GAME NAME: Final Exam
DEVELOPER(S): Mighty Rocket Studio
PUBLISHER(S): Focus Home Interactive
PLATFORM(S): xbox 360, ps3, PC
RELEASE DATE(S): November 5, 2013
Originally this game was going to be called “Obscure,” to which is obviously now called “Final Exam,” not really sure why the change but definitely not a real necessary one. The game starts with having four characters to choose from. Once you have made your choice of character, the story will begin in the form of a digital comic book on DVD. The characters are moving across the screen without body parts moving while the background is set in place, which it looks better than the digital comic books but has a huge similarity. I don’t care much for the digital comic books but the way the game is done, I can deal with it. The story begins with the kids going to a party and are attacked by monsters. The story isn’t really there but it is okay because with the fun beat em’ up style of the game that the story wouldn’t make sense even if it was there. I mean why would high school kids know how to fight off monsters and do other dangerous things of the sort within the game. So don’t go into this game for the story or you will extremely disappointed.
The game plays pretty simple, almost a full on button masher. Attacking the monsters is basically pressing the “X” button to attack, the right trigger button to shoot, the “A” button to jump and the “Y” button to dodge/evade. Final Exam has added a few things to make it a little bit more than just a simple button masher but sometimes can get a little confusing. Pressing up on the D-pad will add life to your health if you have collected med kits during the missions. The right bumper throw grenades, holding the left bumper and pressing a button with an unlocked special move according to character, will unleash as ass whoopin’ attack. There are lots of things that you can do to make the game not feel like a masher. Even with all the extra things you can do in the game to kill off these ugly monsters, it is definitely just gonna be a button masher for most. There is also a combo system that is pretty unique to the game. The combo bonus allows you to improve your score tremendously. Each hit increases your combo score but there is more to that. There is a 2 combo mode which consists of automatic and manual mode. Automatic mode, which is the setting when you start, will auto validate your score once the battle is over. You can switch to manual mode, which will allow the combo streak to continue until the player presses down on the D-pad to validate it or until one of the monsters hit you.
While playing Final Exam, you can unlock characteristic points or CP and skill points or SP. CP’s allow for you to increase the physical characteristics of your player such as life, strength, precision and explosives. With the CP’s you can increase your life bar which will give you more health in battle. Upping your strength will increase the damage to the monster’s with melee weapons. Adding to precision will add damage to the use of firearms. Adding explosives can make your exploding damage even bigger. SP’s are used to add to special attacks, passive gains, and combat attacks. The special attacks can be earned by defeating monsters and once you have gained an attack you can unleash it with LB + A,B,X,or Y. Passive is where you can get more of a benefit for the same items as before, like adding 50% more health when taking a med kit. Combat attacks are just adding more moves to your repertoire. You can earn up to 4 skill points and 2 character points per mission. The CP’s are earned by finding the 2 weapons and 7 drinks each mission. SP’s are earned by finishing the mission (1SP) and on the score you get at the end of the mission (3SP). The points aren’t too bad to earn but sometimes they can get tedious because you have a few places to have to search up and down and then could wind up where you weren’t ready to go.
The graphics of the game are pretty good, nothing to brag about but I have seen much worse. Like I said about the cut scenes, they look like an upgraded version of a digital comic book. The music is okay, it goes well with the game but it isn’t something that I was excited about. The game is pretty tedious with collecting items and then once you have completed that task, the player will then have to go back to previous spots to collect new items to take to another destination. In the single player mode, the game can be fun with destroying the monsters but the tasks can get too boring after a bit. The multi-player aspect of the game makes it worth it all around because you have your friends or online players to play with and not get so boring. But so much goes on in the game with all four players, it adds to the interest. It is easy to lose track of your player with all the monsters and players and exploding barrels that light the place on fire. Some monsters can be quick to kill while others can be a hassle and have you feeling like how much more can this dude take.
I will admit I read some reviews on Final Exam after I asked to review the game but I loved the demo and the video’s that I had to check it out. I love button masher games because there are days that you just don’t have time or the patience to get in to a game that is extremely in depth. I had a blast bashing the monsters with the spiked bat, the machete and definitely the chainsaw. The gore is a little standout to the actual graphics of the levels but it is awesome to watch. The guns to shoot were awesome, the special attacks are pretty bad ass and helpful when you get caught in a horde of these freaks. The game speed was great, there was no lag from the A.I. or my moves from my button pressing. I caught myself trying to do the manual mode on the combo system and let me say, it isn’t as easy as i thought it would be but definitely adds a new challenge to the game. If you are looking for a game to kill time or just waste monsters with some of your gamer buddies then this is it. It is definitely worth the buy and to have in your collection of indie/arcade games.