Hello Dwellers and Welcome To The Basement....
And Yes I do realize I did not do my usual intro in the game play video... not that anyone would notice.. but hey I did!
Anyway, tonight I finally took a crack at Final Exam, a 2.5 Side-scrolling Beat 'Em Up developed by Mighty Rocket Studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. Released in 2013 for the PC, X-Box 360 and Playstation 3, this game had some 'mixed reviews' from the experts, but hey I'm a casual gamer, and a lot of the games I've enjoyed over the years I feel the experts were wrong about... same for the ones they said were good that I got sick in sort order. Also since I am a PC gamer, that is the version of the game I'm reviewing
That said, Final Exam on the surface appears to be your typical side-scrolling beat 'em up, you select one of four characters (each with various starting stats) and make your way through stages, taking out monsters... but there is some light puzzle work, and surprisingly objectives you need to advance. In the game play video of the tutorial and the first stage, you see it cane be as simple as defeating a horde of enemies, or having to achieve certain tasks (like finding a way through a subway, then finding alarms to turn off just to continue onward). So it ain't simply going from left to right, you end up going up, down, left, right, back tracking every so often... so the game isn't quite as linear as one would assume.
Sound quality is decent, nice background music to set the tone and the sound effects all convey either enemies are coming towards you (in case you don't see 'em coming) or other obstacles ... just as parts of a subway you have to avoid while surfing on top of a runaway subway car. The voice work of narrator in between stages is also solid in my view
Graphic quality, I say it's pretty decent for a low cost game at $9.99, the stages for the tutorial and the subway stage both look great, the monsters were well designed, and the lighting changing from room to room in some parts helps create a sense of atmosphere. However the one draw book is that the game feels 'far away', which I get because of the HD, 16:9 perspective and the space has to be filled, but it feels detached, particular when your chosen character is the only thing on screen.
The controls themselves are easy to learn, left analog stick to move, A to Jump, X to attack, B to interact (such as climb ladders, drop a level, pick up items use switches) LT to pick up objective items and grab enemies, RT to throw enemies use pistol weapons, RB to throw grenades.... Up on the D-Pad to use a health item, though at times I end up forgetting the controls as they seem a bit too complicated for a game like this in my opinion.
Overall Verdict: It's a fun button masher with light puzzle elements from what I saw, it's a cheap game from a couple of years ago, and it's a nice little time filler that I certainly continue to play to see if I can beat it. With Halloween just around the corner, this kind of fits the season.