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Final Lap Twin: At a Glance

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Scruffles
 
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Final Lap Twin: At a Glance

Postby Scruffles » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:11 am

This is pretty unique... kinda reminds me of Metal Max. It's basically a hybrid rpg/racer. It has normal race mode too, if rpgs aren't your thing, but for the sake of this review, I'm assuming you'll be playing story mode. You're the son of a retired racer on a quest to become the greatest race car driver of all time. You wander around the map on foot (why?) until you trigger a random encounter... instead of the typical turn based battle, you race one lap against the computer on a split screen. If you win, you get money and get to keep wandering, if you lose, you get money and have to start walking again. You buy upgraded parts for your car with the money to take on more challenging opponents in 3-lap races. When you win, they give you new junk that progresses the story.

the good: unique idea that's implemented pretty well for a game approaching 30 years old. The controls are fairly tight.

the bad: the menus are similar to the original dragon quest trilogy on n.e.s. - tedious. You have to pull up a menu to get to other menus. the graphics are similar to DQ, too, but without the artwork of all the different enemy monsters, the only reason to advance the story, is just to finish the game.

the ugly: extremely repetitious. Although you race on different courses , each race feels exactly the same. Also, the main travelling music on the world map sounds suspiciously like "Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel", which does anything but alleviate the repetition.

Bottomline: The idea was ahead of it's time... If I'd had the chance to play this as a kid, I would've been hooked, unfortunately these days, my attention span is much shorter. In any case, this is pretty fun for about an hour, so give it a shot perhaps you'll like it more.
 

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nullity
 
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Re: Final Lap Twin: At a Glance

Postby nullity » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:59 pm

So, knowing you're an RPG nut, I have to ask: Did you know about the RPG elements before you picked this game, or are you also a NASCAR nut who was pleasantly surprised by the world's most unexpected RPG*?

I've actually never played this one. I'm ashamed to admit it, but when I was a kid I didn't know it had RPG elements so I had no interest in it... and since I've gotten back into gaming as an adult, there are just so many other games to choose from that I've not gotten around to it. So I was glad to see that you reviewed it, because I can now enjoy it vicariously through you. Scratch this one off my bucket list!!! :lol:

* = the title of "world's most unexpected RPG" is debatable... see World Court Tennis.
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roflmao
 
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Re: Final Lap Twin: At a Glance

Postby roflmao » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:25 am

You guys... :roll:

This game is awesome! Yes, there is grinding to the DQ degree. But it wouldn't be an 8/16-bit rpg otherwise? If you're looking for an RPG to hold your hand through the story, you're a pansy! Go play FFX, or Dragon Age: Origins, or some other "modern" RPG.

Yes, you'll likely lose some at first, and you'll have to race/battle a lot to save up enough for the next set of upgrades, but that's part of the charm of this game. And it's racing instead of fighting! Namco was doing something completely different on our beloved console. If you don't like this, don't even bother trying out World Court Tennis (another game they turned into an RPG).

I personally love this game and play through the RPG mode every few years. And I love it every time. :twisted:
 

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Scruffles
 
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Re: Final Lap Twin: At a Glance

Postby Scruffles » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:19 pm

nullity: no, I had no idea it was an rpg. When I did the first set of title screenshots, I gave almost every game about 2 minutes of play time and that's when I found out.

roflmao: How dare you suggest I play final fantasy 10? That sir, is hitting below the belt. Seriously though, I respect your nostalgic appreciation for this game. I have similar feelings towards the n.e.s. Dragon Quest games. That said, my problem with the game, is not the grinding necessarily (which in this case was minor when compared to say, the original Dragon Quest) but the feeling of "what's the point"? The story is nearly non-existent and seems to have been thrown in at the last second. To be fair, almost all rpgs made from the 80's through the mid-90's (and many, many more since then) give me the same feeling.

I'm glad that my reviews are sparking discussion, but they shouldn't be taken as the final word on a subject, let alone the first one. The reason they're titled "at a glance" is because that's the basis for the review. I didn't play Final Lap Twin when I was 8, I played it at the ripe old age of 32, so my experience is not going to be the same as yours. I try to remain unbiased but realistic by pointing out both what I liked and didn't like. In this case, the idea was unique, but the repetition, lack of story, and music made it a monotonous task rather than a pleasurable experience.

It's clear to me that you feel very differently about it, and I'm glad... it gives me the opportunity to ask that you write a review. Your passionate review of a favorite pastime will be so much more enjoyable to read than my modern interpretation with skewed standards.
 

roflmao
 
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Re: Final Lap Twin: At a Glance

Postby roflmao » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:59 pm

Hey Scruffy: usually when I hit these forums I've had a few adult beverages and may come off a little overly harsh, but I *do* sincerely appreciate your effort to review these games, even if they are "at a glance". Please keep it up and know that if we ever meet up I'll buy you a beer for giving you a hard time. :mrgreen:

Having said that, The RPG mode in FLT is what made it stand out from most other racing games bitd and Namco should be given some credit for trying something different, even if it isn't as fleshed out as a full-on RPG. And there is a lot of hidden stuff in the game that shows they really tried. Just wait until you get cursed. Ugh. And iirc, some of the best components for your car are found through hidden means, though they aren't necessary to beat the game.

They gave the RPG treatment to World Court Tennis as well, and I find that one way harder than FLT, at least early on. It's one I didn't play bitd and find it's difficulty (at least early on) up there with the original Phantasy Star for the SMS, where pretty much any battle can make you start over. Still, it was novel of them to include an RPG mode for a *tennis* game, so I keep going back to it every once in awhile.

Anyway, that's enough of my ranting. :)
 

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Scruffles
 
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Re: Final Lap Twin: At a Glance

Postby Scruffles » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:09 pm

you had me at free beer. I took no offense to your post bro, I'm too old to be sensitive these days. :mrgreen: Furthermore, I'm glad that you like reading my reviews and take the time to post your opinions on them/the games. I also agree that the rpg mode made Final Lap Twin stand-out; without it, I wouldn't have played the game nearly as long as I did and that's why I give it so much credit for it's uniqueness (not sure if that's a real word, but I'm gonna use it like it is). Also, as I stated in the original review, it's hard for me to appreciate the game like a child because my attention span is much shorter these days, but if I was still an 8 year old boy, I would be in love with the game.

After reading you guy's responses about World Court Tennis, I have to agree, I did not see that one coming. Even though I'd played it for a few minutes a while back, I didn't pay any attention to the options on the title screen and I completely missed the story mode. After playing it for a while I am in complete agreement, it is extremely freaking hard. I really try not to use save states in games if I can help it, but I wouldn't have enough time to review a lot of games if I didn't... that goes quadruple for world court tennis... that said, I'm actually enjoying it a lot more than "FLT". The story is just as non-existent, but (and maybe because of the difficulty) the "battles" are more fulfilling, even if they don't pay out as well. I know I don't have the attention span to finish it, but I'm gonna keep at it and hopefully get another review up sometime in the next few days (possibly tonight, if I can get other junk taken care of fast enough).
 


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