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When I played T-Mek I thought one thing, "I could be playing Twisted Metal", a game which came out the very same year but is so much more advanced. Not only is it inferior to that game which you can probably pick up for less then a dollar, it is pretty rare, I looked for at least a year and a half before I found a copy, and it wasn't cheap. If by some odd circumstance you come by a copy, go ahead and give it a try. It's certainly not something worth searching for.
In T-MEK, the only goal is to destroy as many enemies as possible within the given time limit. You have a choice of six mechs, which vary in speed, shield and weapons and six playing fields. The actual game controls fairly well, but it was really stripped down in the conversion from arcade to home-system use. I would have enjoyed the game much more if they would have enjoyed the game much more if they would have added a few more options in the transition from arcade to home to increase the playability.
However, for some reason time has been kind to this 32X port, since I’ve seen T-Mek listed on gaming forums as to what 32X games for someone to get, along with Star Wars Arcade. I didn’t like either one very much (Star Wars I only saw one good review of ever in the day, the others trashed it, which I should have heeded those reviews...), but this is all an opinion anyway, so if anyone still wants it for their collection and comes across it for sale somewhere, be my guest, especially since it’s a bit rare nowadays.
This cart won't satisfy 32X owners desperate for quality gaming. Some action junkies might find short-term thrills, but this cart lacks long-term intensity and depth.
The 32X version of T-Mek is a solid conversion and takes advantage of the "32-bit" hardware with very pretty intro screens and better-than-average graphic scaling. The programmers have also thrown in some 32X-specific options, since coin-ops rarely have such niceties as sound tests. But the gameplay still causes me to shrug my shoulders. The verdict: a strictly average driving/shooting game, but a good addition to the always-hurting 32X library.
T-Mek is slightly better with two players, but alone it's a cakewalk. I won several rounds by just waiting in a corner for most of the ships to blow themselves up and then went after the last two using the acid drone mech. Zzzzz. With it's uninspired graphics and poor control, T-Mek really comes off as no big mechin' deal.
T-Mek makes for a great arcade game, but the systems of the day simply couldn't replicate the experience. This one is dying to go online with an update but those chances are probably limited. Until then, you can either buy a couple linked arcade machines or deal with this port, the only way the game ever came home.
T-Mek for the 32X is playable, which is a nice way of saying it's only a modest step above functional. But the charms of the arcade game, an over-the-top Battlezone update with network play, are nowhere to be found. And the visuals are positively terrible. It's almost like Nintendo paid Atari to make the game look bad to create bad press for the 32X. Not that the 32X wasn't doing just fine in that department on its own...
Between the lackluster introduction and cringe-worthy audio, T-MEK is screaming to have been instead released as a 32X CD title. Higher resolution sprites may have also been possible. As one of the last 32X games released in North America, it had a shorter print run then most games, which has caused its rarity and value to continue to increase over the years. If you're a collector, then by all means track this game down and pick it up. If you're merely curious, then I suggest saving your money.
The frame rate is smooth enough, but the graphics are ugly. The objects are all sprites, which get very pixelated up close. The small text on your control panel is hard to read. The flat battlegrounds differ in color and scenery, but none are conducive to any kind of strategy. The music and voice effects are very good, and include a deep voice that lets you know if you're winning or losing. The scoring system is useless; it resets to zero after each round (what's the point??). But the ultimate let-down is the bosses. These menacing-looking monstrosities are well-illustrated in the instruction book, but in the game they are nothing but tanks of a different color. Even the 2 player game is pointless. The 32X could have used a good tank battle game, but this wasn't what I had in mind.