Final Exam formally known as Obscure is a 2D side-scroller by Mighty Rocket Studio that will take you in, beat you up, and spit you out of a monster’s mouth. Then stomp on you. Final Exam’s fighting system is combo based and includes some cool moves which can be upgraded as you progress through the game. They have also included a system similar to that of Devil May Cry where you are given a rating of the combos that you are preforming, except here you have two options to save the combo: automatic or manual. If you choose manual you will have to press down on your D-Pad to save it. Whereas, on auto, the game does it for you. There are two more things that you need to be aware of with the combo system: if you get hit the combo is broken (c-c-c-combo breaker!?) and if you choose the Manuel option, you rack up more points. Final Exam is packed full of action and, though at some points it may be repetitive, it keeps you on edge the whole time because if you’re like me you want to get the highest combo you can get. My highest was a B ranked combo because I would either get hit before hand or save the combo once I reached B. This adds to the replay value because it’s fun to build up multiple characters to see the difference between them all and to challenge yourself on the time attack mode (unlocks after you beat the game) and on harder difficulties. Each stage has about three different phases to it, in which you may be collecting supplies for a repairman so you can make it out of the subway, or collecting plants for a doctor so he can create a cure for the infection. In these stages you will find that it pays to explore as there are seven blue orbs of light that you can collect and two weapons on each stage that you must find if you would like to add them to your inventory. Theses orbs of light allow you to upgrade one of two stats, CP, which allows you to upgrade your character stats meaning: Life, Strength (melee damage), Precision (gun damage), Explosives. Where SP allows you to upgrade your skill tree. There are four characters to choose from and they each come with their own set of special abilities. For example: Shawn is a weapons expert, meaning that he is great with guns. His special abilities generally have something to do with shooting. Whereas the geek of the group, Nathan, uses his smarts to make weapons like an electrified shield that zaps any enemy that comes too close, as his special. The game is only eight stages, but those eight stages don’t fly, especially if you’re playing solo. There are a good variety of monsters to keep you busy and you will find that at times those monsters will come at you non-stop. In all three modes; solo, co-op local, and co-op online, I was very impressed that I had the same experience each time. I didn’t have any problem with lag, nor did the lack of split screen in the local co-op mode bother me. Though I must admit, the online co-op allows you to split up from your partner and gather the items a lot quicker, and it made things easier and more enjoyable. Also, the local co-op focuses on player one, so if you wander too far away from them, then you will find yourself re-spawned wherever they are. The only other downside to playing co-op local is that the combo meter is not separate, so if you are working on a great combo, and your buddy gets hit, that combo, like I mentioned earlier, is broken. On the plus side of that, the combos build twice as fast if you have a good partner. Mighty Rocket makes it easy for you to attack multiple creatures at once and roll them all into a combo which, is perfect when playing solo as you don’t want to be caught off guard. The amount of difficulty I had with just beating the normal mode is representative of the challenge Final Exam offers. I never grew tired or frustrated playing Final Exam though. Each time my combo was broken I would get upset and try to get an even higher combo next time. Then fail. At random points in the stages you will be attacked by a hoard of creatures coming at you from all directions as you progress through the game these random attacks become harder and harder and begin to include a different variety of monsters which means you never know what you’re gonna get. Each characters special ability is unique and works very well in tough situations. The game is very balanced so there is no one character that is the “best to choose.” It just depends on what style you want to use because each character is effective in their own respect. The variety of weapons help add to the fun factor. You don’t have to choose the same weapon as another player because all of them have their purposes. I enjoyed playing with the butcher knife because its quick and light versus the wrench which was heavy but powerful. Toward the end I fell in love with the sledge hammer because it was the happy medium. The guns and explosives have variety as well. You can roll with the Shotty (sawed-off or full), or you can go with the AK-47 just to name two. As for the explosives, they include three varieties, all of which are devastating. As for the story of the game, it’s sub-par. It’s about four people driving to their high school reunion when they get attacked by a monster. From there they get stuck in this town and they progress through to their former high school. Fortunately, the story was meant to be very cliche’ and manages to be rather humorous. The game does a great job of blending action and humor all at once. I found myself laughing multiple times while pulling off pretty good combos. I enjoyed throwing the little children at the monsters and watching the fat kid puke from eating too much candy. When it comes Final Exam‘s soundtrack, it’s, well, it’s there. Nothing honestly ever stood out to me, or had me humming along. Even sound effects from the monsters weren’t anything to write home about. I was able to focus on building my combo meter with no sudden, unnecessary, loud noises. The characters voices were almost non existent. I vaguely remember hearing some strange grunts coming from Nathan but that’s about all. I did rather enjoy hearing the shotgun blast all the creatures to bits though. The cartoon graphics are perfect for the games’ atmosphere and they keep just the right amount of blood and gore and the backgrounds are done very well. The carnival stage is my favorite because the background is amazing. The eerie rides hanging in the backdrop of the crimson stained sidewalk was a scene right out of a horror movie which is just the look that Mighty Rocket Studio was going for. Playing with friends makes Final Exam even better. With beautiful graphics, a silly story mixed with a macabre atmosphere, and some great game play Final Exam will keep you and your friends busy for quite a while.
*Review based on final code game provided by Mighty Rocket Studio*