Sunday, April 13, 2014

Below the Cut: Final Lap Twin (TG-16 - 1990)

(Source: IGN)
Final Lap Twin - Rating(6 RPP)
1) 0 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 0 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 2 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 1 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 2 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 1 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

RPGs tend to generate a loyal fan base. Obviously, every game should be an RPG, or have RPG-elements. At least that seems to be the thought process behind some of these hybrids. We've seen this before in games like Pinball Quest, but at least this one does a slightly better job at it.
Would you like to play the real game or have a filler story?

Take an RPG, remove the character levels, replace combat with races (including random challengers), and then you'll have an idea of what it's like to play Final Lap Twin. There's absolutely no way to advance your character (only your car's abilities). The story goes that the main character wants to be the world racing champion. This feat is accomplished by visiting towns, racing local champions, and building a super car. Towns offer a place to refill turbo power, purchase and sell parts, and gain some insightful hints.

The world is open from the very beginning, which is nice, but racing challenges prevent you from straying too far from the area most appropriate for your gear. Losing a race sends you back to the first town. There are some side quests (at least quests for car parts), but in the end if you don't find all the best equipment you'll have a hell of time completing the final race.

While the story is simple, it's at least ever present. Do you have what it takes to become world champion? Not an RPG.


  1. Sounds like the grandfather of Death Rally, one of the best DOS racing games ever made.

    1. I've never tried that game, but it seems a bit different. Here you actually move a character around the world and explore towns. Also the race view is Rad Racer style.

      Death Rally reminds me more of Rock & Roll Racing, at least from the description and few images I looked at.

      I tried to go into as little detail about the game as possible, but I probably glossed over it a bit too much. Oh well, it is what it is.

    2. Yeah, the comparison to Rock & Roll Racing is a lot more accurate. I recall there being a NES hockey game planned for release (Hit The Ice) where you would move around a world map to different stadiums to play against different teams. This sounds more like that, I guess.

    3. Hit the Ice sounds like a pretty awesome concept. Build up your checking skills! Grind for dollars to buy new teeth! Bigger goalie pads! Fighting prowess! The possibilities are endless...

    4. Why didn't they do this with a Mighty Ducks game?