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Final Lap Special Reviewed by Tom Lenting on . Rating: 64%
Final Lap Special
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
Due to the alliteration of the first words and to the addition of "Special" to the title, Final Lap Special's name somewhat resembles the title of the well known SNK fighting game Fatal Fury Special. However, those two games aren't similar in any way expect on one aspect: despite their titles there is absolutely nothing "Special" about them. While Fatal Fury is just an ordinary Street Fighter clone, Final Lap "Special" is no more than a run-of-the-mill handheld racing game.

Final Lap Special is a sort of sequel (on the WonderSwan Color) of Final Lap 2000 which was released on the black & white WonderSwan one year earlier. It's also one of the very few racing games on the failed handheld. Another worthy thing to note is that the game is (thank you Lord) not in Japanse, but just in plain English. Maybe that makes it "Special", because such is very rare for a WonderSwan title. Anyhow, this makes it possible, even for morons like me to understand the option screen properly. Not that there is much to it: most important are the Championship and Time Attack modes and the Car Shop. There isn't much more reading needed in the game (since it is a racing game after all), but it always sort of feels good to know what the hell you are selecting (instead of pushing buttons like a freakin' maniac on every option screen you encounter, as I usually behave when trying to play a WonderSwan title).

Final Lap Special has different cars, circuits and a racing competition. What more could you want from a racing game? The graphics are bright and overall the game looks quite good. The only problem is that it feels like the road is pulled under your car instead of controlling the vehicle. But in the long run that is in no way as annoying as the horrible sound of the car's engine. It sounds most like something between being stuck in your room with a horde of bluebottles while trying to get to sleep and a broken buzzer with half dead batteries.

Despite the horrible sound and well-worn concept, the game is still surprisingly playable. The control works fine and the opponents have been adjusted to a decent difficulty level. It isn't possible to crash into them; if you hit them you just "bump" them and slow down a bit. The circuits are good, the challenge is nice and overall Final Lap Special is a fun play if you're looking for a game which can be picked up quick.

So, if you own a WonderSwan Color this is the (probably only) racing game to brag about. Final Lap Special adds nothing spectacular to the world over video gaming, but nothing disgraceful either. The game is so decent that it's almost boring. But then again if you own a WonderSwan in the first place, you probably aren't too. Now, let me finish that final lap, maybe something "special" will turn up after all!
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