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The Final Specimen: Arrival Review

Developer: Gigantoraptor Games
Publisher: Video Game Music Studios

Release Date: March 3rd 2017

Platforms: PC
Reviewed on: PC

 

The Final Specimen: Arrival is a comedic sci-fi adventure game which feels like a classic game from the 90’s. The game is similar to classic platformers of the past and as a result, the game feels older than it actually is. This isn’t a bad thing however.

The story for this game is rather simple but still quite entertaining. It does feel a little secondary compared to the gameplay however and it’s possible to skip past cutscenes and get straight into the next level. This is a nice addition to the game for players who aren’t too interested in the story or are replaying the game. The downside to this however is the fact that the game is quite short and can be completed rather quickly. While this is a negative point for the game, it does work for it well as the game is designed without a game save function so runs at the game can be relatively short.

While the story is a slight let down, the gameplay is where this game shines. It’s varied enough to remain entertaining and keep players hooked for their entire run at the game. Each level of the game introduces a new gameplay mechanic to the mix for players to get the hang of. This helps to keep the game fresh however, it does come with a small downside which may frustrate some players. There is no tutorial system in the game so players should be prepared to be slightly confused as to how the game works for the first few attempts at the game.

Gameplay in this game is great and very entertaining but the controls may feel a little awkward to some younger players. The controls work in a way that you’d expect for a game of this type where the player uses the arrow keys to move while the A,S and D keys are used to perform actions.Getting used to these controls can be a little tricky but after spending some time with the game it will feel almost natural.

In addition to this, boss battles in this game are a hoot. They feature the same sense of humour present in the rest of the game which results in some unusual and creative battles. Certain attacks from the boss will wipe all of the players lives and force them to start again from the last checkpoint. There are also some ‘one-hit-kill’ environmental hazards throughout the levels which can send the player back to the last checkpoint.

This game is definitely well made but there are some slight problems with it. For one, the loading screens are a bit too long. I initially thought the game had frozen but the next level eventually loaded in. The second big issue is the fact that there are a few bugs in the game including a small gamebreaking one that freezes the game. This happened when I accidentally jumped on top of sewer water and instead of killing me like it should have, the game froze and I had to exit that run and restart the game. Hopefully the developers will be fixing these issues.

The Final Specimen: Arrival is a challenging little platform game that feels like a game straight out of the 90’s. It’s a great challenge however, the game does have it’s issues which could frustrate some players.

Pros

  • Memorable boss fights
  • Challenging
  • Introduces new gameplay mechanics throughout
  • Nice music
  • Entertaining gameplay

Cons

  • Long loading screens
  • Story is a little weak
  • Controls can be a little awkward at first
  • Lack of tutorials
  • Some bugs
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