From Mighty Rocket Studio comes the 2.5D side-scrolling game, Final Exam, available on PC, PSN and Xbox LIVE. Crazy combos and exploding, flying, acid shooting monsters make this “hor-com” game a frenzy of smacks and shots that provide an entertaining gaming experience.
The campaign follows a group of four friends, with the stereotypical horror film characters all included, on their way to a high school reunion party. Everything starts off looking characteristically up, but the group soon encounter an invasion of muscle-showing monsters with mouth-parts taken directly from the film ‘Alien’.
From there you play as one of the friends, choosing from clichés such as the high school jock and the hot chick among others, as you smash your way through platform styled levels, completing objectives and fighting increasingly agitated monsters in their hordes. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the game is the nature of the objectives, which take the form of collection missions, such as getting children back to their school bus while fighting rabid zombie-dogs in a theme park. As well as this there is the promise of upgrades and bonuses if you dare to venture down the darker hallways of the levels.
Final Exam also boasts a co-op section, in which you and your friends can play as part of, or the entire group, and collectively destroy foes whilst following the storyline. This seems to work as the best style of gameplay, although it can get frustrating when a teammate runs away from an acidic dog, lurching you off the screen and into the slimy hands of the enemy.
Despite its content, Final Exam takes on a less serious mood than would be expected, with references to films and clichés from horror movies, juxtaposed with enough splattering blood to surprise even the PETA protesters. Classic monster fighting weapons such as cricket bats and crowbars too add to the more humorous fighting theme.
When encountering the game there are, as with most things, some downsides, mostly relating to actual gameplay. The platform style of the game makes it easy to navigate down levels of shopping malls and haunted houses, but the function of the stairs is more than fiddly making it frustrating when you’re surrounded by monsters and just want to go down one level. Eventually this does seem to become less annoying once you get used to it, but by then you’ve taken some considerable damage from charging monsters that can use the stairs more easily than you.
All in all Final Exam is a fun and gory game, which can appeal to any type of gamer, with its humorous characters and eccentric use of exploding guts. Beware the stairs, and the difficulty which rises at a slightly uneven pace. Final Exam is a game built for people who wished for ‘Left 4 Dead’ and ‘Shaun of the Dead’s’ lovechild.
Originally featured on Electric Banana:http://www.electric-banana.co.uk/culture/best-games/final-exam/