, a semi-popular game called Lips was released. This game received a lot promotion, such as commercial airplay (example here:
) and had moderately positive reviews. The achievements were spread out in a fun way, and personally it's the best karaoke game I've ever played. Unfortunately, this Cinderella story takes a dramatic downturn...

[If you want to skip my personal story/rant and get to the bullet points of this article, please skip to the last paragraph.]

Almost a whole year after the original Lips came out, Lips: Number One Hits was released. I was looking forward to buying this, seeing as how I enjoyed the first installment so much. I bought the original Lips in a package with two wireless microphones, so I was looking for the game only. Well, unfortunately, as It turned out, you could only get the game in a package with a microphone. So, with no other option, I paid the full retail price for the new Lips game and just traded the microphone in for a small amount of credit. This was frustrating, but I tried to look past it. Unfortunately, the problems continued. I put the game in to see its achievements, and to my dismay, the game was not listed on my gamercard. Only "Lips" was listed. I was slightly confused,, but I eventually figured out that the game only had NINE achievements worth 250g, and these achievements were tacked on as additional achievements for "Lips." Since when was this game dubbed as an add-on? After checking Microsoft's policy regarding this, it says:
"1. All regular disc-based games MUST have 1,000 Gamerscore in the base game. This means that any consumer who buys a retail game will have the opportunity to unlock the full 1,000 Gamerscore without having to pay for any add-on content. Note that a publisher may decide to deliver a portion of this Gamerscore via add-on content, but the add-on content will always be free to the consumer."
(source: So in short, Microsoft broke their own policy releasing this game at a full retail price, and only having 9 achievements associated with this disc. At this point, I'm furious, and assuming things can't get worse. They did. For several people including myself, two of the new achievements were glitched. We couldn't earn any trophies, resulting in unobtainable achievements. We originally contacted Microsoft in October of 2009, and their only solution was to check the Lips Community Forum for possible solutions. Also, iNiS, the developer of Lips, proved impossible to contact. Long story short, as of March 2010, Microsoft still didn't have a fix for the problem, and they ended up giving me 800 Microsoft Points. Fortunately, I was able to get those two glitched achievements when they released their third installment, Lips: Party Classics. The trophies weren't glitched on that game, so they inadvertently fixed the glitch. That was a huge relief, and it wasn't too much longer before I had 1500/1500.

But don't worry: after one quick relief, a nightmare follows. Lips: I Love The 80's was announced for an April 2 release. You may ask: how is that a nightmare, Lonsta? Isn't the 80's your preferred decade for music? Why yes it is... so it was supposed to be a dream come true. Instead, they decided to release the game in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand only. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have 1500/1750 in Lips and now I have no availability to finish the game? This is absurd. According to their official blog, "Fans in the United States and Canada will have an expanded choice of 80s music Game Add-ons." Which basically means all we get is DLC with no achievement points associated with them. This wouldn't be nearly as frustrating if the game had its own achievement list instead of being tacked on to three Lips titles that were all released in North America.

The last thing I want to mention is the use of archaic technology between the games, disc-swapping. If you put in any Lips game, all of the songs from the other games will appear on your list, but once you click them on you are required to swap discs. There is no option to purchase a license, installing to your hard drive doesn’t work, etc. Yeah, this is pretty much the icing on the cake for Lips.

So, in short, here is how a great game [series], Lips, went to crap:
-- The second Lips game, Lips: Number One Hits, did not have a game-only package. You were forced to buy a microphone even if you already owned one.
-- The game retailed for full price, but yet instead of having its own set of achievements, it tacked on 9 achievements/250 gamerscore to the original Lips title. Microsoft broke their own policy with this game, as well as the following two Lips releases.
-- The game also has two glitched achievements for a minority of gamers, including myself. After four months of phone calls to Microsoft, they couldn't fix it and compensated 800 Microsoft Points instead. So much for them being responsible for the games they develop or publish. (Note that these achievements were unlockable finally as of February 2010 when the third Lips game, Lips: Party Classics, was released.)
-- The developer of Lips, iNiS, has only one contact listed and they never responded to the glitch. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that they are based out of Japan... I don't know. Either way, they do NOT care about their fans.
-- Lips: I Love The 80's makes the original Lips title worth 1750 achievement points total. This would be fine except for that they decided to release the game in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand only.
-- In order to play a song on a different Lips title than the one you have loaded, you have to disc swap. Installing the games to the hard drive does not work, and there is no option to purchase a license as in there is in Rock Band.

So there you have it. I'm sure many of you gamers out there all have horror stories about a certain game or two that screwed you over one way or another. Lips is that game for me. Thanks for reading.