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Thursday, September 1, 2016

NAMCO Final Lap Series

John B. Marine | 9:07 PM |
NAMCO's Final Lap series is mostly F1-based. Four arcade titles and some home titles define this series. This blog post on "John's Race Space" takes a brief look at each of the games in the series. I have never played any of these games, unfortunately. So I can't give any personal insight on each title. What you'll see, then, are mostly impression-based views on each game of the Final Lap series.

Final Lap Series

You can think of the Final Lap series of games as an evolution of the Pole Position games. The Final Lap games mostly are Formula 1 racing games allowing you to take on a host of circuits worldwide. A number of arcade units can be linked together for great racing action across the Final Lap arcade titles.

I wish I could find more content for all of you to better explain what you are about to read, but a lot of these bits of insight are my best to offer at least a base understanding of each title. I hope you enjoy my efforts nonetheless. I may update this post with more content if I can find more to feature in better explaining these titles.

Final Lap (1987).

The first Final Lap (wait- is this grammatically correct?) was released in 1987. Much like the first Pole Position had you race only one course (Fuji Speedway), the first Final Lap has you racing only one course- Suzuka Circuit. You will be racing this one course for about three or four laps. Try to clear this race in time to win. If playing with linked units, try your best to finish ahead of everybody else. The game is over either when time expires or when the race is completed.

Final Lap Twin (1989).

Released exclusively on the PC Engine (called the Turbo Grafx 16 here in the United States), Final Lap Twin offered up an RPG-style racing experience. You bought a car an upgrade it. You even are challenged by others to races. It was a most unique experience. Besides this Quest Mode, you can race in F3000 cars or F1 cars in this game in a variety of races in a championship.

Final Lap 2 (1990).

Get ready for a World Championship of sorts when you race Final Lap 2. You will find yourself on classic F1 venues worldwide such as Brazil (Interlagos), Monaco (Monte Carlo), USA (Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but not the accurate course), and Japan (Suzuka). Enhanced graphics and a broader array of tracks to choose from mean you will be enjoying this game for a good bit longer than with the first Final Lap.

Final Lap 3 (1992).

Final Lap 3 exclusively features European courses. While not with actually licensed names, you could race the following courses: Italy (Monza), San Marino (Autodromo di Imola), France (Paul Ricard Circuit), and Spain (Circuit de Catalunya). Can you prove yourself to be the finest race car driver on four of Europe's toughest tracks? Play Final Lap 3 and find out!

Final Lap R (1993).

Of the Final Lap series, only Final Lap R offers actual licensing of F1 cars as well as the Formula 1 World Championship. Final Lap R featured four actually licensed teams along with Formula 1 licensing across four different actual F1 circuits. No licensed courses, but you could tell what each one is if you know your tracks. You got: Hungary (Hungaroring), Germany (Hockenheimring), Brazil (Interlagos), and Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps). This game also offers an immense graphical makeover compared to the past Final Lap titles. Here is a sample of "Final Lap R" for your enjoyment:

^ Final Lap R - Namco System FL - Brazil GP - Mclaren Corrida Completa/Full Race

Final Lap Special (2001).

On the WonderSwan- a portable gaming device, there was a Final Lap title called Final Lap Special. This allowed gamers to race on a number of courses in cars other than formula cars. In addition to Formula cars are GT cars. Granted you were bestowed with a WonderSwan, you can get your Final Lap fix with Final Lap Special. This video demonstrates "Final Lap Special":

^ "Final Lap Special...Game Sample - WonderSwan Color"

And there you have it- a look at the Final Lap games.

This has been another post in the realm of "John's Race Space." This is my blog about racing games and driving games. It was created initially to cover the Gran Turismo series and Tourist Trophy before I decided to broaden the array of topics. If you enjoyed your time here, make sure you are subscribed and followed to see my latest posts as they become available. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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