Final Exam is a spin-off from the ObsCure series of horror games, which there were two of for the PC, PS2, and Wii. Those games were Resident Evil clones set in a school setting and with heavy teen horror cliches. All characters were stereotypical, stupid, and various cliches of teen horror movies showed up in the game, and many teens died. The game had to do with a type of plant over growing and spreading something strange around... The game was also notable for being an old-school styled horror game with co-op, though no online.
Well, the studio that made ObsCure games parent company was going down the shutter, the team disbanded from them, and then used their own money to buy the ObsCure IP back from them. They worked on a handheld spin-off, known for a while as Project Obscure, but changed the name to Final Exam so fans wouldn't throw a fit the game was too different from the ObsCure series, being a 2D Brawler and all of that. It's still set in the ObsCure universe though, just a lot more cartoony.
Final Exam is a 2.5D Beat-Em-Up with a focus on 4-player co-op, and the studios first title as their new group. Also their first online title. The game is best described like a mixture of Devil May Cry meets Shoot Many Robots, as the combat has a surprising amount of depth to it, mixed with chipping enemies health away with guns, coming in and performing combos or stuns, dodging attacks, juggling enemies in the air, etc. you get a combo going, that is times and resets when hit. The game can get addicting to keep a combo going, especially as points are tied in to rankings, unlockables, and leaderboard, as well as experience. At any time, you can press a button to cash-in your combo and get the points from your current combo, which also resets the combo. But better than getting hit and losing it all, right? Or maybe you want to risk it and go higher...
Experience helps learn more combos and abilities, and as the course of the game continues, you get a good variety of guns, melee weapons, and grenades to use, which all feel pretty different.
The stages have a fun open-world style, with multiple objectives to do. You can, as a team, work with your friends to go location to location to complete objectives, or separate to complete different ones apart. Occassionally the game will throw some change of pace to keep things interesting. Objectives are sort of typical; go here and beat enemies, pick up these items and delver them to this point, push a kart and hold enemies off, escort a character, etc. Stages also have thing to discover by exploring, including new weapons, and extra skill points to increase character stats hidden around to collect.
There's not really a strong story to it. There is some small story, even some extremely brief cutscenes, but no dialogue, and feel kind of like a missed opportunity as the game as a quirky comic-feel, and could be fun with some story humor. The presentation is nice though, and the music is fitting.
The game has the flaw of re-using areas, though. They have different objectives and have changes to them, but in the games 8 stages, there are four locations, and you go to two of the locations three times. There is also only two bosses in the game, and one of them just keeps getting stronger and adding new moves over the course of the game. Enemies are varied though, and usually multiple types of a single enemy, all who get introduced well over the course of the game.
I would say if you want a beat-em-up with friends, and don't mind a bit of tedium (maybe best played in spurts rather than all at once), to give it a shake. It has flaws, but also some charm with it, and the combat is well-done.